How you maintain your super automatic espresso machine is critical to keeping it running like new and ensuring that you'll be able to enjoy delicious, fresh espresso for years to come.
Follow our steps here and learn how to eliminate unwanted bitter flavours in your coffee and ensure your machine avoids potentially costly breakdowns. Cleaning depends on your usage, what brand of machine you have, and what kind of coffee and water is used in the machine on a daily basis.
Tip 1: Clean the Brew Group
Rinsing internal parts helps remove coffee oils and build-up causing unwanted bitterness in your coffee. This also prevents mouldiness, makes the coffee extraction better, and improves the overall hygiene of your machine. To do this, you will need to access the 'Brew Group', or 'Brew Unit' from the side panel generally behind the water tank. Sometimes manufacturers build access to this in the front the machine as well. Once this is removed, simply rinse it under the water without using any soup. This should be performed once a week, but you may want to make it a daily habit if your machine gets heavy usage and you want to best possible coffee on the daily.
Tip 2: Descale Your Machine Regularly
Overtime, calcium scale will build up in the internal components of your espresso machine. When this problem because severe, internal water flow is reduce, coffee extractions are limited, and some of the metal components may also corrode to the point of a requiring a large repair.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend using a descaling solution matching the brand of machine you have, and performing the descaling process once every 2-3 months. Clear instructions on the process are provided in the user manual of your machine.
Note: Frequency of descaling can be reduced if being mindful to avoid the use of tap water or being diligent to use water filters while operations your machine. We recommend testing the water hardness of your kitchen water supply to understand the severity.
Tip 3: Use Cleaning Tablets (If Applicable)
Machines from brands like Jura and Miele require cleaning tablets, as there are parts inside which are not accessible to clean otherwise. One tablet per cleansing cycle helps to remove all inner oil and coffee from the machine, preventing unwanted bitter tastes in your coffee and improving the coffee extraction. Usually this is recommended around once per week.
Smart Things You Can Do to Reduce Maintenance & Prevent Long Term Issues
- Only use dry, non-oily, beans. This will prevent the grinder from 'gumming up' and wearing down the motor. Vast majority of grinder repairs are due to people using oily beans. A quick look at the beans themselves is a sure way to tell the oil content - oily beans will look extremely shiny and as if they are sweating. Dryer beans will have a more matte finish. If unsure of what brand to buy, we would recommend starting with any popular Italian brands and something such as Lavazza Gran Espresso or Lavazza Super Crema. Medium-dark roasts also tend to be the 'sweet spot' in terms of low oil content and maximizing the best extraction for high pressure espresso.
- Use 'soft' water. Soft water refers to water with low contents of Calcium and Magnesium, which cause scale build up inside of kitchen appliances. Different regions have different levels of water hardness and it is important to check these levels prior to using your machine to understand how frequently you may need to descale. Internal water softening filters or and undersink system are some of the best ways to prevent hard water from entering your machine. Additionally, a little known fact is that soft water yields much better coffee extraction leading to better tasting coffee!
- Avoid using warm milk in automatic frothers. Milk becomes highly acidic and dangerous to consume when left on the counter for long periods of time. This can pose a danger to your health and can corrode the internal parts of the milk frother in your fully automatic machine. It's always best to store your milk in the fridge before and after use.
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