A dirty machine not only looks bad but will have a huge effect on the taste and quality of your coffee. Built up coffee oils in the group head become burned and rancid and will produce a bitter espresso. Equally a dirty steamer arm is not only a health hazard but can also give your milk a stewed taste. So combined this will produce an inferior coffee.
We find it quite amazing, the amount of people who don’t bother to read the manufacturers instruction when they get their new machines. In these instructions it should tell you how to maintain your machine, also what product you should use to descale. In domestic machines the descaling process will vary between machines and so if you are unsure about how to descale then get some advice from a coffee professional who will recommend the correct product for your machine and explain how to use it. We recommend descaling every 90 days or 90 coffees whichever comes first. Espresso machines, when shown correctly are extremely easy to clean and maintain with a minimum amount of time and effort required and will last you for years. Automatic machines are a more complicated process.
In commercial machines cleaning, backflushing, and descaling should be included as part of your daily cleaning schedule. A dirty machine will produce an inferior coffee and in the long term cost you money in un-necessary repairs and loss of customers.
Anyone with a coffee machine would benefit greatly from a barista class, to help better understand your machine as well as getting the best out of your machine. Barista Classes are available at Bean Scene Around. Training is available for the home barista and staff training can be tailored to suit the business requirements.