Recommend Some Basic Espresso Tools

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.
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#1: Post by SlowRain »

This topic is a little important for me as I'll most likely have to order things over the Internet or else make a special trip to Taipei just for some of this stuff, so I'm hoping for a somewhat comprehensive shopping list so that I'll only have to do this once. I just don't have the luxury of going down the street to pick coffee stuff up. Plus, some of this stuff may have to be ordered from overseas.

What cleaning and maintenance tools would you recommend to someone just starting out with espresso? I realize there may be some machine-specific tools and some general tools. In my case, it'll be a brass and copper Pavoni Professional with wooden handles (the PRH).

As of now, I'm thinking of a Pällo Coffeetool and Steamy Wanda. But what else? Pällo's Caffeine Wrench seems a little superfluous.

For a cleaning detergent, either Cafiza, PuroCaf, or JoeGlo (I realize a lever machine doesn't have to be backflushed, but these detergents also seem to be used for soaking and general cleaning). Rinza for the steam wand. Anything else?

I'd appreciate and suggestions you may have and why you have found them useful.


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#2: Post by JmanEspresso »

You might be able to get away with not having the Rinza. If you make sure you thoroughly wipe the steam wand with a damp rag after every use, and once a month take off the tip and scrub it with the 'steam wanda' you should be ok.

I mean.. it WILL clean it for you, but you cold probably save some money by skipping it, as it isnt as 'need-to-have' as say, cafiza is. Making sure you clean it everytime you use it thoroughly, will make it easier for the monthly cleaning.

Add in some dark coloured(black or brown) towels, and since you want to only make one order, probably get one or two group head gaskets, MAYBE a steam wand O-ring(if the LP uses one, idk).

For your grinder, either minute rice or Grindz, minute rice being a much cheaper alternative. Id like some Grindz, but the price kills me.



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SlowRain (original poster)

#3: Post by SlowRain (original poster) »

Tamper will most likely be from Reg Barber. Grinder cleaning is mostly taken care of already. Thanks for the tip on the Rinza.


#4: Post by zin1953 »

Keep in mind, none of this may help you directly, as we all have our personal preferences, and there are many products, tools, and even techniques that -- though different -- all will accomplish the same result . . .

I'm personally a big fan of Bumper professional barista tools from Hong Kong -- I have a Bumper tamper at home and in my office, as well as a Bumper tamping stand (a great, well-designed, and invaluable "assistant"), and knockbox. But that's me, and certainly Reg Barber makes some great tampers.

I prefer JoeGlo over Cafiza; it seems to foam less and rinses cleaner -- at least in my experience. After going through a variety of different brushes and cleaning tools, I finally got a Pällo brush and haven't looked back! I do have the wrench, too, but I can honestly say it hasn't been used much . . . yet. Haven't used nor needed "Steamy Wanda."

I have a digital scale that I use periodically (say, once every 1-2 weeks) as a "double-check" to make sure I am dosing "properly," and don't get into any bad habits. Same with a thermometer for my steaming pitcher -- once every week or two seems to keep me in line. I also have a variety of brushes -- see here as an example -- if you count from the top left, I have #1 and #4 (as well as #7 in my office) to help sweep up stray grounds.

I also have some Urnex Cafe WIPZ and, yes, Grindz . . .

A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#5: Post by HB »

SlowRain wrote:What cleaning and maintenance tools would you recommend to someone just starting out with espresso?
One of the espresso cleaners like Cafiza/Purocaff/JoeGlo are must-haves. A good no-burn group brush like Pallo's. I don't see much need for a dedicated brush for the steam wand. Keep it clean, remember to purge after each use, remove and soak it twice a year if you're paranoid.

Apart from the obvious barista toys like tampers, I recommend a good 0.1g accuracy scale (recommendations) and maybe an extra basket or two. They come in handy if you want to do blind taste tests by discreetly marking one of them, preparing several baskets, then mixing them up.
zin1953 wrote:I also have some Urnex Cafe WIPZ...
My wife noted they have the same smell, texture, and ingredients as hypoallergenic baby wipes. :wink:
Dan Kehn


#6: Post by zin1953 »

HB wrote:My wife noted they have the same smell, texture, and ingredients as hypoallergenic baby wipes. :wink:
Your wife is correct, IMHO. I never said I'm going to buy them a second time . . . :wink:
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#7: Post by »

HB wrote:My wife noted they have the same smell, texture, and ingredients as hypoallergenic baby wipes. :wink:
Not just any baby wipes! :wink:

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#8: Post by JmanEspresso »

Yes, I thought they were not needed.. a little expensive.

In my house, we have almost every single wipe that exists. We probably have the whole line of Clorox and Lysol wipes, windex, as well as every armor-all wipe. We like wipes. My favorite for cleaning my machine and the surrounding area, it the Lysol disinfecting double sided wipes. One side is a little rough, and works great for the backsplash and the group on Anita. After I use the wipe, I polish with a microfiber polishing cloth. Helps to keep her gleamin.

Wednesday is cleaning day for me. Every week, Ill wipe down anita thoroughly, clean the reservoir/drip tray.. Vacuum the bar-top and surrounding area. Every other Wednesday, ill backflush with Cafiza/soak PF and steam wand tip, and every third Wednesday Ill clean my grinder. Every fourth Wednesday, I clean my shoes. Why Wednesday? Cuz Anita arrived on a Wednesday. Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday. :)


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#9: Post by espressme »

Something not to buy but very useful:
A cup that allows the group to fit into it above the wide bell. This may be used filled with water without detergent or with to flush the group and shower screen with a pumping movement of the lever to pull water in and out of the group. It is also handy before or after a shot to flush the group without over filling the drip depression in the machine base.
And here is a further answer:
Back flushing a lever machine
Get some Dow111 high temperature food safe lubricant to apply a thin coating in the piston cylinder after you have removed the shower screen for any reason or when the lever seems sticky. It may also be used to grease the lever pins and shaft.
Good luck and Many Happy Pulls!

richard penney LMWDP #090,


#10: Post by Gus »

Dan suggested extra baskets. I would also add additional baskets of different volumes if they are available. Like 12 and 14 gram doubles and 19 or 21 gram triples.


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