etheil Senior Member Joined: 13 Apr 2012 Posts: 1 Location: Colorado Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 1:46pm Subject: Starbucks Barista Water Temperature
After having gone through a couple of DeLonghi cheapo espresso machines, I decided to progress a bit and purchase a used Starbucks Barista. Once at home, I tried my first latte...no luck. I Couldn't get the steam wand to perform correctly as there was a lot of water and it would eventually die out and then come back once the boiler light went off. Espresso shots were thin and sour with very little crema. So, I took to cleaning it. I completely disassembled the machine and cleaned the boiler and heating coil. I also cleaned the stem and mushroom valve. Once it was all back together, I proceeded to fill the tank with water and two tablespoons of citric acid and run through another cleaning. I ran about one cup of water through the group head and steam wand and then let it sit for 30 minutes. I then continued running water until I had to refill the tank. I Ran through another tank of fresh water and then tried the brew again. Same thing...
So, I know enough to know I don't know enough about this and I'm not even sure I know that much. It seems that the thermostats might be off. I tried the styrofoam cup test and got about 187 degrees which seems very low (shouldn't it be closer to 200?) When I try this test with my DeLonghi, I get 198. also, there is a lot of water discharged from the steam wand while frothing milk, even after purging. It just seems like the whole thing is not getting up to temp even after letting it heat for about 30 minutes on average. I don't see any leaks on the inside when the machine is on, but the grouphead sometimes leaks a little water when in steaming mode (there was some steam escaping as well, but cleaning the mushroom valve seems to have taken care of that.)
Has anyone else seen this kind of behavior? Other than the thermostats, are there other pieces I should look at?
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