Suggestions for filter system for pre-filtering and softening water?
I've been reading about on filtration systems, and think I understand the fundementals of water softening and filtration as related to scaling and taste. But would like suggestions for my current scenario.
Basically I'm planning to run a plumbed machine out of a water drum, running anywhere from a half dozen to a couple dozen coffees in a given hour or two, a couple of times a week, for events and things. I'll need to be flexible in positioning of the machine and equipment, and so for that reason I won't be able to plumb, and I won't necessarily have the exact same water source available to me every time. Therefore, I want to be able to fill a water drum (I have a 25 L drum, although I wouldn't use all of that in a sitting) for the machine (which can draw from a bucket), but need to be able to still use filtered water (because I don't want to descale any more than I have to, basically). I assume, then, that the best course of action is to filter the water before it goes into the drum, rather than filtering between the drum and the machine itself.
So, what is my best and most cost efficient option in terms of a filtration system? I live in Sydney, so water is softer than most. I'm not overly fussy about the quality of water in terms of the taste of the espresso, so I'm willing to sacrifice top of the line filtration if it saves me a non-trivial amount of cash. Also, the use of the machine will be concentrated to a few periods of time but looked at in the course of a whole week usage won't be totally crazy. Am I better off using one of the bench top type systems, or should I get something that I can connect to a hose, SS or otherwise?
Any thoughts are appreciated :)