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ESPRESSO AT HOME: CLEANING YOUR MACHINE

ESPRESSO AT HOME: CLEANING YOUR MACHINE

If you want to keep your espresso machine working properly for years to come, it’s important to complete preventative maintenance. Each machine will also require more in-depth maintenance over its lifespan, but with regular cleaning you can ensure that it's working its best day to day.

One of the most important steps is flushing the group head (engaging the pump and letting water go into the drip tray) both before and after pulling a shot of espresso. By doing this, you’ll remove any coffee oil buildup on the group head screen and preheat the screen, improving overall coffee extraction.

Similarly, whenever you use the steam wand, purge it both before and after you steam milk. You’ll also want a damp towel ready to wipe down your steam wand. This will reduce milk buildup and will keep everything on the machine dry and clean.

Removing basket from portafilter

While keeping up with this daily cleaning, every couple of weeks, you’ll want to do a more thorough check. Take out the portafilter and look at it and the basket. See if there is any coffee or oil buildup between the two. If there is, you’ll want to clean these with Cafiza. This is a product designed to eliminate coffee residue and oils from your espresso machine and equipment (it’s also great at removing coffee stains from mugs!).

Take a teaspoon of Cafiza and hot water, soak the equipment, and then scrub to remove any residue.

cleaning portafilter

Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re backflushing your machine. More automated machines, like the Breville Barista Touch, will let you know when you need to backflush and will handle most of the process for you. For the Breville, with the basket in the portafilter, put the silicone add-on in the basket to seal it off. Next you’ll add a tablespoon of Cafiza (or the pod that comes with the Breville machine), reattach the portafilter to the group head, and begin the backflush.

With a more manual machine, like a La Marzocca, you’ll remove the standard basket and switch it with one that has no holes. Then add Cafiza to the basket, insert it into the group head, and engage your “brew.”

With all machines, make sure you’re following the steps listed in the manual. And if you have any questions, reach out to our team at info@madcapcoffee.com.

Enjoy your at-home espresso and your long-lasting espresso machine! Remember to check out the rest of the at-home espresso series here.

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