No matter how expensive or state-of-the-art it is, your espresso machine’s length of service depends on how well you do upkeep and maintenance for it. It’s an appliance, not some artificial intelligence that can take care of itself. And we don’t mean just cleaning it well on your part. There’s more to it than this. If you have no idea of what else you could do, allow us to share with you everything we know of how to upkeep and maintain your espresso machine.
Let’s begin with the basics: scrubbing, rinsing, wiping, soaking, backflushing, descaling, and filtering the water you’d use. They aren’t as simple as you think.
To properly scrub the group head, use some coffee detergent and a small scrubbing pad. A non-coffee detergent can leave residue that can affect the coffee’s taste. A small scrubbing pad enables you to clean even the nook and crannies, ensuring you’ll clean the group head completely.
To avoid unwittingly contaminating it, make sure you rinse your espresso machine with clean water, and wipe down each part with a separate towel. Not using just one towel to wipe down each part prevents cross contamination.
Loosening up dirt makes cleaning easy. To make sure of this, before scrubbing and wiping them down, soak the main parts (i.e., filter, basket, shower screen, and steam wand) in a solution of hot, clean water and some coffee detergent. Do this at least twice a week.
If your espresso machine has three-way valves, you should backflush. Backflushing is basically the process of using water to wash out the contaminants from the water lines and the brewing valves. Backflush daily with clean water and weekly with coffee detergent.
Descaling is basically the process of washing out the remaining milk from the steam wand using water or some commercially available milk-washing solution. Milk remains can find their way into the boiler through the steam wand. Once they do, getting them out will be virtually impossible. Overtime, they will spoil and cause your espresso machine to emit a stench.
While it may sound fussy, using filtered water for brewing helps keep your espresso machine in good working condition. Espresso machine injectors are usually the same size as a pinhead. Since water carries microscopic minerals, buildup could occur in your espresso machine injector and put it out of commission. Filtered water carries less microscopic minerals than unfiltered water, so using the former for brewing has less chances of leading to an accident than using the latter.
Here are the rest of the things you should know about how to upkeep and maintain your espresso machine:
It would be virtually impossible to prepare coffee as good as a barista without an espresso machine. If you want to continue enjoying great coffee made yourself right in the comfort of your own home, you should take good care of yours. Having shared to you all that we know of how to upkeep and maintain your espresso machine, we hope it can last for as long as possible.
Do you know of the effective ways of taking good care of an espresso machine that we missed? Share your knowledge with us. We’d love to hear from you.
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I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!