Whether you use your espresso machine for business or pleasure, regular maintenance is essential to its longevity and performance. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your machine:
1. Keep It Clean
This is the most important tip. It may seem obvious, but even some professionals can miss a step or two.
All Day – Make cleaning a routine. Empty and wipe out the portafilter basket after every use. Purge the steam wand after every use (a quick steam release to expel any milk residue) and wipe with damp cloth. Wipe down any spills and splatters as they happen, and empty and rinse the tray if it gets too full. Coffee oils can be very corrosive!
End of Each Day – Backflush each grouphead with a 1/2 teaspoon of Purocaf in a blank filter, 5 times for 10 seconds apiece, and then rinse with water for 30 seconds. Thoroughly wipe out and scrub each portafilter. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of Puro powder to a half liter of hot water and soak the portafilter baskets. Scrub the group screens thoroughly and once a week, soak them in the Puro solution. Unscrew the steam wand tips and clean the holes with a paper clip, then soak in Puro Dairy Cleaning Liquid solution (1/2 oz Milk Wash in 1/2 liter hot water). Then steam the wand for 10 seconds in the same solution, and purge. Scrub off any gunk! Once everything has soaked, make sure you rinse off all the solution. While the tray is being washed, slowly pour about 10 oz of hot water down the drain to flush through all the grounds and oils.
2. Water Quality
Water that is too “hard” not only tastes bad, it can leave mineral buildup in the machine, which can cause long-term damage. It is important to regularly test the water quality. Hardness testing strips are inexpensive and easy to use. If your water hardness is outside the range of 35-85 ppm, something may be wrong with the filtration/softener system. Fortunately, that is something we can fix!
As with your car, when your machine breaks, you bring it to a professional. But it is both more prudent and inexpensive to have a regular tune-up every 6 months. We’ll change gaskets, test the switches, boiler, temperature, etc. Don’t let minor issues become major problems. A poorly functioning machine can mean a whole lot of lost business, and worse… bad espresso!
Give us a call today for a repair or tune-up, or to purchase parts, cleaning supplies, and accessories.