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Top 5 Tips for Cleaning Your At-home Coffee Equipment

Cleaning: It’s a necessary evil of everyday life.  Cleaning is something no one likes to do, but everyone has to do it. We despise cleaning not because it’s a boring arduous task, but because it brings back memories of Mom saying you can’t play outside until your room is clean. Chores are the essential speed bumps in life on the road to fun. But as we all know, the benefits of cleanliness far outweigh the annoyance of filth. Take for example an espresso machine.  An espresso machine has many different, complicated parts that come in contact not just with oh-so-delicious coffee, but with germs too.  If not properly taken care of and sanitized, your investment of an at-home espresso machine will go right down the drain.  And don’t forget, just because your coffee maker is a little simpler than an espresso machine doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be cleaned either!  Clean and sanitized brewing equipment, no matter what type it may be, yields better-tasting coffee. Between our three Roasterie Café’s, we have a lot of coffee brewing equipment so we know a thing or five about keeping those babies clean. Here are 5 tips that you can use to keep your coffee gear sparkly and clean (and in the long run, keep your coffee tasting even better!):

Ways to Clean Your Coffee Equipment

You can keep your coffee equipment clean by rinsing it before and after every use, following a deep clean regimen, brushing your equipment, and using vinegar or a vinegar alternative.
  1. Give it a rinse: This is Kitchen 101! In general, you should give everything you use a nice rinse with hot soapy water before and after every use.  No need to go super in-depth with the rinsing--just aim to remove the previous residue.
  2. Start a deep clean regimen: It’s important to plan for a deep clean with lots of elbow grease every so often. Traditional coffee machines should be cleaned out about every 6 months (so every time you flip your mattress, clean your coffee machine afterward!). Espresso machines need to be cleaned more frequently. Once a week is best. This is because espresso machines have so many different components which allow for dirt and grime to build up faster over time.
  3. Brush to rush: If you want to speed up the cleaning process, it may be wise to purchase some equipment. Investing a small amount in a couple of espresso machine cleaning brushes will save you a lot of time. We recommend a group head brush with a solid 90-degree angle so you can clean every nook and cranny of that machine.
  4. Use the power of vinegar: White or distilled vinegar can be used to clean just about anything in your home–including your coffee equipment. A problem many coffee drinkers face is a build-up of scaling minerals from brewing with hard water. Fight that build-up scale with white vinegar. Add 3 oz. of vinegar to 20 oz. of water, and let it run through the machine. Then run about 3-4 times the amount of fresh water through the machine. Good as new!
  5. Find a vinegar alternative: No vinegar? No problem. If you despise vinegar for whatever reason, there are alternatives. We recommend the Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaner in place of vinegar for use in your espresso machine. This cleaning powder is a miracle in a bottle!
A little cleaning every so often isn’t that hard to do, and the benefits outnumber the bad a bazillion times over. Remember, a clean machine makes a mean java bean! Want to learn more tips and tricks about home brewing? Come down to The Roasterie plant for a tour (and a workshop on Saturdays!).