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Cleaning Your Espresso Machine

Proper cleaning of your espresso machine will dramatically increase/prolong it’s life. You should backflush your machine every night  with espresso machine cleaner (Puro Caff).

Depending on the needs of your espresso machine, and instructions for use of your cleaner, simply follow the instructions in your owner’s manual, and on the container of the espresso machine cleaner to backflush your machine.

At The End of the Day

Step 1: Groupheads

Break down group heads by removing screens and dispersion plates. Remove baskets and basket springs from portafilters.

Soak portafilters (metal portion ONLY), baskets, basket springs, screens, and dispersion plates in warm water and espresso machine cleaner for approximately 10-15 minutes. Scrub all pieces with a green scratch pad such as SchotchBrite. When finished, rinse and wipe away any film left behind.

Place basket springs and blank baskets in portafilters. Using a small amount (Dime size) of espresso machine cleaner powder, backflush each grouphead on the espresso machine according to the specific espresso machine and cleaner directions to loosen old coffee grounds and remove rancid oils.

After backflushing, brush group heads and around the gaskets with a group head brush or coffee tool to help remove any old coffee grounds and oils.

Carefully wipe grouphead with a dry towel to ensure no dripping hot water. Then, using a flat head screwdriver, carefully replace the dispersion plates and screens in each grouphead.

Once screens are clean, using a towel, wipe the inside of the group and around the gasket to ensure you didn’t miss any oils or old coffee grounds. Once wiped down, carefully replace the dispersion screen (caution: the group head is hot).

Remove and clean the espresso machine drip tray.

Using a slightly damp towel, wipe down exterior of espresso machine. You should be able to follow damp cloth with a dry cloth to polish the machine with ease.

Step 2: Steam Wands

Fill a 20oz frothing pitcher 1/2 way with hot water. Add approximately 1oz of steam wand/milk pitcher cleaner. Insert steam wand and froth as if frothing milk. Allow wand to soak in solution for 5 minutes. Empty steaming pitcher and repeat with water to rinse. You will notice that the cleaner not only cleans your steam wands, but it also removes any old milk buildup from your frothing pitcher!

Good Practices:

It is also important to backflush your machine midday with WATER ONLY. You will not break down your groupheads for this cleaning step. Simply replace the portafilter baskets with the blank baskets and follow the backflush steps.

Again, this should be done with WATER ONLY at midday.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Prior to serving your next shots of espresso, pull and discard at least one set of shots of espresso to “re-season” the grouphead and portafilter.

Troubleshooting the Espresso Machine:

If any of these problems persist after checking these possibilities please contact your manager immediately 

If the machine has no steam and will not heat:

  • Is the machine on?
  • Is the machine plugged in?
  • Is the water gauge and pressure gauge in their proper operating range?
  • Are the holes in the steam wand nozzle clear?

If the water is not coming through group head.

  • Is the machine getting water?
  • Is the grind of the coffee set properly?  Too fine of a grind and the water may have a tough time penetrating.
  • Is the pump making any irregular noises?
  • Was the portafilter securely tightened to the head?
  • Are the screen and water separator attached upside down?
  • Will water flow without a portafilter in the group head?

Liquid under the machine:

  • Is the color brown or clean? I.e. is it a drain leak or a water leak?
  • Is the drain backed up?
  • Does the drain hose have a kink in it?