Has your office (be it in person or at-home) just upgraded to an espresso machine? Goodbye Keurig, Hello delicious Barista-style cappuccinos! Espresso Machines, though an investment, provide energizing shots of caffeine and flavor to drinkers. People swear by a shot of espresso for everything from improved concentration and strengthening long-term memory to weight loss and lowering stroke risk. Additionally, the American workforce would grind to a halt without the bracing hit of morning caffeine—over 50% of Americans over 18 drink coffee every single day! That’s a lot of work for our espresso machines. So to keep those oh-so-necessary machines going, it’s up to the users to keep them clean.


Far more complex than other coffee machines, an espresso machine pumps pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans to create a tiny, but mighty drink. The “basket,” a circular, removable cup that acts as a filter, fits into the “portafilter,” a reservoir with a long handle. This then attaches to the “Group” or “Group head” which is where the hot water is pumped out, through the beans in the basket, out of the portafilter, and into the cup below. If you’re looking to make an espresso-based drink, like a latte or a cappuccino, this is where the steam arm and nozzle come in. Steam is forced through and used for frothing milk. However, all of these moving parts mean that there are lots more nooks and crannies for the residue to build up.


Since the espresso machine is so much more complicated than an ordinary coffee maker, there are some practices that can be used on a daily basis to keep your office espresso machine pumping out delicious coffee daily.

  • Knock out all the used coffee grounds from your basket after every shot you make, then
  • Rinse out the now-empty basket and wipe it with a dry cloth
  • After every few shots, run water through the portafilter without the basket inside
  • Always clean your steam arm and nozzle with a damp cloth immediately—dried, hot milk is no fun for anyone


Depending on how many people use the espresso machine and how often, deep clean your espresso machine at least once a week. Here are our tips for a more intense clean.

  • Make a cleaning solution by dissolving espresso cleaner in water
  • Use a small brush to scrub all the removable parts—the basket, portafilter, etc.—and then rinse with warm water
  • Remove the screen from the group and scrub the machine internally as well
  • Put a basket with no holes, called a “blind basket,” in the portafilter, fill it with the cleaning solution, and run the machine. This is called “backwashing” or “backflushing.”
  • Let the steam arm soak in the cleaning solution for at least 20 minutes.
  • Reassemble and run a few shots through the machine to ensure that there’s no soapy taste leftover

This weekly clean is a great opportunity for office teamwork! Get creative with your scheduling, just make sure to spread out the responsibility. Then, every six months, drain the steam tank of your machine to ensure delicious espresso every time. Most importantly, enjoy your coffee stay, caffeinated!