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Samalang

Buying a classic, does and donts

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Hello, I'm after a pre 2015 Classic and was wondering what people's thoughts are on buying a pre modded machine? Run to The hills or take advantage of someone else's workmanship?

 

Also hints on what to keep an eye out for would be greatly appreciated.

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Completely biased, but having been a Classic user of 8 years you can't fault these machines - as long as you descale regularly and use filtered/bottled water then its happy days.


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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Don't use bottled water. The minerals line the boiler and give heat issues.
Could say exactly the same about tap water. In London lead pipes are safe to drink from after about six weeks due to the scale coating them!

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler

Edited by ashcroc

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Don't use bottled water. The minerals line the boiler and give heat issues.

 

I do not understand this comment, my tap water has 149mg/L calcium, my bottled water has 10mg/L, so if I have gotten rid of the worst mineral that causes limescale by using bottled water, how can that be bad ?

Edited by mr-bean

Always give the hardest job to the laziest person because they will always find the easiest way to do it.🤡

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I don’t understand either. Is this something just applicable to the Classic?


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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I don't try to understand :)


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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I don’t understand either. Is this something just applicable to the Classic?

 

No it's anything that boils water. When you boil hard water it evaporates leaving behind a mix of calcium carbonate and magnesium, mixed together they form limescale. So the less calcium or magnesium you have, the less the deposit.


Always give the hardest job to the laziest person because they will always find the easiest way to do it.🤡

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What is the best bottled water to use?

 

Volvic


AKA Toffee chips

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Volvic

 

+1 on this


Sage DB; Mazzer Major; VST 15g, 18g & 20g Baskets;TORR Trapez & Perger Tamper

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Volvic
Essential Waitrose Lockhills & Tesco Ashbeck is good too.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I used to use Volvic, but I now use Ashbeck. I didn't notice any change in taste, just a few bob saved and no water marks on the tank.


Always give the hardest job to the laziest person because they will always find the easiest way to do it.🤡

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No it's anything that boils water. When you boil hard water it evaporates leaving behind a mix of calcium carbonate and magnesium, mixed together they form limescale. So the less calcium or magnesium you have, the less the deposit.

 

The comment I made was in response to @gaggiamanualservice.com saying not to use bottled water ???


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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Don't use bottled water. The minerals line the boiler and give heat issues.

 

THIS is the comment I don't understand!


2019 L-R with hand turned Thuya burr handles and toggles / 1998 La Pavoni / Monolith Titan Flat & Conical, MAX Flat on order  / HG-1 / Kalita wave / Stag kettle / OCD / Joey Skateboard Handle Pullman Big Step & matching stirrer / Wenge Handle Lev Tamp / Push Tamper / Puqpress / 15g & 18g vst / IMS 35μM / LDT / Barista Gear Titanium 12oz pitchers / LW Bean Cellars & Caddy / Decent thermometer / Acme Evo 150ml cups / Espazzola / Hottop / embroidered by me bar towels / in the cellars: Steampunk, North Star, Foundry, The Barn, HasBean, Coffee Compass / 6 gorgeous guineas / a dog / a very lovely husband 

 

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THIS is the comment I don't understand!

 

Think he's referring to bottled waters with high calcium content.


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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THIS is the comment I don't understand!
It'll most likely be the advice from gaggia as they won't want to specify any specific brands which are boiler safe. Much easier just to say don't use it.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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So both Volvic and Ashbeck are ok for the Gaggia then? If so, perhaps I'll save some money on the next lot I buy and go for Ashbeck!

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They're both "safe" for the machine in terms of scale. Their mineral composition and pH differ though. I used to use Ashbeck but prefer Volvic as it seems to produce a juicier tastier shot. Ashbeck can sometimes taste a little dry. Waitrose Lockhills is as good as Volvic to my tastes, safe to use in espresso machines and closer to Ashbeck in price. If I ever find myself near a Waitrose in the car I stock up.

 

___

Eat, drink and be merry


Rocket R58Ceado E37SAeropressAerGrind • Puck Puck cold brew widget • VST 18g basket • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 convex black Ti/walnut tamper • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 flat sharp edge tamper • Big bag o' beans • Triumph Street Triple 675R

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If it's mineral water you will have issues.

 

Hi mate.

 

I see you often state this about minerals, could you inform me as to which minerals your are concerned with so I can make a better choice.


Always give the hardest job to the laziest person because they will always find the easiest way to do it.🤡

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Yike!... It sounds as if one should not put water into the Classic... What are the alternatives?... Wouldn’t a regular descaling allow you to us water again?...

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Is the sainsburys equivalent of ashbeck okay to use?
What's the mineral content?

While the majority of mineral waters are no better (or possibly worse) for your machine than your tap water, there are a few which are fine.


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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Without getting into the complicated stuff about which mineral and what pH makes the best coffee, what we seem to be talking about here is whether or not the water will scale up the machine internals. What it all boils down to (SCNR!) is how hard the water is (tap or bottle). If you live in an area with soft water mains, crack on and use tap water, assuming you like the taste. Is your kettle constantly getting scaled up? Then you live in a hard water area and you would be wise to either treat your water to reduce hardness, (eg with a reverse osmosis system perhaps) or use bottled water with a known low hardness. It's not a case of "tap is bad, bottled is good". More likely the other way round for many reasons, including environmental. But what counts is how hard each water is, not whether it came in a bottle or not. Many 'mineral' waters, as the name suggests, are full of minerals and far too hard.

 

You're basically looking for a TDS (total dissolved solids) of (very roughly) 90-130 ppm (mg/l). This is often also shown as "Dry residue at 180°C" on bottle labels. That is below the threshold where serious scale builds up, but not so low that the coffee won't extract, or that it will try to leach metals from the boiler surface. There is a lot more to it in terms of calcium vs magnesium, pH, and other minerals. These are discussed at great length on the other threads about water if you search the forum.

 

___

Eat, drink and be merry


Rocket R58Ceado E37SAeropressAerGrind • Puck Puck cold brew widget • VST 18g basket • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 convex black Ti/walnut tamper • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 flat sharp edge tamper • Big bag o' beans • Triumph Street Triple 675R

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