There are cafés that seem to make better coffee each time you go there– just as there are places that give you something that doesn’t even taste like coffee, and it makes you wonder, what are they getting so wrong?
Well, a big part of the answer is maintenance.
There is an infinite number of things that could go wrong with a coffee maker – though things are much easier with Nespresso coffee makers. They are designed to maximize convenience, and because of this they rarely break down if given a decent a reasonable amount of maintenance.
What do we mean by maintenance, and why does it matter?
If you want your machine to last and, more importantly, your coffee to keep tasting as good as when you first got your Nespresso machine, you must be clean and hygienic.
There are a bunch of things that could fall into this category – but in general, use your common sense and be clean; Keep your machine and its surroundings clean.
This is the only major “cleaning” that you’ll ever have to do when it comes to your Nespresso. The thing is so simple as to run some descaling liquid through your machine – you just pour it into the water tank along with water, run the machine a couple times, and that’s it.
This step is very important and cannot be neglected. Scale is serious stuff, and if your machine gets too clogged, it could become unrepairable.
To further prevent scale, you can use filtered water, as scale happens because of chlorine and calcium found in abundance in regular tap water.
Pay attention to your machine
A lot of coffee machine owners often say that their machine stopped working “out of the blue”. This is rarely the case: Coffee machines are very resilient, and will keep making coffee even when they are close to dying.
To know when you need to step in, it’s best that you pay attention to your machine – it will let you know whether there’s any maintenance to be done, and the general state the machine is in.
What to look for:
The first thing you’re going to notice when there’s something off with your machine is a difference in taste. The taste of your coffee will start to change.
The problem here is that these changes are so small and gradual, that most people brush it off as something that’s just in their head, etc.
Whenever you taste something off with your coffee, it’s better to perform a descaling right away and clean your machine thoroughly. You never know.
Second, you’re gonna want to pay attention to the temperature of your machine. Nespresso machines don’t regularly heat up too much, since they have a very fast heat-up time and don’t need to be powered up for more than a minute at a time.
That means that, if you ever feel like there’s heat radiating from your Nespresso, you need to take a look at it.
Lastly, listen to your machine. This is probably the most trusty method of telling the state of coffee machines: The noises they make.
Each machine makes different noises, though. You need to be familiar with your machine’s very own set of noises so that you can be able to tell if there’s something wrong going on there when you make your coffee.
How to do it right
The only reliable method to make sure that you keep giving your machine the attention that it needs is to turn it into a ritual. Let it be one of the few things that you have to do before going to bed at night – otherwise, you’ll probably forget about it.
Turn it into a habit by setting a particular time of the day to do it. If you’re not a fan of doing it at night, then schedule it first thing in the morning either before or after your coffee. The important thing here is to set a time and stick to it every single day.
80% of the work is just showing up, they say. This applies in our case, too: Most of the work is just doing small things that take no real effort, rather than time.
Paradoxically, these things can seem so trivial that we subconsciously block them out – and neglect them indefinitely. Individually, yes, small maintenance tasks look insignificant… But they all add up. Let’s see what these are.
Used capsule container
Yes, the whole point of the container is that you don’t have to manually dispose of capsules each time you make coffee. But coffee grounds contain oils that can go rancid, and it could create problems for your machine if you don’t empty it daily. Don’t leave capsules overnight; Empty your used capsule container as often as you can.
When water sits for long periods of time (12+ hours), its PH changes. This, in turn, leads to a noticeable change in taste: Water tastes “flat” if you let it sit too long after its been exposed to oxygen and other surfaces, and this will affect the taste of your coffee.
Fill up your water tank each morning so that you don’t risk any strange taste making its way into your coffee. It’s also recommended that you clean your water tank at least once a week.
Descaling is fairly easy when it comes to Nespresso machines. Just follow Nespresso’s instructions to the letter to perform the descaling. This should be done at least once every three months.
Sometimes, your machine will alert you that it needs a descaling – but mostly, you should be the one interested. Whenever your machine takes longer than usual to brew or starts making too much noise when brewing, it’s time for descaling.
As you can see, it’s really easy to keep your machine in good condition. Nespresso really made it easy for the customer to take care of their machine – and it’s one of the reasons we love them so much.
Keep your machine clean, and remember to listen to it the same way you listen to your car: Any weird noises, and it’s time for a check-up.