How to clean your grinder and how often you clean your grinder are an essential part of the espresso making process but are often neglected.
In this article I aim to give you a little guidance into how often you should clean your grinder and what you should do to clean it. I have decided to keep this at the basic level where you are not pulling the grinder completely apart, which should only be done by an experienced person.
When dealing with grinders of coffee beans you will mostly be dealing with the buildup of oils as the main thing to be cleaned. This is the most obvious in the dosing chamber (where the ground coffee gets caught) and in the hopper on the top where the beans sit.
These oils will go rancid over time which will affect the flavour of your coffee in a bad way so let’s talk about getting rid of those oils.
Cleaning can be done is 2 ways:
1) On a set time schedule, such as once a week, this will be determined on the volume of coffee you go through as the higher the volume the more often it should be cleaned.
2) By visual appearance: once you notice the build up of oils on the surfaces start then you should clean the areas as required.
How to clean the hopper:
There is no excuse for having a hopper caked in coffee oils and remember if you can see it so can your customers!
I recommend that you wipe out the hopper with a strong paper towel between each refill of coffee beans, this will help reduce the build up for a start and can reduce the amount of times you need to remove to fully clean.
When it is time to remove and clean the hopper the following steps will help guide you:
a) Turn off the power to the grinder at the wall and unplug.
b) At the end of service shut off the slide at the base of the hopper to stop any beans spilling all over the place when you lift the hopper from the grinder and empty any remaining beans into an appropriate airtight container or bag.
c) Remove beans in the top of the grinder, you will need to scoop these out. MAKE SURE POWER IS DISCONNECTED
d) Vacuum out the remaining beans and residue from the top of the grinder blades.
e) Wash the hopper using warm water and mild detergent to removes oils from all surfaces and lid. Please handle carefully as you can break the plastic. Place somewhere safe to dry overnight or make sure the hopper is completely dry before placing on to grinder.
f) Once completely dry replace on to the grinder and refill with beans open slide to allow beans to fall into the grinder.
g) Replug the power point in switch on and test.
How to clean the dosing chamber:
Being the place where the ground coffee builds up you will most likely find that this will get stained more quickly. Some dosing chambers have screwed on tops so may need a couple of screws removed before you can access the chamber. Once again if you are not comfortable with doing this seek someone who can.
Steps to clean the dosing Chamber:
a) empty dosing chamber using the dosing handle
b) access the top of the chamber and vacuum any residue away
c) Use a hot damp cloth to wipe down the internal sides of the dosing chamber.
d) Dry out the sides with a lint free cloth. Make sure the chamber is completely dry before grinding coffee.
What about CLEANING my grinder blades?
The easy way to clean the grinder blades without pulling then apart is to use the Cafetto Grinder Clean which is cereal based pellets designed to be ground through the blades to remove residues of oil and odours.
How to use: Generally once a month is all that is required, with one 750g jar giving you 10 doses on smaller grinders.
Empty grinder hopper of all coffee, 1 capful for small grinders or 2 for larger grinders is added to the empty hopper. Adjust the grind to a medium setting (please take note of where your grinder is set before doing this) and grind the product through. Empty out the doser and brush any residue from the grinder and doser. Re-season the grinder by adding beans and grinding some off. Next reset the grinder back to the coffee setting and you are good to go.
Check out my blog for http://www.coffeeandequip.co.nz/new-grinder-cleaner-has-arrived more on the Cafetto grinder clean
That’s it, nice and easy ways to keep that grinder looking sparkling and making sure those oil residues don’t taint your coffee.
All the best
Coffee and Equipment
Servicing Central Otago, Queenstown, Wanaka, Timaru, Oamaru, South Canterbury, Te Anau, West Coast