This week, we’ve been getting on top of things while we’re closed thanks to that pesky virus going… err… viral! Rather than complain like half of Facebook about how we’re losing everything, we thought we’d take the time to get on top of all those little tasks that should get done regularly, but never do!
One of the big ones has been getting the descaler out, and giving the coffee machines a really good deep clean. We do actually do that fairly regularly, as they cost a fortune to buy, and repairing them isn’t cheap either, so we do everything we can to keep them in tip top shape. Rumour has it, the coffee tastes better fresh from a clean machine too!
Descaling differs from normal cleaning cycles because it uses a special type of liquid that doesn’t just deal with your normal cleaning like washing up liquid might, it does a number on limescale type deposits too.
Without going into too much detail, it comes in concentrate form, so needs diluting when it goes into the machine, and the cleaning cycle takes around half an hour to complete. The spent cleaning solution emerges from the same nozzles that the coffee dispenses from, so after than the machine needs a couple of tankfuls of clean water to pass through to make sure all the chemicals are clear and the machine’s producing coffee suitable for consumption again.
While some people discard the descaling solution, we use it for the kettles after it’s been through the coffee machines. We’ve tried other people’s suggestions in the past with mixed results (one person’s solution of using vinegar made the tea taste pickled for weeks), but ended up realising that we could get more from our investment in coffee machine descaler agent by cleaning the kettles with it too.
If you want to try it, just pour it in and leave it for ten minutes or so to do its thing. Don’t forget to rinse the kettle out a couple of times afterwards, and ideally boil it full with fresh water at least once before using it for drinks again.
If you’ve got a home coffee machine, the chances are that you should be regularly using descaler too, so if you’re not and don’t know what you need, check out this guide on coffee machine descaler to buy. It’s a good idea to at least know which one you should be using, even if you choose to save money on a cheaper alternative.
When you’re in a commercial kitchen, safety is key, and as we said before, not following the guidance in the user guide can get expensive quickly if the machine needs repairs or breaks down entirely and ends up on the great espresso scrap heap in the sky.
At least you know we’ve been busy, so when the time comes we’ll be ready to welcome our amazing friends back with open arms. There’ll be a hot and fresh coffee ready to go when you feel the time is right to come back.
James & The Mildfire Team