I'm a very new Barista, only since March.
The woman who trained me (minimally) claimed that we should never, ever clean the portafilters?
Is she wrong? Won't all this old discharge from hundreds of shots effect the espresso?
I find the company I'm working for worries too much about quantity and out put vs. true quality as far as espresso goes. (This among other problems)
Just looking for some guidance!
Thanks,
Andre

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Do what I did: Fire your boss and go elsewhere.
Idiots should be driven out of the coffee business.
Andre, you sound like a top-shelf employee and I applaud your amazing attitude and care factor. If you are as keen to learn about coffee the right way as you sound, you really should find a better cafe that will encourage your passions. Best of luck with everything & happy cleaning.. gah!!


Victoria Stubbs said:
Andre, you sound like a top-shelf employee and I applaud your amazing attitude and care factor. If you are as keen to learn about coffee the right way as you sound, you really should find a better cafe that will encourage your passions. Best of luck with everything & happy cleaning.. gah!!

Thanks, I kinda feel that way. Crapy thing is, cafe's are slim pickin's in Saint John NB!
Hey, I hear you on that too.
However, you're on here and you're going to learn a lot by reading and talking with others on this site. You could, if you have to, leave the coffee business for elsewhere and return to it when you find something better.

Truly, no one spouting misinformation like you have been given should be in the cafe or restaurant business.

You could, once you know you can find other work (because they may up and fire you) suggest to them that they join The Barista Exchange so that they too can learn how to run a cafe.

I've seen it where I used to work and I've seen it at other cafes: People who own businesses think that because they bought the place they automatically know something about the craft. It doesn't work that way.

The other one that gets right up my nose are people who announce that "I'm from Europe!" Yeah, whatever, I was born in Hamilton but that doesn't make me an expert on Iron & Steel production.

Really, if they don't want to learn, you're going to either have to teach them or get out of there.
Green scrubbie and baking soda, at LEAST twice a day!

Bry, are you kidding? During the day?

By the sound of her post I would be surprised if anyone at the business knows what cleaning a machine means.

Andre, follow the guidance of these guys and gals here. They will steer you straight. Your coffee will only taste as good as the machine is clean as you already deducted.

Joe


Bryan Wray said:

Yup... she's certifiably insane.

Grab a green scrubbie pad and scour the hell out of them at night.

Or... if you're lazy like me and don't feel like scouring them, put them in a Cafiza/Puro Caff solution over night and rinse them off in the morning.

....
....
She did tell you to clean the machine throughout the day right?

-bry

Thanks folks! I scour the portafilters every time I wrok, no one else is...:( Trying to get people on board with me...

Any suggestions on Grouphead cleaning? SOmetimes the water spurts out of them all willy nilly when I dose them empty, what should it look like coming out? Thanks!

Andre,

It sounds like your screens should be pull out and soaked. Most machines have a single screw holding the screens up in the group heads. If you are not clear on this find another barista / friend who works for another business and see if they can help you with this. From your comments it sounds like your staff is not very savoy on this. Depending on your daily traffic and shots pulled the screens should be pulled and soaked in cleaning solution on a regular basis. Sometimes every 3 days if you real busy.

Joe



Andre Guimond said:

Thanks folks! I scour the portafilters every time I wrok, no one else is...:( Trying to get people on board with me...

Any suggestions on Grouphead cleaning? SOmetimes the water spurts out of them all willy nilly when I dose them empty, what should it look like coming out? Thanks!

can't believe what im reading. cleaning every part of the machine meticulously is a religious ritual for baristas everywhere and wherever it is not these people should not pride themselves with a professional title. what is the company you work for? they must be aware that with great coffee comes great responsibility and if they want to be known as the place to go they must be willing to learn and even be taught by passionate employees like yourself. I would be proud to have somebody like yourself in our place.

Joseph Robertson said:

Andre,

It sounds like your screens should be pull out and soaked. Most machines have a single screw holding the screens up in the group heads. If you are not clear on this find another barista / friend who works for another business and see if they can help you with this. From your comments it sounds like your staff is not very savoy on this. Depending on your daily traffic and shots pulled the screens should be pulled and soaked in cleaning solution on a regular basis. Sometimes every 3 days if you real busy.

Joe



Andre Guimond said:

Thanks folks! I scour the portafilters every time I wrok, no one else is...:( Trying to get people on board with me...

Any suggestions on Grouphead cleaning? SOmetimes the water spurts out of them all willy nilly when I dose them empty, what should it look like coming out? Thanks!

Also a quick brush on the screen/group gasket area between extractions helps with flow pattern/cleaner flow. Don't forget backflushes with plain water throughout the day as well.  

Graeme Duhamel said:

can't believe what im reading. cleaning every part of the machine meticulously is a religious ritual for baristas everywhere and wherever it is not these people should not pride themselves with a professional title. what is the company you work for? they must be aware that with great coffee comes great responsibility and if they want to be known as the place to go they must be willing to learn and even be taught by passionate employees like yourself. I would be proud to have somebody like yourself in our place.

Joseph Robertson said:

Andre,

It sounds like your screens should be pull out and soaked. Most machines have a single screw holding the screens up in the group heads. If you are not clear on this find another barista / friend who works for another business and see if they can help you with this. From your comments it sounds like your staff is not very savoy on this. Depending on your daily traffic and shots pulled the screens should be pulled and soaked in cleaning solution on a regular basis. Sometimes every 3 days if you real busy.

Joe



Andre Guimond said:

Thanks folks! I scour the portafilters every time I wrok, no one else is...:( Trying to get people on board with me...

Any suggestions on Grouphead cleaning? SOmetimes the water spurts out of them all willy nilly when I dose them empty, what should it look like coming out? Thanks!

How often does everybody here back flush and is there a wrong way to do it? We use a Conti Xeos Revolution.

That's a pretty decent machine right?

Very nicely said Graeme.

Joseph
Graeme Duhamel said:

can't believe what im reading. cleaning every part of the machine meticulously is a religious ritual for baristas everywhere and wherever it is not these people should not pride themselves with a professional title. what is the company you work for? they must be aware that with great coffee comes great responsibility and if they want to be known as the place to go they must be willing to learn and even be taught by passionate employees like yourself. I would be proud to have somebody like yourself in our place.

Joseph Robertson said:

Andre,

It sounds like your screens should be pull out and soaked. Most machines have a single screw holding the screens up in the group heads. If you are not clear on this find another barista / friend who works for another business and see if they can help you with this. From your comments it sounds like your staff is not very savoy on this. Depending on your daily traffic and shots pulled the screens should be pulled and soaked in cleaning solution on a regular basis. Sometimes every 3 days if you real busy.

Joe



Andre Guimond said:

Thanks folks! I scour the portafilters every time I wrok, no one else is...:( Trying to get people on board with me...

Any suggestions on Grouphead cleaning? SOmetimes the water spurts out of them all willy nilly when I dose them empty, what should it look like coming out? Thanks!

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