[Hi @Rob1 - I am copying your quote below to a new thread here, because I think it deserves its own place and didn’t want to divert the “Lelit reliability” thread where I found it:]
Rob1 Ashbeck isn’t ideal… Better off just getting a zero water jug and remineralising with bicarb.
When you say Ashbeck isn’t ideal, what exactly do you mean (for espresso)? Is it because it will scale? Or because the coffee won’t taste great? Or because it’s bad for the environment? Or something else?
I think that people are drawn to Ashbeck because it’s an easy solution for their machines. Having to remineralise RO or Zero water is a barrier for some. We might do it in the future, but not ready to make the leap just yet. I am personally in that camp, so looking for an easy “ready made” solution that I don’t have to think too much about. I understand Ashbeck is a compromise (what isn’t?), but what I don’t know is what sort of compromise it is.
What I am interested to know isn’t the chemical formulation that is beyond my understanding (too much X, not enough Y, low PH etc.), but rather the effect it has (e.g. - the machine will scale and might need descaling once a year; or - the coffee will taste X or will miss Y because the balance of mineral is too Z; or - the boiler might corrode, etc.). I Would really appreciate it if this is something you could explain for those of us who find the water issue too complicated and overwhelming.
Finally, is there a better, easy, ready made compromise, that will not cost a fortune, doesn’t take up counter space and electricity, will not involve remineralisation and will not kill a machine too quickly, providing we are willing to accept it’s a compromise on taste? (I am asking a lot, I know, lol).
If we do go for a Zero water jug + bicarb as you suggested above, what will be gained compared to Ashbeck (in terms of scaling and taste?).
Sorry if this is asking too much and thank you for all the insights and for sharing your vast knowledge!