When you walk into a great cafe you will notice a few key things. There is always a crowd, the place is clean and it is running like clockwork. The team is coordinated and efficient. It is no coincidence that the food and coffee is great and is a reflection of so many disciplines and skills.
Let’s look in the home and mirror just part of that cafe culture in our coffee making. There are three key parts to making a great coffee
- Great raw materials
- Knowledge or experience in how to make coffee and
- Equipment that is capable of making a great coffee.
Further refining our focus let’s look at our machine.
There are so many great machines for the home that build commercial boiler pressures, use double or even triple heat exchangers to maintain that pressure and allow micro adjustments to control water temperature. Depending on your budget you can put together a set up that a master barista would be proud to use or go budget and still get some good pieces of kit.
Then why spend the money on equipment, buy the freshest and award winning beans and read every blog we can find on making a great coffee and not follow the machine cleaning or maintenance schedule required????
We have talked to the professionals and even they have stories about group heads uncleared for months or machines so clogged with burnt grinds that the coffee coming out was undrinkable.
It is not hard or time consuming to keep a domestic machine performing at its peak and a few minutes a week and about 15 minutes every couple of months and you will avoid some basic pitfalls.
We recommend some simple cleaning steps to guarantee you will make a great coffee
- Everyday use the blind for the portafilter before you make your first coffee. Run the water to overflow the group head a couple of times. You will be amazed at the amount of left over beans that comes out. This also has the advantage of warming the group head.
- Run a cleaning brush around the inside of the group head and over the shower quickly to free up and stuck on bits
- Every week run a cleaning step through the group head using the recommended cleaning product. (Everyone is using cafetto now)
- If you have an auto machine clean the chute and “innards” as per your manual to clear out any leftover grinds. This is generally a very easy thing to do
- If recommended descale your boiler every 3-6 months. This is critical to boiler life and water output quality. Better still install a filter in your reservoir or infeed line or use filtered water ( that is another blog altogether)
We recommend you read your manual to get the exact details or ask us for some help.
A clean machine is critical to a great coffee and a few minutes a week is all it takes.
Hope this was helpful