Maintenance

Machine

Espresso machines are remarkably robust pieces of equipment and will continue to give excellent service with the simplest of maintenance. The things to be avoided here are the blocking up of the group head and boiler contamination.

Every so often, say after 10 cups, the machine should be back-flushed. Back flushing involves the use of the blind filter in a handle. First though you need to brush under the group head to remove loose grounds of coffee, particularly those that have stuck to the neoprene seal.
A build-up of grounds here will cause the handle to seal incorrectly and water will be forced over the top rather than through the pipes behind. Introduce the handle to the head and push the continuous pour button for a 10-second pour. Empty the contents and repeat until clear.

At the end of each day use a special detergent to backwash the group – we recommend Cafetto Evo which is an organic espresso cleaner. Simply follow the same procedure as back flushing but add the detergent to the blind filter. Thoroughly rinse the group with water before pouring the first coffee. The back-washing procedure is very important because it assists in dissolving coffee oils that accumulate in the group head and clog the fine filters.
At the end of each week (or sooner if necessary), soak the filter handles and their cups in back wash detergent to remove the black coffee stains.

You should periodically refresh the water in the boiler by pouring off a litre or two via the tea-making tap. This not only refreshes the water but is also a check on whether you have spore contamination in the boiler. Spore contamination will show either as black “crud” in the poured off water and or the water will have a white appearance and smell like sour milk. If the boiler is contaminated so is your coffee. These spores are a fungus growth caused by milk being siphoned into the boiler via the steam wand because the wand has been left in water. Boilers contaminated with spores can be cured but at considerable cost.

KUSH Barista Tips - How to maintain your espresso machine

If steam wands must be soaked in water to remove caked on milk, blow out the holes by releasing some steam. And soak for the shortest time possible. Under no circumstances turn the machine off with the wand in water. Espresso machines are best left on at all times if possible! Also have the machine serviced every 6 months.

Grinder

On a weekly basis remove all the beans from the hopper and wipe the hopper clean of oil residue. Clear any obstruction in the opening to the grinding discs. If grinder is fitted with a magnet then remove any object clinging to magnet. Do not use detergent or water on interior of grinder.
On a monthly basis remove the bean hopper completely and remove the top grinding-burr by unscrewing the mill collar. Inspect the burrs and clean the chamber. Pay particular attention to cleaning the threads and reassemble. Replace the burrs every 400 kg of beans.

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