As Kiwis, we love nothing more than a great cuppa every day – how else would we get through the work day! In fact, studies show that 66% of us drink coffee every day!

While it’s common to grab one at your favourite coffee shop on the go, plenty of us also enjoy making one at home, and nothing hits the spot like a delicious espresso. 

However, have you ever thought about how often you’ve cleaned your favourite espresso machine? If you leave your cleaning for too long, it could spell disaster for the flavour and quality of the coffees you make. 

Cleaning an espresso machine may seem a little difficult, but trust us, it’s quickly done. Here’s how;

Which Parts Of The Machine Need A Cleaning 

Before we begin the process of cleaning the machine, first, you need to know which parts of the machine need to be cleaned. 

  • The filter: The cup-like reservoir with a long handle. 
  • The basket: Removable disk or cup with tiny holes that holds ground espresso beans and fits in the filter. 
  • Blind disk: The basket without holes used for cleaning. 
  • Group head: The receptacle on the machine which releases hot water. 
  • Group gasket: This is a round rubber gasket on the grouphead. 
  • Mesh: The fine mesh in the group through which the water is forced. 
  • Carafe: The glass container that catches the coffee. 
  • Reservoir: The tank that holds water used in the brewing process.
  • Steam nozzle: Where the steam comes from.
  • Drip tray: The metal base on which the carafe is placed.

Why You Should Clean Your Espresso Machine

It may feel like you don’t really need to clean your espresso machine too often. 

Basically, your espresso machine makes the coffee by forcing hot water under pressure through the ground coffee to extract the caffeine and the oils, which is where the coffee flavour comes from.

However, these oils are quite sticky and so will stay on the filter and other parts of your machine. As this residue builds up, the oils begin to go stale, resulting in poorly flavoured and unhealthy coffee! Believe it or not, mould and bacteria can grow in coffee machines too! 

By regularly cleaning your coffee maker, you’re actually maintaining the quality of your coffee! 

How To Clean Your Espresso Machine

The way you can ensure that you will properly clean your espresso machine it’s important to do it inside out. While you may wipe down the external surfaces, there’s still a lot to do when it comes to the inside. 

Don’t worry though; you only need a few simple items and a little time and patience. 

Here is a list of the things you need:

  1. An espresso machine cleaner or descaler
  2. Warm water
  3. Large jug
  4. Grouphead brush
  5. Kitchen scrubber 
  6. Kitchen cloth

Now, to get to work cleaning your espresso machine, here’s what you’ve got to do. 

Step 1: Clean And Descale

  • You should ensure that the machine is switched off and the water tank is empty. 
  • Pour some of the descaler into the jug, fill it with warm water, and mix the solution until well dissolved. 
  • Pour this cleaning solution into the water tank and turn on your machine. 
  • Remove the filter, operate the pump until the water flows from the grouphead, and turn off the pump. 
  • Allow this cleaning solution to sit in the water boiler for a few minutes.
  • Operate the pump and allow water to flow through the grouphead.
  • Open the steam valve and let the water flow through the steam wand.
  • Repeat this process until all the cleaning solution is flushed out and your water reservoir is empty.
  • Remove the water tank and clean it thoroughly before placing it back. 
  • Flush the clean water through the grouphead and steam wand as before and repeat till only fresh, clean water flows through the machine. 

Step 2: Scrubbing and Soaking

  • Switch off your espresso machine and remove the filter from the grouphead. If possible, remove the steam wand and the basket from the filter. 
  • Dissolve some of the espresso machine cleaner in a jug of warm water. 
  • Place the filter, steam wand, basket and screen into the jug and allow it to soak – preferably overnight. This will allow the coffee residue to dissolve well. 
  • Use a cleaning cloth to remove any extra residue. 
  • When all parts are clean, empty the solution and rinse the parts under cold water. 

Step 3: Cleaning the Grouphead and Seal

  • Allow your machine to cool down and turn it off. Use the grouphead brush and scrub around the seal and dispersion screen to remove any remaining residue. 
  • Switch on your espresso machine and allow it to come to temperature. 
  • Operate the pump to flush the remaining cleaning product from the dispersion screen and headseal. 
  • Use the pump to flush clean water through the components to ensure they are clean and that there is no residue of any cleaning product. 

Reassemble your machine, and there you have it! A perfectly clean and ready-to-use espresso machine!

How Often You Should Be Cleaning Your Espresso Machine

As a practice, you should deep clean your machine every month. Making the cleaning process smoother and ensuring that you keep your espresso machine in tip-top condition, there are a few things you can do. 

  • On The Daily
  1. Wipe your steam wand after each use. If possible, flow hot water through it at the end of each day of use. 
  2. Wipe the tray and clean your carafe daily.
  • Every Month 

Practice a deep clean with the steps we’ve mentioned. This will remove all residue present deep within your machine.  

  • Every Year

Try to replace any small parts if they show signs of wear and tear. 

While it seems like replacing these parts is an expensive thing to do, you will be increasing the longevity of your espresso machine in the long run.

By practising these quick, simple steps, you can rest assured that you’ll begin daily with a great-tasting, eye-opening hot cup of coffee!