By Michael Flinn.
This is a question that should be on the lips of all café owners and baristas.
Regular cleaning of your espresso machine’s shower screen will improve water flow, minimise channelling and as a result, extract a cleaner shot. Even with regular back flushing, coffee will continue to build up in and around the group head and shower screen, causing your cup to taste over extracted and bitter.
In our experience, many service call outs can be avoided by simple maintenance that you, the café owner or barista, can perform. When our customers have issues regarding the taste of their shots, the first question we ask is ‘Have you showered lately?’. If we know that they have, it makes troubleshooting much easier.
In a bid to put the ownership and control back into your hands, our team in Canberra ran a campaign for three weeks aimed at educating and reiterating the importance of regular showering.
At each delivery, Jimmy, our driver, would ask ‘Have you showered lately?’. Nine of 29 customers knew nothing about the importance of cleaning the shower screen and assumed it was simply replaced at the time of service. Six of our customers cleaned their screen every two weeks, whilst the remainder of customers did it daily, or at least a few times a week.
Equipped with spare shower screens and a handful of stubby flat head screwdrivers, Jimmy replaced 18 showers across eight machines during the three-week campaign.
We recommend cleaning the shower screen daily. And, it’s super easy!
2. Either wipe or rinse the shower screen under hot water. At least once a week (more often if you’re doing larger volumes) pop the shower screen into Cafetto solution for a really deep clean.
3. Wipe down the group head, particularly around the seals to remove extra coffee grinds
4. Re-install shower screen
5. Be wary of split edges, its a good idea to keep a couple of screens handy
‘Such an easy way to ensure consistency’ – Tim from Shabby Attic
‘I couldn’t believe how filthy these get’ – Gaz from Mingle Espresso Bar
‘Feels good to know I can have an impact on my quality’ – Paul from Plumb on Tennant