Coffee & Tea 101 | Superheroic Care for your Superauto
Your beloved superautomatic espresso machine makes crafting coffee so simple and convenient, you might be tempted to overlook its cleaning and maintenance -- after all, don't the internal elves in the machine take care of that? But doing so will result in the onset of a general sadness and malaise when, one morning, you begin to make your quadruple shot latte and your machine responds with the mechanical version of, 'No Bueno.'
This article provides you with a handy guide to regular care of your superauto. These are general tips and tricks, however, and your machine may require these be performed more or less frequently. Also, listen to your machine! Some of them have excellent diagnostic and maintenance reminders built into them, so heed their calls.
You don't have to dive into a full-scale maintenance every day, but making sure you clean everything thoroughly after use will decrease the time you spend doing so later. We recommend:
- Dumping and rinsing the dregs box and drip tray.
- Taking apart and thoroughly washing the panarello wand.
- If you have automatic milk frothing, clean all of those components.
- If your machine has a rinse cycle, run water through the brew spouts; if not, make sure you wipe them down with a wet cloth.
- Wiping everything down so it's free of coffee and milk residue.
Like any good relationship, you should set aside special time together each week to check in with each other. Where your superautomatic is concerned, this is a great time to:
- If your brew group is removable, take it out and spray it down really well with hot water.
- Remove the dregs and drip tray components and the water reservoir, then wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
- Scrub out the machine's internal chamber with a soapy spunge and then wipe it down with water.
- If your machine has automated milk frothing, use a milk cleaning solution to thoroughly clean all of the components (hoses, carafes, spouts, etc.)
- Remove all of the beans from your hopper and then wipe it down well with a food-friendly cleaner to remove any oil build-up that can go rancid.
- Using a food-friendly cleaner, wipe down your entire machine to make sure it's free of coffee and milk residue -- and paw prints!
Monthly Cleaning & Assessment
Every fourth time you perform your weekly maintenance, it's time to take stock!
- Take a good look at all of your machine's components and note if there are any places that are seeing excessive wear and tear -- O-rings, seals, brew screens, etc.
- Perform a very thorough brew group cleaning: If it's removable, take apart the brew chamber, clean it (you can even run it through the dishwasher) and replace O-rings or lubricant as needed. If it's not removable, then run the machine's brew unit cleaning cycle.
- If you live somewhere with high mineral content water, now's the time to perform your regular descale process.
If you've been keeping up on your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning, your quarterly regimen will be fairly simple. If you're using water with a low mineral content, then, in addition to the monthly care, you'll need to perform your descale process every third month.
Finally, it's always great to get a second opinion! Each year, you should take your machine in to a repair center so that the techs can perform a very thorough cleaning and maintenance. Since it's difficult to clean your machine's integrated burr grinder, a tech will be able to take apart your machine, clean those burrs of any coffee oil and residue build up and then (most importantly!) get it back together again. They should also descale it, replace any parts that are seeing excessive wear and tear and then let you know if there are any issues with the machine's performance.
Arm yourself with a few of these cleaning supplies to make short work of your regular maintenance routine.
Milk Cleaning Solutions
Need more info? Check out these articles and videos for more detailed guidance on regular superautomatic espresso machine care.
- Infographic: Guide to Descaling
- Article: How to Descale - step-by-step
- Article: Brew Group Maintenance
- Video: Cleaning a Superautomatic Brew Group
- Video: Saeco Superauto Brew Group Lubrication
- Video: Descaling the Saeco Vienna Plus
- Video: Saeco Vienna Plus Grinder Calibration
- Video: Saeco Superauto Brew Group Care Tips