It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to maintaining and cleaning our coffee equipment, this is certainly true. Many of us use drippers, kettles, grinders, and cups everyday to brew coffee, but how often do we clean them? If you’re a frequent home brewer, then having a solid, consistent cleaning regimen will go a long way in keeping your coffee tasting its best.
When we are using our brewing equipment so frequently, it is easy to overlook some of the build-up that doesn’t show as readily after one or two brews. After one or two weeks of regular brewing certain points of contact like the bottom of the Stagg [X] Dripper will show visible signs of coffee oils collecting. Below is a list of our products with tips on how you can keep them in great shape and your coffee tasting it’s best!
Electric Kettles (Stagg EKG and Corvo EKG)
When using kettles on a regular basis, even with filtered water, some scale build-up will eventually develop in the places where water is in contact with the kettle the most—namely the spout and the bottom interior. Though this is only harmless build-up of minerals called limescale (mainly calcium carbonate), it is a direct result of heating up water and thus, inevitably happens with all kettles. Depending on the mineral concentration in your water, it is bound to show up sooner or later, and if not dealt with it can have an impact on the flavor of your coffee. Fortunately, cleaning the inside of the kettle is fairly easy, and only requires inexpensive, common household items.
Simply fill your kettle to the watermark with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water, and allow it to soak in the kettle for 20-30 minutes (without heat). Once this is done, you can either wipe the inside clean with something non-abrasive like a microfiber cloth, soft brush, or a sponge, or you can boil the solution to loosen any stubborn build up. If you have one handy, you can even clean the gooseneck spout by using a small pipe cleaner brush from the hardware store. Insert the pipe cleaner from the pouring end of the spout. The flow restrictor will not allow a brush to fit through if it is inserted from inside the kettle. If there is any residue on the lid, the lid pull can be unscrewed by hand to clean underneath. It is important to note: take care not to get water, soap, or abrasives on the electrical components of your kettle and base. This can cause them to get damaged or malfunction.
Stovetop Kettles (Clyde, Stagg, and Raven)
Cleaning the inside of the stovetop kettles is the same process as cleaning the electric Stagg EKG. To clean the outside use a wet microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface, and if it is especially dirty, some warm, soapy water should do the trick. Removing the thermometer to clean the lid on Stagg or Raven is easy, as the stem of the thermometer can be pushed through the top of the lid pull. Whether it is the metal lid for Stagg or silicone lid for Raven, either is easily hand washable. The thermometer can be washed by hand as well.
Stagg [X] and [XF] Dripper
Your drippers will likely retain a lot of the oils from the coffee you brew as time goes on. As this builds up, it is especially important to keep surfaces clean as that oil will eventually go rancid and affect the taste of your coffee. Having some type of hard bristled brush or scouring pads will make cleaning the coffee oils off of your brewer much easier. A simple scrubbing with soap and water on occasion will do wonders, but if the oils have been building up for a while, it may need a little more effort. In these cases, soaking your tools in degreasers by brands like Cafiza can demulsify the oils and make them much easier to wipe away. Note: If you use Cafiza or a similar product on either the [X] or [XF] drippers be sure to remove the silicone gasket from the base and hand wash that separately.
Prismo AeroPress® Attachment
When it comes to cleaning the Prismo, we recommend following three simple steps for each time you clean it. First, heat up some clean water and by using your AeroPress, plunge a chamber-full through the valve to flush it out —kind of like a squirt gun! After that, you can remove the small, orange valve by prying/wedging it out from inside the attachment with your thumbnail. This can be cleaned easily with soap and water, but if it has built up oils from not being cleaned for a while, you may want to soak it first. Finally, cleaning the metal filter is easily done by scrubbing it with a soft bristled brush or scouring pad, however if too much time has passed between cleans, this may require a good pre-soak as well.
Carter Wide Mug
It may go without saying for many of us, but cleaning that coffee mug is important too! It's easy to simply give it a quick hand wash, but being really thorough will prevent any build-up from collecting in the tight spaces.
When cleaning the ceramic coating on the inside of Carter, use a non abrasive cloth or sponge and warm soapy water. If using a dishwasher we recommend placing it in the top rack, and removing the silicone ring on the lid. The silicone ring can be washed separately by hand by soaking it in hot water with a tablespoon of baking soda to neutralize any old scents which it may have absorbed, and then rinsing thoroughly. Keeping the interior of the Carter clean is essential to receiving the full benefit of the elevated tasting experience that the thin lip and open top that the Carter features.
While not in use, it is important to store Carter with the lid off and let it air out between uses to prevent unwanted smells.
Atmos Vacuum Canister
Whether your Atmos is metal or glass, the body of the canister is easy to clean. The chaff and coffee oils can collect and stale, affecting the flavor of your new coffee beans, so we always recommend cleaning the interior with soap and water between each bag. Even just giving the inside a wipe with a dry paper towel is helpful. The lid can be cleaned by removing the seal and placing the metal and paper filters on a dry cloth or paper towel. If you want to be extra thorough, use compressed air to blow any pieces of coffee chaff from the vacuum holes.
Keeping your brewing equipment will not only result in better tasting coffee, but will increase the overall enjoyment of the brewing experience. It’s a great way to absolutely make sure you bring out the best flavors in your favorite coffee.
Did we miss anything? Is there an issue you’re having with cleaning your Fellow gear that we didn’t cover here? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org!