Coffee machine maintenance is very important!
I've just spent the last hour or so doing some much needed maintenance on my coffee machine.
It's generally recommended to descale your coffee machine once a month, more frequently if you live in an area with hard water.
The area I live in the water hardness is like 440mg of dissolved solids so extremely hard, this is why we use bottled water with only 60mg of dissolved solids for our coffee machine and kettle, Much less scale and also makes better drinks.
Water hardness effects coffee brewing
Water hardness can effect how your coffee brews, dissolved calcium carbonate or the other variants that make water hard can act as a buffer against acidity in coffee, So if you are looking for a more acidic note if coffee you'll have to adjust for your water.
It's a complicated topic but generally you can easily work with whatever water you have and still get good coffee. :D
Maintenance is key!
Maintenance is key, it is very important, as you use your coffee machine coffee residue and particles will build up behind the shower screen and in the solenoid valve. This effects your machines performance, if the solenoid clogs up it'll not regulate pressure and water flow correctly.
I use Puly Cleaner once a month to descale my machine, it's a pretty simple job but takes about 30-40 mins because you need to leave it to do it's work and then do a good amount of rinsing. That deal's with the boiler and internals cleaning everything up.
To remove the build up coffee residue and particles I also perform a backflush with Puly CAFF.
The art of backflushing.
Backflushing specifically is pretty simple, you need a blank portafilter basket (that's a portafilter basket with no holes) 3 grams of Puly Caff and you are good to go.
Insert the portafilter with Puly Caff in the blank basket, turn on the pump and let it fully pressurize for 10 seconds, these machines have built in overpressure valves so nothing will explode. :D
After 10 seconds turn the pump of and water will come blasting out of the pressure dump system along with all that coffee residue and particles, Repeat 5 times, remove and clean portafilter and re insert it into the machine, Now we do the same but with only water no more Puly caff and we rinse out the pressure dump system, again fully pressurize for 10 seconds and release, repeat 5 times.
This will clean the shower head, the solenoid valve as well as the pressure dump system. Keeping your machine healthy and performing at it's best.
Puly Caff recommends backflushing after every use. We don't do that because we are very heavy users having many coffees a day. we'd be spending 90% of our time at the coffee machine constantly cleaning :D
We do however try to remember to backflush every night or in the morning the next day before we use the machine.
Anyways I'm going to end the post here as it's getting very long!
Make sure you take care of your coffee equipment and it'll continue to perform at it's best and provide you with great coffee!
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