Cleaning Coffee Equipment And Maintaining Hygiene In The Wake Of The COVID-19 Pandemic
This is a shortened version of an article that was published in the May 2020 edition of the Global Coffee Report Magazine. It is available online at https://gcrmag.com/profile/view/cleaning-equipment-and-maintaining-hygiene-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic. To learn more about Cafetto, visit www.cafetto.com. To access to the Global Coffee Report Magazine, visit https://www.gcrmag.com/ Download the Global Coffee Report iPad App at https://apps.apple.com/au/app/global-coffee-review-magazine/id584714407
Cafetto discusses the increased importance of cleaning equipment and maintaining hygiene in the coffee industry. COVID-19 has illustrated to many people the importance of a clean and sanitary environment. In hospitality, this goes beyond front of house and service areas to food and beverage preparation. To help the coffee industry maintain safe hygiene and cleaning practices, Australia-based company Cafetto has developed a broad portfolio of products suited to different equipment and requirements.
“At this crazy time, everyone’s concern is that they don’t want to get or spread the coronavirus,” Cafetto General Manager Christine Song says. “Cleaning surfaces and equipment as much as you can has always been good practice, but the current pandemic shows just how important it really is.” With many venues around the world turning to drive-through, takeaway, or delivery to continue operation, customer service has become less of a differentiator in the market. This means they need to focus more on quality to maintain customers.
“Hygiene may be particularly important now, but we also want to serve the best coffee possible. After rinsing, the group head is ready for use. “This is not regular detergent. It is a specially formulated product that fits the specific demands of a traditional espresso machine,” Song says. “Regularly cleaning a machine will make its lifespan longer, require less maintenance, and keep the quality higher.”
“We don’t ignore existing or potential customers when they’re having problems cleaning their equipment. We always look at what people need and how we can provide a solution,” Song says. “Our research and development team carry out many projects where a customized solution is required to solve a customer’s problem. That’s how we went from one product to a full range that cleans different types of equipment.”
Through discussions with manufacturers, Cafetto learned of the issue scaling presents to the boiler of an espresso machine. Scaling occurs when water turns to steam and leaves behind trace amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium carbonate. Over time this can form a crust in the boiler than cannot be removed with regular filtration. “If scaling builds up, there is less room for water and it becomes difficult to create good steam,” Song says. “We support descaling as often as the manufacturer recommends. It is important to track because many manufacturers don’t provide warranty if descaling isn’t performed.”
On the outside of a coffee machine, the steam wand can be soaked in Cafetto Milk Frother Cleaner to remove milk residue, needing only a wipe down and purge afterwards. Song says automatic machines, on the other hand, have a more complicated milk system and require frequent cleaning. “This system needs to be cleaned and sanitized every day, and this is where we recommend using our Milk Frother Cleaner every day.”
Most cleaning products need to be used with warm to hot water, but you don’t typically want to expose this equipment to high temperatures…”
Cleaning the coffee components of super automatics, however, tends to be easier than traditional machines. Song says many have inbuilt cleaning cycles, and operators only need to insert a Cafetto tablet and run the process with the touch of a button. “We use ingredients like tartaric acid, which are produced from food items, plants, and minerals. It’s less harmful to the environment. We want to do what we can to improve coffee’s sustainability.”
With hygiene at the forefront of the industry’s attention, Song says maintaining cleaning standards, coffee quality, and equipment health is important to overcoming this temporary setback. “You need to keep your environment sanitary, and can reduce contamination with regular good cleaning,” Song says.
“But long-term, if a machine is not cleaned daily, the coffee it produces is not the best that it can be. People can taste the difference, and it’s not a good feeling drinking coffee from a dirty machine.”