Sage espresso machines are beautiful, high-end pieces of home coffee equipment that make truly exquisite cups of coffee. But how can you make sure that your new espresso machine is kept in the best possible condition? Here are some of our top tips for how to maintain your new Sage espresso machine. (You can thank us later!)
Why it’s important to maintain your Sage espresso machine
It might sound obvious, but there are a huge number of reasons why you should know how to maintain your Sage espresso machine. Firstly, a dirty machine will make your coffee taste bad. Coffee beans contain oils, and if they build up, they can create a gross ‘off’ flavour to your cup of coffee. Secondly, if these oils are allowed to build up, they can damage your machine. Over time, they will plug the holes of the filter basket and leave deposits in the portafilter spout. You don’t want to let your espresso machine get so dirty that you can’t use it anymore!
Luckily, these are worst-case scenarios. There are lots of little things that you can do to clean and maintain your Sage espresso machine.
What to do daily
If you make a coffee every day, this is what you will need to do to maintain your espresso machine. Firstly, if your Sage espresso machine has a steam wand, it is vital that you wipe it down with a damp cloth immediately after every use. This prevents the milk from burning and sticking to the outside of the wand. You absolutely need to do this every time you steam milk, as burnt milk is extremely difficult to clean off. You should also purge the wand after every use.This will get rid of any milk that might have been trapped in the tip of the steam wand. If you already have milk built up on the steam wand, we’d recommend soaking it in hot water, and then using a lot of elbow grease to scrub it off.
Secondly, make sure that you knock out the spent puck immediately. Don’t leave it in the machine or the portafilter for long, as the coffee oils and grounds will stick to the filter screen and portafilter basket. Do this before you sit down to enjoy your coffee! It takes just seconds, and will make a huge difference to the longevity and cleanliness of your machine. You should also make sure to rinse the portafilter for 2 to 3 seconds every time you use your Sage machine. This starts to clean the filter screen and the portafilter. To finish the job, wipe them both with a clean cloth.
Depending on how frequently you use your espresso machine, the drip tray will also need emptying every so often. Most Sage machines will have an ‘Empty Me’ sign, which will show whenever your drip tray is full of water. Simply pour the water out and clean the tray. Another part of your machine that will need to be cleaned regularly is the knock-box (this is the box that you hit used coffee grounds into). You can throw the grounds in the bin or recycle them.
Finally, make sure that the cloths that you use to clean the steam wand, the filter screen and the portafilter are also fresh and clean. There’s no point in trying to clean your beautiful Sage espresso machine with dirty cloths! Our founder James recommends having one cloth solely dedicated to cleaning the steam wand. His top tip? Colour code them, so you know which one is which! It’s also a good idea to use microfibre cloths, as they collect grounds and milk residue the best.
What to do weekly
The internal parts of your Sage espresso machine should also be given a bit of TLC. Many Sage coffee machines have a light labelled ‘Clean Me’ which will illuminate when it needs to be cleaned out. This indicates that you need to run a flush-back cycle, which basically means that your machine will build up pressurised water (combined with a cleaning tablet) which will clean the internal workings of the machine. Your espresso machine will come with detailed instructions on how to do this.
However, this flush-back cycle will not descale your Sage espresso machine, so you will need to keep on top of that as well. This is more important than you might realise, as scale buildup will substantially shorten the life of the machine.Helpfully, your Sage machine should also have a descale cycle, which will also be explained in your instructions. You can learn more about descaling your espresso machine here.
You should also give the steam wand a thorough clean once a month or so, depending on how much you use it, to make sure everything stays ship-shape. Tip: don’t use cleaning solution to soak your steam wand tip – boilers create pressure and thus a vacuum, you don’t want any unwanted bits being sucked into the boiler of your beautiful new sage espresso machine. Look after it and it’ll look after you with delicious coffee.
As discussed earlier, oils are pretty nasty and can build up on and around the group head of your Sage machine or any other home espresso machine. It’s best if you use a machine cleaning brush with hard bristles every week to remove any build up and keep things sparkling. It’ll make for far more tasty flat whites and espressos. Finally, you should soak your portafilter and basket weekly in cleaning solution to avoid any build-up of grounds or oils.
Finally, it is also important to check that your cleaning products are suitable for your Sage espresso machine. Sage supply specific cleaning products for their espresso machines, which have been designed to remove coffee oils and residues. We would absolutely recommend using these cleaning products because using the wrong product could damage it or increase the buildup. There are some common myths around using vinegar and water to clean your machine but please DO NOT try this as you can damage your machine and leave your coffee tasting vinegar-like which nobody wants!
By following these steps, you’ve got everything you need to know about how to maintain your new Sage espresso machine.
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