Friday, July 22, 2011

How to clean your group espresso machine

espresso dripping
How does one eat an elephant? The (grinning) response is "One bite at a time!". It is the same with any large task, really. Taken in its entirety, it may be formidable. Break it down into its elements, into small bite-sized pieces, and those really don't look formidable in the least. Those steps can each be something that isn't so difficult, something which can be done. And when you get all of them done, why, you will see that you have accomplished the entire large task. That's just precisely how it really is with how to clean your espresso machine. Here is a way to tackle the formidable task of cleaning your espresso machine, in 7 easy steps.
Step 1. Make sure the espresso machine is off and unplugged before getting started. For this you will need to of course assure that it's safe to wash the machine since you will be using water to rinse some parts. If you choose not to do this or forget it, you may cause short circuit and may also cause serious damage to your machine. Not to mention that there's a chance for you to get electrocuted as well.
Step 2. Gently wipe off the outside part of the machine with a damp cloth. This step is will keep you machine look shiny and new at least on it's outside cover.
Step 3. With a screwdriver, unscrew the group head to remove it. This will then enable you to scrub the parts of the group head, which include the screen and the brass dispersion plate. Scrub the parts with a brush and plain water until it's totally clean. You can also opt to soak these parts overnight in water mixed with a specific espresso machine cleaner.
Step 4. Backflush the espresso machine, you should be able to see the manufacturer's recommendation on how often the machines should be backflushed in the manual. Normally it should be done about twice a week.
Step 5. With a wet cloth, clean the milk wand. You can also remove it and soak in warm water in order to take out milk residue. An important point to bear in mind here is to use a pipe cleaner to remove milk residue inside the wand and a pin or paper clip to unclog the steam hole. This is important to make sure that no milk residue will be left behind, which could cause unwanted smell.
Step 6. Decalcify the interior by running a mixture of one part white vinegar to one part water through the machine. Then run plain water through the machine two to three times until the interior is clean.
Step 7. Reassemble the machine.
Protip: Do not put soap in your machine. Also, always make sure you read and follow manufacturer's instructions on how to clean your espresso machine.
Mary J. Evans cleans her Solis Espresso machine at least twice every week, even daily if she's making lots of cup of coffee. You can find more information and even great Solis Espresso deals on her blog.

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