Freshen Up: 5 Tips For A Happy Brew Year

Jan 05, 2015

Here are some tips to get you brewing your best this year.

Clean Machine

It’s a good idea to clean your daily coffee maker on the regular. Oils from coffee cling to your trusty brewer and eventually go rancid, which is, unsurprisingly, not delicious. When cleaning your brewer, say nope to soap.

Soap leaves a residue and doesn’t break up coffee oils. We recommend avoiding the dishwasher for the same reason. In all of our cafes, we use Purocaff to regularly clean our espresso machines and coffee brewers. You can find home packets of cleaner by the same company online.

Mind Your Burrs

The more you clean the burrs on your grinder, the longer they’ll last. Coffee fines and oils build up in your grinder – you’ll want to take the grinder apart and use a dry toothbrush or a dry cloth to clean out all the old coffee that collects there.

Urnex makes a product called Grindz, which is great for a deep clean. It’s flavor neutral, composed of food grade products, and does a great job eliminating stale oils, flavors, and residue from the burrs and grinding chamber.

Look alive! Baratza does not recommend using rice (a common home practice) to clean your grinder. If you do, it may void your warranty!

A word on Baratza: Burrs need to be replaced every few years on Baratza grinders. If your machine is clean and you are getting lots of dust-sized fine particles, slow dripping coffee and little-to-no grind size variation, regardless of grind setting changes, it may be time to replace your burrs. You can buy them here.

We love Baratza electric grinders because they are super solid, do a great job and have easily replaceable parts, so they’ll last forever. They also have a rad grinder repair program – they’ll do a full service, clean, calibrate and replacement of worn parts for $45-90 with return shipping.

Clean Water Act

Always use fresh, filtered water when brewing coffee. Water chambers in electric brewers build up lime and calcium deposits from the water. Descaling your machine removes these deposits and keeps your coffee tasting clean. If you live in a place with hard water, it’s a good idea to descale the water chamber a couple times a year. Urnex also makes a good descaling packets available here.. Make sure you rinse everything really well before brewing again.

Out with the Old

Coffee is best consumed within two weeks of the roast date. Time to throw out the old freezer stuff and start fresh.

In with the New

Venture out of your usual habit. Try a new brew method or type of coffee this year. Take advantage of our Brew Guides to get you jazzed.

You might find you love Kenyan coffees or that Indonesian coffees are your cup of tea. (If you really do want a new cup of tea, Steven Smith Teamaker knows what’s up. We started serving these teas in our cafes not too long ago and they are just great.) If you are looking for a blend, try our Blend Trio to see what suits you. We have rotating single origin tasting trios, too.

As always, we’re here to help. If you have any questions about clean machines or which coffees to try, holler at us at or tweet us @stumptowncoffee.