Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 6:12pm Subject: Cleaning/washing your coffee equipment and cups
I'm curious how all of you clean your cups, FP, drip pot...etc. Does dish soap give any sort of taste? What about just rinsing with hot water? Wouldn't this leave old coffee oils that could affect taste?
Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 7:59am Subject: Re: Cleaning/washing your coffee equipment and cups
Our brewing equipment consists of an AeroPress, Chemex + Kone, Espro Press, a collection of French presses, and a Royal Coffee balance-beam siphon. Each cleans a little differently than the others.
We use dish soap (unscented) and hot water for daily cleanup of all brewing equipment (except for espresso making surfaces), and rinse very thoroughly.
After a few uses, we clean our brewing equipment with whatever espresso cleaner we have on hand -- Cafiza, First Circle or Joe Glo -- which is the only thing which will completely eliminate aromas. The Espro and Royal seem particularly prone to them; but if you don't dissolve coffee oils completely, enough will cling to brewing surface, even after cleaning with soap and water, that they'll eventually give off an odor.
We don't notice a different taste from our stainless and glass bodied presses in terms of brewing (something you asked earlier), but glass doesn't need the Cafiza as often.
Service (cups, saucers, mugs, spoons, creamers, sugar bowls) go into the dishwasher; with the exception of a few pieces which -- for one reason or another -- require hand washing. Sometimes hand-washing (soap, hot-water, dish brush) is more convenient
Espresso machine cleaners are mostly TSP -- or in the case of First Circle, a more ecofriendly but chemically similar equivalent-- and care must be taken to rinse them off very thoroughly.
An espresso machine and brewing surfaces cleaning regimen is worth its own thread. So if you want to, let's do it there.
Other espresso making equipment, like the knock box, grinder catch-tray, drip-tray insert and steaming pitcher are cleaned daily with soap and water. Espresso service is more often hand-washed than not, because it's easier to do small lots in the sink than the dishwasher, since I'm using the sink anyway; and because we use a lot of Bodum.
For coffee and esprsso, prep equipment and prep areas which can catch fines are either wiped down or vacuumed daily. Spills are wiped off immediately.
I wasn't always this thorough, but learned over the years that very clean equipment in a very clean space made for better coffee and a more pleasant experience. There's a tendency to think of anyone who does more than you as OCD, and think of someone who does less as a baboon. It's not really about you though. Make it simple. Ask yourself what a county health-inspector would want and expect from a cafe where she drinks coffee. Do that.
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