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Thread: How do cafes treat their grinders?

  1. #1
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    How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    As the fairly new owner of a Macap M4D, I proudly clean the machine out every day after finishing what has become the daily coffee making ritual. *
    I use a paintbrush and the vacuum to get out every possible little grind, so that theres nothing to taint my coffee the next day.

    I dont know how necessary that is, but I like to think that my grinder is as clean as I can get it.

    I have been wondering whether many/ any cafes go through this grinder cleaning procedure at the end of each day. *I have spoken to a few places about their grinder procedure, but they havent really been too concerned about it... As far as theyre concerned, you put the coffee in, grind it up and thats as complex as it needs to be!

    So if thats the case, I have my doubts about them cleaning out the old coffee of an evening...

    Does anybody know what "generally" goes on here?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    I cant say "generally" but at the place I worked at as far as I know they didnt clean out the grinder in the few weeks that I was there.

    There were a few things they did or didnt do that CSers would not be happy with.

  3. #3
    A_M
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    I cleaned a couple of Rossi units the other day...

    Owner uses a brush etc at the end of teh day and gets inside teh hopper ans uses a cloth to clean it as well a wash on occasions; so that it is clean to load for the next morning..

    He was voicing concerns as to his grind settings and the quality og teh ground beans..

    He dropped then around (back of a moped) and I took the upper burrs out and showed him the caked and compressed gunk..

    Err 12 months worth of stuff... It was horrible and he was also shocked. Never shown and was told, its OK to adjust the grind but do not touch any thing else.

    The burrs were also that blunt, you could ride to china on them... He grunted and said that all this would explain the issues he was having.

    New burrs on ORDER ASAP and he wants me to show him how to fit. He is also looking a removing the top burr every month and clean.. But did not think he could use a compressor in his little hole in the wall and blow coffee grinds every where.

    I told him he should get on and as he has lots of bike riders ... Make it acceassable and with the right fittings and teh bike riders will love him even more ;)

    Quality.

    Problem = Opportunity ;)



  4. #4
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 475A5E424F595E4B582A0 link=1271111678/0#0 date=1271111678
    So if thats the case, I have my doubts about them cleaning out the old coffee of an evening...
    If you are after good coffee then no, what you are doing is right.

    A Cimbali I picked that wasnt cleaned:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1241643673/26#26

    I got a Mazzer yesterday, no where near as bad but I could still smell the old coffee in it.

    At home I think that you could get away with once a week but in a cafe I think a quick vac once a day should be done.
    You should clean your coffee machine so why shouldnt you clean your grinder?

  5. #5
    A_M
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A392B2B2F3921580 link=1271111678/3#3 date=1271116744
    You should clean your coffee machine so why shouldnt you clean your grinder?
    giggled like a schoolgirl...

    Ya ever seen the way some do NOT even clean or back-flush their machines...


    Besides a vac and or a brush etc only gets the loose stuff... If ya have oily beans etc and or a busy grinder etc the compacted stuff will only be removed by physical interaction.. That means taking burrs out and that will be an adjustment or two to get it back.

    Some owners just do not have teh ability.

  6. #6
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Hmmmmm. It sounds like I was at least a little justified in my assumption that there are a fair amount of cafe owners who dont know *a great deal about what goes into making a good coffee...

    Sigh. How disappointing. I was hoping that wasnt the case...

    Good to hear that the cafe owner AngerManagement dealt with was trying to find an answer though.

    Like they say: Knowledge is power *;)

  7. #7
    A_M
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F42465A5741465340320 link=1271111678/5#5 date=1271117057
    Sigh. How disappointing. I was hoping that wasnt the case...
    Have a look at my KLIIB rebuild post... Best guess is never even a chemical back flush in at least 6 months or more.

    Take a look at the pics. The shower screen was OK but the build up of oil took me hrs to clean.

    Maybe they just replaced seals and shower screens every couple of months..

  8. #8
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 667B7F636E787F6A790B0 link=1271111678/0#0 date=1271111678
    what "generally" goes on here?
    and to answer your Topic question BADLY :( I had a look around my little town a while back and grinders in particular are mistreated, full hoppers and dosing chambers from day to day or even week to week :o, badly adjusted, broken covers and dosers .....

    How should you treat your grinder? what your doing now is more than even most snobs ;)

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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 627F7B676A7C7B6E7D0F0 link=1271111678/5#5 date=1271117057
    Hmmmmm. It sounds like I was at least a little justified in my assumption that there are a fair amount of cafe owners who dont know *a great deal about what goes into making a good coffee...
    What, because they dont vacuum out their grinders every night? Fair shake of the sauce bottle ::)

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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    I promise Im not as much of a snob as you might think bjeck14.

    The reason for my question was because I dont know a huge amount about whats acceptable or not when making coffee/ maintaining equipment in a commercial environment. I clean my domestic grinder every day, but only started doing this because I figured too clean is better than not clean enough. It was a big investment and I wanted to get the best out of it.

    Having said that, Id like to think that cafes, who probably make a fair whack of their daily takings from coffee, are putting a little thought and effort into making sure they arent selling something thats of a mediocre standard.

    I would be devastated if my cafe was selling bitter coffee, made from dirty machinery. That is the business that these people are in. I dont see it as too much to ask that the coffee I pay for comes from machinery that is as clean as it reasonably can be.

    I say this in the nicest possible way *:) - If a cafe owner/ manager doesnt understand that the grind of the coffee and the cleanliness of the machinery makes a difference to the quality of their product, I dont think its all that unreasonable to question their understanding of coffee. I picked that much up from this site, even before I did barista training. *

    At the end of the day, it hasnt been too much effort for me to clean my grinder regularly, so surely it wouldnt be too much of a problem for a cafe to do it too?

  11. #11
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 534E4A565B4D4A5F4C3E0 link=1271111678/9#9 date=1271121472
    so surely it wouldnt be too much of a problem for a cafe to do it too?
    Have a read here in case you havnt seen it too :P http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1269912471

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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Mazz, this is not about being a snob. I dont have any experience in a commerical environment either, and cleaning your domestic grinder every day definitely cant hurt. But when you are making a link between getting rid of a few grams of coffee and a mediocre standard of service, thats a tad extreme. I dont think youll find a cafe doing 20kg+ selling bitter coffee due to 5g left in a chute.

    I would hardly imagine that you or I could tell the difference between a cafe grinder that has been cleaned the night before (say vacuumed and wiped) and one that hasnt been cleaned for a month. I would much prefer the cafe to be spending time getting to know their blend better, experimenting with new techniques, creating better relationships with farmers, etc etc than cleaning a grinder daily.

    None the less, if you keep your grinder happy and clean, its a good thing!

  13. #13
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 38303F39316B6E5A0 link=1271111678/11#11 date=1271123372
    I would hardly imagine that you or I could tell the difference between a cafe grinder that has been cleaned the night before (say vacuumed and wiped) and one that hasnt been cleaned for a month.
    So is a month too long for a business?
    Weekly?
    kg volume based schedule?

  14. #14
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    End of trade daily. *Brushed out, vacuumed & all accessible surfaces wiped with a damp cloth. *If you put your nose into an uncleaned hopper the next morning you will smell the rancidity. * If I walk into a cafe & see a "high tide" mark in the grinder hopper I walk straight out.

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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    make the kitchen staffs coffees with the first ground coffee of the shift... simple :)

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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    The biggest problem with the grinders is not the accessible dust and oils orround the outlet shutes or the hoppers or dosers, it is the buildup of dust grinds and oils arround the burr sets. This is most apparent on the ground side of the burr set (as opposed to the bean side of the burr set). The only way of getting into this area is normally to pull the machine apart. It takes about 5-10 minutes and can be done either weekly or monthly. It is a bit of a tedious job to do daily.

  17. #17
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 40484741491316220 link=1271111678/11#11 date=1271123372
    Mazz, this is not about being a snob. I dont have any experience in a commerical environment either, and cleaning your domestic grinder every day definitely cant hurt. But when you are making a link between getting rid of a few grams of coffee and a mediocre standard of service, thats a tad extreme. I dont think youll find a cafe doing 20kg+ selling bitter coffee due to 5g left in a chute.

    I would hardly imagine that you or I could tell the difference between a cafe grinder that has been cleaned the night before (say vacuumed and wiped) and one that hasnt been cleaned for a month. I would much prefer the cafe to be spending time getting to know their blend better, experimenting with new techniques, creating better relationships with farmers, etc etc than cleaning a grinder daily.

    None the less, if you keep your grinder happy and clean, its a good thing!
    Great response!

    At home, you might make a handful of coffees per day, so throwing out a doubles worth of coffee is actually a fairly significant dent in your coffee. *In a cafe, any ground coffee left in the chute is going to be thrown out in the first few shots used to dial in the machine in the morning.

    That said, I really have to question how much leftover crap there is in grinders that can be dislodged, anyway. *I have done this experiment a few times with a macap M4D: dial in a clean espresso blend, purge that espresso blend out, replace with decaf, make a shot of decaf, purge the decaf out, replace with espresso blend, make a shot of espresso. *Result? *The first espresso shot after the decaf has a distinct earthy decaf taste. *Or you can try switching from one grind setting to another - the first shot after the grind change wont be the same as the second and third.

    I suspect that most shots from most grinders probably contain a bit of coffee from the last shot ground on that grinder. *To the extent that this has a significant impact on taste, cafes are at the advantage that it will probably not have sat there for as long. *Unfortunately, for people making coffee at home it implies that making a shot with 100% freshly ground coffee requires purging some ground coffee from the grinder, regardless of any brushing out that you might do.

    Ive got to say that if the grinder doesnt look dirty and the coffee tastes good, whats the problem? And if the coffee in a cafe tastes bad, (a) is it really likely to be because of the cleaning of the grinder as opposed to the million other variables under their control and (b) in any case, do I really care why it tastes bad?

    Cheers,
    Luca

  18. #18
    A_M
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E776163020 link=1271111678/16#16 date=1271164661
    Ive got to say that if the grinder doesnt look dirty and the coffee tastes good, whats the problem? *And if the coffee in a cafe tastes bad, (a) is it really likely to be because of the cleaning of the grinder as opposed to the million other variables under their control and (b) in any case, do I really care why it tastes bad?
    Yes and NO.


    1: It is one of the easer variables; to manage and control.... Quality has to start some where.

    2: A clean hopper at the end of the shift and maybe a brush out... Allows the operator to also gauge how much [s]carp[/s] crap might be in the system.

    3: A bi monthly or monthly dismantle and inspection is a few minutes and will clearly show you if ya got an issue with build up and or worn burrs..

    Or are we to agree that a crushing / mashing action is as good as sharp burrs..

    A couple of simple steps that provide feedback as to the performance of ya equipment and may add to the overall consistency of the product.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E776163020 link=1271111678/16#16 date=1271164661
    That said, I really have to question how much leftover crap there is in grinders that can be dislodged, anyway.
    To some extent I agree.. Yes the build up gets thick and becomes like a hard putty and sometimes like a cement. *So... All it does is restrict the flow rate and a minor infusion for the first coffee or two..

    However it is even more basic..

    A: After the end of the shift... The beans should not be left or another bag added to fill the hopper.. *You see this all the time.. Long weekend and the shop is shutting and they are topping up the hoppers for work in 4 days time...

    Jus do an unofficial audit.. Have a look at the grinder hoppers, when the shop is shut and note what you see*:o *

    B: Or as some do... Grind and fill the doser; so that you dont have to wait when the first customers come in of a morning..

    All little things; that are so easy to manage. But are not. *

    My thoughts are that if they can not manage the KISS principle, how can they manage the other more subtle variables that the best of us struggle with.

    Besides.. With out the basic in place how can they even start to spot / control the other issues..


  19. #19
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    My wife and I operate a mobile espresso van business and we have 3 grinders onboard. I vacuum/brush them out daily as well as wipe the hoppers out with a hot, wet towel then hand dry once the beans get low enough/empty at the end of the day. Also brush/vacuum any grounds out of the doser at the end of the day as well as purge all grinders the next morning to ensure freshness. Every time I get a fresh batch of beans (2 weeks give or take) I strip all grinders, clean the burrs, grinding chambers, etc. to like new condition. It does make a difference and anybody that takes coffee seriously, especially on a commercial level should follow similar practices. Later!

  20. #20
    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    How often should the internals - burr set - be cleaned in a domestic situation or more accurately after how many kg ?

    I clean externally daily with a brush/vacuum.

    Does anyone have experience with grindz - the cleaning tablets/granules you put through the grinder ?

    When I had my sunbeam I pulled it apart every 2-4 kg and gave it a good clean. I am a bit reluctant to pull apart the Mazzer, just in case I do something wrong. In any case its still newish (only had about 3kg go through it so far).

  21. #21
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    Re: How do cafes treat their grinders?

    Quote Originally Posted by 70777C7C776666120 link=1271111678/19#19 date=1271196837
    I am a bit reluctant to pull apart the Mazzer
    Dont be scared bennett,

    Remove the locking screw and everything will unwind into your hand. Its easier than doing a Sunbeam.

    Grindz is good- as an interim measure. Set your grinder to coarsest setting when using the tablets or they will pretty much do nothing ;)

    2mcm



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