Q: I have a question for the Canadian Barista Institute.
We are not sure about cleaning our espresso machine in our cafe.
I remember that in the barista course you recommended cleaning the machine with the cleaning powder at the end of every day.
The dealer that we rent the espresso machine from said it wasn't necessary due to our "hard water" in this area?
Does harder water mean less cleaning?
Surely it would mean more?
Many thanks, A student from Manitoba
A: This is awkward for us to answer as it might sound like we are saying the dealer doesn't know what they are talking about.
Here is what most manufacturers require as a minimum of standards.
"The installation of the water softener is mandatory when the coffee machine is fed with water whose hardness rate is higher than 3 grains per gallon (50 parts per million). The installation of the water sediment filter is always mandatory. When the pressure of the water line is greater than 6 bar, it is necessary to install a pressure reducer before the espresso machine."
If you have hard water, the dealer should recommend a water softener and filter system. With that in place hard water doesn't play a part in this scenario.
In other words, after using your machine it will be dirty. It needs to be cleaned regularly!
Treat your espresso machine like it's a blender. You wouldn't say, I only use the blender a few times a day so I don't need to clean it right ?
If you are not using a water softener and or filter system, then you should revisit that decision with the manufacturer/dealer to ensure you are following their recommended guidelines for water. Make certain you are not voiding your warranty, and follow their recommended guidelines for water quality.