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Thread: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

  1. #1
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    New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive just purchased a new coffee machine (Sunbeam 6910) and Ive made probably a dozen to two dozen coffees since first buying it and setting it up.

    However they have nearly all had a plastic (best way I can describe it) flavour and smell to them. Ive had a similar issue in the past with new Kettles for example and to rid the flavour I typically run a light vinegar solution through it and boil it in the kettle.

    Can you do a similar thing in a coffee machine, or should I just simply keep pumping out coffees as it will eventually disappear naturally anyway?

    Im having some guests over on Saturday night and would like to show off the machine by making a few brews so ideally Id like the flavour and smell to be gone by then :)

    Cheers,
    Zoddy

  2. #2
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Hi Zoddy. Have you removed the plastic insert from the portafilter? If not try it without the plastic insert in, and see what happens. Otherwise try flushing your machine out with a few litres of water.
    Regards, Marty

    Oh and welcome to coffeesnobs.

  3. #3
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    No I left the plastic thing in there, you do mean the black thing dont you?
    I couldnt see an easy way to remove it without damaging something (myself included).. is there a trick?

    Thanks for the welcome, only took me a month and a bit to post after signing up - hehe

  4. #4
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Hey zoddy, the insert is pretty easy to remove - if you do it the right way!

    First you need to remove the spouts - heat the portafilter by pouring boiling water over it (this softens the loctite), then place a piece of dowel or a screwdriver wrapped in a tea-towel through the spouts and use it for leverage to twist them off anti-clockwise. Now youll be able to see the tabs that hold the plastic insert in place - use a pair of long-nose pliers or tweezers to squeeze them together and push the insert out. Replace the spouts and hand-tighten.

    The plastic insert is designed to stop the espresso from cooling as it hits the metal portafilter, so youll need to make sure you preheat it. The best bet is to leave it locked in loosely while the machine heats up, then rinse it with hot water between shots to keep it clean and warm.

    The plastic taste is probably from the water reservoir though - did you flush a full tank through the machine before using it? Either way, another few litres wont hurt, same for using a weak vinegar or citric acid solution, followed by plenty of plain water.

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Its called a "graeme".

    See what happens underneath one before its removed.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1167134124/324#24

    At the end of that thread youll find a link to why its called a graeme.

    To remove it first remove the spout then you should be able to poke it out by squeezing the end that pokes through and then pushing.

    m@ I didnt need to heat mine to remove the spout.

  6. #6
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Holy smokes - I know what Ill be removing when I get home tonight. That is disgusting what is growing under that plastic liner - surely that cant be hygenic.

    I ran a full reservoir through, Ill just do another - its not a drama Ill just re-use the water on my plants.

    Thanks for the help and advise on removing the graeme. :)

  7. #7
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Hi zoddy just checking that you are using filtered water in your machine,
    It can make a big difference to the taste & is better for the machine,
    I use a 1 micron filter on my sink ,but a 3 or 5 micron would do.

  8. #8
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    Re: New Machine - Plastic/Funny Taste & Smell

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    It may be bromophenols. Sometimes plastic (such as those used in most plastic kettles) contain them and readily release them in boiled water. The quantities are insignificant for health concerns, but similar to sulphides they can be detected in incredibly low concentrations by the human nose. Therefore if youve got a kettle or machine containing them the problem wont have a qucik-fix. Some people unwittingly consider the cooked/nutty/plastic smell a hallmark of good instant coffee (not anyone here Im sure). The kettle solution - use a S/S kettle, not a plastic one. If your coffee machine has this issue and it isnt the graeme then there probably isnt anything you can do.

    The bromophenols in cookware plastics (particularly kettles) was researched a few years ago at Curtin Uni in Perth, although Im not sure if any of the info was passed on to manufacturers or consumers. It is probably floating around in a journal on the internet.

    jprm



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