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The East London

Coffee Company

Coffee machine maintenance.

Whether you own; are renting or are busy purchasing your coffee machinery and equipment via our easy rent-to-own option, there are a multitude of obvious reasons why you should care for your machine.

Longevity: Coffee machines are expensive and if looked after, can become a valuable asset for re-sale; will add value to your business and save you having to replace it due to advanced deterioration.

Here are your guidelines:

1. Step 1: The sieve underneath your group-head should be cleaned once per day just before you back-flush (see Step 2). Make a small mixture in a cup, use half a teaspoon of espresso cleaner and little water. Dip your head brush into the mixture and brush the sieve as you might brush your teeth. Purge well in order to remove cleaner residue. It is often best to do this just before you back-flush thereby ensuring no residue remains.

2. Traditional espresso machines in commercial use should be back-flushed, using a food friendly espresso cleaner and a back-flush disc. This MUST happen EACH DAY at the end of a shift. Coffee leaves a residue of oils which build up as a surface coating (and keep on building up) - these soon go rancid (yes rotten)! New coffee, as you make it, then flows over this old residue. It stands to reason that you simply cannot then produce a good cup. Method: Insert the back-flush disc into the porta-filter, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of approved cleaner and insert the porta-filter into the group head. Draw water for 5 periods of 10 seconds each with 10 second intervals. Remove and wash the porta-filter and then do the same procedure with the back-flush disc but without the cleaning agent. Do this to both group-heads.

3. Using the same logic, your porta-filter needs to be cleaned daily, this should have a clean silvery shine to it, as it was when you bought it. With thanks to coffeesnobs (Australia) please see alongside an image of a dirty porta-filter. Clean these daily by dipping them into a solution of water and cleaner and rub after soaking. Ensure you use a small pipe cleaner/rounded brush to get into all the places where coffee will flow. This is a daily function of a trained barista. Please remember to rinse with clean water after cleaning with espresso cleaner. I recommend that at the end of shift one cleans the knock box and uses this as a container to soak your equipment in overnight (with a cleaner/mixture).

4. There’s nothing that upsets our roaster more than seeing old milk caked onto a frothing wand. One must purge this before use, purge after use and wipe with a damp cloth each and every time you use it. Once per week take off the tip (carefully, using two sets of pliers and a placing cloth between the pliers and the steel so as to avoid scratching) twist it off, clean the tiny pipe with a long needle, and then reinstall.

5. You car, along with any other equipment, needs a professional service. Service your coffee machine at least once per year. The technician will de-scale it throughout; clean it professionally and replace rubber parts where wear is showing. Yes this will cost a thousand or even two but, by servicing regularly, your machine will give you many years of good service.

6. AUTOMATIC MACHINES: Milk is public enemy #1. 95%, Yes, 95% of all machines sent to us for repair are as a result of users not following the manufacturers cleaning instruction and/or not using the cleaning materials. Automatic machines need a daily “clean the milk system” as contained in the manual and, when called for, need regular de-scaling and cleaning.

Buy accessories and cleaning equipment online

NB: Use only industry recommended espresso cleaner. This is specifically designed for use in traditional coffee machines and is food and machine friendly. Although classified as food friendly, this WILL NOT improve the taste of the coffee!! Remember to purge/clean properly to remove cleaner residue.