Question about Starbucks Barista Utopia
When priming, water is muddy-colored out of steam wand. Have run lots of clean water through but still comes out dirty. Also, steam wand leaks as espresso is made.
This is a general comment for people having problems with leaks and pressure in their espresso machines. If you do not used filtered water, the minerals and other materials suspended in the water will bond to the moving parts and tubes of your machine (e.g.: scale). The problem will be worse if you live in an area with particularly hard water. In some cases the pressure pipes can get completely blocked and if the pump is powerful enough, the pipes can rupture, otherwise, the pump will simply not put out any water. The solution is to regularly flush out the system with descaler. The frequency of cleaning depends upon how often you use the machine. You can get descaler from any decent coffe place (like Starbucks), an appliance repair place, or the hardware store. I use CLR which is sold at hardware stores. CLR stands for Calcium-Lime-Rust, and it effectively cleans all of these and is cheaper than specialty scale removers. Simply dilute some in water and pour the mixture in the machine, then cycle the pump and run it through. Collect the spent liquid and run it through again 4 or 5 times (or more if you've never cleaned your machine before...) Allow the liquid to sit for 10-15 minutes between flushes so that the solution has a chance to eat away at the scale. Once you have done this a few times, flush out the machine thoroughly with clean water 4 or 5 times, using CLEAN water each time you rinse. If you want to get an idea of the scale that has been removed, keep a small amount of the original clean solution in a glass and then compare the spend cleaning liquid with unused cleaning liquid to see the difference. The spent liquid should be foggy/muddy compared to the clean stuff and if you let it sit, the scale will settle to the bottom of the glass and will be clearly visible. You can prevent some of the buildup in your machine by using filtered water as they do at Starbucks.
Posted on Jun 05, 2009
Sounds like you might need to clean the unit. Starbucks sells the powder to mix in and run through it.
Posted on Jan 31, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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