Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 94 of 109

95 Rubber gaskets vs. silicone gaskets? This is defi nitely more of a personal preference—I don't think one is better than the other. Both have a pretty different feel when you insert the portafi lter. The silicone gasket has a much "squishier" feel when you put the portafi lter into the grouphead, and it stays squishy for a long time. You know it's time to change the silicone when they eventually become so soft that the portafi lter pushes over beyond what might feel comfortable. When new, rubber gaskets are a little more stiff and have a bit of a break-in period, and they get softer as you go. The rubber will eventually get dry and brittle, and that's when you start to see leaking around the portafi lter. The silicone gaskets do last a little longer than the rubber ones. Neither are very expensive; however, silicone can cost four to fi ve times more. I would recommend trying them side by side for a day and seeing what you think. —Double J My water from my hot-water spout isn't perfectly clear. What's up with that and how can I fi x it? First, we'll assume you have proper water fi ltration on your machine, and the fi lters are functioning properly. Assuming that's the case, the water from your hot water spout comes from the steam boiler on most machines. This water is deoxy- genated and distilled all day long. It's also constantly getting more and more mineral content delivered each time the boiler decides to fi ll itself. All this mineral content can build up on the walls of the boiler over time, even with fi ltration. We really don't recommend using the hot water spout on your espresso machine for much beyond rinsing shot glass- es, or quickly rinsing your portafi lter spouts, for example. It really is too hot to drink (usually between 250–260° Fahren- heit) and typically doesn't even taste all that great. You're better off getting a small hot-water tower or undercounter hot-water dispenser for Americanos and the like. —Alex Zuma White Hot Chocolate might not be chocolate as we think of it, but it's equally satisfying. Made with a blend of cocoa butter and milk powders – not cocoa solids, which make chocolate brown, there's no bitterness. Just like us here at Zuma.

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