Getting to drink fresh cups of coffee in the morning (or when you so desire it) is great. But when it comes to the upkeep, that’s where some of us tend to slack off.
After all, it just seems like such a tedious task. And home espresso machines have quite a few components that need to be regularly maintained.
But caring for your coffee equipment is just as important as caring for the quality of your brew. You can’t have one without the other.
So, here’s a nifty guide to maintaining your home espresso machine. Listed below are steps that you could take daily or weekly to ensure that your coffee machine is always in good shape.
Remove Traces of Steamed Milk From Steam Wand
Many of us enjoy adding milk to our espresso coffees to balance out the intensity of the coffee flavour.
If you are likely to steam the milk with the machine, the steam wand will develop a layer of leftover milk.
This must be cleaned thoroughly not just to leave the machine looking as good as new, but you don’t want spoiled-milk additions in your subsequent cups of coffee.
A damp cloth works best in getting rid of the milk residue that clings onto the steam wand.
Periodically, you can also remove the tip of the steam wand and soak it in a warm water-machine cleaner solution for a few minutes. This doesn’t need to be done every day.
Prevent Scale Build-Up & Blockage of Pipes
The more you use your coffee machine, the more signs of wear it’ll have. If you tend to fill up the boiler with tap water, try not to do that. The reason being that tap water contains a lot of minerals, which over time cause scale formation in the boiler and pipes.
Ideally, you should be using filtered water or bottled water. One way is to get a filter that can be attached to the tap.
That being said, you ought to clean out the water tank at least once a month to get rid of algae and any other deposits that get crusted in its crevices.
Lastly, backflushing is also something you must consider doing every couple of weeks. It is a way to cleanse the entire system by forcing the hot water through the brew circuit and out into the drip tray.
Rinse Out Group Head
The group head in an espresso machine is where the water and coffee grounds come into contact, and so, it can have old coffee grounds stuck in it.
If you want maximum extraction from the grounds every time you brew a cup, it is recommended that you rinse out the group head with water from the boiler after every use.
This gets rid of the residue accumulated and prevents your fresh coffee from being spoiled by the taste of old grounds and oils.
Once the jet of water has rinsed out the group head, to get some deep cleaning done, you can also use the group brush to scrub out the remaining bits and wipe it all with a dry cloth.
The more periodically you do this, the easier it becomes to maintain the espresso machine.
Keep the Portafilter Clean
The portafilter with the filter basket is what holds the coffee grounds and gets attached to the group head.
For starters, once you’ve added the grounds and tamped them down, wipe the edges of the filter basket clean with a cloth.
After every shot of coffee, rinse the filter basket thoroughly, and repeat the process of drying it with a cloth. What this does is ensure that your next round of coffee is evenly extracted.
Just like you did with the group head, rinse out the portafilter with water from the boiler every day.
These are just some basic steps you can take to care for your home espresso machine.
There are, of course, more intensive care procedures that you should focus on in the long run (on an annual basis), such as replacing parts of the machine and descaling every 2 months with a descaler solution.
We hope this guide has been helpful.
If you are looking to try out new coffees, visit our store to explore best selling blends and single-origin coffees.