Do you know what makes a good cup of coffee?
The water. Yes, the water. It is paramount to any great cup of coffee and without it, well, your morning just isn't going to be worth waking up for! Read on for more information about how important good quality H2O is when making that perfect cup in the morning or anytime throughout the day.
Why is water important for the best coffee flavour?
Water makes up 98% of a cup of coffee. It makes sense that it should be given special attention, since making good tasting coffee largely depends on it. The quality of the water used brings out (or masks) flavours in the roasted beans depending on its mineral content and pH levels.
It's not often that we think about water when brewing a cup of coffee, but it is an important factor in the process. Coffee and espresso machines extract flavour from ground coffee beans by using hot water. The type of water you use in order to do that can have a significant impact on your taste experience. For example, filtered tap water will produce different flavours than bottled spring water or mineral-rich well water.
But don’t worry, today I will suggest some alternatives to improve the quality of your water so that you get the most out of your morning brew!
What is the water hardness level and when is water hard or soft?
The water hardness refers to the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in the water. (An ion is a charged atom or molecule.)
This concentration is measured in the unit of measurement ppm (parts per million). The higher the ppm value, the harder the water. In most countries there are uniform regulations that dictate whether water is soft or hard. Up to a measured value of 10 - 50ppm the water is considered soft, from 50 - 100ppm it is medium, and from 100 - 200ppm it is hard.
What does the degree of hardness have to do with the taste of coffee?
Hard water may be considered as healthy, but what about its suitability as coffee water? Most experts recommend a degree of hardness up to 50ppm, i.e. soft water.
Too high a degree of hardness can neutralize the acids that are responsible for your coffee’s amazing flavour. This means that the aroma is lost and most coffee drinkers describe the taste as bland. Water that is too hard can sometimes even be seen visually in the form of a thin film floating on the surface. However, one cannot conclude from this that the softer the water, the better the coffee.
The dampening of the taste-forming acids by the water is definitely an intended effect in coffee preparation, which is only exaggerated if the water is too hard.
The same also applies to water that is too soft, which leads to an excessively high acid and bitter intensity. The lower limit can be kept at 50ppm.
A quick test
Is your drinking water complimenting your coffee? Before deciding on looking into alternatives, you should definitely test it or get the information from your water supplier.
My suggestion is to brew two cups of coffee with the same type and quantity of coffee. Use your tap water for the first cup, and some still water from the store for the other cup.
You should be able to taste the difference and notice changing aromas that develop!
There are many water filter options in the market these days
How can I improve the quality of my water
If after the quick test above, you are not happy with the water that you are using, there are a few ways you can fix that! Below I’ll offer some alternatives:
Alternative 1: Buy still water in bottles
Buying still water in bottles is one way to get ideal quality coffee water. It guarantees you the ppm values you need to make coffee with excellent quality.
A major disadvantage is that it often causes plastic waste, and you need to buy many at once.
Alternative 2: The water filter pitcher
A simple yet effective alternative that does not require the purchase of tons of water bottles is the table water filter. The full coffee aroma can develop with filtered water.
One of the most popular ones is the Brita water filter. I’ve tried it myself and the water tastes refreshing, invigorating and tasty, plus it offers maximum coffee enjoyment.
Alternative 3: The osmosis system
The osmosis system is a water filter that is installed directly on the water pipes in the kitchen. Usually a second tap is installed for this, from which the filtered water can be poured from directly.
The filtered pollutants are discharged into the wastewater during reverse osmosis. With the osmosis system, you can separate the excess minerals, which are responsible for the hardness of the water, also heavy metals, viruses and bacteria as well as drug residues.
A kitchen that uses the osmosis system
So, what do you think? Is your water affecting the taste of your coffee?
If so, now you know why and how you can change that! Most people don’t realise that what’s in their coffee is mostly water, but if you think about it, it makes sense, right?
We all talk about the quality of the coffee beans a lot but let’s not forget about the water, since without it we wouldn’t be able to even brew a cup of coffee.
I hope you found this article helpful, and as always don’t hesitate to shoot me a message if you have any questions!