Just like your car needs regular cleaning and maintenance, it is also important to clean your espresso machine on a regular basis. We know that you’re busy, but taking a few extra minutes to make sure that your equipment is clean will guarantee that it keeps on delivering cup after cup of great tasting, quality coffee.
Regular cleaning is important so as to ensure that every cup of coffee produced by this piece of equipment is a winner. If it has been a long time since you’ve even thought of cleaning it, it is likely that your machine is starting to produce coffee with a rancid flavor. Overtime, grime and impurities build up in the machine; therefore, affecting the flavor of the coffee or espresso produced within.
Unless you want little surprises in your coffee, we recommend that you clean our espresso machine every day, deep clean once a week and descale every 3 months. This will not only ensure the quality of the espresso you make, it will also extend the life of your much-loved machine.
Cleaning your espresso machine is quite easy. The instructions are already there in your user manual. But if you don’t feel like reading the manual or you’ve lost it already, don’t worry. We’re here to help you out. Read on to find out how to clean your espresso machine.
Remove the basket
Start by removing the basket from the portafilter. Get rid of any coffee build up from the basket and then rinse the portafilter with water. You may also run it under hot water from the machine. Once it’s done, dry it out with a paper towel and set aside.
Clean the gasket
Run water through the group head to get it wet. Use a brush to clean the gasket. If you don’t have a brush, you may use a rug or a paper towel instead. It is important to keep the gasket clean to prevent premature wearing. The gasket will wear out faster if it’s dirty.
Clean your espresso machine screen
Coffee beans contain essential oils. Although these oils give your coffee a rich flavor and aroma, some of the coffee’s oil and grit gets stuck in the screen when pull an espresso shot. To prevent build up, regular scrubbing and backflushing is a must.
Remove the screen from the group and clean it. You will need to unscrew the screen to get it out. Gently scrub the screen with a brush to loosen grit. Although backflushing is an important step in cleaning your espresso machine, some still particles remain even if you use of a good cleaner. That means you still have to manually remove the coffee gunk. If you fail to clean the screen, then you’ll be re-brewing old coffee for every shot. Make sure you clean the screen thoroughly.
Prepare for backflushing
Before you start, you need to make sure that you re-attach the shower screen. Then, replace the portafilter with a blind basket, one with no holes in the bottom. Don’t forget to check the amount of water. The tank should be full before backflushing. Lastly, make sure the machine is powered on and at brewing temperature.
Run the machine for about 5 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Dump the dirty water. Do this 3 times. Now, add a small amount of cleaning agent to the blind basket. Tighten the filter and then run the water again as though you are making an espresso. Once the water is flowing, slightly loosen the portafilter and then jiggle the filter handle. Repeat this step for about 5 to 10 times or until all the detergent has been washed out. Be careful as the water is hot. After cleaning, re-install the basket and portafilter.
Regular backflushing will not only ensure quality coffee, it can also avoid costly maintenance and prolong the life of your machine.
Clean the outside as well
Making an espresso can be a bit messy, so don’t forget clean your espresso machine on the outside. Run a damp cloth over the machine to keep it clean. You want that big shiny hunk of stainless steel to maintain its beauty.
There are a number of factors to consider to determine how often to descale your espresso machine – frequency of use and water hardness, being the main factors.
Water is one of the main ingredients of coffee. In fact, water constitutes 98% of an espresso. Since water contains minerals, regular use of your espresso machine will cause scale to build up inside the machine.
If you have moderately hard water and you use the machine on a daily basis, then you may want to descale the machine every 45 to 90 days. Otherwise, the machine’s heating element will be affected. As a result, the coffee won’t be hot enough since it won’t be able to reach its proper brewing temperature. Make it a habit to clean your espresso machine and descale it regularly so you can enjoy it for the years to come.