JUNE 1 is Clean Your Coffee Machine Day : Don’t blame the beans if the machine ain’t clean

With home baristas on the rise and rise in Australia, Merlo’s espresso experts remind everyone to give their coffee machines a “whole latte love” on June 1

Australia is a coffee drinking nation; spending more than $800 million on coffee (that’s not including takeaway coffees or coffees consumed in a café) which means the home barista is a national phenomenon. It also means the excuse “this bad coffee is the result of bad beans” is heard throughout streets and corporate offices everywhere, when in reality, your coffee machine may simply need a little TLC.
The espresso experts at Merlo have declared JUNE 1, National Clean Your Coffee Machine Day; time to give your machine a whole latte love, so it gives you a whole latte lattes.
Dean Merlo knows a thing or two about cleaning a coffee machine. His dad Gino introduced the very first espresso machine to Queensland in 1958, and Dean established the first torrefazione – an Italian style roasting house – in Fortitude Valley in 1996. Merlo has since grown into one of the country’s leading espresso coffee companies. “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 4 to 6 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!”
“Without regular, simple cleaning, you could be in for unnecessary spending. 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,” he said. “With Merlo’s Bean of the Month in June the Yemen Sanani Mocca (and in July, the Panama Don Pachi Estate Geisha), it’s a great time to clean and be ready for a new blend.”
So on SATURDAY, JUNE 1 – clean your coffee machine! A full PDF of instructions can be found at www.merlo.com.au, with the top tips below:
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 4-6 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 1 litre of water and either 50mL of liquid descaler or 1 Cleancaf descaler tablet (espresso machine cleaner – both available for purchase at Merlo and merlo.com.au)
  • 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

BarMerlo’s can be found at:

  • barmerlo qut: Level 1, X Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus
  • barmerlo george st: 239 George Street, Brisbane
  • barmerlo market st: 10 Market Street, Brisbane {closed temporarily until mid Feb 2012}
  • barmerlo queen st: 344 Queen Street, Brisbane
  • barmerlo uq: SS&H Library, Duhig Building, UQ St Lucia Campus, St Lucia
  • barmerlo riverside: Riverside Centre Foyer, 123 Eagle Street
  • barmerlo southbank:  Southbank Institute of Technology, 66 Ernest St, Southbank
  • barmerlo Brisbane Domestic: Brisbane Domestic Airport,  Arrivals Level opposite JetStar check-in
  • barmerlo International airport: Brisbane International Airport, Departure & Check-in L4

Merlo Torrefaziones (roasting houses) are at:

  • bowen hills torrefazione: 10 Thompson Street, Bowen Hills
  • fortitude valley torrefazione:  104 McLachlan St, Fortitude Valley
  • paddington torrefazione: 1/78 Latrobe Tce, Paddington
  • southport torrefazione: Ferry Rd Markets, 107 Ferry Rd, Southport

·         springfield torrefazione: Orion Springfield Town Centre, Springfield Lakes

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