How to Clean Espresso Coffee Makers in 6 Easy Steps!
Espresso coffee was first seen in Italy in the beginning of the 1900's, and since its inception, the boldly flavored drink has become one of the most popular coffee staples around the world. Just about anything you order from your local coffee shop starts off with a shot or two of espresso.
As the technology used to make the coffee evolved and became less expensive, espresso coffee makers have also found their way into home kitchens around the world.
Just like any other home appliance, coffee makers need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
The Importance of Cleaning Coffee Machines
Coffee beans all contain very potent and important oils that are essentially a double-edged sword for coffee lovers. These oils are the main ingredient in coffee, and can produce the wonderful flavors that coffee lovers cherish. But these oils can also be the reason for a poor tasting drink.
These essential oils have a tendency to cling to the water screen as well as on any brass surfaces both inside and outside the unit. They can also leave a thin film on the filter basket. Over time, this will lead to clogs in the filter, which in turn can result in small deposits of coffee bean and oil residue within the machine. These small deposits and impurities can clog and disrupt the espresso coffee making process, and can also intermix with the coffee oils, creating a foul drink rather than delicious espresso.
How to Clean your Espresso Coffee Maker in 6 Easy Steps
Following is a step by step guide for cleaning your espresso maker. Before beginning, however, check your coffee maker's manual since some models may have different cleaning methods and practices.
1. First things first, take off the shower screen and wipe it down with a soft cloth. Remove any and all residue, and feel free to use warm water if needed.
2. Backflush the machine as described in your coffee maker's instruction manual. Backflushing is the process of flushing water and a cleaning solution through the espresso machine in an effort to clean out the shower screen, brew group and valve.
Depending on how often you use the machine, the frequency with which you need to backflush it will vary. If it receives heavy use, you'll probably want to backflush on a weekly basis. There are some home espresso makers that should not be backflushed, so be sure to consult your unit's manual before continuing the process.
3. Unscrew and remove the group head from the machine and scrub it clean. Using a brush and some warm water, scrub the different parts of the head separately to remove any imbedded particles or impurities. If the part is especially difficult to clean, you can also soak the different parts overnight in a solution of water and a specialized coffee machine cleaner.
There are brushes available that are specially-made for cleaning espresso machine group heads. While usually unnecessary, they can help expedite the cleaning process.
4. Clean the milk wand with a damp cloth. You can also remove it and soak it in warm water and coffee maker cleaning solution in an effort to remove any leftover milk residue. If needed, you can use a pipe cleaner to remove leftover residue from inside the wand. If the steam hole is clogged, use a pin or paperclip to unclog it and remove any buildup.
5. Using a mixture of warm water and coffee machine cleaning solution, remove excess calcium that may have build up within the unit. This is done by simply running the mixture through the machine for several cycles. Afterwards, be sure to run two or three cycles of water to flush out any leftover cleaning solution.
6. Finally, dry all pieces of the espresso maker and reassemble the unit.
Now that your machine is perfectly clean, you're now ready to enjoy that bold espresso coffee taste!