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Coffee 101: How to Back-Flush your Espresso Machine

Coffee-101-How-to-Back-Flush-your-Espresso-Machine Coffee Machine Depot
Running a successful coffee shop means more than just brewing great coffee—it requires meticulous care and maintenance of your coffee machines. At Coffee Machine Depot, we understand the importance of keeping your equipment in top shape to ensure consistent quality and longevity. That's why we've launched our "Coffee 101" series, designed to equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to keep your machines running smoothly. In this post, we’ll cover the essentials: backflushing machines, changing filters, and performing 6-12 month preventative maintenance. 

1. Backflushing Machines

Backflushing is a crucial cleaning process that removes coffee oil residue and debris from the group head, shower screen, and three-way valve of your espresso machine. Here's how you can backflush your machine:
Step-by-Step Guide:
  1. Insert the Blind Filter: Replace the regular filter basket with a blind (solid) filter in your portafilter.
  2. Add Cleaning Solution: Add about a half of a teaspoon of cafiza to the blind filter.
  3. Start the Cycle: Engage the group head as if you were pulling a shot of espresso. Let it run for 10 seconds.
  4. Pause and Repeat: Stop the shot manually, wait for 10 seconds, and then repeat the process 4-5 times. 
  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Remove the portafilter, run the cycle for 20 seconds, with just water to ensure all cleaning solution is flushed out.
Frequency: Backflush your machine daily if you have high usage, or at least once a week for lower usage.
  Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder 900g | Discount Cream

2. Changing Filters

Water quality plays a significant role in the taste of your coffee and the health of your machine. Over time, filters can become clogged with minerals and impurities, which can affect both. Here’s how to change your filters:
Step-by-Step Guide:
  1. Turn Off the Machine: Ensure the machine is turned off and unplugged to avoid any accidents.
  2. Locate the Filter: Find the water filter, usually located in the water reservoir or the water line.
  3. Remove the Old Filter: Carefully remove the old filter and dispose of it properly. 
  4. Install the New Filter: Insert the new filter, ensuring it’s securely in place.
  5. Run Water: Run water through the machine for a few minutes to flush out any loose carbon or debris from the new filter.
Frequency: Replace your water filters every 3-6 months, depending on usage and water hardness.

3. 6-12 Month Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding costly repairs and downtime. Here’s what you should do every 6-12 months:
Check the Machine’s Parts:
  1. Inspect Gaskets and Seals: Look for wear and tear on gaskets and seals and replace them if needed.
  2. Clean the Boiler: Descale the boiler to remove mineral buildup that can affect performance.
  3. Examine Electrical Components: Ensure all electrical parts are functioning properly and show no signs of damage.
  4. Lubricate Moving Parts: Lubricate any moving parts to ensure smooth operation.
Professional Servicing: Consider hiring a professional technician for a comprehensive check-up and servicing of your machine. This can include deep cleaning, calibration, and replacement of worn-out parts. 
Frequency: Perform a thorough check every 6 months for high-use machines and annually for lower-use machines. 
We're starting a new series on our youtube channel focused on providing coffee shop owners with the proper tools to keep their shop running smoothly. To learn more about backflushing your machine, watch our latest youtube video: "Discover the Secret: Back-flush Your Espresso Machine."
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