Keep it clean for latte love

Australia is no longer the home of the bushie, it’s the home of the barista!

We are a nation of coffee drinkers; by 2013 we will spend more than $800 million on coffee, and that’s not including takeaway coffees or coffees consumed in a cafe.

Given the rise and rise of the home barista, the espresso experts at Merlo have titled June 1 national Clean Your Coffee Machine Day, the day of the year where your coffee machine gets a whole latte love! K2 - this is a job for you Honey!

So if you can't find the instructions that came with your coffee machine, here's some great tips from Merlo’s chief espresso expert Dean Merlo , who knows a thing or two about cleaning a coffee machine. His dad Gino introduced the very first espresso machine to Queensland in 1958, and Dean established the first torrefazione - an Italian style roasting house - in Fortitude Valley in 1996. Merlo has since grown into one of the country’s leading espresso coffee companies, now boasting six torrefaziones, and eight barmerlos.

“Like anything else, deciding to become a home barista comes with responsibilities, and cleaning your coffee machine is the biggest one,” he said. “A machine needs cleaning every 4 to 6 months, at the very least once a year. It’s simple and makes such a difference to your coffee – there’s no excuse for bad coffee! Without regular, simple cleaning, you could be in for unnecessary spending. However, if you commit to the title of home barista properly, and follow these few simple steps, you can add years on to the life of your much loved machine, which will thank you with cup after cup of cafe quality coffee,” he said.

So this Friday, June 1 – clean your coffee machine! A full PDF of instructions can be found at, with the top tips below:

Signs that your machine is overdue for a clean:

•    The coffee seems to be taking longer and longer to brew (that may mean your machine is losing pressure)
•    Your cups of coffee are beginning to taste burnt (a build up of dried coffee and milk)
•    The machine or milk frother is making unusual noises and not performing consistently
•    People simply aren’t complimenting you on your cuppa anymore. :(

To clean your coffee machine:

•    Fill your machine’s water tank with 1 litre of water and either 50mL of liquid descaler or 1 Cleancaf descaler tablet (espresso machine cleaner – both available for purchase at Merlo and
•    Run a brew cycle through the machine until the water tank is empty
•    Ensure you take time during the brew cycle to open the steamer and allow the descaler solution running through it to clean it of any dried milk
•    Refill water tank with clean water only (do not add descaler) and repeat cycle
•    To ensure the taste of cleaning products doesn’t carry onto your next cups of coffee, brew three cups of coffee, and dispose immediately

Disclaimer:  This is not a paid post - simply good information - Enjoy.