Clean portafilter properly - daily care

If you want a good espresso from the portafilter at home , you should first clean the portafilter properly. There are many steps involved in cleaning and keeping the portafilter machine clean. The ones you have to do before or after every drink, the daily ones, the weekly ones and more. We look at the structure of a portafilter machine and explain which parts are particularly susceptible to dirt, how a dirty machine affects the coffee and how you can keep everything clean.

Clean the portafilter properly – the machine

A portafilter machine consists of several components that work together to make you a high-quality espresso. Here are the basic components of a portafilter machine:


  1. Portafilter : The portafilter is a metal handle (sometimes with wooden or plastic decoration) with a built-in sieve into which you put the coffee grounds. It is inserted into the brewing group and serves to force the water through the coffee grounds to extract espresso.
  2. Brewing group : The brewing group is the heart of the portafilter machine. It contains the brewing piston, which presses the hot water through the ground coffee, and the sieve into which the portafilter is inserted. The brewing group is often removable to make cleaning easier.
  3. Water boiler : The boiler heats the water to the correct brewing temperature. There are portafilter machines with single-circuit and dual-circuit boilers. Dual-circuit systems use a separate line for the brewing water and one for the steam, which allows for the simultaneous preparation of espresso and steam.
  4. Pump : The pump provides the necessary pressure to press the water through the coffee grounds and thus extract espresso. The optimal pressure for making espresso is typically between 9 and 15 bar.
  5. Hot water and steam outlet : In addition to the espresso outlet, many portafilter machines have a hot water outlet for making tea and a steam outlet for frothing milk.
  6. Pressure gauge : The pressure gauge indicates the pressure in the system. This is particularly important to ensure that the machine maintains the optimal pressure for espresso preparation.
  7. Boiler and brewing temperature controls : Some more advanced models have boiler and brewing temperature controls to allow precise adjustment according to the needs of different coffee beans.
  8. Drip tray and drip tray : The drip tray catches excess water and coffee, while the drip tray collects used coffee pucks.
  9. Housing and control panel : The housing encloses the internal components and contains the control panel that you can use to control the machine's functions.

These components work together to provide precise control over the brewing process and ensure that each espresso is prepared with the correct extraction time, temperature and pressure. It is important to clean and maintain these components regularly to ensure the optimal performance and durability of the portafilter machine.


Cleaning the portafilter – the finer points

The art of making a perfect espresso extends far beyond selecting the best coffee beans and fine-tuning the grind. One essential aspect that is often underestimated is cleaning the portafilter thoroughly. A clean espresso machine plays a crucial role in producing a coffee with an unadulterated taste and in the longevity of your equipment.

Cleaning the portafilter - Why is this important?

The portafilter machine is the heart of every espresso preparation. Regular and careful cleaning is not only important for excellent taste, but also to prevent deposits that could impair the functionality of your machine.

  • Improves taste : Leftovers from old coffee oils and coffee residues can affect the taste of your espresso. Regular cleaning ensures pure and unadulterated coffee enjoyment.
  • Extending the service life : Limescale deposits and residues can affect the machine and lead to blockages. Thorough cleaning will significantly extend the service life of your portafilter machine.
  • Hygiene : A clean machine ensures hygienic conditions and minimizes the risk of mold and bacteria growth. This is especially important because coffee residues can be an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms.

Clean portafilter properly -
the tools

Before you start cleaning, it's important to have the right tools and cleaning supplies ready. Here are some basic things you'll need:

  1. Brushes : A group brush with stiff bristles is good for removing coffee powder residue from the sieve and the brewing group.
  2. Cleaning cloths or sponges : For wiping external surfaces and removing coffee stains.
  3. Cleaning tablets : Special tablets that remove grease and oil and descale the machine.
  4. Descaler : For removing limescale deposits in the machine.
  5. Dishwashing liquid : A mild detergent for parts that can be cleaned with water.

Cleaning the portafilter – step-by-step

Before you start cleaning, you should turn off the espresso machine and allow it to cool down sufficiently. Cleaning a hot machine can cause injury and reduce the effectiveness of cleaning products.

Removing coffee residue

Tap the coffee grounds from the sieve into a waste container and use the group brush to remove any remaining residue. Make sure to clean the seals and corners thoroughly as well.

Removal of parts for cleaning

Remove all removable parts, such as the portafilter, brew group and water tank. These can usually be cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent. Make sure all parts are completely dry before reattaching them.


Cleaning the brewing group

Use a brush to remove old coffee residue from the brewing group. Make sure to clean the seals as well. If necessary, you can disassemble the brewing group and clean it thoroughly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sieve and portafilter

Rinse the sieve and portafilter under warm water and use the brush to remove any residue. Regularly soaking these parts in a mixture of warm water and descaler can help loosen stubborn deposits.

Descaling the machine

Depending on the water hardness, it is advisable to descale the machine regularly. To do this, use descaling tablets or a liquid descaler according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Cleaning the external surfaces

Use a mild cleaning cloth or sponge to clean the external surfaces of the espresso machine. Be careful not to use any harsh cleaning products to avoid damage.


Assembly and rinsing

Reassemble all parts and rinse the machine to ensure that no detergent residue remains. Throw away the first few shots of espresso to ensure that all detergent residue is rinsed out.

Cleaning the portafilter - importance of routine

Regularly cleaning your portafilter is crucial to the quality of your espresso and the longevity of your espresso machine. By taking the time to thoroughly clean each component and pay attention to hygiene, you can ensure that every espresso is a pleasure. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations and adjust the cleaning frequency depending on usage to ensure optimal performance of your portafilter machine. Invest in caring for your equipment and you will be rewarded with every sip of perfectly prepared espresso.


Cleaning the portafilter - final thoughts

The art of cleaning the portafilter is not just a chore, but an investment in the quality of your coffee experience. A conscientious approach to cleaning not only ensures a first-class espresso, but also a long-term partnership with your espresso machine, especially since these things aren't exactly cheap. Internalize these principles, make cleaning a ritual, and your portafilter will thank you with every coffee - with an aroma that is worth the effort.

Cleaning the portafilter –
Days, weeks and months

Clean the portafilter, the sieves, the water tank, the water collecting tray and the drip tray of the water collecting tray daily with warm water. Thorough washing and rinsing is usually sufficient. The brewing group should be cleaned weekly at the latest and the shower sieve, water tank and portafilter should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month. This includes cleaning with cleaning and descaling agents.

Cleaning the portafilter - Further tips

To keep your portafilter in top shape, you should not only follow the basic cleaning steps, but also consider some additional tips. Here are some advanced recommendations to optimize the care of your espresso machine:

  • Check water quality : Use filtered or softened water to minimize limescale buildup and extend the life of your machine.
  • Regular maintenance : Regularly check all moving parts of your portafilter machine, including seals and valves. Replace worn parts in a timely manner to avoid major problems.
  • Temperature control : Make sure the brewing temperature remains constant. Temperature fluctuations can affect the taste of the espresso. If necessary, calibrate the temperature of your machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use high-quality cleaning products : Invest in high-quality cleaning tablets and descalers to ensure effective cleaning and descaling. Cheap products may not achieve the desired results.
  • Machine care training : Check with your machine manufacturer for specific recommendations and training. Many companies offer training materials to help you get the most out of your espresso machine.

Cleaning the portafilter - Summary

Cleaning the portafilter is not a tedious task, but a key to maintaining the quality of your espresso. With proper care, you can not only enjoy great taste, but also maximize the lifespan of your machine. Internalize the cleaning rituals, pay attention to the advanced tips and follow the manufacturer's recommendations. A well-maintained portafilter machine is the key to an aromatic coffee experience that you will enjoy again and again. #staywild