After each preparation, coffee traces remain on the equipment, for example, coffee in a coffee grinder or oils in an espresso machine. They start to spoil the taste of coffee: it becomes rancid, and nothing helps fix it. Professional equipment cleanliness is the first rule of good coffee.
The problem is that coffee, when exposed to air, quickly begins to oxidize, and this leads to its aging. As a result, a dirty coffee grinder, espresso machine, or other commercial coffee equipment will make the coffee taste bad.
To keep your dirty equipment running smoothly, you need to clean it regularly. This article will show you how often you need to clean your grinder, drip coffee maker, home and professional espresso machine, and different vessels for preparing an alternative.
A commercial coffee grinder can be cleaned in two ways:
- Using special cleaning tablets for coffee grinders. To do this, you need to grind them like regular coffee. One cleaning requires 35–40 grams – so much fits in the can’s lid, so it is not necessary to weigh them. We recommend cleaning the grinder with special tablets every 10-15 kg of ground coffee.
- Disassemble the grinder, remove the millstones and clean them by hand. But here, it is crucial to do everything right and not break anything. For example, if you set the millstones a little unevenly, the grind’s quality may decrease. Besides, disassembling the grinder will cause the grind to be severely disturbed, and more coffee will be consumed during the setup time than the cleaning tablets would have cost. To not make mistakes when disassembling and assembling the grinder, we recommend that you read the instructions for your grinder. Each coffee grinder has a different device, and general recommendations cannot be given. We do not recommend disassembling the professional grinder more often than every 50–70 kg of ground coffee. Periodically, the life of the millstones expires, and the grinding becomes less uniform. In this case, they need to be replaced with new ones. Doing this depends on the grinder model, the diameter of the millstones, and the daily load on the grinder. The average burr resource of your grinder should be indicated in the instructions.
A commercial drip coffee maker by and large consists of three parts: a boiler, into which water is poured, a compartment for ground coffee with a filter and a shower mesh, and a thermos or glass teapot finished coffee flows. For the coffee to taste good, each of these parts must be cleaned.
To clean the boiler of a drip coffee maker from scale, you need to dilute either unique chemistry or citric acid (30 grams per liter) in water, pour it into the boiler and turn on the preparation of coffee. In the middle of the process, the coffee maker must be turned off and left in this state for 15–20 minutes so that the water cleans the inner surfaces. Then you need to turn on the coffee maker again so that the remaining solution completely goes into a thermos or glass teapot. In the end, you need to turn on the coffee maker three more times with plain water and then wipe it so that there is no taste of chemistry in the coffee.
Also, the mesh must be cleaned separately. It can be done with a soft brush. Do not use soap.
In addition to the coffee maker itself, you also need to clean the thermos or glass teapot in which the coffee is prepared. We recommend leaving them overnight with the cleaning agent inside and then wiping them with a long-handled brush. At home, this can be done once a week, in a coffee shop – every day.
To clean a professional automatic coffee machine, you need a tablet or powder to clean the internal mechanisms of coffee oils and a decalcifier to eliminate limescale.
The cleaning algorithm is different for each coffee machine, so we cannot give any clear recommendations, except that you need to study the instructions. If it is not there or it has disappeared, you can always find the instructions on the Internet, indicating the full name of the coffee machine model.
As for cleaning the coffee machine with vinegar or citric acid, it’s better not. Vinegar won’t help, and citric acid will sometimes eat away at rubber gaskets and lock up aluminum tubes. Repairing a commercial coffee machine will be more expensive than buying a special cleaning agent.
The frequency of cleaning directly depends on the frequency of drinking coffee. You need to clean the coffee machine of oils every 100 cups. Many coffee machines automatically count the cups and notify you when it’s time to clean them, so you don’t have to count the cups yourself. It is enough to descale the coffee machine once every 3-6 months.
Be sure to clean your commercial automatic coffee machine! And it’s not just about the taste of the coffee, which will deteriorate over time. If the coffee machine is not cleaned, it will break down, and repairs will be much more expensive.
Cleaning a professional espresso machine includes cleaning the holders, groups, and boiler. Holders and groups should be cleaned daily or more often, and the boiler should be cleaned about once a year.
If there is a large flow in the coffee shop, the holders need to be disassembled approximately every two to three hours, and the oils should be cleaned off with a special brush under warm water. If the flow is not very large, this can be done less often – about twice per shift.
The boiler should be descaled about once a year. As a rule, they do not do this on their own but give the coffee machine for maintenance. Service professionals remove the boiler and pipes and descale them.
- Coffee grinder cleaning tablets.
- Tablets or powder for cleaning coffee oils from an automatic coffee machine.
- Decalcification agent.
- Brush for cleaning groups and holders of the espresso machine.
- Powder or tablets to clean your espresso machine.