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Sage BE/Pro/DTP etc. read this first


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On 05/11/2020 at 14:00, TomHughes said:

 

Hi Tom! Thanks for message. I live in Kingston, London and my postcode shows (CaCO3): 257 ppm. I couldnt see TDS anywhere on the report - where can i find it?

I'm reading a lot about hardness in London water and potential damage to my machine long term. However, from reading other threads, no one seems to arrive at the same conclusion that the BRITA filters actually help remove hardness. I guess you could say "its better than nothing i.e. tap water", but hard to tell if its worth spending the money/hassle in monthly filters etc if its not going to have a significant impact.

Is my only real option high quality bottled water e.g, Volvic £££ if you want to be sure? then its the plastic debate.

Cheers bud!blockquote widgetblockquote widget

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So, I think there are some very patient people on here who keep answering the same questions about the sage on here.  So I thought maybe it's worth putting together a few quick points to really help

Just to add some pointers for newbies to add to Tom Hughes original post. I have had my Sage BE for 3 months and these are the main things I've learned and wish I knew day one (sorry if a couple of th

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Seeing as I have had espresso machines for a good while, and sages for around 5 years now, owning 3 of them and using them all at some point.  I also have an analytic

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On 05/11/2020 at 14:00, TomHughes said:

The other issue with plastic bottles is the plastic leeching into the water, currently we don't know the full impact of this, but a friend of mine who is a consultant endocrinologist is very concerned about it. 

Thanks. I've just read 4 articles about it, that's definitely on my radar now.

 

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so even if I turn it on and leave for about 30 min it's better to flush it once or twice to make sure that every part is a little warmer?
and any tips on how to deal with a plastic part inside a portafilter? a lot of people remove it, is there any cons and pros for doing it?

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4 minutes ago, Auro said:

so even if I turn it on and leave for about 30 min it's better to flush it once or twice to make sure that every part is a little warmer?
and any tips on how to deal with a plastic part inside a portafilter? a lot of people remove it, is there any cons and pros for doing it?

The plastic part seems to be for the pressurised baskets. I removed mine and have had no problems, plus it makes it easier to clean. 

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Does the pre infusuin do anything? I've had the machine since it came out and after endless bad espresso started doing it manually, I've done this for years now and generally an acceptable coffee but feel like I may have missed out by being impatient and just doing a Manuel extraction.

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

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On 13/12/2020 at 11:10, N0rmanski said:

The plastic part seems to be for the pressurised baskets. I removed mine and have had no problems, plus it makes it easier to clean. 

Apparently the plastic part directs the coffee to the centre, so it depends on personal preference as some people remove it as coffee gets caught in it. 

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On 03/11/2020 at 22:16, CocoLoco said:

The BE has those too, they're just to make it easy on the user, not fight the hard water London has to offer. Better to prevent than to fix. The machines don't like hard water is the rule I think.

You might get away with London water if you descale very regularly. The more expensive filter they now use should help providing it's replaced when needed. Any volumes Sage mention can only be a guide as life will depend on how hard the water is. People could buy test strips and check what is coming out but when they started fitting these filters some simple sums showed that bottled water was a cheaper alternative based on Sage's stated capacity. It needs to be the right one. Best ask about that. Something their should be a sticky on really.

Go back to the earlier filter that had nothing like the same water capacity and Sage engineers were telling people to descale every month on ALL of their machines. It's a common problem they find. That is likely to depend on how much coffee the machine actually makes and how much steam as well. At least it's quick on thermothingy machines. The engineers use puly cafe by the way. I had a call from one when they fixed my BE after it was out of warrantee. A grinder problem so they replaced all of it. I had previously mentioned I that I thought it may have developed a problem.

Scale needs putting into perspective really. In some ways it's a problem with all machines so machines need to be descaled or sometimes extreme steps are needed to avoid it completely - self "hardened" de ionised water for instance. Mixing certain bottled water as well. Spanners are sometimes needed to descale some machines. Great care is needed on some on what to use. True of Sage too.

The biggest problem some one new to these machines faces really is the basics. Dose, time, amount that comes out and general preparation. The numbers are changed to give what some one sees as the nicest taste. Coffee religion suggests only certain numbers can be used. That's a bad start. What beans and what machine and also really what dose and what was used to grind the beans. What setting was on the grinder. That relates to dose. Everything inter reacts. People can read about all sorts of idea and adopt them without any idea of if they are helping or hindering or where their real problem is.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well put together.

I was thinking of upgrading my Current machine (gaggia classic) to a barista pro, but after reading this article and others feedback, I won't bother.

My gaggia has had the odd issue, which I've rectified myself (qualified electronics bod), parts are readily available and there's very little in it to go wrong.

 

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On 29/10/2020 at 12:17, strebor said:

Was reading various threads last night about pre-warming the group head and portafilter on the Sage Barista Express and also mineral water.

There was thread where I think @CocoLoco said they push four shots worth of water through the PF before pulling a shot.

It occurred to me that if using bottled water, this seems like an awfully expensive way to operate the machine. Am I missing something or is this widespread practice for BE usage?

Could you let me know which thread this was I have searched but can't find it I am interested in usining this idea on my bambino plus 

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On 17/01/2021 at 11:59, ajohn said:

You might get away with London water if you descale very regularly.

I may be wrong but I thought descaling regularly isn't ideal? Even with Puly. It puts a 'stress' on the machine so you wan to do it once a year if you can get away with that. London water is so hard I don't think I'd risk it in coffee machine without a weekly descale.

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51 minutes ago, CocoLoco said:

I may be wrong but I thought descaling regularly isn't ideal? Even with Puly. It puts a 'stress' on the machine so you wan to do it once a year if you can get away with that. London water is so hard I don't think I'd risk it in coffee machine without a weekly descale.

I agree, I wouldn't want to be exposing seals etc. to that acid on too regular basis. 
 

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Last time I looked at a recent Sage manual it suggested switching to bottled water if tap water is above a certain level of hardness. Afraid I can say which one. B'ham tap water is very soft. A kettle can be used for many years without any need for descaling. No signs of it really. My Sage DB does still need descaling though. It's most noticeable on the steam boiler and takes a long time to be noticeable.

If people ask on here which bottled water there may be 2 replies. One involves mixing 2 to get a neutral PH and possibly other aspects. The ones wanted are the brands that minimise scale build up. Some might say avoid the need to descale completely but I would be rather careful about that. When comparative costs were compared with using the newer more expensive filter it looked like bottled was significantly cheaper. It's probably best to ask in one of the main sections rather than this one.

Descaling stressing the machine ? It's more the case that using the wrong one can wreck it. Will in some cases. The same applied to others.

Scale in real terms and the rate it builds up at is a problem on all machines really. A few are easy to descale. Lots aren't. Few might be a bit of an exaggeration but not that much of one. Commercial machines are usually fed via a filter. It's not a cheap option.

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