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How to Look After Your Espresso Machine

  • 3 min read

You've bought the espresso machine (Take a look here if you haven't gotten that far), you've read every guide, and watched at least 5 hours worth of James Hoffman videos, but now that you've made the perfect espresso, you're unsure on how to keep that espresso machine looking shiny. Well that's where we come in. Looking after your espresso machine is just as important as making great coffee, so let's take a look at some top tips for keeping things pristine so your equipment lasts even longer.

Keep that Group Head Clean

First up, and probably one of the most important thing, is keeping that group head clean. The group head is in constant direct contact with your ground coffee, so you can imagine that over time this can build up. Most espresso machines will come with a built in back-flush setting, that can be activated when a blank basket is placed in the portafilter handle. There are several group head cleaners, but we would recommend Puly Caff. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to back-flush your group head:

  1. Place your blank basket inside your portafilter handle. 
  2. Place 3.5g of Puly Caff into your blank basket.
  3. Run your espresso machines back flush or cleaning cycle.
  4. After the cleaning cycle is complete, empty the water from your blank basket. 
  5. Run a second cleaning cycle without Puly Caff. 
  6. And you're good to go!

Basket Cleaning

It's good practice to clean the inside of your basket after every espresso shot. This will minimise buildup and prolong the life of your basket. But an area that is often forgotten about is the underside of your basket. To clean this, just remove the basket from the portafilter handle and rinse with warm water. We wouldn't recommend using any chemical based cleaners for this as you wouldn't want any residue in your morning cuppa. 

Keep a Clean Shower Screen

Most espresso machines come with a shower screen inside the group head. This shower screen helps to disperse the water evenly across the surface of the coffee inside the portafilter. Over time, coffee can build up on the surface of this screen, so it's important to give it a good clean from time to time. If you're carrying out regular group-head cleaning (as above) then this should be a pretty simple task. There's two ways to clean the shower screen. Some espresso machines will allow you to remove the shower screen by loosening a central screw, or alternatively you can run a toothbrush over them while still attached to the machine.

Don't Forget the Steam Wand 

Coming into constant contact with milk means you need to keep your steam wand clean and shiny at all times. This means giving it a wipe down after every milk based drink you prepare. The steam wand should also be flushed before and after milk preparation, ensuring that it is wiped thoroughly with no milk residue left on the wand. 

General Cleanliness

It's not easy to keep stainless steel shiny, but we're not going to gate keep the baristas secret weapon. What is it we hear you ask?! Glass cleaner! Glass cleaner is the best way to keep the surfaces of your espresso machine looking pristine. 

There you have it, our quick how to guide on how to keep the espresso flowing from a nice clean machine. 

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