Cleaning coffee equipment often feels like a bit of a grind, (sorry) but if you taste an espresso at the start of the day and one at the end without cleaning in between, you'll notice a HUGE difference.
If you don't believe us, try dialling in the morning after someone forgot to clean the espresso machine!
Dirty coffee tastes burnt, bitter, muddy, and you'll find it very hard to get any of those bright, fruity and sweet notes.
But don't worry, if you've got the know-how, keeping it clean doesn't have to be gruelling or time consuming.
Of course it's great for every part of the machine to be shiny-clean, but keep in mind the parts which need to be clean for the coffee to taste good (group head, portafilter) and which parts just look nicer when clean (drip tray).
Here's what we've learned:
1. Every shot: Purge the group head. This dislodges stuck on grinds.
2. Every few shots: Rinse the portafilter under the purge. This rinses away residue which builds on on the underside of the basket (which your espresso has to run through to get to the cup!)
3. A few times a day: Backflush without chemicals whenever you can during the day. A quick backflush with water works wonders.
4. While backflushing: Unless your machine has a self-clean program, you'll need to wiggle the portafilter on and off of the group head as water runs through. This cleans the seal.
5. Don't forget the other half of the backflush: Fold a dishcloth over a few times and stick it up into the edge of the group head, push it around the circular edge. Do so until the cloth comes out clean (it doesn't take long).
AT THE END OF THE DAY
You'll find that if you keep up with the previous tips, cleaning at the end of the day is much quicker and easier!
6. Unscrew the screens and thoroughly backflush the group head
7. Use a cloth and hot water to wipe the edges of the screens
8. Remove the baskets from the portafilters and do the same
9. Use professional chemicals like Cafiza or Puly Caf at least every few days. If your espresso machine gets a lot of traffic (ie. over 2kg of coffee through the hopper in a day), every day.
10. Reassemble but leave the portafilters OFF the group heads overnight - otherwise they'll be suctioned on by morning.
Want to find out more... sign up for some of our barista training classes!
Team Dear Green