I am a proponent of having a clean machine as the oils from the coffee build up in the group heads and can affect the taste profile of the coffee you serve in a very negative way.
So to avoid this issue we need establish how often your machine should be back flushed with the commercial espresso cleaner.
This is dependant on the amount of use your coffee machine has, in a busy café doing 5+ kilos per week I would recommend cleaning with the chemical each day at the end of service. When you drop below this to say 2 to 5 kilo a week, every other day should be enough. And finally if there are very low amounts of coffee going through in a week then once per week will do.
A couple of things to note, you can check if you are cleaning enough by removing the group head and inspecting the shower screen, during service I would expect to see coffee staining that can be wiped clean. If there is a build up of coffee starting to clog the holes and is solid and difficult to remove then I would say the machine is not being back flushed enough with the espresso cleaner to remove all residues. Please note if you don’t know how to get the group heads out then seek some help from someone that does, I check my customers shower screens when changing head seals and advise based on what I find.
Another tip I will give is that regardless of if you are a busy site or quiet site, you can back flush your group head with just water to help keep it clean, this is what I advise doing during service throughout the day when there is quiet patch, or daily for those that won’t be using the espresso cleaner that often. This won’t clear all the residues like the coffee machine cleaner but it will help flush away the fresh coffee oils.
In terms of what commercial espresso cleaner I would recommend, I like to use one that you only have to use small amounts of, and a brand that has a couple of options like a phosphate free cleaner or a standard cleaner. I personally supply Cafetto cleaning products to our customers as the range is fantastic and it works extremely well. Here is a link to Cafetto products we stock.
So to keep your machine clean the amount you back flush with a chemical will be determined by your own use of coffee, but as long as you are post flushing well with just water after cleaning with the shampoo I don’t think you can over clean your machine.
So go on ‘keep it clean’ and give your coffee the best chance of being at its best.
Servicing Central Otago, Queenstown, Wanaka, Timaru, Oamaru, South Canterbury, Te Anau, West Coast