How To Keep Your Espresso Machine Clean

espresso machine

Remove Impurities And Ensure A Rich Full-Flavoured Espresso

Discover how the nutritious oils in coffee beans can create impurities in an espresso drink if the machine is not maintained regularly. Learn how to do so.

With 70 million cups of coffee being consumed in the UK each and every day, it is fair to say that as a nation we are addicted to coffee. One of the most favoured types of coffee beverage is the beloved espresso – a rich and flavourful treat which is guaranteed to give a much-needed boost to the system. A third of Brits reportedly have some form of coffee machine in their home now, but others choose to embrace the café culture and grab a cup when they’re out and about. Coffee machines for mobile vans are also increasingly popular as event organisers realise the value of serving coffee at festivals, in the park and even at weddings.

Wherever you consume your caffeine, you may be surprised to learn that the state and cleanliness of the espresso machine it’s made in, has an enormous effect on the quality of the beverage.

Why You Should Clean Your Espresso Machine Frequently?

Even the best quality of coffee beans will only go so far towards obtaining that delicious flavour, if the espresso machine is not cleaned on a daily basis. Any impurities that exist due to a build-up of particles, will impair the flavour and develop a bitter taste that is highly unpleasant to coffee drinkers. Coffee beans are filled with nutritious oils – these are integral to the rich foam that tops your espresso. However, these same oils also emulsify and cling to the water screen, which ultimately causes the formation of a film leading to deposits clogging up the portafilter spout. The good news is that these deposits are extremely easy to remove if done so on a regular daily basis.

Steps To Thoroughly Clean Your Espresso Machine

A quick wipe-down of your machine is not going to tackle the problem. If you want to pour quality espresso coffee, then carry out the following steps at the end of every day, ensuring that non-bleach products are used:

  • Remove the filter baskets and the group handles – wash all parts thoroughly to remove any excess coffee residue. Leave to drip dry so there will be no excess soap solution left on them.
  • Put a blank espresso disc onto one of the group heads and use a small amount of espresso cleaning powder. Turn the group head on for short bursts of 5 seconds and repeat at least 5 times to ensure that there is no dirty water or coffee grinds left within the disc. If you find that it is not yet clean, then repeat with more cleaning powder until it is clear.
  • A hard-bristled brush and small cloth should be used to clean around and beneath the group heads. However, the brush must not be used on the shower head as it can cause damage.
  • The steam wand can be cleaned using warm water, before which you can turn the machine to the off position and release the steam wand which will discharge steam until it stops coming out.
  • Check the water to see if it needs changing.
  • Remove the coffee grinds and rinse with warm, soapy water in order to remove excess oils.
  • Finally, towel dry everything by patting it down. Don’t return the coffee grinds until the machine is completely dry.

It doesn’t take long to clean an espresso machine once you get used to building it into the ritual of your day – now you know how, there’s no excuse for making substandard coffee.