While many people enjoy the process of making coffee and the time spent drinking it, however after each use, it is time to think about how to clean it. Coffee maker cleaning, how should I clean it? The next will share how we should clean the coffee machine from a barista's perspective.
Things you should know about cleaning a Coffee Maker
If you do not clean and maintain your espresso machine regularly, you will not be able to guarantee that you can make a good cup of coffee. If you own a coffee shop or are a barista, then cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine should be a daily job.
For most models, a qualified espresso machine has a service life of about 8-10 years, of course, but only if you maintain it well. Proper operation and maintenance work can also extend the service life of the machine.
How often should you clean and maintain your espresso machine?
Your maintenance plan should include regular cleaning, inspection, and annual replacement of some parts. By replacing some small parts on a schedule, you can avoid a sudden "strike" of the machine - which may cause you to have to close the cafe while the machine is being repaired.
To avoid sudden machine breakdowns, make sure you have a cleaning and maintenance plan in place, and let's take a look at the specific practices below.
1. Daily Maintenances
David Mejia of Suministros AgroIndustriales in Honduras told me that "good habits of the barista are an important factor and you should keep it clean while working".
Be sure to wipe the steam wand after frothing milk, and it's best to clean the wand before and after use, as this will prevent milk scale clogging and bacteria buildup.
Rinse the brewing head before each espresso extraction to avoid residual coffee grounds affecting the taste of the coffee.
Keep the cleaning cloths clean and replace them two to three times a day, making sure they are washed well under high temperatures and detergent.
Get into the habit of properly cleaning the coffee machine at the end of each day's work. The routine should include the following actions:
Cleaning the brewing head
(1) Remove the filter from the coffee handle and replace it with a non-porous filter cup that is anti-cleaning (or just cut a piece of film that is just right to block the filter will do).
(2) Put 5 grams of special cleaning powder, put the handle back on the coffee machine, turn on the switch for 10 seconds and stop, soak for 5 seconds, and repeat 3 times.
(3) remove the handle, pour off the wastewater inside, and then clean it.
(4) Reinstall the handle, turn on the switch, and repeat tightening-loosening several times until the water comes out clean.
(5) Remove the handle and give the brew head a final cleaning with the brew head brush.
Extract a few cups of concentrate before the official production the next day to eliminate any possible detergent taste in the coffee.
Clean the brewing handle
Remove the strainer and soak it in hot water with powdered medicine together with the handle.
Clean the steam wand
Clean the steam wand and soak it in warm water overnight.
Clean the drain hose and drip tray
This will help you avoid any clogs or build-up of coffee grounds that may block the drip tray drain line.
2. Monthly Maintenances
Diana Patiño, owner of Kumo Laboratoriade Café in Mexico, told me that every one to two months, her staff will replace the brew head rubber ring to prevent leaks between the handle and the brew head. Also, the rubber ring should be removed and cleaned weekly.
You should also know your water quality. If the water is heavily mineralized, you may end up with a calcified steam tank. To avoid this, schedule regular machine decalcification with your dealer or manufacturer. Diana says that in her cafe they drain the steam tank of the machine every six months to ensure good performance.
3. Annual maintenance
Once a year, you should replace these small parts before they become a major problem:
- the steam and hot water valves or rings
- Shoulder bolt gaskets
- An expansion valve (this will prevent boiler leaks and temperature loss)
- Anti-suction valve
- Coffee machine bearings
- Waste water pipe
- Powder bowls (this may not be necessary, but take the time to check them every year)
Replacing all of these items may seem like more than a minor expense. But when you have to repair them, it's a bargain.
Which cleaning products should you use?
Check your coffee machine manufacturer's recommendations regarding cleaning products, using the wrong products can cause damage to the machine. Also note if all cleaning products are needed, for example, if there is no hard water, then descaling products are not needed.
Some people clean in an environmentally friendly way using vinegar and water, which is fine, when the water is hard and used more frequently, the coffee machine tends to produce limescale, which is the more difficult part of cleaning a coffee machine. All I recommend is a good cleaning routine.
If you try the white vinegar method, be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid the smell of vinegar in your espresso. In fact, with any cleaning product, it is important to rinse well to avoid serving spoiled coffee to your customers.
The maintenance of an espresso machine may not be as fun as making coffee, but you can't ignore it either. If you want to serve good espresso and attract more customers, then you need to take good care of your machine.