Solving the common espresso problems

Making great espresso is easy, but screwing it up is much easier.
Our key points to consistently great espresso:
1. Clean the grinders/burrs every day (vacuum cleaning, dismantling the burrs few times a week, once at minimum)
2. Backflush the groupheads every 40 mins to 1 hour
3. Clean the inside of the portafilter and the whole basket every 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Remove the silicone/rubber gaskets and shower screen at least once during the shift, remove them and clean after you close. Unscrew and clean the spouts
5. Constantly improve the puck prep - from distribution to tamping and locking the portafilter into the group head.
6. Use precision baskets and shower screens, like the VST or IMS
7. Change the shower screens, baskets and silicone gaskets approximately every 4 months. The pressure deforms the holes snd material and shot quality snd extraction slightly decreases after 3-4 months.
8. Don't use rubber gaskets, they won't last that much.
9. Backflush the group heads with cafiza every evening, then clean everything with hot water.
10. Don't leave the filter baskets and portafilter in a cafiza bath overnight. The cafiza is very aggressive and it leave marks on the metal and destroys the handles if soaked. 15 minutes in hot water is enough.
11. Be gentle in your routine (don't bash the portafilter against the group head etc.
12. Light roasted specialty coffee need more time to properly degass. Use at least 3-4 weeks rested coffee to avoid flavor problems and inconsistencies in shot times.
13. Always use preinfusion to get the puck evenly saturated and decrease channeling (in our experience anything from 8-20 seconds works like a charm)
14. If your puck prep is good, preinfusion is set, but you're experiencing astringency, go coarser and pull a 1:3 shot. Delicious, balanced, more rounded, a little weaker though. Coarser grind decreases the problem of channeling.
15. Season the new espresso burrs on fine setting with 2-3 kilos of coffee at least. Sharp burrs make low extraction. If you see a sudden drop in extraction and the shots are lacking texture and sweetness, your burrs are probably dull and need a change (4 to 10 months, depending on how busy the shop is).
16. Recommended water temperature for our roasts sits between 94-96°C.