Cleanliness should be an integral part of our everyday life. So if you look forward to an espresso from your lever coffee machine every morning, you should definitely keep this area of your routine clean as well. After all, you don't prepare coffee in a dirty cup, so don't rob espresso of the quality it deserves. The coffee machine therefore needs to be given proper care and although it is not the most fun part of the barista routine, it cannot be forgotten. Ideally, the surface of the coffee machine should be cleaned every day and the inside thoroughly once a week.
Why is cleanliness so important in a coffee machine?
Do you think that if you skip the maintenance once in a while or don't pay attention to it properly, it won't affect the final taste of the drink anyway? A little lime never hurt anyone? You are wrong. Limestone can do a lot of damage to both the life of the coffee machine and the taste of the espresso. Believe me, you don't want to have that honor with a coffee machine full of limescale. Maintenance is really important in every way and despite the fact that it will definitely save your wallet in the long run - quality coffee machines are not cheap, so value yours and take care of it.
You should take care of your coffee machine every day immediately after you prepare your last coffee. Thanks to this, dirt on the surfaces of the device will not have time to dry completely and will be easier to remove. It may not seem like it, but coffee beans are oily and the oil from them is usually deposited all over the coffee maker. To preserve its appearance and functionality, it is necessary to remove these traces of use. However, daily routine care is very simple and certainly won't take you even half an hour, so you don't have to worry about missing any urgent activities because of your coffee machine.
Head cleaning procedure
The levers of the coffee machine are logically the most susceptible to the accumulation of dirt. These need to be attended to with increased thoroughness. In the points below, we will tell you step by step how to keep them clean. For this you will need suitable brush, a container for creating a bath and cleaning solution for its preparation. But also last but not least milk duct cleaner, which will keep your steam jet in top condition.
- Remove the levers from the coffee machine heads and remove the filters from them.
- Thoroughly scrub the heads and levers of the coffee machine with a brush so that no remnants of coffee beans remain on them.
- Place blind baskets in the levers and pour a teaspoon of cleaning powder into them. Insert the levers with the cleaner into the heads of the coffee machine again and turn on the drip for 10 seconds.
- After the given time, wait a few seconds and press the water supply again for the same time. Repeat this procedure 4 times (4x10 seconds with 3 second breaks).
- When you have finished the process, remove the portafilters from the coffee machine and wash them properly from the cleaning powder. Also, use the brush again to remove the residue from the integrated heads.
- Afterwards, just reassemble the levers to their original state - the 4x10 second process must now also be carried out with classic flow filters in order to rinse the coffee machine.
- When you're done, unfold the levers again and put them in the solution overnight.
How to prepare a cleaning solution for levers and portafilters?
Simply! Pour hot water into a sufficiently deep container (the levers must be placed in it with the handles up, they must not lie down) and pour a measuring cup of cleaning powder for coffee grounds into it. Place the levers and separately all strainers in this solution. The solution should not touch the handle of the levers so as not to damage their surface.
Steam jet care
The nozzle also deserves your attention. If you've been making milk drinks, whipping up microfoam and painting espresso with it during the day, definitely don't forget this part. The basis of success is regular care. You should immediately wipe it with a damp cloth after each use barista towel and let it drop empty so that no drops of milk remain on the surface. However, perform thorough maintenance as follows:
- Pour the appropriate amount of liquid milk duct cleaner in the appropriate ratio with water into the stainless steel milk jug.
- Place the steam nozzle under the surface of this solution and let it heat up for 5 seconds.
- Then leave the nozzle immersed in the solution for at least 30 minutes.
- Then wash it thoroughly with water, wipe it with a soft cloth and steam it.
After this routine, which sounds like a full-length movie written like this (which is only an illusion, believe me, it is a very fast procedure and can be automated), just wipe the coffee machine completely so that no dried drops of water, coffee oils or milk remain on it and turn off the device. Last but not least, also remove the water tank and the dripper under the heads and wash these two parts of the coffee machine as well.
With this procedure, you can look forward to a perfect espresso every morning without the negative effects of impurities.
Caring for the coffee machine on a weekly basis
Set aside a little more time for this cleansing ritual and prepare the necessary utensils at the same time. We are primarily referring to the screwdriver that will be used to remove the filters from the integrated heads of the coffee machine. Dirt likes to settle there. How to do it all?
In the beginning, proceed exactly the same as every day. Clean the heads and levers as usual. Take care of the steam nozzle and then, before you start wiping the outside of the coffee machine, add these steps:
- Carefully pry the heads apart with a screwdriver. The screw is located in the center of the strainer - it is visible when you look at the heads from below.
- Once you have the parts (screw, strainer and metal plate) from the coffee maker outside, place them in boiling water along with loose coffee stain remover and leave them there for at least 10 minutes.
- Then take out the parts and use a brush to remove the remaining dirt from them. Try to keep metal surfaces looking like new after brushing.
- Finally, screw the coffee machine back into its original state.
If you are really consistent and regular with this procedure, this part of the coffee machine will be really easy to clean and the parts will retain their shine.
However, increased attention should also be paid once a week to the levers and their nozzles. The fact that you put them in a solution every day will not remove the clogged dirt in the part from which the espresso flows.
Maintenance of espresso spouts
In this step, you will again need a screwdriver to disassemble the levers into two parts. Just like that, you will see how dirt from the coffee begins to settle in the spout, i.e. the spout from which the espresso flows into the cup. Do the same process with it as with the heads. Place the parts in boiling water with coffee grounds cleaner and leave them there for at least 10 minutes. Then use a brush to polish to perfection.
These hidden spots are basically key if you want to be able to make the best espresso far and wide. Believe me, once you get used to coffee from a clean coffee machine, you will quickly recognize when these processes are being neglected in some businesses. The coffee is marked by scale, rancid particles of uncleaned oils and the taste of the milk is also affected due to the clogged nozzle. Coffee from a perfectly clean coffee machine is simply the best.But the coffee machine is not the only thing that needs to be properly maintained. Don't forget other barista accessories. For example, the grounds scraper needs to be washed daily, as the used coffee grounds become moldy very quickly. And last but not least, there is also a coffee grinder with grinding stones. He comes into direct contact with the beans several times a day, which, as we have already mentioned, are very oily and the oils can turn rancid over time, which would mark fresh coffee that would pass through the damaged areas. You should therefore take care of your coffee grinder once a week. We wrote this procedure in the article "How to clean a coffee grinder with grinding stones quickly and easily?”. So if you don't know what to do, use our guide.