The removal of limescale from an espresso coffee machine is a very important process which, in addition to ensuring a longer life span of the product, guarantees an optimal aroma and flavor in line with the high standards required by espresso coffee.
Why is it necessary to carry out a descaling process?
Water contains a high amount of calcium and magnesium salts which are an essential part of the human diet. But when the water is heated inside the boiler, the calcium and magnesium decompose, forming limestone. Limescale can spread inside the boilers, pumps and all internal parts that carry water. Areas where the water stands still for a while, such as the boiler, are the most affected.
Although calcium and limescale are not toxic elements, it is advisable not to leave them unattended inside the coffee machine. Firstly, the layers of limestone can isolate the water from the heat source with consequent difficulties in reaching the optimal extraction temperature. If the coffee machine does not reach an optimal temperature for brewing, it will be difficult to extract the full flavor of the coffee beans.
Once the boiler’s heating capacity is compromised, the machine is forced to work harder, resulting in an increase in electricity consumption. A malfunctioning machine will begin to vibrate and the preparation time will be prolonged as the build-up of limescale can cause interruptions in the flow of water.
These problems of heating, clogging and flavor abstraction reduce the quality of the extraction and also can cause breakdowns in the components of your coffee machine.
The advantages of descaling
A correct descaling procedure can bring the following benefits
- Extend the useful life of your coffee machine.
- Avoid repair costs due to limescale damage
- Ensures the body, aroma and intensity of the coffee in the cup.
- Guarantees a correct coffee temperature.
- Minimizes the noise created by the coffee machine during brewing.
Many automatic coffee machines, including the Gaggia Magenta, have descaling programs within their settings that allow users to manage all the limescale removal procedures in just a few steps. These programs involve the use of descaling products to be inserted inside the machine during the descaling process. It is really not recommended to use vinegar as it is mainly composed of acetic acid and water that do not remove oils as effectively as descaling products and also could leave residues and odors that are not very compatible with the taste of coffee.
A practical case: how to descale the Gaggia Magenta
In this video we present a complete guide on carrying out the descaling process in an automatic coffee machine. For this topic we have chosen the Gaggia Magenta Prestige, an automatic coffee machine from the Gaggia line capable of bringing home the quality of coffee prepared at the bar.