The flavor you get from your coffee will depend on the machine you are using. If it is dirty, the taste of the beverage will be affected. Plus, a well-maintained machine uses less electricity and has a longer lifespan. The good news is that maintaining your coffee machine doesn’t need to be a difficult task. To find the best way to care for your machine, we did plenty of research. Here are some of the sites that proved to be the most useful:
- How to Clean a Coffee Maker, According to Cleaning Experts
- How to Clean a Coffee Maker
- Comprehensive Review of Coffee Makers with Grinder
Use the Right Amount of Water
Before you start making your coffee, you should check the way that the machine is set up. You want to make sure that there is enough water in the tank. There should be a line to indicate how full it should be. When in doubt, it’s best to overfill. If it runs out of water, it will suck air into the machine, and this can cause a lot of damage.
Clean after Each Cup
You must make cleaning a regular part of your routine. Ideally, you should be cleaning after every cup.
First, make sure that you are wiping down the steam wand. Before doing this, leave it to run for a few seconds. This will flush out any excess milk. You don’t want dry milk to accumulate on the wand. Additionally, leaving it moist can attract bacteria.
It’s also important to make sure that you are flushing the group head between cups. Old grounds can impact the flavor. To do this, wipe the group head down with a cloth.
It’s also a good idea to empty and clean out the drip tray. This is where the old grounds and espresso drips have been gathering. Because of this, it can get filthy after a few days. You’ll want to wipe it out with a dishcloth to prevent mold and bacteria from building up inside the tray.
Turn It Off
One of the easiest ways to care for your machine is to turn it off when not in use. Some models will do this automatically, switching off after a few minutes. Others won’t. In this case, you’ll need to turn it off at the wall. As a bonus, this will reduce the amount of electricity you will be using.
Decalcify the Machine
Most tap water will contain minerals and nutrients. Over time, these minerals will build up in your machine. This is known as calcification. This is a slow process and will take place over several months. Calcification can start to have an impact on the way your machine is operating. For example, it can start to reduce the pressure in the pumps and mess with the flavor of your coffee.
One of the easiest ways to cleaning your machine is by filling the reservoir with a mix of water and white vinegar. You want it to be roughly half and half. Then, run the machine. The vinegar should remove the build-up. You might need to do this a few times, depending on how bad the calcification is. Once you have finished, run fresh water. This will remove the flavor of the vinegar.
Alternatively, you can find coffee machine cleaning powders. These can be found at most stores. All you need to do is follow the instructions listed on the package. You’ll need to do this every three to six months.
Replace Some Parts
After you have had the coffee maker for a few years, it might be time to start replacing some parts. Some warning signs to look out for include cracks or the machine is no longer performing properly. There are a few areas that you should pay special attention to. This includes the steam valves, the waste pipe, and the expansion valve. Sometimes, you will need to replace the portafilter baskets. Here are some signs that your coffee machine might have a problem.
The instruction manual might tell you how to replace these items. If not, you can turn to YouTube videos. If you don’t want to make these replacements yourself, you can call in a professional.
Maintaining your coffee isn’t difficult. Spending a few minutes after brewing the coffee to wipe the machine down can make all the difference. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use these tips to enjoy delicious coffee for many years.