Q: Why Does Water Matter In Your Coffee
Water is an important part of your coffee brewing experience. After all
Coffee is 98% water.
With that said, the SCAA standards state that for a superior quality coffee extraction, your water should be clean, fresh, odor-free, clear in color, and should have a mineral content of around 150 parts per million , while the best water pH for coffee is 7.0 .
Notice it does not have a specific kind of water or filtering process, just general ranges. This isnt a life or death scenario here. In other words, its safe to use tap water for coffee. In fact, there are coffee makers that can be connected directly to your water line. It just might not taste that great. For those who are not overly scientific about the process, a general rule of thumb for the water you use in your coffee is to use water you actually like to drink.
But if you want to take it one step further and make your coffee taste even better, you need to better than drinkable water. Okay, so you dont have to use a water filter in coffee making. But there are many benefits to finding a good balance to your water.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Built
Lets discuss the big, fat BUT of water filters: They dont last forever. You will have to replace them every so often, and exactly how often will depend on how hard your water is.
As is generally the case with these kinds of things, there are usually cheaper options out there besides the name-brand filters from the manufacturer. Im sure they will tell you otherwise because they make money when you buy their filters. However, youre the one who loses out because its your money.
In a perfect world, all brands would use the same kinds of filters, and replacing them would be the same for every machine. Then there would surely be cheaper alternatives. However, its not a perfect world. Depending on the kind of system your machine uses, you might have no other choice than to go with a name-brand filter.
One other drawback to filters is related to cleanliness and hygiene. Some filter systems tend to develop bacteria and germs. Obviously, if you have that going on, then its pretty pointless to use a water filter. Thats also one reason why its important to regularly change the water filter.
Reverse Osmosis Water For Coffee And How To Prepare Purified Water
In short, reverse osmosis is a complex process that removes all minerals from water . As we now know, this is no good, as it creates a flat cup of coffee, with absolutely no character. However, some systems can actually reintroduce a good level of minerals back into the water, thereby balancing it and making it just right for your coffee.
But even if you start with distilled water or a reverse osmosis system that doesnt rebalance your water, you can work from there by adding minerals back in yourself , or using an option like Third Wave Water .
All about water quality and coffee brewing in our video below:
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Brita Water Filters: Protecting Your Espresso Machine From Limescale
For me, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure when it comes to limescale. Yes, I know you can descale your machine, but why head down that path if you don’t need to? Removing limescale tends not to improve the life of the seals in your machine, it is time consuming, and generally a pain in the butt.
Note that what I’m about to write doesn’t specifically address the highly technical debate about the optimal composition of water for espresso, or indeed coffee in general. This has been addressed by Jim Schulman online already, fully supported with a detailed discussion of the chemistry at work. His recommendation for those of us wishing to just make some great coffee and get on with our lives was to use Volvic water. Readily available in numerous countries, relatively economical, won’t scale your machine, and an acceptable taste for coffee . So, Volvic provides a practical solution, which we thoroughly endorse.
Volvic brings the added benefit of standardisation, reducing a variable from the coffee equation. This allows you as a customer to know that we have optimised the roast using Volvic water and to use the very same water in your machine, eliminating a significant variable from the equation. This makes it easier for you to taste the coffee the same way as we did. Given that a cup of coffee is probably something like 98% water we think this is quite important.
Q: What About Distilled Water For Coffee Machines
So, hard water seems alright, but has its problems. Soft water is a bad idea. Can you make coffee with distilled water, then? Once again the debate continues regarding whether distilled water is good for coffee or not. However, the truth is, its just not as simple as a yes or no answer.
The reality is that straight-up distilled water can create a pretty sucky cup of coffee.Why? Its missing the minerals!
Thats right. The very minerals filtered out of distilled water in bulk are actually needed in smaller amounts in order to get that ideal coffee taste. However, distillation can actually be part of the process of getting the perfect coffee water. You just might need to doctor up that water a bit as one final step.
Distilling water is something you can do at home, as you can see below.
You should know by now, however, that this is a painstakingly long process. If you choose to go the distilled water route, its worth getting an automatic water distiller.
Before we move on, though, lets take a quick look at reverse osmosis.
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How Do I Know How Hard My Water Is
In order to determine which group you belong to Team Filtered or Team Unfiltered there are a few ways to test your water.
Many super-automatic espresso machines come with a water testing strip. Simply hold it under a stream of running water in your kitchen or bathroom. Once it changes color, refer to the legend to see how hard or soft your water is.
The other option is to contact your water provider. Finding out your water hardness might be as easy as sending a quick email or making a phone call, depending on where you live.
The Best Water For Coffee Our Conclusion
One thing is for sure, and that is that coffee is about 98% water so how can it not affect its taste.
The reason we felt the need to write this article was partly because so many people complain about their coffees taste, and yet many people overlook the water as the main cause.
On the contrary, water is at the top of the list for probably causes of bad tasting coffee.
How does one deal with this issue? Filtration is one answer, and from there it depends on if you want to spring for a Brita and give that a try, or just go all the way and install an RO filter in your home.
Ultimately, in the quest for better tasting coffee, starting with great water is imperative and so getting that looked after ASAP we think is a great idea.
Happy coffee drinking!
About Bryan Albuquerque
Bryan Albuquerque is a coffee lover and vaping advocate who writes reviews and information about coffee accessories and KYG. A former coffee addict, Bryan traded his morning fix for an electronic cigarette in an effort to quit smoking, and has never looked back. He’s dedicated to helping others make the switch to vaping, and believes that it’s one of the best decisions anyone can make for their health.
Thoughts on “What Is The Best Water For Coffee?”
Grinder / Coffee Talk
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Easy to Install Design for practicality and ease of use. Simple and immediate filtration.
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Better Taste in the Cup The secret ingredient to good coffee? Great Water. With enhanced coffee flavour, aroma & appearance.
What Is The Best Water For Coffee
by Bryan Albuquerque
One thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to making a damn fine cup of coffee is the thing that would seem to be the most obvious: the water!
Any barista will tell you that the quality of your water is going to be key in the flavor of the coffee youre making.
Using bad-tasting water? Expect to get bad-tasting coffee.
Tap water, which often doesnt taste very good in a lot of locations, is a common culprit for ruining what might be an otherwise tasty cup of coffee.
What Is The Best Water For Coffee
Also, the water you use, depending on whats in it mineral-wise, can really affect the equipment you use to brew your coffee as well.
Too many minerals in the water have been known to afflict all sort of different coffee gear, as you have probably experienced yourself if youve spent years brewing coffee or tea.
The wrong water can ruin your equipment.
Brita Intenza Water Filter For Fully Automatic Coffee Machines
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The Types Of Filters Available
There are plenty of water filters available. BRITA water filters use a combination of alkaline water filter, ion exchange filter, and activated carbon water filter systems. For professional use, the Quell and Finest filters are tailored to reduce water hardness and protect professional machinery.
Tap-mounted filters mean you can enjoy the taste and health benefits of filtered water, straight from the water source. In a busy environment like a café, this kind of automated water filtration system is ideal, as opposed to other home water filters.
Home baristas can filter their water as well, of course. While a tap filter may be right for your home, sometimes an under-sink filter system is right. Many opt for water filtering jugs that they can use to keep their clean and healthy water ready for their next brew.
The best way to better coffee flavour and coffee taste is with the right water. And the best water is the water you filter to suit your needs.
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Q: How Can I Protect My Equipment
Easy by following the advice Im about to give you.
Its no secret that water can ruin your coffee equipment . An overabundance of minerals can build up and wreak havoc on your equipment. Cleaning your machines can be a good idea, but distilled water for coffee machines, or other proper filtration options for your coffee water, can also be a preventative of future chaos.
I Think My Tap Water Tastes Funny
The one thats pretty easy to spot is the flavor of your coffee. If its got that hard water egg taste or chlorine flavor from city tap water, it will definitely make a difference. Try it. Do a taste test!
Try some water from friends who live in different areas than you. Notice a difference? Once youve gotten a good comparison, see what kind of water youre working with. Does it hold up for making coffee, or do you need to find an alternative?
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Ispring Rcc7 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
|Ispring Rcc7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System And Ultimate Water Softener-Wqa Gold Seal Certified, White
If you want a more dramatic and permanent solution to this problem weve been talking about, maybe its time to look at something like a reverse osmosis filtration system, like the one pictured left, AKA the iSpring RCC7 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter.
This elaborate water filtration system will cost you roughly $180 on most online stores, and one thing we can say for sure is that it has a great reputation according to our research on this product.
In fact, it has a reputation where people really have nothing but good things to say about it. Pretty amazing for such a complicated looking device!
Choose Brita Filter Jugs
Here are some compelling reasons to drink only water from a BRITA jug and to use only BRITA filter water in your appliances:
BRITA filter jugs soften your tap water and improve the taste by reducing limescale and other substances that often affect the taste of tap water. This includes metals like lead and copper. BRITA also enhances the smell of tap water.
The health benefits go beyond just enabling you to drink more. Removing chlorine reduces the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer and bladder cancer.
Filtered water helps to reduce gastrointestinal diseases.
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Reverse Osmosis Water Can Work Wonders For Coffee
Now while the information Paul gives us here may be true in some cases, we do not agree that you shouldnt use it for the purposes of making better tasting coffee.
When it comes to the iSpring RCC7 water filter, many buyers have spoken out specifically to compliment how well they feel this water combines with ground coffee to give them their own ultimate cup of joe, which sort of flies in the face of saying that RO water isnt going to make your coffee any better.
ISpring RCC7 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
The iSpring RCC7 certainly is one of the best-reviewed, best-rated products for its price range weve seen on Amazon or anywhere else for that matter, and theres no doubt that it is a keeper when it comes to filtering water which is delicious.
Now, will it pass the T.D.S. test weve been going on about in terms of having the right mineral count for your daily cup of coffee? That all depends where you come from, and what the waters like in the first place.
Depending on such factors, having a complete water filtration system like the iSpring RCC7, or a similarly excellent system, might be just what you need to give you the ability to make top notch espresso and coffee at home.
It is a pretty big investment, but if you really value your coffee , this could be the solution youre looking for.
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When Do I Not Necessarily Need To Use A Water Filter In My Super
A water filter might be essentially redundant if you live somewhere that already has soft water. If you have a water softening system installed into your houses plumbing, you can probably do without a water filter. Additionally, if your tap water already passes through a water filtering system of some kind, such as a Brita filter, or if you use bottled water, then you also probably dont need a filter.
Of course, if you do decide to use a filter in any of these situations, it wont hurt anything. Its just not necessary, and doesnt make much sense.
Hard Water Vs Soft Water: Which Is The Best Water For Coffee
Were sorry to disappoint you, but neither hard water nor soft water is ideal for coffee water.
Hard water tends to contain a large amount of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals are sticky and will latch onto certain compounds in the coffee grounds, resulting in stronger or more caffeinated brews. However, hard water also contains high levels of bicarbonate, which is responsible for highlighting the bitter notes in a coffee. Too hard, and youll get a bitter brew.
Hard water causes mineral build-up in coffee makers and espresso machines over time, making each cup taste a little less amazing. We suggest descaling your coffee maker every few weeks.
Hard water conclusion: Some minerals are necessary to bring out all the coffee flavors, but too many will overpower the more complex flavors, like subtle aromas and sugars.
Soft water, on the other hand, is typically rich in sodium, which is added via water softeners to remove impurities. Coffee brewed with softer water tends to taste muted since the water contains fewer minerals or sticky properties.
While hard water and soft water arent ideal for the perfect cup in the morning, chemist Christopher H. Hendons studies have shown that varying levels of water hardness accentuate different flavors in the cup. His work explains why the water at your house can taste wonderful with coffees from certain regions or blends while making others taste bland and muted.
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