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Water quality varies dramatically from location to location, and this intern has a massive effect on both the quality of espresso and performance of the coffee machine. From a machine perspective, sediment causes blockages in the group head injectors, flowmeters and solenoids, as well as excessive ware on the water pumps and valves. Scale causes machine inefficiency with scaled elements using up to 40% extra power consumption (also increases machine start up time and reduces machine recovery) and eventually the scale causes the machine to completely block up. Other issues with scale is that they stop sensors such as the water level probe to register correctly which can cause the boiler to run dry or overfill. And chemicals such as chlorine which will negatively affect the taste of espresso, especially as espresso is 98% water.
So choosing the right water filter is crucial both for espresso quality and machine performance. Also, from a health perspective, some water filters can also protect against giardia and cryptosporidium. As such, we highly recommend water filtration for all espresso machine setups!