Top 5 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Automatic Espresso Machine
Coffee-lovers widely prefer automatic espresso machines due to its various advantages. This machine with one-touch can prepare an instant appetizing coffee. But, over regular use, it tends to form scales and sludge due to multiple contaminants.
With proper guidance and information, one can get the most out of their espresso machines. The following tips will help you to take appropriate care and maintenance of your espresso machine:
1. Prefer best-quality espresso beans:
Oily espresso beans can be harmful to automated espresso machines. They are regular roasted beans that are
greasy and slick. You can find the oily surface in dark roasted espresso beans. It forms in the roasting process.
The oily beans are not advisable as the beans are roasted due their prescribed levels; the aromatic oils come
out of the beans leaving behind a shining texture on the surface.
The integrated grinder found in automatic espresso makers, unlike in super-automatic and automatic espresso
makers is not suitable for oily beans. A build-up is created inside the espresso machine’s bean hopper due to
the glossy texture of oily beans.
A visible sheen-like layer forms due to this build-up that eventually grows into trails of sludge and thick puddles. These unwanted impurities stick your beans to a place and restricting smooth movement.
This build-up moves towards the burr grinders, brew unit, and the pathways through which espresso dispenses. It blocks the flow of liquids and blocks other substances to flow through.
• Blocked grinder:
The residue from these beans will clog the grinder. As the build-up reaches machine’s burrs, it eventually mixes
up with the beans and blocks them. Once this stage is attained, one must call a technician for a clean-up of the machine.
• No brewing in the dredge drawer:
An automated espresso maker can grind, dispense, and brew espresso with just a simple touch, internal sensors are used to monitor the activity of the machine and establish the course of actions required.
The build-up can block the sensor activity and restrict the movement of espresso grounds into the brewing chambers. Eventually, the machine often dumps the dry ground beans into a dredge drawer without any further extraction.
Prevention:It all begins with picking the right choice of espresso beans. We must pick espresso beans free of oil that gives
us a strong taste and aromatic flavor. When oily beans are used, light roast beans that act as dryers and remove
the excess oil from those beans.
2. Always use distilled water:
Scales are natural build-ups formed by the minerals present in the water. We can try to reduce the presence of the minerals to get rid of the build-up. When tap water is used, which is full of impurities, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned before the brewing process.
You can achieve this by using a water filter that can efficiently filter out the impurities. Usually, distilled water is also preferred as it goes through many chemical processes and lacks most of the harmful minerals.
Espresso machines come with a water tank sensor that can identify ions among the water to decide if the tank needs refilling or if it’s full. When we mix the tap water with distilled water, it ensures the proper working of sensors. In this way, we can reduce the scale formation in the machine.
3. Clean milk circuit:
It is equally important to clean the milk frothing circuit or frother to prevent the build-up from clogging and forming residues in your machine.
Most of the automatic espresso machines have an option to clean the milk frother automatically. In automatic systems, with a one-touch unit, the machine sends hot water through it and rinses the interiors once the drink is made.
Otherwise, one can manually clean the frother by purging it. Hot water passes through the wand for the process of purging. The hot water accumulates any left-over milk and flows through the drain.
Hence, it ensures that no milk is left-over to stay behind and rot. If the machine consists of a Panarello
steam wand, one can easily remove it by unscrewing and rinsing it under running water to clear impurities.
4. Maintain sanitation in the brew unit:
The brew unit is the central part of an espresso machine. Small amounts of oil from coffee naturally builds-up in the brew unit.
It leads to sludge formation that increases drastically over time. It clogs up the brew unit and restricts further activity. Hence, it is essential to clean the brew unit regularly and maintain cleanliness in this unit.
Cleaning and regular care can help your brew unit work efficiently. In automatic espresso machines, brew units
are relatively easily accessible as they can be removed and cleaned easily.
The contents in the unit must be drained initially, and then the brew unit is rinsed under hot running water. This process must be followed every week for better results.
If the brew units are not remotely removable, cleaning tablets can do the job. These tablets will help in clearing out the machine and run the device smoothly by removing coffee residues and oils.
5. De-scale frequently:
One of the important steps to be followed in the maintenance of the machine is to de-scale the unit. De-scaling ensures that there is no scale formation caused by minerals in the water.
Most of the units are now calibrated depending upon the hardness of the water. It allows you to monitor the scale build-up in the espresso machine. It notifies for clean-up when the scale exceeds a specific limit. For different types of machines, you require various de-scaling tools.
De-scaling tablets or liquid de-scalars are available based on consumer’s comfort. These chemically structured components effectively clean the scales hidden in every nook and corner and thus resulting
in an uncontaminated espresso machine.
By following the tips mentioned above, one can get the most out of their espresso machines through a perfect
cup of coffee.