Technivorm vintage 2CoffeeCon has many classes that are more obviously glamorous than maintenance. But Consider: there were recent scare headlines about slime buildup in K-Cup coffeemakers. The article may have been yellow journalism, but its message about the need to clean was relevant in other ways. It might not make anyone sick, but modern coffemakers are designed to function best when they are new and free of calcium buildup. Meanwhile, if you’re concerned about any bacterial buildup due to pooling water left in the machine, there are obvious techniques used by professionals to keep things as sparkly clean inside as outside.

As someone who regularly buys old coffeemakers on eBay and thrift shops, it’s not difficult to bring machines to spec when you know how to clean them. Urnex is a company that dedicates itself to only one thing, and that is maintaining coffee brewing gear. Most commercial coffee used to be made in a device called an urn, hence the name.

For instance, in the hysteria following the blog post warning of K-Cup contamination, the bacteria of stale water would be instantly removed by a K-Cup cleaner Urnex makes. More likely for us, they make a cleaner for drip coffeemakers or kettles which uses citric acid to remove any bacteria and making sure we don’t get the dreaded calcium buildup, inevitable using good water. The minerals in water are necessary for flavor balance, but they also dry and harden in the pipes, eventually reducing flow and affecting performance.

At least some of the benefits people associate with manual brewing are due to exposed and easy-to-clean parts. Chemexes and Aeropresses never get limed up. Lots of two year old electric automatic drip makers, even expensive ones, are performing below spec due to calcium buildup.

If you’re into home espresso, the effect is even more readily felt. I’m all for buying the best gear, but a few simple steps can protect your investment. There are directions on all Urnex packages, but there’s nothing like learning firsthand how to keep your rig in tiptop running order. It’s not just an ad either. They will walk you through what’s really important and what’s not. We have Charlie Paris from Urnex doing the seminar and it was very well received in our previous CoffeeCon events.

All CoffeeCon classes are included with your general admission ticket.