So you’ve mastered the art of pulling the perfect shot, but maintaining your espresso machine is a key aspect to keep it consistently delivering brews you love. Keeping your baby running smoothly includes more than just wiping it down every other night. Luckily, we’re here to help you for everything else.
After each shot
We know, we know, it’s tempting to sit down for a moment’s rest and sip your shot pensively. Before you get to that, get your machine ready for its next shot by throwing out the grounds from out of the machine or portafilter. This really ruins the taste of your brew, and the left-in oils aren’t doing your machine any favours either.
After this, run some cold water through your portafilters to clean it out. Don’t forget to make sure there isn’t any milk hanging around either!
After each week
While the post-shot clean is important, your job doesn’t end there. You need a deeper clean to really help your machine get rid of the oils and grounds. While larger cafe’s tend to do this everyday, you’ll be fine doing this once each week.
If your espresso machine has a valve system, perform a ‘backflush’, scrub the group heads with a machine brush to loosen and remove coffee grounds, and use the coffee machine detergent and a blind filter. Repeat the process until water comes out clear.
If your device doesn’t have a valve system, use a damp cloth with some espresso cleaner and scrub it around the group head. Rinse it through with plenty of clean water.
In addition to this, don’t forget to clean out the steam wand by removing the tip and leaving it in a concoction of warm water and detergent.
Other parts like waste pipes, portafilters baskets and steam, anti-suction and expansion valves are also prone to damage, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for when you may need to replace these too. This way, you’ll be able to avoid larger corrective maintenance too! We like to mark a note in our calendar when it’s time for monthly and annual checks so we don’t miss out on them.
In addition to this, keep an eye out for your water quality. If you are using mineral-heavy water, you could end up with more sediments in your machine. Regular servicing and descaling will be helpful, which can be done via your manufacturer or distributor.
While this may sound scary (and like a lot of work) trust us when we say that it really isn’t. The experience of brewing coffee is therapeutic, and these actionable tips are all you need to ensure that you get the best brew for years to come.