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Keep Your Grinders and Equipment Clean!

I am happy to report that the Napa Valley Water Polo Coffee Fundraiser was a success and we were also able to introduce people to LIVE ROAST COFFEE!. One player came up to me after his match and told me that he could smell the amazing flavors wafting to the pool from our 1 lb roaster and it made him want coffee on the spot. Dozens of people commented on how amazing the Symphony blend is and we were happy to serve the crowds that came for the event hosted by Napa Valley Masters Water Polo. I look forward to do doing this again.

So, here it is Monday and I am thinking of an experience I had last week with clients who love my coffees but also had need of consulting as well. Their 3 year old Kitchen Aid Conical Burr Grinder was not working at optimum. They told me that it was making funny noises and that it "spit" coffee everywhere.

The Kitchen Aid Professional Burr Grinder is an amazing machine for the money (retail $199.00) because it has a modular design and allows you to remove parts to facilitate easy access and cleaning. Turns out, the grinder had never been cleaned so I could see the build up of coffee and oil and was certain it had caked on to the internals.

Using only a flat edge screw driver to turn the flat edge screws, I removed the burr sections and sure enough, there was loads of coffee caked on. The burr was in great shape so I cleaned it off in a very mild soap and hot water solution and scrubbed and then washed off with cooler water and hand dried it. Then, using a slightly wet paper towel began to wipe off all the caked on coffee. 

Many people have the notion that coffee oils "season" a coffee maker or grinder. Truth is, oils go rancid and they do contribute to sub standard cups of coffee if allowed to build up. The best advice I can give is to keep all of your coffee gear and equipment clean.

Here is a homework assignment for you. Go purchase White Vinegar and run a solution of it with 1/3 water through your coffee maker. Notice after the brew cycle that there is almost a greenish look to your water. This is evidence of a coffee maker that needs cleaning and has rancid oils. Also, use a paper towel and wipe down the spout where the coffee drips. You will most likely notice a dark film that is coffee build up.

After the cycle is complete, run cool water through the machine and let it complete its brew cycle. When you no longer smell vinegar, the coffee machine is clean and you are now ready to make fresh coffee without any lingering tastes or smells. Repeat the fresh water brew process as many times as needed to clear the vinegar. I would say 3-4 fresh water cycles should complete the job. You are now ready to make fresh coffee in your drip coffee maker. If you use a French Press, keep it clean by using a very mild soap solution. Clear it with fresh water and towel dry. Again, insure that all soap has been cleared by fresh washing and then drying.

The Kitchen Aid Pro Grinder reassembled well and when the switch was flipped, it was very quiet as the beans entered into the conical burr section and lovely course grade (French Press) coffee flowed evenly and without incident into the coffee tray.

I am also happy to report that the beans from TeenyTinyCoffeeCompany that were used made an impressive cup of coffee!

Keep all of your coffee gear clean and you will be amazed at the fabulous results you will obtain. Dispense with the myth that coffee buildup adds flavor and body to a coffee. I like my coffee fresh and made with clean equipment and fresh roasted beans.

If you are a coffee lover, this technique will keep your coffee experience at the peak of taste and there is no comparison to that!


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