First of all, I would like to thank you guys for such a great website, you're a wealth of information and have significantly improved the quality my delicious coffee drinks for the short time I've owned my machine.
I'm a newbie to making espresso. I'm using an older, used La Cimbali Junior S/1 espresso machine and La Cimbali Junior grinder.
When I started using my machine a month ago, I was using bottled spring water for about a week and noticed a buildup of mineral deposits in the tank in the back of my machine. (Pointless Fact...)
The Junior has a water treatment cartridge, I'm assuming it's either some type of filter or softener of some sorts, but I'm not sure. I visited my local La Cimbali dealer and threw out the question of using water treated by reverse osmosis. My espresso machine is more old school with no bells and whistles (just a few knobs) unlike the newer automatic machines with water sensors and fancy buttons for single/double shots and other stuff. Getting back to the point... the representative stated that water treated by reverse osmosis would be the optimal choice for my machine and the only difference between using water treated by reverse osmosis versus filtered water or spring water is that the minerals left behind may enhance the taste of the coffee versus the lack of minerals using reverse osmosis. Long story short, after using water treated with reverse osmosis for about a month, I haven't had any mineral content in the the holding tank and I get consistent, tasty shots with lots of thick crema. I've read some of the links regarding usage of filtered water, direct lines and other methods of filtration, but I would really like to see some type of poll created to get a better idea of what everybody else uses?!
My second concern with using water treated with reverse osmosis is the frequency of descaling involved...
Can my theory be correct by stating: Less Minerals In Your Water=More Time Between Descaling Maintenance?
Thanks again for your wealth of information and trusted guidance.
P.S: The reverse osmosis system I'm using is just a simple tap system on the kitchen sink with all the filtration system stuff located under the sink. The whole system costs between $160 and $240 at your local Menards, Home Depot or Lowes.