4 Best Barista Towel & Cloths For Your Coffee Machine

 Last Updated June 26, 2023

A good barista towel is essential when making coffee. You need them dry your portafilter, wipe your steam wand, and keep your espresso machine clean. In this post I'll be discussing the 4 best barista towels you need for your espresso set up.

Barista towel and cloths

The 4 types of towels you need. 

I'll start post with my 4 recommend barista cloths, before explaining what each of them are used for, and why they are needed.

Best Barista Towles

Standard barista towel (all in one set)

The first type of coffee towel you need is a standard kitchen towel to wipe down your steam wand and bench. I like this set from Rhino as it comes with 4 towels, one for general cleaning, 2 for your steam wand, and one multipurpose use.

Stainless steel microfiber cloth

If you have a stainless-steel espresso machine, you know they're a magnet for finger prints. Grab yourself a stainless-steel microfiber cloth. These will remove any finger prints from your machine.

Handi Wipes

Handi wipes are great for wiping down your drip tray, espresso machine, or general cleaning. They are also reusable, meaning you can reuse them 20 times or so, before chucking them out. 

I like to use paper towels when cleaning the shower screen of my espresso machine, or fine grinds that find themselves on my work bench. Just wet them a little and clean up the mess.

What types of towels do baristas use?

Whether you're a barista working at a cafe or a barista making espresso at home. A barista towel is a must have accessory to keep your work station clean. I've worked both at cafes and make coffee at home, and have found that I need 4 types of towels for making coffee.

1. Barista towel for steam wand

The first type of towel I use is a standard barista towel that I use to wipe down my steam wand and dry my portafilter basket.  You don't need to buy a special towel for this. You can even use a normal kitchen towel you have already. Just make sure they're not the fluffy type. If you want to use the same ones barsitas use, grab a mircofiber mini towel.

Coffee bar cloths cleaning steam wand

I use my kitchen towel to purge and clean my steam wand.

If you're working at a cafe, for hygiene, you just want to make sure you have a towel dedicated for your steam wand. That's why I like the Rhino 4 pack above, as they're color coded.

Baritsta towel cleaning portafilter

You use your towel to dry your portafilter basket. You want to make sure it's dry before putting coffee in.

2. Stainless steel mircofiber cloth for espresso machine

The next type of coffee cloth I recommend you get is a microfiber cloth - especially if you have a stainless-steel espresso machine like I do. These will remove finger prints from your machine, and the microfiber fabric will also get rid of small marks.

Micofiber cleaning cloth espresso machine

A mircofiber cloth is a must have if you have a stainless-steel espresso machine like I do. 

3. Handi wipes reuseable towel

A handi wipe is a must have when making coffee in a cafe. As you're going to be using this towel to wipe down your drip tray throughout the day. I like to use a handi wipe for this purpose, as you want to make sure the towel you use for cleaning muck is not used for making coffee. And then at the end of the work day, just chuck it out. 

For home baristas handi wipes are also a good option for general cleaning, and wiping down your steam wand when they get crusty (the dampness of the wipe will get rid of the milk build up).

Handi Wipe cleaning coffee machine

4. Paper towels for cleaning coffee grinds and muck

The final type of towel you will need is likely one you already have - the humble paper towel. I use these both at work and at home to give a final clean to any bench tops. They also come in handy when cleaning your group head and shower screen to get rid of coffee much build up.

Paper towel cleaning coffee

A paper towel is perfect for collecting stray coffee grinds.

How many towels do you need to make coffee?

You need three towels to make coffee in a cafe setting. One for wiping down your steam wand. One for wiping down your drip tray. And one for general cleaning to wipe down your work bench. 

The key is to keep the towels you use for making beverages separate from the ones you use to clean. That's when color coded towels come in handy.

How do you clean espresso towels?

You clean barista towels just like you would with a normal towel, either chuck them in your washing machine or let them soak in soapy water then squeeze the dirty water out and let them dry. If you're using disposable ones you chuck them after use.


And there we have it, I hope you know what types of towels you need when making coffee at a cafe or at home. The key is to keep your beverage cloths separate from your cleaning towels. If you're on the hunt for a good towel, I recommend grabbing the 4 pack below from Rhino so you'll be set.

Best espresso towel set for home and work

I like this set from Rhino as it comes with 4 microfiber towels, one for general cleaning, 2 for your steam wand, and one multipurpose use. It gives you everything you need to make coffee hygenically.

About The Author 

Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 10 years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}