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  • Writer's pictureNasko Panov

Is my espresso contaminated? (Introduction)

Should We Reconsider Espresso Machine Descaling/Cleaning (Part 2) or measuring the potential lead contamination in the espresso machines

This is my second article in which I go deeper into one really important topic related to espresso machines. In the past several years, different government control laboratories raised some awareness, that there could be a possible risk of lead leaching in the water from the boiler contaminating the coffee beverages. This is especially valid for older espresso machines with brass or copper boilers, where the lead concentration in the metal parts is higher. If you are interested, you can go HERE and check the first part of this research. From it two conclusions could be drawn:

1. Water coming from the group head could be considered safe in relation to lead contamination.

2. Water from the steam boiler has a higher concentration of lead, compared with the water from the heat exchanger or brew boiler. Still, the lead contamination is at acceptable levels according to Safety Authorities but should be reconsidered for use regarding other purposes than cleaning or milk steaming.

These results could drastically change because of one reason. And the reason is that good baristas keep their espresso machines clean. There are two types of cleaning - everyday clean with some of the well-known espresso cleaning tablets or powder, and long period cleaning called descaling.

With this experiment I wanted to address one of the most important topics nowadays – food safety and in particular the coffee drink safety. If you want to read more, follow the link below.

You can read the full article on my Patreon page HERE or visit At the price of a single espresso per month, you can read all my experiments, work-in-progress projects, future ideas, and allow me to continue my work. Thank you!

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