Sage Barista coffee machine

Cleaning coffee equipment | Keep your gear in tip-top shape

For coffee lovers and casual drinkers alike, the quality of coffee is paramount, and this isn’t all down to the beans in your cup. The equipment used to brew your coffee plays a crucial role in ensuring that every cup is as delicious as it can be.

Given the investment many of us make in our coffee-making equipment, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep everything functioning properly and to maintain the quality of your brew.

So, why is regular cleaning essential?


Coffee is a complex beverage with numerous flavour compounds that can be affected by even the slightest contamination. Over time, coffee oils and residues accumulate in your equipment, including grinders and espresso machines. These residues can oxidise and become rancid, imparting off-flavours to your coffee.

A build-up of old coffee particles can also alter the flavour profile, making your coffee taste bitter or sour. By regularly cleaning your coffee equipment, you ensure that each cup tastes fresh and true to the beans' intended flavour.

Drinking coffee


High-quality coffee equipment, such as grinders and espresso machines, can be a significant investment. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for protecting that investment and ensuring your equipment remains in good working order for years.

Coffee residue and mineral build-up can lead to clogs, strain on mechanical parts, and ultimately mechanical failure. For instance, grinders can suffer from jammed burrs, and espresso machines can experience blocked valves and inconsistent pressure. Regular cleaning of your equipment prevents these issues, reducing the need for costly repairs or premature replacements.


Neglected coffee equipment can become a breeding ground for mould, bacteria, and other pathogens, especially in warm and damp environments. This not only affects the taste of your coffee but also poses serious health risks. Mould and bacteria can thrive in the moist residues left in coffee makers, grinders, and espresso machines.

Drinking coffee brewed from contaminated equipment can lead to health issues ranging from mild stomach discomfort to more severe infections. By maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, you ensure that your coffee equipment remains hygienic and safe to use, protecting your health with every cup.

Cleaning your coffee grinder

Grinders are often overlooked in regular cleaning routines, but they are crucial in maintaining the quality of your coffee. Residual coffee oils can build up and affect the taste of your beans.

Fellow Ode and Opus Grinders

The Fellow Ode Grinder and Fellow Opus Grinder are excellent choices for precise and consistent grinding. To help you maintain these grinders, Fellow has quick, yet detailed cleaning videos on their YouTube channel.
The below video walks you through disassembling the Ode grinder, cleaning the burrs, and reassembling it to ensure optimal performance.

Follow this guide below to keep your Opus grinder in top shape by regularly cleaning its components.

Cleaning your espresso machine

Espresso machines require regular descaling and cleaning to prevent mineral buildup and ensure consistent pressure and temperature.

Sage The Barista Express Espresso Machine

The Sage The Barista Express Espresso Machine is a popular choice for home baristas. Sage provides a comprehensive cleaning guide to help you keep your machine in perfect working order.

This guide from Sage covers everything from daily cleaning routines to deeper monthly maintenance, including descaling and cleaning the steam wand.

Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

The Sage Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is another excellent machine that offers quick and professional-quality espresso.

Learn how to maintain your Bambino Plus with this step-by-step guide, which includes instructions on descaling and cleaning the milk frothier. Read the guide here.

Tips for regular maintenance

Maintaining and cleaning your coffee equipment doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By incorporating a few simple routines into your daily, weekly, and monthly habits, you can ensure that your equipment stays clean and functions optimally.

Daily maintenance

  • After each use, remove any detachable components, such as portafilters, filter baskets, and drip trays, and rinse them thoroughly with warm water. This helps to remove any coffee grounds and oils that might stick to the parts and cause build-up over time.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of your coffee machines and grinders. This keeps the surfaces clean from spills and coffee stains, maintaining a tidy appearance and preventing any potential damage to buttons and screens from liquid exposure.
  • If your espresso machine has a steam wand, make sure to purge it by running steam through it for a few seconds before and after each use. This prevents milk residue from building up inside the wand, which can be difficult to clean later.

Weekly maintenance

  • Once a week, take the time to clean all removable parts with a mild detergent. This includes the portafilter, baskets, drip trays, and any other detachable components. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no detergent residue remains.
  • Depending on your water hardness, descaling your espresso machine weekly or biweekly can prevent mineral build-up. Use a descaling solution recommended by the manufacturer to clean the internal components of your machine. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure all parts are properly descaled.
  • Use a brush specifically designed for grinders to clean out any coffee grounds and oils from the burrs and other internal components. This helps maintain the grinder’s performance and ensures a consistent grind size.
Burrs inside a coffee grinder

Monthly maintenance

  • Every month, set aside some time for a deep clean of your coffee equipment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembling and cleaning all parts of your espresso machine and grinder. This often involves more detailed steps like soaking parts in cleaning solutions and thoroughly scrubbing components that don’t get cleaned during daily or weekly routines.
  • Use a descaling solution to thoroughly clean the internal water paths of your espresso machine. This helps remove any accumulated mineral deposits that can affect performance. For grinders, apart from brushing, consider using grinder cleaning pellets that can help in removing deep-seated oils and residues.
  • Check for any worn-out gaskets, seals, or other components that might need replacement. Regular wear and tear can affect the performance of your machine, so replacing these parts as needed can keep everything running smoothly.

Additional tips

  • Using filtered water in your espresso machine can reduce the frequency of descaling by minimising mineral deposits.
  • Always refer to the user manual for specific cleaning instructions and recommended cleaning products. Each machine may have unique requirements that are crucial for proper maintenance.
  • Consistency is key to maintaining your coffee equipment. Consider setting reminders or keeping a cleaning schedule to ensure you don’t forget these important maintenance tasks.

Investing in high-quality coffee equipment is a great way to enjoy better coffee at home, but it’s equally important to invest time in maintaining that equipment. By regularly cleaning your grinders and espresso machines, you’ll ensure they continue to deliver great coffee for years to come.

For more tips and to purchase any of the mentioned equipment, visit the equipment section on our website. Happy brewing!