Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Imagine a scenario where the flavor and aroma of your freshly-brewed coffee is tainted with the smell of rancid oils and old coffee grounds.
Can’t seem to imagine it? Neither can we. But it happens. And as a cafe owner, this is something you would be wise to avoid.
This nightmare of a scenario simply calls for a check-up on how long has it been since you last cleaned your coffee grinder. Earlier, we tackled proper maintenance for your espresso machine in order to keep it in its top form. Coffee mugs and espresso machines are only a few of the things that need cleaning. Coffee grinders require a good cleaning, too!
Why Does This Happen?
Coffee beans are ground so they are highly likely to deposit oil and microscopic particles onto the burrs. As time passes with more usage, organic matter is building up. And you can count on it not to just keep it to itself - it will impact your brew if unmanaged. Stale particles and rancid oils will collect on new coffee beans as they travel into your final cup. This is why as a cafe owner, you and your staff need to embrace a set of simply designed but effective coffee grinder cleaning habits to ensure that your coffee is as aromatic as it should be.
The good news is cleaning your coffee grinder is straightforward and won’t take too much of your time. Allotting just 10 to 15 minutes every week into cleaning will go a very long way in preserving your cafe’s image and your coffee’s quality and cleanliness.
Here, we divide the list into short-term and long-term habits that contribute to an effective coffee grinder cleaning.
What You Need
In order to accomplish this goal, you will need the following tools:
Pressurized air (optional)
Clueless as to where you can purchase these tools? Ask us.
The Daily Cleaning Habit (3 Steps)
There is that cliche along the lines of building small habits every single day. Well as with all things in life, it applies to running a cafe, too!
The truth of the matter is this: effective grinder care begins at the end of your day. We recommend training your baristas to incorporate these steps into their regular routine to ensure that the coffee grinder is clean and fresh for the next day.
Seal off the hopper and grind any remaining coffee in the burr area.
Turn the grinder completely off.
Empty the hopper, remove it, and wipe it down.
For an optional step, you can use a vacuum to remove any remaining grounds from the burr area or dosing chamber
As basic as these steps appear, they take every effort to be done with precision and consistency. Train your baristas to maintain this routine.
The Long-Term Cleaning Habit (4 Steps)
Now here goes the deeper and highly essential part of the ultimate cleaning routine that will ensure your coffee grinder’s longevity. We are now talking about long-term care and maintenance. We recommend infusing these steps into a cleaning schedule to be performed regularly each week.
As your baristas begin their regular closing routine, remove beans from the hopper as well as the burr area. However, don’t pull out the vacuum just yet.
They will need to grind a few cleaning tablets. Run a few through the grinder (as per the instructions). These tablets are specifically designed to soak up coffee oils that are seeping into the grinder walls. Normally, these half-ground tablets can be left in the burrs for 4-5 minutes before finally completing the grind.
Grind more coffee beans. You might be raising eyebrows at this step thinking it is a waste of your precious coffee beans. Actually, it is far from that. While the grinder tablets are food-safe, they taste nowhere near palatable. You can run a bit of old coffee through the grinder to ‘rinse’ off or remove any residue from the tablets.
Finally, the baristas will proceed to the entire closing routine to ensure that the coffee grinder is in tiptop shape and is totally clean and ready for the next day.
You might be compelled to feel these habits are too detailed to execute. Each time you feel this way, compare roughly ten to fifteen minutes of doing the entire long-term routine to a month of closure when your coffee grinder gives up on you. These long-term habits combined with the daily cleaning routine ensure that the stubborn oils and grounds clinging to your grinder’s burr and gear will be removed and will clean the flavour of your brew.
The Brush and The Burr
Are we done yet? We’re almost there.
After doing the habits we mentioned above, you will still have to address the fine and minute particles that are building up which your grinder cleaner can’t seem to get a hold of. For this part, grab your grinder brush. After carefully deconstructing the burrs, take your brush and scrub them. When you’re done with the burrs, scrub inside the grinder. You’ll be surprised how much superfine matters penetrate between the blades. This is a final step you may opt to do once or twice a month. The moment your baristas tell you that dosing becomes less consistent because your grinder’s spitting out coffee with less control than usual, consider replacing your burrs.
At the end of the day, these 7 habits become part of a mindset. When done regularly, they become a breeze. While some cafes may have grinders that are gradually impacting their coffee without them realizing, you, however, are saved from this burden.
Alas, your coffee grinder remains clean.
Here at Bean & Barley, we believe in caring for the tools that empower you to drink and produce excellent coffee that brims with so much life in its flavor. In return, your coffee grinder will thank you by grinding coffee with precision - leaving your customers with a happy cup of coffee. After all, these habits make up an investment in happiness – a clean grinder means great tasting coffee.
If your grinder isn’t performing as well as you wish or are struggling with choosing the right brand, we got you!
Coffee Grinder Cleaning 101: Short And Long-Term Care. Retrieved 23 April 2021, from https://baristawarehouse.com.au/blogs/learn/coffee-grinder-cleaning-101-short-and-long-term-care