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Keeping it clean. Your espresso station, that is.


Fat Guy
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Most of the time when I visit someone with a serious espresso setup, or I see non-styled photos online, the espresso station is a big mess: coffee grounds all over the place, wet towels lying around, etc.

What's up with that?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Jitters man......Jitters

Maybe they are so buzzed that they have to immediatly vacate the premises and go burn up some of that caffeine they just ingested. :wink:

Remember the old Dragnet Episode when they busted the "otherwise respectable citizens" for smoking weed (the famous Baby in the Bathtub episode), their kitchen was a wreck-dirty dishes everywhere, ashtrays overflowing (with yellow papered half smoked joints), and bugs crawling in the sink. I think it is a similar thing :hmmm: (he says while knocking back a huge cafe au lait concocted with Community Dark Roast and Steamed Heavy Cream :blink: )

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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their kitchen was a wreck-dirty dishes everywhere, ashtrays overflowing (with yellow papered half smoked joints), and bugs crawling in the sink

Hey.... I don't remember giving anyone permission to film an episode in my old apartment - what's up with that? :biggrin:

I suppose folks who show photos of their "un-styled" espresso setups either don't care or have just made a bunch of shots in a row. Everyone is different and I tend to keep my setup very tidy but if I make a half dozen or so shots in a row there will ineivitably be some minor spillage of grounds during tamping etc.

My digital camera dies and I'm waiting for the new one to arrive - I'll see if I can't do a staged and also a "real" photo next week and post them.

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  • 1 month later...

I wipe up the loose grounds at the end of any given session but things generally stay fairly neat and tidy. I used to tend bar part time at an enertainment venue, often for a huge volume of customers in a very short time. Some of my fellow bartenders at adjacent stations had incredibly messy stations. I always took time, even when we were totally swamped, to clean up and keep things tidy as I went along - it seemed to make everything operate more efficiently. Ultimately, I served just as many drinks as they did (or more).

I have carried the same philosophy and practices over to my home espresso bar - with little more than a quick wipe of the sponge it always looks like this:

i4378.jpg

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Owen, that is a thing of beauty you have there.

*sigh*

I don't actually make the espresso in our house, just clean up after the drama is over (and enjoy the results too, so it's worthwhile). It is a mess. How do you keep the little steam frother arm clean? That is always crusty.

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Most of the time when I visit someone with a serious espresso setup, or I see non-styled photos online, the espresso station is a big mess: coffee grounds all over the place, wet towels lying around, etc.

What's up with that?

You're quite right, Fat Guy. Mine's a goddam disgrace (he says, having this minute just waddled from dinner table to kitchen by way of computer, taken digipic with dregs of a delicious bowl of pasta e fagioli in situ plus empty bottle of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle metodo classico). No set up. Just the way it is, man. Espresso time!

i4555.jpg

MP

Edited to crop out the dirty dishes. Felt a bit naked out there...

Edited by Marco_Polo (log)
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How do you keep the little steam frother arm clean?  That is always crusty.

Immediately after I pull the shot, steam the milk and assemble the drink, I remove the PF, run some water through it to flush out grounds, and wipe the steam wand and dispersion screen, in that order, with a dampened 3-M microfiber cloth. Keeps everything clean and ready to go for the next time I pull a shot. Letting things get hard and bake onto the steam wand and disperson screen only makes the eventual cleanup that much worse.

Edited to add that I have a Pasquini Livia 90 machine and a Rocky doserless grinder.

Edited by MGLloyd (log)

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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I have found that on my machine, if I wait to wipe the steam arm until after I finish frothing and building the drink, there is crud, especially on the back side, that doesn't come completely off. A wet rag helps but I've taken to doing what I recently saw done in a cafe in Scranton PA. Notice the 16 oz mixing glass at the left side of my machine? I leave it about 3/4 full of water and as soon as I'm done steaming, I immediately slide it up to envelp the steam arm. the arm rotates inward and I can park the glass on top of the drain tray screen, sitting to the left of the portafilter.

I do a quick blast of steam into the water and then wipe it before the next shot or when I'm done with that session. Warning: this does allow a bit of water to be drwn up inside the steam arm. Always use fresh water in the glass and purge the wand throughly when finished wiping to ensure that the water has been removed. This has been workign really well for me and I no longer have to get my Dobie scrub pad busy on the steam arm periodically to remove small build-up.

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Most of the time when I visit someone with a serious espresso setup, or I see non-styled photos online, the espresso station is a big mess: coffee grounds all over the place, wet towels lying around, etc.

What's up with that?

You've just described my kitchen. But I don't have an espresso machine.

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I have found that on my machine, if I wait to wipe the steam arm until after I finish frothing and building the drink, there is crud, especially on the back side, that doesn't come completely off.

I have found this too, thus my use of the 3-M microfiber cleaning cloth. Those things are amazing in their cleaning and scrubbing capacity.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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