How To Maintain An Espresso Machine
If you have a super automatic espresso machine that automatically cleans up and descales with just the press of a button then well and good but because their maintenance is not that difficult. However such espresso machines are extremely expensive not everyone can afford them so they go in for espresso machines that are fairly priced and can perform as expected. There is nothing wrong with such espresso machines though they really need a good deal of maintenance in order for them to last long enough. Maintaining the espresso machine involves a few issues here and there from cleaning the machine, how you do it, checking out for any damages among many others as we shall see in this post. Hopefully the maintenance tips that I am about to provide will be helpful.
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Regularly clean the machine: Any expert to the use of espresso machines will clearly clarify to you that one of the most important things when it comes to having the perfect taste of espresso is to learn how to clean the machine and do it as often as required. From each brewing process, oils from the coffee leave resin on different parts of the machine and as the resin builds up the taste of your espresso get affected. The moment residue accumulates on the filter basket and shower screen, the espresso produced will definitely become bitter and also affect the speed at which espresso is brewed. Therefore try these cleaning steps when cleaning the espresso machine.
- Dampen a clean cloth in hot water and wipe the steam wand as it gets scorched by milk during the brewing process. Please do not soak the steam wand or use any sharp instruments to scrape the steam wand. This will help to take away that ugly smell of continuously brewed milk.
- Soak all removable parts in a solution of hot water and espresso machine cleaner all through the night.
- Remove the filter basket from the group head and wash it with some soap and scouring sponge to remove any hard residue then soak it with other parts.
- Flush water into the group head to back flush, this should be done 8 -10 times for about three seconds in order to get rid of any impurities or chemicals in the brewing valves. It is recommended to back flush the machine every single day with just clean water and every once a week with coffee detergent.
- Purge and de-pressurize the espresso machine by turning the machine off and leaving it open all through the night.
- Use an espresso cleaning brush to scrub the group screen and brass plate.
- After cleaning the internal of the espresso machine use paper towels and window cleaner to wipe the external surface of the machine to make it shine and have that attractive appearance.
Fully descale the machine once every 3-6 months: espresso machines should be treated very carefully because even the slightest of resin or residue build will instantly change the taste of your espresso and in the long run will completely affect the functionality of the entire machine. It is best to use filtered when brewing espresso instead of hard water, reason being hard water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium that can easily clog the machine.
Ensure to turn the machine off whenever it is out of use:some people have a tendency of leaving the machine on for the whole night even when it is not being used which is completely unnecessary. Leaving the portafilter locked and leaving the machine turned on when out of use will weaken the machine and shorten its life span.
Be extremely mindful of the water you use: with espresso machines, hard water doesn’t only alter the taste of your espresso but also affects the way your machine works. To avoid all the problems that come from using contaminated water, it is best advised that you use distilled water to brew espresso.
Replace the machine as told by the manufacturer: most espresso machine parts are designed to work for a long period of time but this does not mean that they should be used forever. If you want your machine to last even much longer than it should, ensure to change any replaceable parts as instructed by the manufacturer.
Always refer to you manual: espresso machines come with instructions on best the machine should be used but people tend to ignore them. The machine’s manual is extremely helpful as it will show to correctly use the machine, what to do in case of any problem hence helping you take maximum care of your machine.
Repair any minor leaks or electrical hitches: if you notice any leaks from the machine however minor they may be, please make sure that you repair them immediately. If you cannot repair it personally then take the machine for servicing but do not continue using the machine even when you notice that it has a problem.
Use a cleaner specifically made for espresso machines: cleaners for espresso machines are sold everywhere in different stores so it is what you must use to descale the machine. Using distilled water when you are using the wrong cleaner will simply cause mineral build up in the long run, alter pressure exerted from the pump, alter the taste of your coffee drinks and eventually the espresso machine will totally get damaged.
Do not wait too long before cleaning and descaling the machine: there is a specified period of time after which you should clean or descale the machine. Each time you brew espresso the machine obviously gets dirty which means that the machine should be descales and cleaned every single day. This will not allow resin to build up hence keeping the machine is perfect condition for a perfect espresso cup.
Be careful enough with the machine: in this I mean that you must store the machine correctly in place where it will not easily fall and get cracked, also when you are cleaning it, make sure not pour water into the machine’s interior. You invested lots of dollars in the machine so why be care less with it if at the end of the day it is you that suffers the costs, take perfect care of your espresso machine.