Having an espresso machine at home is quite a perk. You can prepare your favorite coffee in seconds and there’s a wide variety of coffees you can make. If the guests come to your home, they can expect a coffee shop-like treatment and a top-quality coffee.
However, other than your kitchen (or kitchen bar) looking all fancy, buying an espresso machine, and then maintaining it is not that easy though. So before we offer you cleaning and maintenance tips, let us first give you brief information when it comes to buying one and what to expect.
Buying an Espresso Machine
Since you are purchasing an espresso machine for your home, it will be covering the coffee-drinking needs of just a couple of people. Therefore, you don’t need those massive and bulky machines. In other words, you will not be spending a fortune on it.
For a couple of hundreds of bucks, you can find an espresso machine of high-quality and that will last you years! Friedcoffee.com has come up with a guide of the best espresso machines under $200, so you better check it out.
We will not analyze each machine individually, but instead, provide you with cleaning and maintenance tips:
1. Clean it Regularly
It goes without saying that you should clean the machine after every use. Wipe what needs to be wiped and wash what needs to be washed. After that, the machine will be ready for use! This is common sense, as you don’t want to be using a dirty machine for preparing multiple cups of coffee.
However, every once in a while, make sure that you perform a deep clean. When should you do it? If you are using the machine daily, then every 2-3 weeks, you should perform the deep clean. In case you are using it occasionally, once a month will be enough and you will have a clean espresso machine at your disposal.
It is fair to point out that by doing this, you extend the lifespan of your machine and preserve it in a good condition.
2. Combine Vinegar and Water
Many people simple wash the parts with water and finish their maintenance. However that will not do it. Our advice is that you use vinegar for cleaning because it is acidic and it can help dissolve the oil that is formed from coffee beans.
This doesn’t mean that you should overuse vinegar. Use it in small amounts and only on the parts where coffee bean oil is secreted. For some other parts, it is enough to use water.
In case you overuse vinegar, you might damage the metal pieces over time, and your espresso machine will need a replacement.
3. Use Streams of Water for Filters
It isn’t enough just to wipe off the surface of the machine. You also need to wash the filters thoroughly and you will do so by the process that is called backwashing. It is done by pushing water back with a lot of pressure, thus cleaning the filters completely.
You can add some detergent to the water and then complete the process by using water only. You will make sure that the filter is completely clean and this is something you need to do often.
4. Brush the basket
One component of the espresso machine is called a porta-filter. They have the basket attached to it and the basket is used to collect the remains of the coffee grinds that aren’t processed.
This small piece is quite an important part of the entire mechanism and you need to maintain it properly. It comes off quite easily, and all you have to do is use remove the remains with a brush. In case you don’t have such a brush at home, you can purchase it anywhere, and it costs no more than $10.
In case you don’t have this specific brush, any alternative will do the job, but it is advisable to buy one as it is specifically made for espresso machines.
Once finished with the brush, you need to clean it as well and store it until the next use.
5. Cleaning Shower Head and Steam Wand
Why would you buy this brush if you can use something else you already have at home? This is something that you may ask yourself. The reason is that you will need it for the showerhead as well. The showerhead is effectively cleaned with hot water and a brush.
If you don’t cleanse this part regularly, you will notice that the coffee that comes out of your espresso machine has a bitter taste.
When it comes to a steam wand, this is yet another mechanism that needs to be taken care of. It is the part in charge of making your espresso get that creamy taste as it heats and froths milk. Just like the shower head, the steam wand gets dirty quite often and our advice that you clean these two together.
Since you are already dismantling some parts of your espresso machine, perhaps you do it all.
6. Wipe Machine Surface
Now that you have taken out every part of your espresso machine and cleaned it, it is time to put it back together for future use. But before you do so, you can wipe each part with a clean towel to collect any specs of dust that might have gathered there while it was drying.
To finish it, use the towel to wipe the surface of the machine as well, and you are done with it!
How long does this last?
At first, you might have some issues figuring out what’s the best way to clean everything, but once you get in the habit of it, you will not be needing more than a couple of minutes after each use, or if you are performing a deep clean, slightly more than that.
In case you get stuck, you can always follow this guide and see what to do next. After the machine is put back in its place, it is time for a tasty espresso!