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New coffee maker - disgusting taste!

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Russell Eberhardt13/02/2019 16:28:52
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I've been using a filter coffee machine on a timer for making my early morning tea for some years. A few weeks ago it died with a blown element so I purchased a new one.

The tea made with the new one tated terrible. I rinced the machine through with water several times and the water coming through still had a bad taste so I returned the machine to the shop and bought a different model - same problem.

After an internet search I came up with a number of possible solutions; run white vinegar through it, isopropyl alcohol, citric acid, or bicarbonate of soda solution. I have tried them all with up to 20 rinces but the taste persists.

Does anyone out there have a fix or do I just have to get out of bed to make my morning tea?

Russell

AJW13/02/2019 16:45:35
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Take a flask to bed?

Alan
Neil Wyatt13/02/2019 17:15:12
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Anything with significant plastic parts will taste disgusting for a while.

Plastic kettles are unusable these days, you have to go stainless steel.

Neil

Andy Carruthers13/02/2019 17:17:34
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Coffee, drink coffee instead

AJW13/02/2019 17:28:59
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My wife hates her stainless steel double skinned mug!
I love mine and my drink stays hot for ages.

Alan
SillyOldDuffer13/02/2019 17:42:33
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Never tried to make tea with a coffee machine, and although I know people do, perhaps that's the problem

Brits abroad often find other nations to be completely incapable of making a decent cup of tea. And of course foreigners have reported similar problems with British coffee, which in the good old days was often made far too weak. (My granny also felt it essential to start boiling cabbage at 8am for a meal at 1pm.)

Both failures to make a decent beverage may be down to the temperature of the water and how long the mix is left to stew. I like tea made with fresh boiling water, with the tea leaves rapidly removed after a couple of minutes, and drunk hot and fresh. It's important not to let tea leaves stew slowly in luke-warm water.

I reckon coffee is better made with cooler water (not boiling, say 90C) allowed to drip slowly through fresh ground coffee, and the flavour improves if the cup is left to develop for a while.

If this is right, a machine tuned to make decent coffee might be a rotten tea-maker. The water it uses isn't fresh, it doesn't boil the water, which is dribbled slowly through the leaves. Then the cooling tea is left to bring out the taste of tannin.

I think it's harder to make a good cup of tea than a good cup of coffee; my guess is your original coffee machine did a reasonable job because it boiled the water, and the replacements don't.

I like to start the day with coffee and then drink tea.

Dave

Vic13/02/2019 18:06:23
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 13/02/2019 17:15:12:

Anything with significant plastic parts will taste disgusting for a while.

Plastic kettles are unusable these days, you have to go stainless steel.

Neil

It must be you. Our last kettle (lid broke) and our current one are both plastic and we haven’t experienced any odd taste. My wife probably wouldn’t notice anyway but I have a very acute sense of taste and smell.

Clive Foster13/02/2019 18:09:30
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Time to get a Teasmade. Bound to be one in an attic near you.

Clive

Bandersnatch13/02/2019 18:17:54
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Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 13/02/2019 16:28:52:

I've been using a filter coffee machine on a timer for making my early morning tea for some years.

Does the water get hot enough for tea?

Rik Shaw13/02/2019 18:36:12
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I cannot get going properly in the morn without tea. I use a tea bag and brew with cheapo bottled supermarket water (about 17p for 2 litres - our tap water is foul) in a pre warmed mug with a lid (saucer) on top.

I wrap a tea towel (its where the name came from - did you know that?), round the mug for insulation and infuse for exactly seven minutes - I have a timer on my desk for that sole purpose. I season my brew with a third of a teaspoon of unpasteurised acacia honey and a splash of semi skimmed and sit at my desk to enjoy reading the latest posts on this forum.

I like to start the day with tea and then drink alcohol. beer

Rik

Brian G13/02/2019 18:57:16
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Why not try running it to put water in a cup and then boiling it? That way you will know if there is a taste from the machine or if it is just not hot enough to make tea. I suspect the latter as coffee isn't meant to be made with boiling water.

Brian

Neil Wyatt13/02/2019 19:13:39
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Ugh!

I've just realised Russell is making tea in a coffee machine!

You must have boiling water for making tea.

Sacrilege! The curse of Lipton's Yellow Label be upon you!

You can make it any way you like as long as you (a) use boiling water and (b) put the milk in after it's brewed.

Neil

Mick B113/02/2019 19:23:57
1127 forum posts
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Well, I'm a coffee drinker and find a coffee filter machine fine so long as the beans are good and freshly-ground, so I don't really know what I'm doing commenting on this thread - but, if the older machines worked, why doesn't the new one?

Russell Eberhardt13/02/2019 19:49:51
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It's not anything to do with the temperature of the water. If I pass water through the machine with no tea or coffee in it and let it cool enough to taste I get a very strong acrid taste in the water. I suspect it is a plasticiser leaching out.

I drink green tea, no milk, and when i visited a tea house in china I was told that the correct temperature for brewing green tea is 80 to 85C. I agree that black tea should be brewed at 100C.

Lipton's Yellow Label is just what you get if you ask for tea in a bar here. When I'm out I stick to coffee but at home I use Gunpowder tea unless I can find a decent Yunan.

I guess a Teasmade would be a better solution but they are not common here. Amazon.fr have one listed but at nearly €300.

Russell

Martin Hamilton 113/02/2019 20:11:23
107 forum posts

We bought a decent quality Breville plastic kettle & right from the start no funny tastes at all. Got fed up with the Tesco £12 plastic kettles failing at the bayonet fitting that connects the kettle to the base, we had 3 of these fail in total with 1 of them failing after about a month. They always seem to have a funny taste more so when new even after doing the mandatory boiling a number of times before using them when new.

David Noble13/02/2019 20:39:29
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There is a certain plastic in kettles now that people think should be avoided. I found this link:-

https://www.bestelectrickettles.net/what-is-bpa-and-why-your-electric-kettle-should-be-plastic-free/

David

SillyOldDuffer13/02/2019 20:53:58
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Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 13/02/2019 19:49:51:

It's not anything to do with the temperature of the water. If I pass water through the machine with no tea or coffee in it and let it cool enough to taste I get a very strong acrid taste in the water. I suspect it is a plasticiser leaching out.

...

You're probably right but could something temporary in the water be coincidentally making it worse, like chlorine or rust due to local repairs?

Dave

Jeff Dayman13/02/2019 21:18:09
1563 forum posts
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The plasticizers in ordinary polypropylene and high impact polystyrene appliance parts (the most common plastics used in kettles coffee makers etc. ) do not leach out in normal use in concentrations you could taste. Could be the inventive and cost conscious moulders of appliance parts have changed to a different type of resin or are adding recycled unknown polymers , or may be using petrochemical mould release agents which create odd tastes. The petrochemical mould releases are cheaper than food grade vegetable oil based ones, but the petrochem ones should never be used for parts that have food or skin contact.

The more likely culprit (IF it is a plastic part to blame - see below) based on my experience with plastics moulding for appliances is the thermoplastic elastomers or vulcanizates (TPE or TPV) basically plastic rubber used for any seals or piping in the appliance. Some of these have additives that are very harsh smelling and these may be leaching into the water. EPDM rubber makes excellent seals but can smell bad really strongly, and can flavour water with the same bad smell.

Most coffee makers use a die cast metal heater housing / hot plate to heat the water. Water being heated is in direct contact with the metal. The metal is usually a corrosion resistant zinc aluminum alloy. If the wrong alloy is used, gases can be produced during boiling and sometimes sulfur or ammonia smells can result. I experienced this working with similar boilers from cappucino machines, that a firm I worked for were using for dental autoclaves.

I would not worry about BPA (bisphenol A) in moulded plastics. It was a very popular additive in polycarbonate until the 1990's when US media got on the bandwagon about it and pressured the food container industry to discontinue using it. The studies the media quoted were flawed and incomplete, and referenced found cancers in lab animals tested with hundreds of thousands of times higher levels of BPA in solution than you could ever leach out of a PC water bottle for example. If you change the water every day in a bottle or appliance, almost no BPA or plasticizer will ever leach out. This has been tested and verified by SPI-SPE in the US, as well as the USDA, but public opinion of it as a threat to health persists.

On the other hand the public is perfectly comfortable riding in a car for hours on a weekday commute, or to the beach on a weekend, passing through the exhaust of thousands of other petrol-burning cars and diesel burning trucks spewing many litres per minute of God knows what mix of burned and unburned hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, oil vapour , decomposed MMA, benzols, ketones from ethanol burning, etc. I believe in time that vehicle exhaust exposure will be found to be a primary trigger in many types of cancers. It is far more dangerous than any plastic part found in your home appliances in my opinion.

If glass kettles can still be found, glass will have the least possible effect on taste and chemical residue in heated water for tea or coffee. Stainless steel a close second. Emptying and filling ANY kettle or container with fresh water every time will reduce the chance of leaching anything bad into the liquid, for any material.

Just my $0.02 worth. Standing by for the usual naysayers, malcontents and troll type activity.

Edited By Jeff Dayman on 13/02/2019 21:19:23

Neil Wyatt13/02/2019 22:42:14
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Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 13/02/2019 19:49:51:

Lipton's Yellow Label is just what you get if you ask for tea in a bar here.

It's a cruel joke we British play on the rest of the world. It's used in Sirius Cybernetic's machines to produce a drink 'almost, but not entirely, quite unlike tea'.

Here's a Teasmade on Amazon UK, genuine Swan and a lot cheaper then 300E - buy it before the channel becomes and impassable barrier!

On Ebay UK you can get a genuine Goblin one from the 70s for £20-£25

Neil

Neil Wyatt13/02/2019 22:44:26
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Posted by Jeff Dayman on 13/02/2019 21:18:09:

Just my $0.02 worth. Standing by for the usual naysayers, malcontents and troll type activity.

Edited By Jeff Dayman on 13/02/2019 21:19:23

Any health effects are trivial.

Disgusting-tasting tea is something up with which we shall not put!

Neil

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