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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Help!  
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soft_skeleton
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Texas, US
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 11:51pm
Subject: Help!
 

Hi guys,

So I've been a barista for the past two and a half years now and I love it. I primarily work retail, but I've delved into working with coffee at home as well. I currently for a small chain of cafes-within-bookstores and I have a serious problem that I need help with. We work primarily with a two-group Nuova Simonelli Aurelia volumetric espresso machine, and to put it simply, it's extremely gross. I pulled the cover for the cup warmer today and what I discovered beneath has made me never want to touch another oz. of espresso from my store again. It's gross. Scalded milk mixed with espresso grounds baked onto the boiler, group heads, just.. Disgusting.

I've been coming in for an extra two hours a week to perform cleaning and minor maintenance on our machine and grinders, and well, I don't know what to do with this, honestly. It's pretty shocking. More than likely a health code violation and a fire hazard. I've working with this company for only three months and I take pride in the craft of being a barista and serving good espresso, but this is a travesty that I had no idea about.

I've attached a a link to a gallery containing photos of the espresso machine below. Any help would definitely be appreciated.

Click Here (imgur.com)
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 12:47am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Nothing a thorough cleaning can't fix, but I must admit it surely looks unappetizing. Unfortunately, I believe quite a few coffee shops actually neglect maintenance and cleaning. At least that's what a random survey in Germany brought to light.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,738
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 5:28am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Work IT people have your link blocked from my view...but yeah, it's disgusting to see a huge mess inside of a machine, or in any food service area.  I've opened my own machine a few times, and well, I don't ever see a mess inside of it.  I find it hard to even come up with how it might happen.  Well, I can see spilling drinks as one passes them over the top of the machine to customers...but no one should be doing that, and it doesn't explain grounds inside of the machine.

Anyhow, I think the good news is that what runs inside of the machines components to make the drinks is isolated from the disgusting mess.  (not to say it can't be hazardous and doesn't need cleaning).  

As for what to do about it...first step is talk to the boss and show him/her.  If there's no support there for behavioral changes in your co-workers, find another job.

Well...for sure just my $0.02

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,468
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 5:46am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

I have not looked at the pics but have no reason to doubt you. I have bought used commercial gear for things for myself and inside is most often quite nasty. There is an equipment dealer (several really) I often visit and there is a smell all it's own for used commercial cooking gear when it is piled in bulk together.

The good thing though is that no matter how gross the inside of the machine is, the food contact surfaces are inside the nasty components and as long as the places like the brew group is clean and not dripping with crud, the product is safe to consume. Gross inside the machine but OK to consume.

Welcome to commercial food service!

EDIT.
OK I looked at the pics. Yes it is worse than most but remove the loose grounds and give it a quick swipe with a rag (dirty or clean, your choice) and you will have something close to what is inside most machines. Calcium spray from the vacuum breaker is very common as is green copper lines and fittings from slight leaks over the years.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,010
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 6:30am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Looks nasty but a lot of it looks like just scalded milk and coffee not rust and melted wires. :)  I'd look into a rental machine so you can take this one apart and clean yourself. If you have a local repair shop they can acid dip everything for you. Only takes a few seconds.  The rest (casing and frame) you can just clean by hand.  Not as bad a problem as it looks.
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ddubick
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 129
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Appia 1Gr
Grinder: OE Pharos, Macap M5, Nuova...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:50am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Looks like someone was keeping the knockbox on top of the machine for a while...  eww.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 10:59am
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance . . . hasn't anyone every heard of it???

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,213
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 12:04pm
Subject: Re: Help!
 

ddubick Said:

Looks like someone was keeping the knockbox on top of the machine for a while...  eww.

Posted September 19, 2013 link

And spilling milk drinks over it as well lol
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soft_skeleton
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Texas, US
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: Help!
 

CMIN Said:

And spilling milk drinks over it as well lol

Posted September 19, 2013 link

Actually, for some reason everybody who works in the cafe keeps our steaming pitchers, utensils, and portafilters on top of the machine. I've told everyone that it's an ill-advised practice, since the top of the machine is typically for warming cups. So it basically explains all of the spillage inside of the machine.

Essentially I work with a group of people who have no business working in coffee or at coffee shops.
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 45
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 4:27pm
Subject: Re: Help!
 

Yikes!  You guys, including the OP, have covered all my thoughts, recommendations & suggestions.
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