We will be discussing how to look after your coffee machine, whether that is a domestic machine, a commercial one, lamazoco, or any other you would have in your café or home. There are many similarities, but you must care for each of them differently. And the time frames that you will use chemicals can vary.
So I want to break it down a little so that you can get good information on when and how much you should use these tips. So I want to break it down into three areas. I will call pre-cleaning, general cleaning, and then servicing your coffee machine because these three different items will really affect how your machine will produce a beautiful cup of coffee.
Filtration prolongs the life of the machine
How it will affect your machine’s longevity, how it will actually affect your espresso, and how it will work. So let’s go straight into filtration when it comes to water filtration. It is very important to get the right type of filter for the water that is actually going into your coffee machine.
Now, I would fully advise giving some sort of water test before you start to look at what kind of filtration you will use. We use a product called the exact idea. It is a digital way to assess what happens with water and will really narrow down all the particulars that we want to take out of the water so it doesn’t affect a coffee machine.
I know this is an expensive option, but go out and get yourself a water test kit. The chlorines, chlorides and salts, and any metals appearing in your water, and then you know what you will go and target when you use a filter to ensure great water quality for your coffee. But also longevity in your machine, so many people say they can’t have a water filter at home.
So they will go and get a jug with a little filter in it. Maybe a Brita jug, I think they are called, or they might have one of those ceramic-style water chillers with a little filter in them. Now they are great for drinking water, but when you look at a coffee machine, they are made out of copper, and some have stainless steel.
We need other metals to help take out of the water to ensure the machine will last. If you go to your main kitchen tap and get yourself a commercial-style water filter, a fitting like this allows you to undo the cold water tap, pop it onto the inlet, and buy another hose that would go back into that tap inlet.
You would then be able to put a cartridge like this in place that is going to focus on getting a lot more of these minerals and chemicals out of the water to ensure that your coffee machine will last a lot longer. You can then use a jug and top off your coffee machine over the back, or you could plumb it in it.
That is an option for you, but if you are renting, everyone. It will not cause any issues with rental property, and it is pretty easy to do these filters. Now there is a whole range of filters that you can get, from sediment filters to ones that focus on particular minerals. So once you have done that water test, you will be able to read what that filter is going to actually activate in taking out of the water.
A sediment filter like this will get down to a point. One of a micron is quite a long process, or it will take a lot of sediment out of there, but if you have got something that is just a paper-style filter, that will be better than nothing. So it gets a filtration in there, and you need to assess how that will affect your machine over time, so when it comes to a commercial machine like this lumozako.
It would help if you had quality filtration
We need to do a lot more analysis but also have a far better quality of filtration that is going to be used to ensure that we are tackling that higher volume of water. So what we do commercially is we have the pure tech twin system units. One focuses on sediment, and this one focuses on all the other little nasties in the water now.
These are great for use. They have a pressure gauge, so we know when that filter is full of all the chemicals that have been taken out of the water. Once that pressure is low, we know we need to change it, and that is the hard thing that a lot of people don’t quite understand is being able to change that water filter at the right time.
So I urge you not to let them sit in there for a couple of years. If you can do it regularly, you know when you do your smoke alarms, maybe change your water filter but being preventative is going to be far better than trying to cure it on the other end.
The better way to assess your filtration
How can you assess whether your filtration is working in your domestic machine? The simplest thing if you are a little bit handy, make sure your device’s turned off and de-steamed. And suppose it is this kind of model. In that case, if you take this big nut out and have a look, there is a lot of green and blue style growth all over it. You haven’t been attacking the right chemical or the minerals that are in your local water, so advise then moving on to the following stages, which is descaling which we are going to come back to but also you have got to change that filter whether it is overdue or a different filter to tackle the exact things that are causing that buildup.
So, now we come to general maintenance, where we start to look at more the brewing of coffee and keeping our machine clean; that is where you have got to have something like this espresso clean from confetti.
And you have got to use that to clean your brew head; now a lot of people skim on how much they are going to use of this chemical; every time you use it, you need to use the full scoop in here; it is one teaspoon there is a lot of myths that you get a tiny little bit essentially on a teaspoon and pop it in that is going to do nothing to clean your coffee machine.
And this applies whether it is a domestic machine here or an individual head there commercially, so you have got to use a lot of this chemical; if you don’t have any, get some straight away and keep on top of how you clean there is always some great instruction on the side of these containers.
When should you clean espresso?
So how often do you use your espresso cleaner? Well, the best tip I can give you is every time you put a new bag of coffee beans into your grinder, you need to clean your machine. If you are a one kilo, a week, a month or fortnight or a 500 grand person or 250 grams, you have paid some decent money for a beautiful bean. Now you don’t want to put that in a machine that is going to be full of oils and buildup from the previous bag.
So make sure you do your roaster a flavor, and you get to taste that beautiful taste. You get to taste the exquisite taste of the beans they provide you with, so you have been doing that and keeping up with your cleaning. You are doing it ready for the next bag of beans you will put in, but how do you know you are doing an excellent job in these domestic machines?
I will show you how to take the shower screen out and the seal on this common e61 head, and I will show you exactly what you are looking for, so let’s have a look so we are going to take a handle out.
And you are just going to need a little flathead screwdriver. We are going to lever that on one side and then come back and leave it on the other side, and that head’s going to pop out, so you are going to get a seal and a shower screen; now your particular machine may have a little screw in the middle you would undo that.
And this should all fall out; be careful. They will be hot if you have just turned your machine off and you can see this one. It is got a little bit of grease on. There is still a little coffee there where we have just seasoned this machine.
But it is lovely now; people find that they start to pop out their seals and shower screens, which look like this. You can barely see through this if you hold it up to the light; it is just so full of coffee oil. It is more like carbon, so there has been nowhere near enough coffee cleaner used to attack this oil when extracting your next coffee.
You are doing is picking up all that terrible flavor and making that into the water mix that is then going through your fresh, beautiful coffee, so if you have got anything like this, you need to give it a good clean if it is this bad you need to buy yourself a new shower screen and if you seal is quite hard. You can crumble it in your hands; you need a new seal that will not have enough pressure to provide that water through.
I usually replace those two simultaneously, so how often should you use your espresso cleaner in commercial machines? I say every day because when we go into cafes and tell them to do it every second day or once a week, they never get done.
It is not a routine that people are going in and ticking off to make sure it is happening, so if you are going to use any more than one kilo of coffee a day, you have got to clean that machine every day.
And get any spare time throughout the day where you are not making any coffee, pop in the blind basket, and give it a bit of a flush up in that head. You are going to help get rid of some of that coffee grind and oil that is sitting in there, and that is going to make sure that you are making beautiful coffee throughout that day for your customers. If you are unsure how to use espresso cleaner in your coffee machine, we have a detailed step-by-step video that will show you how to do it; we will leave a link in the comments below.
So stage three is service now this is a question we get asked a lot: how often do I descale my machine the best answer I can give you is to look after your machine, so you don’t have to descale it. Ensure you have great filters; ensure you are using a good espresso clean and doing it regularly because maintaining a machine is going to be fat better for the longevity of your machine and the taste of the coffee; you are going to have all the working parts in the engine so prevention is far better than cure.
I can’t stress that enough, so as I mentioned earlier if you have undone the nut on that machine. You have all this green scale and buildup that the descale is trying to eliminate now. If you are using a liquid mix, it will not attack a big lump of that, so you do have to get in there and scrape it off and shoot it now; that is probably something a commercial service tech should be doing for you. Still, suppose you do find a little bit of it. In that case, you can use your descale liquid there, which will start to help your machine, but that will give you an understanding of how inadequate your filtration goes back and fix filtration. Then hopefully, you don’t get too much buildup throughout your whole machine where it does break down. You have got to take it in for some costly repairs.
So if you are going to descale your machine, I will give you this word of warning: it is an acid, can burn your hands, and can get in your eyes, so be careful. Still, the other thing is if you leave it in there too long, you can eat away your element, wreck your boiler, and break other parts that shouldn’t be in contact time for long periods with that kind of acid. People have used vinegar and other things, and that is precisely the same issue; you can’t leave it in there for a long time; it will literally eat your machine from the inside out.
So be careful, and if you do put it in there, make sure you get it out flush flush flush to make sure that before you make your next coffee, you are not drinking descale liquid.
So do you need to descaledescale your commercial machine? No, your coffee roaster or machine supplier or service tech should be looking after that for you they should be making sure the outstanding filtration is in place to ensure you don’t have those buildups now what we do find commercially is where there is a lot of building works going on whether they are cutting up pipes building apartments or whatever there is a considerable change in the water quality that occurs.
So that is when you need to make sure that your water filters are changed far more regularly and that they are attacking the specific things that are happening in your area because that is where we find the most significant breakdowns occur when that construction is happening locally to the business.
So three areas allow you to keep your machine in tip-top condition; you have your pre-cleaning, which will be your water filter; then you have your general maintenance, which will be your espresso clean. And then you have got servicing using your descale so hopefully guys will give you an overall picture of how to look after your machine, so you get beautiful coffee at home or in your café. If you have any questions, make sure you shoot us one in the comments below; we would love to answer them.