Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning & Maintenance


Cleaning Throughout the Day

Continual cleaning of the workstation is critical for optimal performance. Good baristas clean their workstation throughout the day, not just at the end of a shift or at closing. 

The barista workstation must remain clean and organized throughout the day – both to ensure optimal work performance and to maintain visual appeal for co-workers and customers. Unlike a restaurant, there is no separation between the front of the house and the back of the house in most coffee bars. For this reason, the workstation, back bar, front bar, pastry case, register area, etc. must be clean and organized at all times to enhance the overall customer experience. Your customers will make immediate evaluations. What do they see? Make sure to take the time to step outside of the bar and visually inspect your workstation from the perspective of the customer.

All equipment, smallwares, and tools should be cleaned and cared for throughout the day, and NOT just at the end of the day.

During the shift, a barista should determine when it’s appropriate to backflush each grouphead with water or not. This may be based on volume, but even one espresso extraction will create coffee oils in the portafilter basket and grouphead.

There are often other cleaning and preventative maintenance duties that need to happen every few days, once a week, or even quarterly. It is a good idea to have these scheduled out on a calendar, or to have a checklist for these duties.



Required Tools:

  • Short flat head screwdriver
  • Green scrubbie (3M Scotchbrite)
  • Group brush
  • Plastic bucket
  • Blind/blank portafilter basket(s)
  • Damp clean towel
  • Espresso machine cleaner
  • Surface cleaner

Backflushing Tools



Backflushing Guide

 Backflushing is a simple process for cleaning components within the espresso machine. The espresso machine should be cleaned in this way at least once per day. Backflushing can be done with or without the cleaning product. For example, during mid day cleaning, no product would be used. At the end of day, the espresso machine should always be cleaned thoroughly. The following steps will help maintain beverage quality:

These basic instructions conform to various industry standards

 1: Remove baskets from the portafilters and install the blind or blank baskets.

(Hint: The ones with no holes) 

2: Place the dirty espresso baskets in a bucket. 

3: Use the group head cleaning brush to clean the surface and edges of the group screen. This will loosen built up coffee grounds and oils. Turn the grouphead on and off a couple times while brushing.

4: Put one scoop of cleaning product into each blind basket. Insert the portafilter/blind basket into the grouphead.

(Hint: You can do more than one group at once) 

5: Turn the groups on and off in 5 second intervals.

5 seconds on, 5 seconds off, 5-10 times. 

6: Remove the portafilters and run the groups until the water is clear.

Rinse the blind basket too.

7: Repeat step 5 until there is no soap in the Group. (Hint: By removing the portafilter and dumping the soapy water between each 5 second flush the rinsing is more efficient.) 

8: Set the Blind baskets aside. Place the dirty portafilter in the bucket with the baskets. Use the screwdriver to remove the group screens, place the screens in the bucket too.

(Hint: Keep the screws out of the bucket so they don’t go down the drain of the sink)

9: Put one scoop of cleaning product in the bucket. Fill the bucket with hot water. Soak the dirty parts for 10-15 minutes. (Hint: only use enough water to cover the metal parts. Soaking plastic portafilter handles may damage them.)

10: Use the Group Brush and a damp towel to clean the grouphead itself.

11: Remove the drip tray for cleaning.

12: Wipe the body of the espresso machine with your favorite surface cleaner.

13: Rinse and scrub the contents of the bucket in hot water.

(Hint: Do not scrub non-stick parts)

14: Re install Screen, screw, basket and portafilter.

(Hint: Don’t over tighten the screw)

Backflushing: End Of Day

Espresso Grinder Cleaning

Espresso Grinder Cleaning

In this lesson, we are going to talk about cleaning our espresso grinders.

Throughout the day coffee oils will build up in our grinder hopper, grinder burrs, and dosing chamber. These oils can go rancid and drastically change the flavor of our coffee. That’s why it’s important to clean our grinders daily.


We will use the following equipment to clean our grinders:

  • Long narrow soft bristle brush
  • Wide soft bristle brush
  • Damp clean towel
  • Dry paper towel


Begin by closing the bean release gate and grinding through the remainder of our beans between the closed bean gate and our burrs.

Once the coffee is ground out, we will remove the hopper and empty the coffee back into the bag the coffee came from. It is important not to mix roast dates. Seal and place the bag in a visible location so the opening staff knows which coffee to use.

After we empty the hopper we will wipe out the hopper with a dry paper towel. The paper towel must be dry so we don’t get any moisture into the grinder. We use a paper towel so that we don’t end up with any cloth fibers in our grinder. Avoid using cleaning product in the hopper as the plastic will absorb fragrances that are undesirable.

Next we will brush out the burrs and dosing chamber with our long brush.

We can now place the hopper back on top of the grinder.

Next we will use our wide brush to brush away and remaining coffee grounds from the grinder.

Espresso Grinder Cleaning