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Thread: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

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    Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    What cleaning, maintenance, and brewing accessories would you recommend for someone just starting out in espresso? *Assuming they have a decent espresso machine and grinder, what else would you recommend? *Im specifically looking for good brands. *(Also, Im thinking from a lever-machine perspective; pump-driven machines may require additional or fewer items.) *Please help me build a shopping list, or tell me what Ive listed that isnt really necessary.


    - tamper (Pullman or other such quality manufacturer)
    - digital scale (I already have a Satrue)
    - knock box (I have a Grindenstein)
    - Pällo group head brush
    - Jo Glo cleaning detergent
    - Steamy Wanda steam wand brush
    - tamping mat
    - Motta steaming pitcher
    - citric acid
    - Dow 111 lubricant

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Gday SR,
    Off the top of my head, here are some additions to your list:-
    - Blind filter
    - tea towells
    - sponge
    - pastry brush

    If your espresso machine has a 3 way valve, then a blind filter is a must for doing backflushes, either with or without the Jo Glo.
    A tea towell for cleaning around inside the group head, and the sponge for wiping the steam tip.
    A bristle pastry brush for cleaning your grinder.
    Im sure that theres a few other things, but thats all I can think of now.
    Steve.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    - 2 x microfibre cloths: one damp for steam wand wiping and one dry for wiping out filter baskets. Perhaps this is what Steve had in mind for the teatowels but microfibre is a bit kinder to stainless steel.

    - A plastic container for holding leftover grounds in the grinder. I use these for a seasoning shot after a detergent backflush

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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    My two cents: a thermometer and a measured shot glass. Both very helpful for beginners.

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F35203737382C2A590 link=1244818572/2#2 date=1244856065
    A plastic container for holding leftover grounds *in the grinder. I use these for a seasoning shot after a detergent backflush
    Great tip Flynn, also some medication for you friends and family who are going to wonder what the heck has come over you ;D

    Chris

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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Cafetto is a great espresso machine cleaner - both the normal and the organic versions. The organic version seems to be a little easier on the grease in the e61 cam, whilst still getting the thing clean.

    An empty spray bottle is worthwhile buying. You can dissolve a few spoons of cafetto into some hot or near boiling water in a jug and then keep the resultant solution in the spray bottle. Do this in a sink, as cafetto is a cleaner that foams up. A quick spray of the cafetto solution into cups after you have finished with them keeps the coffee from staining on them. This is particularly important for me because my espresso machine is near its own sink, but is a long trek from the nearest dishwasher, so I tend to let the cups stack up in the sink and take them to the dishwasher in big batches. The cafetto spray can also be used to plough through pretty much any coffee stains, but it does leave streaks, so you may need to go over with a streak-free cleaner. I use the spray on things like french presses and I have also started spraying the outside of my filter baskets and the inside of my portafilter with it to give those parts a quick wipe down.

    I dont really understand tamping mats. They dont help you to tamp a portafilter with a single spout and they dont keep the spouts clean. The cafelat tamping stand is my preferred solution. If you want a tamping mat, the cafelat tamping mat is probably better than the others on the market, seeing as it features a lip that goes over the edge of the table, so you can tamp against the edge of the table.

    Different cloths for different purposes are essential. You probably want to have two or three microfibre cloths for the steam wand so that you can have a clean one to use whilst the others are in the wash. I bought a few cafetto microfibre cloths about four years ago. They were neither cheap, nor exorbitantly expensive, but they have stood the test of time. You might also like to have a separate microfibre cloth for polishing various chromed doodads. I have a bunch of cheap tea towels for wiping out baskets so that I dont mess them up with better quality tea towels. There are a few nifty little hooks that fit around the leg of your espresso machine to hold the towel for your basket, so I use one of those. If you like your cups to stay hot, you might like to have a tea towel to keep over them, in which case you might want to buy something that you can stand to have draped over the top of your machine for extended time periods.

    You will need to have all of the tools that you need to maintain your machine. Make sure that you have the right screwdriver to remove your shower screen and, perhaps, dispersion block. You might also need an Allen key to get into your machine, as well as wrenches appropriate to the fittings. If you are going to venture too far into your machine, which is always at your own risk, you might find teflon tape to be useful in making sure that the humpty dumpty fits back together again.

    Some people like to sit their grinder on a big tray to collect all of the stray ground coffee. Some people also use vacuum cleaners and cans of air to deal with it. A toothbrush is useful for cleaning out the threads on the burr carrier of your grinder if and when you pull it apart to clean it.

    Brands-wise, I dont think that the motta pitchers are worthwhile spending extra money on - the cheaper, thinner pitchers such as the trenton and incasa brands are all good. There are a lot of nice tampers out there. I have a few different ones, like reg barber, coffeelab, espro, greg pullman barista and la marzocco and all of those are pretty good.

    Hope that helps,

    Luca

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A435557360 link=1244818572/5#5 date=1244950359
    An empty spray bottle is worthwhile buying.You can dissolve a few spoons of cafetto into some hot or near boiling water in a jug and then keep the resultant solution in the spray bottle.Do this in a sink, as cafetto is a cleaner that foams up.A quick spray of the cafetto solution into cups after you have finished with them keeps the coffee from staining on them.
    I have to try this.
    Thanks Luca.

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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Hi Luca,

    Where would one get their hands on a cafelat tamping stand? Its the only piece of inventory that is missing for me.

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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. *So far, my list looks like this (Ill be using a lever machine and either a Turkish hand grinder or a Japanese ceramic-bladed one, so some things may look strange or be omitted):

    - tamper (Pullman or other such quality manufacturer)
    - digital scale (I already have a Satrue)
    - knock box (I have a Grindenstein)
    - Pällo group head brush
    - Joe Glo cleaning detergent
    - Steamy Wanda steam wand brush
    - Motta steaming pitcher
    - citric acid
    - Dow 111 lubricant
    - microfiber cloths/towels
    - thermometer

    Im actually thinking about ordering Orphan Espressos "Big Kahuna" cleaning kit.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    You have a good list
    I use this Rattleware measuring glass with twin spouts
    Very good for pouring shots in a Thermos
    Or making a pour over the steamed milk latte



    KK


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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    how slowrain, mate looks like you have just about every piece of coffee equipment. Just remember your coffee is only as good as the person making it, not necessarily the equipment. ;)
    Make sure you get some good lessons preferably with your own machine if possible, then keep practicing! ;D

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    Re: Espresso: What Cleaning, Maintenance, and Brewing Accessories?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Sorry for the confusion. *I only own a few of those items so far. *Im trying to put together a shopping list for myself, and hopefully have some sort of list sitting around on this website in case someone else has a similar request.




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