Espresso Machine Maintenance
The art and science of achieving the perfect espresso shot in your cup can be greatly aided by having a clean espresso machine.
Failure to clean your machine will affect the taste and quality of your coffee.
A great barista will understand that regular cleaning of the machine and a tidy work space are the key ingredients to producing great coffee and in a commercial situation that means more sales and profitability.
Every time you steam milk
Wipe the steam wand clean using a damp cloth EVERY time you steam milk. This stops the milk from coating the wand and building up layers of baked on milk. Open up the steam valve for a few seconds to flush or purge out any remaining milk from the steam nozzle.
Firstly, check your operators manual to see if your machine has the ability to backflush. A clean of the group heads at the end of each day is preferred. Use your blind filter with about a quarter or half teaspoon of a good commercial cleaner such as Cafetto or Pulycaff. Follow instructions on the product label.
Clean each group head, shower screen and head seal with a small stiff bristle brush. Removing all the coffee grounds helps provide a good clean seal for the portafilter or group handle.
Wipe the steam wand nozzles with hot water and rinse clean. DO NOT soak steam wands/tips for long periods of time in jugs of water. This can cause spore contamination of the machine's boiler and is very costly.
Remove the drip tray - clean, rinse and dry. Check the drain is clean and rinsed. Make sure you align the drain hole correctly when re-fitting the drip tray.
Wipe the exterior of the machine with hot water and soft cloth, don’t use abrasive cleaners, then wipe or polish dry with a soft microfibre cloth. Used only for your machine.
Remove the shower screen and head seal gently with a flat head screwdriver or coffeetool and soak for 10 minutes with your portafilter/group handle in 500ml of hot water with about 1 teaspoon of the Cafetto or Pulycaff. Clean, rinse & dry thoroughly. Using your portafilter, tighten the screen and seal back into position. Unscrew the nozzle tip from steam wand, soak and clear the holes with a paperclip. Rinse thoroughly.
The rubber group head seal should be replaced every six months or sooner if leaking occurs around the portafilter/group handle when you are making espresso. Pry off the old seal with a screw driver or coffeetool. The rubber may have gone hard and brittle and be difficult to pop out of the group head. Replace the new seal and engage the portafilter to ensure the seal is properly in place. Change your water filter cartridge.
If you need any advice about your machine, drop in and have a chat with us.
Cleaning your Expobar Espresso Machine
The exterior should be wiped over with a damp, soft, non abrasive cloth.
Cleaning the group head:
- Unlock & remove the porta filter from the group head.
- Use a Head brush to loosen and flush out the group head.
- Place either a rubber blind membrane into the double filter basket or remove the filter basket entirely & insert the blind metal disc.
- Lock the porta filter back into the group head.
- Activate the auto-cleaning cycle as follows: Switch off the machine, then press & hold the 2 ristretto (2 short coffees or 3rd button) on the touch pad, turn the machine back on. Release the button; auto cleaning is engaged and will run through 5 times before disengaging.
- Unlock & remove the porta filter, rinse out under the group & repeat auto cleaning cycle until the water in the porta filter is clear.
- Clean each group head this way.
Hot water back flush at regular intervals throughout the day for commercial use or as coffee volume requires for domestic.
Cleaning with back flushing chemical:
- Start as per steps 1 - 3 above.
- Place back flushing chemical into the porta filter. Use only approved espresso cleaning chemical (Expobar NZ stocks Cafetto or PulyCaff cleaning products).
- Carry on through steps 4 – 6.
- Most importantly - RINSE x3 after using chemical back flush.
Use a back flushing chemical at the end of each day for commercial or at least every two – three days based on volume of coffees made each day.
NOTE: For Expobar machines without touch pads you will need to manually back flush taking care not to run the group too long ( no longer than 15 sec) with the blind inserted. Do not walk away and leave unattended.
If you have an Expobar Diamant the auto cleaning is engaged differently and is outlined in the Diamant operator manual.