Your brewing equipment and grinders (and customers!) are counting on you to keep making your best coffee. Equipment maintenance is needed daily and weekly, plus a tune up every six months, to assure they run smoothly and turn out the best possible coffee.
There is so much to learn and do when opening a shop that basic maintenance is sometimes forgotten or overlooked. But if you resolve to stick to some regular procedures, your equipment will thank you.
Daily coffee equipment Maintenance
- Backflush each espresso group head nightly and wipe down your espresso machine so it's sparkling clean for the next day.
- Clean brew pots and brewing chambers on your drip brewers.
Weekly espresso machine, coffee brewer and grinder cleaning—plus water filter check
- Clean all removable parts from the espresso machine: soak filter baskets, group handles, group head shower screens, etc. in a solution of one quart hot water + 1 tablespoon of espresso machine detergent for a few hours or overnight.
- With your coffee brewer, remove and clean the brew head, plate, screen and anything else the instruction manual says can be removed and cleaned.
- Also, wash removable grinder hoppers with soap and water, drying them completely afterwards.
- Along with these steps it is important to check the pressure gauge on your water filter system, and change any filters that are out of date (over one year).
Twice-yearly espresso machine tune up
- Every six months, replace espresso machine gaskets that wear out from heavy use including the group head, o-rings, steam arm and steam valve gaskets.
Keep grinder burrs sharp
One of the most commonly overlooked maintenance items is the burrs in espresso and bulk grinders. After grinding 800 to 1,000 pounds of coffee (which happens every 6 to 18 months depending on your volume), burrs become dull, making a shrill sound and grinding coffee very slowly.
The most common reason we hear from store owners or staff for not maintaining grinders is that they "don't know how." But once we show them the grinder's inner workings, they are amazed at how easy it is to pop in some new burrs. Most espresso grinders have just three three screws on each burr that can be removed, so you can install new ones.
Keep your water clean
Keeping your water treatment system up to date and fully maintained will assure that your coffee and tea tastes its best, and will help protect your brewing equipment from wear and tear from undesirable minerals and micro-debris. Every water treatment system is a bit different, so read the manual and/or call in a professional to keep everything in working order.