Lockdown Tips: Caring for Your Espresso Machine
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
With the Manila lockdown in full effect, cafes all over the metro are closing shop, leaving only a few noble establishments open for takeaway or delivery services.
Nobody knows how long this new “normal” will last, so it’s important that as we close shop, we make sure everything in it is taken care of. At the top of the list, of course, is your espresso machine. We at Bean & Barley prepared some tips on what to do before shutting down your espresso machine and before running it again.
Shutting Down Your Espresso Machine
Make sure to thoroughly clean the espresso machine. Back-flush (with espresso cleaning detergent). You may refer to your espresso machine cleaning guide.
Empty the steam boiler via the hot water tap. This can be done easily with an espresso machine with manual hot water tap. Turn off the espresso machine, open the hot water tap to release hot water and steam. The idea is that the espresso machine should be off so that the water inside the steam boiler won’t be automatically refilled.
For espresso machines with electrically activated water tap, this is more of a challenge. You may refer to your espresso machine manual if it has boiler draining features. If not, the steam boiler needs to be flushed before using it again.
Once the boiler is emptied and the espresso machine is cooled down to room temperature, shut off the water supply valve and unplug from the electrical outlet. Cover the machine (if possible) to prevent dust accumulation. If the espresso machine isn’t connected to the water line, remove the water supply hose from the water jug and cover the opening of the hose (use cling wrap or foil) to ensure the water supply doesn’t get contaminated.
Running Your Espresso Machine Again
Make sure to flush the water filters before turning on the water supply valve. Flush at least 2-3 liters of water. We don’t want water that’s stagnant inside the filter cartridge to go inside the espresso machine. You may refer to the water filter instruction manual for steps in flushing the water filters.
Make sure to turn on the water supply valve (this is important as running the machine without water can permanently damage the pump). For espresso machines not connected to the water line, make sure to clean the water supply hose before immersing it into the water jug. Plug in the electrical cable to the electrical outlet, turn on the power switch. The espresso machine will immediately start filling the boiler. You may refer to your manuals on the start-up procedure of your espresso machine for additional safety. Make sure to allow boiler refilling to finish before turning on the heating element.
Once operating temperature is reached, flush each group head for at least 2 minutes. To avoid overflowing of the drip tray, catch the water in a pitcher or basin and dispose directly to the sink. Purge each steam wand for at least 30 seconds.
For those that weren’t able to drain the steam boiler during shut down, draw at least 3 liters of water from the hot water tap. Again, you can draw the water into a pitcher or basin to avoid overflowing of the drip tray. This will allow the steam boiler to draw in fresh water and remove the stagnant water.
Back flush each group head with espresso detergent before using. Do final cleaning on the machine exterior. It never hurts to do extra cleaning.
After following these steps, you should be ready to pull shots. The idea is to make sure we remove the stagnant water and not to let it go into the cup that we serve.
For any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us HERE. We’re always happy to help.
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