Espresso accessory and customization company Artpresso Design has launched a suite of cleaning tools for commercial or home use.
Comprising three tools — one for cleaning a steam wand, one for the drip tray and one for the group head — the product line aims to make the home or pro barista’s workflow between shots safer, easier and more hygienic while tidying up the bar.
Artpresso Co-Founder and Product Designer Steven Monti said the company aimed for solutions that could improve upon the bar rags traditionally used for the basic cleaning tasks.
“I formerly worked in corporate for many years as an industrial designer, and like many people I got into coffee out of passion and interest, only to learn that people have been using towels for like 100 years,” Steven Monti told Daily Coffee News. “I was just shocked to learn that. Then over time we figured out these better methods of cleaning expensive and hot equipment.”
Artpresso’s steam wand cleaner is a microfiber cloth pad inside a flexible heat-resistant TPU plastic exterior. The foldable device is designed to be easily gripped and keep users’ hands dry and protected while swiping any hot or insulated steam wand.
High-impact food-safe polypropylene forms the handle and backing of the drip tray cleaning tool, which also holds an absorbent microfiber cloth and is intended for use on machines as well as the surrounding counter surfaces.
The same polypropylene forms the handles of the group head tool, whose action end features a circular microfiber pad with a nylon brush around its edges. Together these scrub the grooves of the group head and the surface of the shower screen.
The tool also houses a bit for removing the shower screen for deeper cleaning. A mirror integrated into the bottom side of the tool can be directed upwards for closer inspections.
Each tool’s microfiber pads are removable, hand or machine-washable and replaceable. Each tool comes with a set of three pads, with additional 3-packs of pads sold separately. For each a naturally moisture-wicking diatomite stone pad is also available for resting and drying the tools between uses. The Steam Wand Cleaning Tool sells for $29, the Drip Tray tool for $19 and the Group Head Cleaning Tool’s retail price is $25.00.
Cofounded by the married partners Jean and Steven Monti in 2016, Artpresso Design started off as the manufacturer of basic barista tools sold and bundled with equipment made by La Marzocco USA.
“As a RISD grad in industrial design, I’ve done everything from baby pacifiers to medical equipment to helicopters to footwear,” said Monti. “So it was interesting for me to go into the coffee space and realize that there wasn’t a lot of design happening. It was a lot of engineering and a lot of craft, and so it was definitely an interest.”
The couple made the business a full-time endeavor in 2018, while introducing standalone barista tools as well as aftermarket accessories and customizations for espresso machines and grinders. The new cleaning set was introduced earlier this year at the 2022 SCA Expo in Boston.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.