There are many factors that must come together to get the perfect shot of espresso. You have to focus on the right bean, the perfect grind, dosing, tamping properly, and the list goes on. With all that being said, there is obviously a lot to be said for the cleanliness of your machine. The cleanliness of the machine will lead to even extraction of espresso and a fresh taste.
Too often when looking into tuning a machine baristas begin with the group head. They battle with built up coffee grounds clogging the head and making your coffee taste tainted. Backflushing your machine forces fresh water and detergent behind the shower screen and through the exhaust helping to maintain quality taste. Backflushing should be done at the end of every day in order to help prolong the life of your espresso machine.
- Group Head Cleaning Brush – specially made brush specifically for the shower screen and group head.
- Blind filter of backflushing membrane – this is a filter basket without holes, a backflushing membrane is a rubber disc that sits at the bottom of your filter basket.
- Espresso machine detergent – This is up to the owner of the machine to decide which detergent they would like to use.
Proper Steps for Backflushing
- Remove as much loose coffee grounds as possible from the group head with the cleaning brush. Rinse by starting the brew cycle without the filter holder installed.
- Install the blind filter basket and backflushing membrane into the filter-holder and install the filter-holder into the brewing group
- Start your brewing cycle and run it for approximately 10 seconds.
- Stop the brew cycle. Water will go into the drip tray from the three-way solenoid.
- Wait 10 seconds and repeat steps 2 & 4 two more times.
- Remove filter-holder. Clean it with hot water by starting the brew cycle for 10 seconds. Disengage brew cycle.
- Add 1 tablespoon of detergent powder into the blind-filter on top of the backflushing membrane. Put filter-holder into brewing group.
- Start brewing cycle for 10 seconds.
- Stop the brew cycle and you should see water and foaming detergent will vent into drop tray from the three-way solenoid.
- Wait 10 seconds, and then repeat steps 8 & 9 four more times.
- Remove filter-holder. Clean it to remove any remaining detergent by staring the brewing cycle for 10 seconds. Stop the brewing cycle.
- Put the filter-holder into the brewing group.
- Operate the brewing cycle for 10 seconds.
- Stop the brewing cycle. It is possible you will see foaming detergent venting into drip tray.
- Wait 10 seconds, and then repeat steps 13 & 14 until there in no more foam.
- Put regular coffee filter back in place. Make a shot of espresso, and then dump it. This is just to season the group head.
- You are finished!!!
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Make sure to you are using a detergent specifically designed for espresso machines. Many household detergents do not dissolve all the way, leaving you with less than suitable espresso. Also, the granules and cause the solenoid to become obstructed and not close properly. If this problem persists, it could cost you a lot of money in the end.
In order to best avoid this problem, call The Bean Doctor! We are available 24/7 to assist with your espresso machine needs. Our experts can help ensure your machine is properly backflushed and producing the fantastic espresso.