You know that feeling when you are driving your car right after you took it through the car wash? The sun shines brighter through the windshield, air is crisp, there's a fresh clean smell that emanates throughout the air, it feels better and somehow even drives better.
Well, brewing coffee with clean equipment is similar to that feeling. When your equipment is clean, your coffee tastes better, it's easier to brew, and it offers you that much better of a drinking and brewing experience. Here are a few easy ways to keep your coffee gear clean and your coffee tasting stellar!
Pour Over Equipment
Due to the unique shapes of most pour over equipment, it can be difficult to thoroughly clean the equipment you brew with every day. When coffee sits or comes in contact with your brewing vessels or devices, those oils and residue repeatedly build up and begin to influence the flavor of your coffee negatively.
I use Urnex's Cafiza solution, which is designed specifically to break down the oils and build up from brewed coffee. All you have to do is add one to two teaspoons of Cafiza to your vessel and add water just off the boil. Let the Cafiza and water sit for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
One side note, don’t use Cafiza with anything plastic, because it will break down the outer layer of the plastic and begin to pick up the flavor of the Cafiza. So only use this solution with glass, metal, or ceramic gear.
Home Brewers and Kettles
If you have a home brewer or a kettle, an easy way to get rid of scale buildup is to use distilled vinegar and water.
Use a 1:2 ratio of distilled vinegar to water. Add the mixture to the reservoir and run a brewing cycle. Let the water and vinegar sit for 15 minutes then discard the vinegar and water that was brewed. Now, brew two more rinse cycles to be sure there is no more vinegar water left in your brewer.
Use a 1:2 ratio of distilled vinegar to water. Add the vinegar and water directly to the kettle and boil the vinegar and water and let sit for 15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse your kettle to be sure there is no more vinegar water left in your kettle.
Burrs and Chutes:
If you are like me, your home coffee grinder is probably getting a lot more use right now. This increased volume of coffee being ground means your grinder is probably building up more chaff, coffee grounds, and other debris than usual. No problem a little cleaning can’t fix, just take the hopper off of your coffee grinder and vacuum out the chute, burrs, hopper, and any area that little pieces of coffee chaff or grounds could get caught in. This keeps things clean, reduces oil build up, and helps your burrs grind more consistently.
As mentioned above, there are a ton of oils in coffee — even if you can’t see it on the outside of the beans. So once a week, take a paper towel and wipe out your hopper to clean the oils off of the hopper. You might have to do this two to three times in a row if you haven’t done it in a while.
If you follow these simple steps to keep your equipment clean you will be well on your way to brewing delicious coffee at home.
To better coffee!