Lastly you’ll need a knock box (or a garbage can nearby, or a sink) to knock the puck of coffee out of the portafilter. Then you can use some water from the coffee machine (pull the lever) to clean the portafilter. I also then use a blind disc (in a different portafilter) to backflush the machine with just water as part of my routine. Backflushing and chemical backflushing as well as descaling and other maintenance are part of a future article series, too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to proper espresso. I know that many of you have been referring back and forth to this article while you are busy preparing your car stuff for Craigslist, but that’s OK. Switching hobbies takes time, but all of us here at CafeIQ are here to help you through this transition and point out where you’re doing it wrong.