A perfect cup of coffee needs a clean machine.
A perfect cup of coffee needs a clean machine. Mike Knott

Is your coffee a little dirty? Follow tips for clean flavour

COFFEE company Merlo have claimed June 1 as National Clean Your Coffee Machine Day.

According to the company, the key to a good cuppa can be found in the cleanliness of the machine that makes it, with quality and flavour of coffee suffering if a machine is not given a regular wash.

Dean Merlo, the son of Gino Merlo, who introduced the first espresso machine to Queensland in 1958, said there were certain responsibilities involved with brewing your own.

"Deciding to become a home barista comes with responsibilities, and cleaning your coffee machine is the biggest one," he said.

"A machine needs cleaning every four to six months, at the very least once a year. It's simple and you'll notice what a difference a clean machine can make to the quality and taste of the coffee"

Mr Merlo said the added benefit to keeping machines clean was the fact that clean machines lasted longer.

"Without regular, simple cleaning, you could be in for unnecessary spending," he said.

"However, if you commit to the title of home barista properly, and follow these few simple steps, you can add years on to the life of your much-loved machine, which will thank you with cup after cup of cafe quality coffee."

Signs that your machine is overdue for a clean:

  • The coffee seems to be taking longer and longer to brew (that may mean your machine is losing pressure)
  • Your cups of coffee are beginning to taste burnt (a build up of dried coffee and milk)
  • The machine or milk frother is making unusual noises and not performing consistently
  • People simply aren't complimenting you on your cuppa anymore

To deep clean your coffee machine (Merlo recommends this deep clean using this method every four to six months, depending on frequency of use and check instructions from the manufacturer for use of any chemical cleaners):

  • Fill your machine's water tank with one litre of water and either 50mL of liquid descaler or 1 Cleancaf descaler tablet
  • Run a brew cycle through the machine until the water tank is empty
  • Ensure you take time during the brew cycle to open the steamer and allow the descaler solution running through it to clean it of any dried milk
  • Refill water tank with clean water only (do not add descaler) and repeat cycle
  • To ensure the taste of cleaning products doesn't carry onto your next cups of coffee, brew three cups of coffee, and dispose immediately.

To make every cup a winner, Merlo recommends after every use:

  • Purge your steam wand before and after steaming milk - before to expel condensation, after to expel milk
  • Run water through head before and after extraction - before to ensure water is running freely from head and after to rinse off any grind still on screen
  • Wipe down steam wand

At the end of a busy day:

  • Rinse head of machine with blind filter - bring handle up to the head and jiggle up and down without locking in, to remove all grind from around head, then lock handle in and rinse head for a few seconds.
  • Remove baskets from handles, trays from machine and hand wash gently. If handles are stained, clean with scourer.
  • Wrap clean cloth around steam wand and turn on to loosen any old milk and wipe clean

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