The coffee grinder is, for many Baristas, their most important piece of equipment. Rightfully so correct?
How you take care of your grinder can have an effect on the overall taste of your Coffee beans dramatically. Coffee beans generally contain oils that stick to the inside of the grinder and the longer they stay there, the more bitter they become. So it’s very important to keep the coffee grinder as clean as possible.
Here are two different ways that I use to clean my grinder effectively: daily cleaning and in-depth cleaning.
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Steps for Cleaning Your Coffee Grinder Daily
Before we begin here, if you’re using a blade grinder, be sure to skip to the in-depth cleaning. You’ll thank me later!
Now ideally, you should clean your coffee grinders every day of use (obviously after using it of course). For this method, you don’t need to roll up your sleeves, maybe only halfway at least. Can’t be more careful right?
Step 1— Detachment
Close the lid before detaching the hopper so you don’t spill any coffee beans that you might still have in there. You’ll see that on top of the grind there are some coffee beans untouched: remove them by hand until there are none left. Now attach the hopper again, with the lid closed, and turn the grind on. This will remove any leftover particles sitting inside. Then detach the cone again.
Step 2— Brushing
Grab a brush. I recommend here having a medium brush which you’ll use to remove the fines and any other particles that can be still there and then a smaller brush for you to really get in there and get all the oils out. Clean the grinder and then really get in there with the brush. By now it should have revealed its true color; that’s when you know you’re really getting all the residues out.
Step 3— the Hopper
Now it’s time for the hopper. This one you’ll have to wash by hand. Use a soft sponge and water to clean it and you might use a brush as well if you see any sticky residue inside. Do not use soap or any kind of cleaning product, you don’t want to mess with your coffee’s aroma or flavor.
Step 4— the Wipe Down
Now you can wipe down the grinder and hopper with a dry paper towel, make sure everything is dry and clean, and you’re ready for the next day! I recommend doing this at night if you work as a Barista. You won’t want to do all this early in the morning. If you are a Barista, be sure to check out “5 Pro Tips to Become a Great Barista With Ease” for a guide on being the best at your job.
In-Depth Cleaning for Coffee Grinders
Now, depending on how much you use the coffee grinder, you’ll eventually need to do some serious cleaning. As I said before, coffee beans are oily, and these oils are exposed to the grinder when they pass through it. You’ll want to make sure it’s not the grinder’s fault that your coffee is coming out a little too bitter, or not with the same aroma as it should have.
While there are some products that are made specifically for cleaning the grinder, I’ve only ever used instant rice for this: The white rice, as it passes through the grind, will drag any coffee particles that might be stuck inside the grind, as well as get all of the oils out. White rice also tends to absorb moisture and smell, so it’s great for other purposes.
Step 1— Brushing
Clean your grinder with a brush the same way you would do for a daily clean, make sure that everything your eye can see is clean. Take the hopper out: for this step the grinder has to be exposed. Now set your grinder to the coarser setting it has and put ½ cup of dry, uncooked instant rice on top of the grind.
Grind the rice and then wipe down the grinder, get in there with your brush again, and then set the grind to medium. Put 1 tablespoon of rice and grind it. After this, you should be seeing almost no coffee particles along with the rice, but it’s better to be sure and do it a second time.
Step 2— the Wipe Down
Give it a good wipe down and then grind some coffee to make sure you get all the rice out. You don’t need to take apart the whole machine and clean it: You’ll probably make a complete mess and misplace parts of it. This method is efficient and will leave your grinder clean and odor-free, which is the really important part.
This step can be done as frequently as you like but, if you overdo it, you risk the blades losing their sharpness (although it would take hundreds of times of doing this for them to need replacing) and it’s really not necessary to do it more than once a month.
A Clean Coffee Grinder is a Happy One
In the end, the best way to take care of your grinder is to clean it gently every day and to never, ever use to grind anything else other than coffee or instant rice. If you follow these rules I doubt you’ll ever need to replace any parts, or even worse, have any complaints from the customers!
Thank you for reading! If you’re a Barista looking for more helpful tips, check out our Facebook group Daily Coffee Talk. You’ll be able to learn how to be the best barista around your town and other tips on running a cafe in a bustling city. Let us know in the comments your favorite part about being a Barista.
We’ll brew ya later!! ☕️