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by Ed McGuire January 04, 2018
The best way to prevent scale in the first place? Well, that’s with a high-tech water filter. For plumbed machines you can eliminate the need to descale with a filter like the BWT Bestmax Premium. It uses a five layer filtration process. including a high performance ion-exchange section which removes calcifying minerals. Now that’s great, but water with no minerals makes for flat tasting espresso. So this filters real trick is adding back magnesium which does not cause scaling, but gives a proper mineral level for best flavor. Use the Bestmax Premium for tasty coffee and you’ll never have to descale.
For reservoir fed machines there are a variety of water softening filters for reducing scale. One that will work in any machine is the BWT Bestsave M Anti-scale Filter. It’s a pad which uses an ion-exchange process to bind calcium. It also reduces heavy metals like copper and zinc and chemicals like chlorine.
Now if you’re not going with an option like the Bestmax premium filter, Here’s one thing you should be doing to reduce scale build-up in your machine’s steam boiler. On a regular basis refresh the water in the steam boiler by opening the hot water valve and draining a few cups.
Here’s why. The steam that comes out of your machine is essentially distilled water. When steaming no minerals leave the boiler. Over time, mineral concentration in the boiler increases making it easier for scale to form. Now if you make a lot of americanos or use hot water to heat up cups that’s probably enough. But if you don’t our recommendation, when done with your machine for the day run a few cups out of the hot water tap to reduce the mineral concentration in the boiler.
And a couple more tips. I get asked all the time about feeding a machine with water from those pitcher or tap mounted filters. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any which reduce the minerals responsible for scaling. for the most part, they only treat for particulates and chemicals like chlorine using sediment filters and activated carbon. Another question I get; why not use reverse osmosis or distilled water? Well these have no minerals, so no scale, but make very flat tasting coffee, kind of like a nice steak with no seasoning.
I hope these tips help you out. If you’ve got some comments leave them below. Be sure to come back soon for more of the best on everything coffee brought to you by Whole Latte Love.
Ed joined on at Whole Latte Love in 2017 with a particular hatred for bad coffee. We keep him in a room on the other side of the office with a keyboard and an internet connection so he can write about it. He writes and edits product copy, blog posts, scripts, and wiki content in an effort to keep our customers from ever drinking bad coffee again. Ed is afraid of the sun and drinks his coffee black.
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