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Clean & Descale



There is always great excitement, eagerness and happiness whenever we bought a new personal effect, and this goes the same when purchasing a new espresso machine.   Acquired an espresso machine, it sits at one outstanding location of your house – your beaming pride, an attractive masterpiece, which is at the same time sturdy and performs seamlessly.

The machine works perfectly well in providing that desired coffee extraction, shot and flavour.  But over a period of time, regardless whether it is a mere few months or years, without attention to caring for it, there are bound to be issues.  And one of them is limescale buildup – this often happens when descaling is not done on a regular basis or at all.

Previously, I personally did not believe that there would be limescale accumulation due to the fact that I was using filtered water.  I had the assumption that by using filtered water, there will be 100% non-limescale issue.   So based on this supposition, I was smug about not descaling my espresso machine even though I was using it very often for about 4 months.   And this conjecture of mine was so wrong.  Be it filtered, tap, mineral, or bottled water etcetera, there is still a need to execute machine interior cleaning.

So how did I find out I need to descale?  From the fact that gradually, I realized that though I could make my usual shot (since the machine was working perfectly well, no doubt about it), but gradually, day after day, during that 4 months, the extraction and flavour that I achieved were becoming less rich and balanced.  The tastes of the extraction were either slightly more sour OR bitter.  Meaning that the normally consistent results that I got started to deviate. 

The machine is performing, fresh beans used, balanced coffee dosage, pressure gauge perfect etcetera, these considerations being eliminated, what else could it be?  Hence the only thing to look at will be whether there were limescale buildups.   And after a check, the truth really defeated and stamped my chutzpah to the ground.  There was an accumulation of limescale that was not what I would have expected.  With that amount of buildup, it was not what I could ignore and continue without the action of descaling.

There are a considerable number of descaling formula in the market.  But to ensure effective and reliable descaling, we would recommend the trusted and credible Cafetto Restore Descaler Powder.

Besides descaling, the often neglected portion is the backflushing of the machine group head.  Most people has the thought that each time before executing a new coffee extraction, just doing a flush of the group head with hot water to wash away the adhering particles will suffice.  But in time to come, it does not and will not work this way. 

Every time a coffee extraction is performed, there will be definitely some liquid that would remain in an area of the group head and become dried up. This dried-up liquid is filled with coffee oils.  This waterless particle with the leftover oils, if left unattended, will eventually clog up the group head. As such it is recommended to perform backflush cleaning to keep the shower screen & brew group free from lingering coffee oils (coffee oil leftover is a blocking membrane to fresh flavour extraction). 

All in all, espresso machines require regular maintenance and care, especially on the essential, minute portions of the machine which we tend to think would be of minor priorities.  Still these are the ones which also have the ultimate impact on the final coffee flavour and its level of consistency.  

Espresso machines are great machines to work with.  Thus to use it to the optimal level, you would need to take care of it, like you would care for the persons, things that you treasure. 

For detailed tips on maintenance of espresso machines, you are welcomed to refer to BrewRatio Care and Maintenance.  Most importantly and as BrewRatio always believe in – a fulfilling coffee experience is the one with care and love – so COME SAVOUR the purities, GO FRESH with delight!

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