Don’t blame the beans if the machine ain’t clean…
With Australia’s continued love of coffee driving the number of home baristas to record levels, Merlo’s espresso experts have announced that Saturday August 1 is the annual Clean Your Coffee Machine Day – a timely reminder to give your machine the care and attention it deserves.
It’s official. Australia is a coffee drinking nation, and its coffee drinkers have taken their love of the bean into their homes – we have become a country of home-based baristas in a few short years. According to Roy Morgan Research, the increase in people who own coffee makers has shot up, from 28% in 2009 to 36% in 2013, and this trend continues to head north.
Merlo Chief Executive Officer James Wilkinson said the impulsion to re-create the café coffee experience at home was wonderful news for the national palate, but warned that home baristas must clean their machine annually to ensure coffee beans are treated with the care they require.
“Increasingly we have home-baristas coming asking for advice on their home coffee machines, saying their coffee has started to taste different. In 99 per cent of cases, it’s a result of the machine simply needing a clean,” he said. “Because of this, Merlo has announced AUGUST 1 as Clean Your Coffee Machine Day, the one day a year when all home coffee machine owners should give their machine some love.”
Merlo has created a Clean Your Coffee Machine page on their website, complete with full instructions, a “how-to” video and is offering 15 per cent off all Cafetto cleaning products for Friends of Merlo* throughout July in readiness for the national coffee cleanout.
“Deciding to become a home barista comes with responsibilities, and cleaning your coffee machine is the biggest one,” said Mr Wilkinson. “A machine needs cleaning after every use, as well as a descale every 6 months. It’s simple and you’ll notice the difference to the quality and taste of coffee.”
“If you take the title of home barista seriously, 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.
*Friends of Merlo – membership is free online.
Signs that your machine is overdue for a clean:
• The coffee takes 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 ‘descale your coffee machine:
1. 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)
2. Run a brew cycle through the machine until the water tank is empty
3. 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
4. Refill water tank with clean water only (do not add descaler) and repeat cycle
5. To ensure the taste of cleaning products doesn’t carry onto your next cups of coffee, brew three cups of coffee, and dispose immediately
*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.
After every use:
6. Purge the steam wand before & after steaming milk: to expel condensation, and to expel milk
7. 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
8. Wipe down steam wand
At the end of a busy day:
9. 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
10. Remove baskets from handles, trays from machine and hand wash gently. If handles are stained, clean with scourer
11. Wrap clean cloth around steam wand and turn on to loosen any old milk and wipe clean
The team at Merlo know a thing or two about cleaning a coffee machine. From bringing the first espresso coffee machine in to Brisbane in 1958 and introducing street-side dining in the 1980’s, Merlo has grown to become Australia’s largest independently owned and operated coffee roaster. Today Merlo owns and operates 12 of its own cafes and supplies freshly roasted coffee to over 1,000 cafes and restaurants (i.e. wholesale) around Australia. Merlo also ships coffee online to customers throughout the country and overseas. Merlo is proudly Queensland-based.