For many coffee lovers, making coffee from beans that you grind yourself means something special. Some people will drink only coffee that they themselves have ground, with nothing else being good enough. Others love to learn about the various tastes of different beans and to grind them is part of the fun.
Do I need to clean my coffee grinder?
It is not necessary to completely dismantle it when cleaning your grinder and scrub it down inch by inch. If that’s the kind of clean you like, it’s recommended that you ask for help from an experienced person, as it can be difficult, particularly when putting it back together.
When cleaning your coffee grinder, the main thing to focus on is oil buildup, which you will find in the dosing chamber as this is where the ground coffee ends up. Cleaning the hopper is also necessary as that is where the beans are stored.
The oil left behind can and will go sour and stale over time and this will affect your coffee‘s flavor significantly and not in a good way.
Coffee degrades over time as a result of oxygen and heat, and the longer it sits in your grinder, the worse the coffee will taste. This is because most coffee grinders recirculate coffee within them, which means you’ll never get a 100 percent fresh coffee grind with each dose unless you clean it.
The main reason to keep your grinder clean is to avoid super-fine coffee particles. These fine particles degrade more quickly and frequently hide in the hard-to-reach crevasses of your grinder. Without proper cleaning, these tiny particles build up in the grinder and form a foul crust, which is often visible as a brown stain in the bean container or around the burr grinder blades.
How often should I clean my coffee grinder?
There are two ways to decide when it’s time for your coffee grinder to be cleaned.
You could set your grinder cleaning schedule which will be determined by how often you use the grinder and how many beans you grind.
If you use your coffee grinder frequently, such as in a coffee shop or other commercial setting, you should clean it once every week or two. If you use the machine for espresso, which typically uses darker and oilier beans, you should clean it once a week.
If it’s just for personal use, once every month or two is fine.
Additionally, you should keep an eye on the condition of your grinder, and check for an accumulation of oils on the surfaces of the grinder. If you find this buildup of oil, that’s when you want to give an excellent clean to your coffee grinder.
How do I clean my coffee grinder?
You will (might) need:
- Your Grinder
- either a grinder cleaning brush or a toothbrush
- A microfiber cloth
- canned compressed air
- shop vac
The dosing chamber
You may have a screwed-on top in your grinder’s dosing chamber, in which case you’ll start by removing the screws before you get into the chamber.
Clear your dosage chamber with the use of the dosing handle. Use a small vacuum cleaner to suck up any dust that may stick to the chamber floor.
You can use a hot, damp cloth to clean the internal sides. Then you’ll want to dry the chamber out with a lint-free rag.
Once you’re pleased with how clean the chamber is, make sure it’s entirely dry. Then, replace the tops and reinsert the screws.
You should keep an eye on your hopper, especially when you’re in the coffee-making business, as customers will see when it doesn’t look clean, and they’ll probably be able to taste it too.
Get a good paper towel to clean it, and wash it after each grind to prevent oils from building up. If you do this, your grinder won’t need to be cleaned absolutely that often.
Switch the power off and unplug it. Shut the slide off at the grinder’s hopper base so you can stop the spilling of beans as you lift it from the grinder. Vacuum the beans in a bag or jar.
Then scoop the beans out from the top of your grinder. Use a small vacuum cleaner to get out all the residual dirt and beans from the top of the blades of your grinder.
Wash your hopper in warm water, using a mild detergent to absorb all the grease. It can hurt the plastic so be careful when washing this.
If you are going to use the grinder again soon, thoroughly rinse it and make sure it’s completely dry before putting it back on your grinder. If you are not going to need it right away, you can put it to dry somewhere safe.
Once your hopper has been dry and replaced, you can replenish it with coffee beans, plug it back in and give it a quick test to ensure that everything runs smooth.
What about the blades?
It’s recommended that you get Urnex Grindz to help the grinder’s blades get rid of odors and residues. You must simply empty all the coffee from your grinder and add the Urnex Grindz to the hopper, set it to medium (essential) and grind them through.
- Removes coffee residue and oils in standalone coffee grinders (not for super automatic espresso machines)
- Patented, all-natural, food safe and gluten-free tablet absorbs and loosens coffee grounds
- Effectively cleans grinders without disassembling burrs or casings
- Use regularly to ensure proper hygiene and to maintain consistent grinder performance
- Ideal for use to prevent flavor transfer when switching between regular, decaffeinated and flavored coffee beans
For a small grinder use a cap and for a bigger grinder use two. Clear the dosing chamber once this is finished, and brush out any residue. You can’ re-season’ your grinder by resetting it to your favorite configuration, adding and grinding coffee beans once again. Do just that once a month.
Whatever motivation you have for grinding coffee beans, you’ll have to look after your grinder. A grinder that isn’t cleaned frequently enough can lead to a taint in your coffee‘s taste and that’s never good.
So how often do I have my coffee grinder to clean? While you don’t need to clean it after every use, or even every day, getting into a habit of doing so is often a good idea. After every batch of beans you grind, the hopper may need a wipe.
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