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Why Water Quality Is Essential When Brewing Coffee

Jan 21, 2021 (Updated on Mar 21, 2023)

Statistics show that almost half of American adults drink coffee daily. But most consumers do not fully appreciate the importance of water as one of the primary ingredients. Every coffee expert knows that it is essential to monitor the quality of the water when preparing a cup of coffee. Here are some crucial facts you should know about the implications of water quality when brewing coffee.

The Role of Water

Water makes up 98% of a cup of filtered coffee and about 90% for Espresso. As such, the quality of water will inevitably affect the brew. Water is a solvent that may have several compounds in it that influence its taste and aroma.

For example, hard water takes longer to dissolve the compounds in the coffee beans than soft water. The additional minerals in hard water will also make the taste bland. The characteristics of the water are, therefore, important considerations when brewing coffee.

Dissolved Compounds

Sometimes chlorine is added to drinking water to remove bacteria and parasites. If the water contains significant chorine quantities, your cup of ground coffee will end up with a bitter taste. That sourness is in contrast to the bland taste of hard water containing minerals.

The pH value of the water should be neutral. Otherwise, it indicates there are chemicals in it. Acids can alter the odor, taste, and color of the coffee beans. The pH values should ideally be between 6.5 and 8.0.

Minerals in the Local Water Supply

The local supply is likely to have minerals, but that will depend on your specific location. One way you can tell you have hard water is how long it takes for soap to lather when washing dishes. If it takes a long time for the soap to bubble, you're likely dealing with hard water. For more accurate values, you can get a test kit available in local stores. Remember that the mineral and the quantity present in your water will affect the taste of your coffee. The higher the quantity, the higher the impact.

Bottled Water and Fixed Residue

Bottled water will have the information on the label. The number of dissolved salts may vary depending on the brand. The label usually contains information about the minerals. If you plan on using bottled water to brew, look for the part that refers to the fixed residue.

Filtration System

There are several ways to remove dissolved solids from water. They include softeners, reverse osmosis, and activated carbon. The type of filtration you'll use will depend on the quality of water.

For example, softeners can reduce water hardness without increasing its alkalinity. However, the process can generate acids that will influence the extraction of coffee beans. Reverse-osmosis removes all compounds, but its drawback is that the water may have to be demineralized for drinking.

Distilled water from reverse-osmosis is ideal if it acts as a base for getting precise mineral proportions. The water may not contain some essential minerals, which will eventually affect the coffee's taste and color.

Water is an essential part of making a cup of coffee. It is important to understand the constituent of the water you are using for brewing. You can determine whether to filter and what type of filtration to use. That way, you can ensure you produce consistent results when extracting from coffee beans.

Of course, water is only one component of brewing the perfect cup. When you want the highest quality coffee beans, rely on The Great Roast today.