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For those of us who have ever worked in or owned a coffee shop, we are all probably very aware of the expense of an espresso machine. To get a good quality machine that will be used a lot in a coffee shop or restaurant, these can range from $10,000-$25,000 depending on the specs you need for your establishment. When I first started working in the coffee industry as a barista years ago, I was amazed by this cost!
That being said, with the amount of money we invest into this piece of equipment which essentially is our means of bringing in customers and making a profit, we should recognize the importance of keeping a clean and healthy machine.
Long story short, there are two key ingredients to consider when keeping up with machine maintenance. Firstly, coffee beans have oils. These can be both a blessing and a curse for coffee lovers. The oils in coffee can produce the wonderful flavors that coffee lovers cherish, but they can also be the reason for a drink to have an awful taste.
These oils will cling to most anything they can in your espresso machine and coffee grinder, they will get old and start to bring strange flavors to your coffee. It is so important to clean your machine at least once a day by backflushing with an espresso machine cleaning agent of your choosing; it’s even better when this can be done twice in a day’s service. Your espresso grinder also needs to be cleaned daily by washing the hopper, vacuuming out the grinds from that day’s use, and brushing down the accessible interior and exterior parts with a soft-bristled grinder brush. We also recommend running a product such as Grindz™ through your grinders every one to four weeks, depending on usage. This natural product helps soak up the oils in your grinder, preventing build-up and extending the life of the burrs.
The second thing to think about to prolong the life of your machine is to have a good water filtration system in your line before plumbing into your espresso machine. In a lot of areas in the USA hard water is prevalent in the water system and this can play havoc with your machine. By having a good water filtration system you can prevent the buildup of limescale in the boilers and pipes which in some cases can lead to having to send the machine away to a specialist to go through an acid bath to remove this limescale. This can be costly in terms of service and you are unable to open the shop if you don’t have your espresso machine.
Take care of your espresso machine and other equipment; they are your bread and butter.