Are you buying an espresso machine and want to learn how to clean it properly? If so you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll delve into how to clean your espresso machine regularly.
You might appreciate that elements such as the consistency of your coffee grinds, correct dosing, and even tamping play a crucial role in the quality of the flavours of your shot. However, most coffee lovers do not know that your coffee machine's cleanliness greatly influences the clarity of your shot's flavour. If you're in the market for a new espresso maker, you should learn how to clean your machine beforehand.
What Is An Espresso Machine?
An espresso maker is a coffee making machine that is used to brew espressos using near-boiling water and high pressure (about 9 bars). After heating water, the device forces a specific amount of water through the portafilter that holds finely ground and tamped coffee grounds.
The resulting shot is a rich, creamy, and flavourful coffee drink that's more concentrated than traditional drip coffee. It's used as the basis for making various beverages, including lattes, cappuccinos, ristrettos, macchiatos, etc.
While espresso is quintessentially an Italian drink, it has spread worldwide. As such, espresso machines are increasingly becoming the standard equipment for coffee brewing.
How To Clean Espresso Machines: Daily
Whether you operate an espresso machine at home or in a café, you should develop daily cleaning habits that enhance the cleanliness of the machine and the espresso brewing process.
Clean As You Go – Continuous cleaning as you use the espresso maker will make it easy for you to clean the machine when you're done using it. This means that you should purge the steam wand before and after use and wipe it down with a clean cloth to negate the chances of burning milk on the wand.
Flush the group head before pulling the next shot of espresso to remove stuck coffee grounds and oils.
Clean The Group Head – Given that the group head comes into contact with coffee particles every time you use the machine, it must be cleaned often. Brush the group head with a cleaning brush. Add a blind basket to the portafilter. Add a teaspoon of espresso maker cleaning powder to the blinds basket and install it to the group head.
Use the machine as you would while preparing a shot of espresso. Activate the machine for about 10 seconds and allow the machine to vent pressure. Repeat this cycle another 5-10 times, depending on the level of dirt in your machine.
Rinse off the blind portafilter and reinsert without the detergent. Perform 10 cleaning cycles of activating the machine for 10 seconds and turning it off to vent pressure. Finally, remove the portafilter and allow water to run through the group head.
Clean The Portafilter – After cleaning the group head, you should clean the portafilter to remove the coffee oils and remnant grounds. Fill your sink with hot water and add the right amount of espresso machine cleaning powder.
Soak the metal parts of the portafilter and basket in the water for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a cleaning brush on the portafilter, scrub any remaining dirt, and rinse in hot water.
Clean The Shower Screen – The shower screen is a part inside the group head that spreads the hot brewing water evenly. It comes in contact with a coffee puck whenever you brew and get dirty really fast.
Unscrew the shower screen and retaining metal plate. The easiest way to clean these parts is to simmer the parts in water with cleaning powers for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, brush the parts to remove any remaining grime.
How To Clean Espresso Machines: Weekly
Once a week, you need to perform the recommended daily cleaning tasks as well as other minute tasks such as:
Cleaning The Portafilter Spouts – Unscrew them and soak them in hot water with espresso machine detergent for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the spout to remove all grime and coffee oils.
Cleaning Espresso Machine Tips
Here are some additional cleaning tips to keep in mind as you use your espresso maker.
- While doing regular cleaning, you should check and track the status of different parts. Additionally, replace small parts on a scheduled basis to negate the risk of a total breakdown of your machine. For instance, change the portafilter basket and shower screens every few months to prevent leaks between the group head and portafilter.
- Perform a steam tank decalcification twice a year by soaking the tank with a descaling solution following manufacturer recommendations.
- Once a year, you should replace parts in constant use, such as the water pipe, anti-suction valve, shoulder bolt shims, hot water, steam valves/rings, waste pipe, and the brew actuator bearing.
- Whichever cleaning products you use, ensure you thoroughly rinse the parts to reduce contamination of the coffee shots with the notes from cleaning products.
Just as you care about getting all the variables related to brewing coffee, you should prioritise cleaning your espresso machine properly. You don't want the residue coffee oils and ground coffees to affect the flavours and taste of your espresso.
Get Your Espresso Machine from Dolo!
Cleaning your espresso machine requires you to use the best cleaning supplies available. At Dolo Coffee Supplies, we have all the cleaning equipment and supplies you need to help you keep your espresso machine pristine.