# To clean or not to clean.

• Total voters
30
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

## Main Question or Discussion Point

I have been watching the coffee patina grow inside my carafe for years, it was a rich brown. Yesterday my wife looked inside and claimed to understand why our coffee was tasting muddy. She made me clean it back down to shiny stainless.

So the question is, to clean or not to clean?

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turbo
Gold Member
I have an espresso machine and I don't clean it. I rinse out my mug with hot water every morning. NO soap or scouring.

Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
I cant stand anything that even vaguely tastes like coffee, so forgive me for asking this.

Why don't you clean your cup, or mug, or pot, or whatever?

Yes , but only if I am going to use it to brew up some nectar for the hummingbirds. I do it when my wife isn't home. Then when she comes home she says: "Oh how sweet you cleaned out the coffee maker."

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Eventually the carafe gets cleaned.

We use drip coffee makers, so the carafe or pot is glass.

dlgoff
Gold Member
With the hard water around here, it doesn't take long before you can notice a less tasty cup. Which is my cue to clean.

AlephZero
Homework Helper
The proper way to make coffee was taught to me by a Norwegian.

* Get an old-style iron kettle, designed for use on a fire or gas/electric stove. Do NOT attempt to use an electric kettle.
* Put a layer of coarse ground coffee in the kettle.
* Fill with cold water.
* Heat slowly till it boils (this should take about 20-30 minutes).
* Pour the hot liquid, unfiltered, into coffee mug, add sugar and/or cold milk to taste.
* Enjoy.

Warning: until you get acustomed to it, this is a very effective laxative!

The kettle must NEVER be cleaned. If you run out of coffee, just fill the kettle with water and simmer for a longer time.

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I have been watching the coffee patina grow inside my carafe for years, it was a rich brown. Yesterday my wife looked inside and claimed to understand why our coffee was tasting muddy. She made me clean it back down to shiny stainless.

So the question is, to clean or not to clean?
Did the coffee improve after the cleaning?

How did you clean it, btw?

Chi Meson
Homework Helper
I clean my stailess steel coffee pot every other month. I scour the pot with a brillo after cleaning the coffee maker with a vinegar solution. After which I run two pots of water through the coffee making cycle to rinse it. The first pot after that is usually not, shall I say, "The Best," but it's better than Dunkin or the option at work.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Did the coffee improve after the cleaning?

How did you clean it, btw?
Not to my taste. Of course I drink it black while the wife's is about 50% milk + flavoring, so how would I know

I have a stainless vacumn carafe. I cannot get my hand inside, my wife just can but there are very sharp tabs sticking out which slice at her wrists.
I used a large kitchen spoon and a scruber sponge.

I have always just rinsed out the old coffee, making no effort to scrub.

I remember when I was in the navy someone took the effort to clean our coffee urn, about half the shop was up in arms about lossing the patina. I really don't know if it makes any difference, but being a bit lazy I usually take the easy route!

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Do you clean your pots and pans after cooking with them? I don't really see the difference.

turbo
Gold Member
Do you clean your pots and pans after cooking with them? I don't really see the difference.
I clean glass, non-stick, and stainless. With LIGHT soap only, Iron and ceramics Don't get washed with soap and no abrasives. Ok. Like the South Park kids getting their money back from Mel Gibson.... Some level of purity and dedication is required!!

typically run white vinegar through the machine twice, then twice more with water to clean it.

I will fill the stove kettle with 1:1 water:vinegar and bring it to a boil for a few minutes to remove the hard water deposits.

Evo
Mentor
If you don't clean it the oils that have adhered to the caraffe become rancid, lime bilds up, these things will give a bad taste to your coffee, unless you've developed a taste for tainted coffee.

I clean it on a semi-regular basis... my spouse wouldn't ever clean it.

This also appears to be the case with the bathrooms in the house.

Cleaning a coffee pot and even preparing coffee is a time consuming process so use instant coffee as opposed to brewed coffee because brewed coffee must be brewed in coffee brewers which use 900W of power on average regardless of whether the brewer uses fire or electricity. The brewer must usually be operated for an hour causing it to use 900Wh of energy while the water used for instant coffee can simply be heated in a microwave which uses 800W of power on average for only 30 seconds before the coffee powder is mixed in causing it to use only 6.67Wh of energy which is 135 times lower than the energy used by the fire and electrical brewers.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
Cleaning a coffee pot and even preparing coffee is a time consuming process so use instant coffee as opposed to brewed coffee because brewed coffee must be brewed in coffee brewers which use 900W of power on average regardless of whether the brewer uses fire or electricity. The brewer must usually be operated for an hour causing it to use 900Wh of energy while the water used for instant coffee can simply be heated in a microwave which uses 800W of power on average for only 30 seconds before the coffee powder is mixed in causing it to use only 6.67Wh of energy which is 135 times lower than the energy used by the fire and electrical brewers.
...but instant coffee is disgusting.

The other advantage of instant coffee is that it maximizes the utilization of coffee cream powder and sugar because those two powders are pre-mixed into the instant coffee and the amount that is introduced into each batch is regulated by timed powder injectors. And if there is an error, feedback sensors would relay the information to the computers controlling the production process so that the saturated batches can be re-processed. In this way, the human error of simply estimating the sugar and cream quantity before introducing it to the coffee is eliminated from the preparation process which again maximizes the efficiency of coffee making. Some bottles are even equipped with spring loaded, push actuated trap valves that are timed to close the bottle cap after a certain amount of coffee powder is poured to ensure that just the right amount of powder is mixed in.

I actually find nothing wrong with instant coffee. The taste is fine to me and it provides the same kind of stimulant effect delivered by brewed coffee. I guess some people are just attached to the smell and feel of a coffee brewer.

If you don't clean it the oils that have adhered to the caraffe become rancid, lime bilds up, these things will give a bad taste to your coffee, unless you've developed a taste for tainted coffee.
This is my understanding also. I clean our drip glass carafe every weekend. Just lightly with soap and water with a wash rag.

Borek
Mentor
Cleaning a coffee pot and even preparing coffee is a time consuming process so use instant coffee as opposed to brewed coffee because brewed coffee must be brewed in coffee brewers which use 900W of power on average regardless of whether the brewer uses fire or electricity. The brewer must usually be operated for an hour causing it to use 900Wh of energy while the water used for instant coffee can simply be heated in a microwave which uses 800W of power on average for only 30 seconds before the coffee powder is mixed in causing it to use only 6.67Wh of energy which is 135 times lower than the energy used by the fire and electrical brewers.
Drinking just cold water is even more energy efficient.

The brewer must usually be operated for an hour causing it to use 900Wh of energy
You must have one hell of a coffee cup if you need a kw for an hour

while the water used for instant coffee
Civilised societies use coffee presses which need to heat precisely the same amount of water as you do for instant coffee.
Plus instant coffee is made by basically making a cup (or tank) of proper coffee and then evaporating it - how much energy do you think that takes?

You must have one hell of a coffee cup if you need a kw for an hour
This is because I was not referring to a brewer for a single cup but a kettle sized brewer which serves about four cups but if the energy is divided, it takes at least 225Wh of energy to brew each cup, but compared to the 6.67Wh of energy used by the microwave, the microwave still uses 34 times less energy to prepare the coffee.

Civilised societies use coffee presses which need to heat precisely the same amount of water as you do for instant coffee. Plus instant coffee is made by basically making a cup (or tank) of proper coffee and then evaporating it - how much energy do you think that takes?
Actually, because the batch brewing and spray drying process is precisely controlled by automated systems and a variety of chemical processing systems, the efficiency of instant coffee production is higher than if a regular coffee brewer is used. Now they could install such accessories in coffee brewers but that would greatly increase the cost of purchasing the brewer which is why these systems are best suited for the mass production of instant coffee. The instant coffee also has a longer shelf life thanks to its dehydrated form and has a lower shipping weight and volume than ground coffee or beans which decreases the energy used to ship the coffee and the amount of coffee that expires in the groceries. This is the reason why the average cost efficacy of ground or bean coffee is 5c/g while the instant coffee costs only 3c/g which makes it 67% cheaper and this is without mention of the sugar and coffee cream powder bottles that have to be purchased separately if ground or bean coffee is used. The coffee brewer that people have to purchase alone has a penalty on resources because it takes energy and materials to make and distribute the appliance whose only use is coffee brewing. The cost of purchasing disposable coffee filters, and the energy and materials used to maintain the brewer which is the initial dilemma posted by the thread originator are also additional penalties.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Cleaning a coffee pot and even preparing coffee is a time consuming process so use instant coffee as opposed to brewed coffee because brewed coffee must be brewed in coffee brewers which use 900W of power on average regardless of whether the brewer uses fire or electricity. The brewer must usually be operated for an hour causing it to use 900Wh of energy while the water used for instant coffee can simply be heated in a microwave which uses 800W of power on average for only 30 seconds before the coffee powder is mixed in causing it to use only 6.67Wh of energy which is 135 times lower than the energy used by the fire and electrical brewers.
One has to wonder how much energy is consumed in making that powder?

Did you factor in the environmental damage done by those chemicals.

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The other advantage of instant coffee is that it maximizes the utilization of coffee cream powder and sugar because those two powders are pre-mixed into the instant coffee and the amount that is introduced into each batch is regulated by timed powder injectors. And if there is an error, feedback sensors would relay the information to the computers controlling the production process so that the saturated batches can be re-processed. In this way, the human error of simply estimating the sugar and cream quantity before introducing it to the coffee is eliminated from the preparation process which again maximizes the efficiency of coffee making. Some bottles are even equipped with spring loaded, push actuated trap valves that are timed to close the bottle cap after a certain amount of coffee powder is poured to ensure that just the right amount of powder is mixed in.

I actually find nothing wrong with instant coffee. The taste is fine to me and it provides the same kind of stimulant effect delivered by brewed coffee. I guess some people are just attached to the smell and feel of a coffee brewer.
1. You are way off topic. This is not a thread about energy consumption.
2. The concoction you are talking about sounds so discusting that you may as well save lots of energy and not even make in the first place.

What has this got to do with cleaning a coffee carafe?

Staff Emeritus
I cannot taste any difference from pre clean to after clean. We are currently using cheap a Costco beans, I may go get some good http://www.sivetzcoffee.com/" beans to see if they taste better. The difference is $5/lb vs$10/lb.