So you have an espresso machine... Now what?

by Brendan Pasquini

Whether you just bought a new/pre-loved machine machine, inherited some equipment from a friend, or just got your machine back from a repair, there are some important things to know before using your machine. In this guide below, we will discuss the do's and don't of espresso machine ownership and what proper care for a long lasting espresso machine looks like.

Lets start with the Do's:

  • First thing first... !!!!!!!WATER WATER WATER!!!!!!!
    • Before you even plug in your machine for the first time, make sure you read our water usage guide, linked here, and ensure you are using soft water. 
  •  Backflush your machine
  • Purge your steam wand
    • Before and after each use, run 2-3 seconds of steam through the steam wand. This will clear out most milk residue and prevent the dreaded "corndog" steam wand tip and keep your steamer in optimal condition. 
      • If your steam wand is already too far gone, use our milk frother cleaner to remove stubborn milk and calcium stains. 
  • Clean your portafilter
    • It is amazing what can build up underneath the filter basket, the portafilter should be soaked in a mix of hot water and cleaning powder once a month to prevent oil build up and clean off leftover coffee scum. (if your coffee ever tastes gritty or rancid, this is probably why)
  • Perform routine service and maintenance
  • Use your machine often
    • Espresso machines are more common to cars than home appliances. If a machine sits for too long or is not used frequently enough, the internals can become sized or priming issues may occur. To prevent this run your machine at least once a week and if it is going to be stored or unused for extended periods, shut it down correctly to avoid issues. 

Now onto the "Dont's" 

  • Do not use improperly treated water
  • Do not leave coffee grounds in the portafilter
    • Leaving coffee grounds in the portafilter after making a shot of espresso is a surefire way to gunk up your grouphead and clog your three way valve. 
  • Do not leave milk residue on your steam wand
    • It is crucial that all milk residue is wiped from the steam wand as quickly as possible. If milk is left on the steam wand it dry and harden which will clog the steam tip holes. 
  • Do not neglect your machine
    • Do not let broken or worn parts stay broken for too long. While a leaky vacuum valve is a non issue for a short while, if left unchecked for months it can cause permanent damage to electronics and other much more costly components.
  • Do not expect the machine to make a perfect coffee
    • Espresso machines are similar to stand mixers, they give the ability to make a perfect cake/espresso but the user and ingredients make a much bigger impact on the final result. If you have trouble making a good shot or creating that perfect micro-foam, contact us and we will be happy to assist you or we can even schedule a demo to get your machine perfectly dialed in. 

We hope you enjoyed this guide and we know it contains a lot of information. If you need assistance or clarification on any of the tips listed above, please contact us and a solutions expert will be happy to assist you. We also highly recommend to check out all of the resources on our "Pro Tips" page so you can have as much knowledge as possible when it comes to owning and maintaining an espresso machine and grinder.