Posted Sun Jun 10, 2012, 6:18pm Subject: Re: Starbucks Barista Athena
I don't think you can backflush this machine as it does not have a 3-way valve. There is a rubber insert for the portafilter but that's for when you use the single basket along with an E.S.E. pod. The only way to clean this machine, along with any other single boiler machine without a 3-way solenoid, is to use a product such as Dezcal. That's what I use for my Starbucks Sirena.
What can be useful - on machines without a 3-way valve - is to use a backflush disc just so the filter basket holds enough water to do a "portafilter wiggle" to rinse off the group shower screen and the group gasket. You have to be careful not to lock the PF in place and pump any pressure with a blind basket or a backflush disc - if you let it build up pressure it is very tough to get the PF out as the pressure has no way to release. But I do really like to just fill a backflush/blind basket with water and then set it in place on the group and wiggle it back and forth to rinse everything and let the water spill over the edge of the basket rinsing the group gasket as you wiggle the PF.
Alternatively, you can simply use a toothbrush to clean off the shower screen while blipping the brew switch a couple times to rinse it -- and maybe use a q-tip to clean the group gasket.
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