What makes a coffee better than another? The type of coffee you use? Of course, a high-quality coffee is essential, but what about the water? After all, your brew is mainly water. If you’ve never considered the quality of the water you’re using to make coffee, here are a few reasons to change that.
A lot of people only drink bottled water, still or mineral, yet when it comes to making coffee or tea they use tap water, without giving a second thought to the matter. The idea is that you’re going to boil the water so it will be safe to drink.
This doesn’t take into account other factors, like the mineral content or the pH level of the water, which, according to experts, influence the way a coffee tastes.
The first rule you need to consider is that a good water to make coffee with should be odorless and flavorless.
And here we have a huge issue already with tap water, as in many parts of the world, chlorine is used to disinfect water. If this is the case for you, then you probably shouldn’t use tap water for your favorite brew.
One of the best ways to make sure your water is adequate is to filter your tap water. You can use a pitcher filter or a faucet-mounted one, all that matters is that your water is free from impurities and nasty odors. Who’d want their coffee to smell of chlorine?
So, here you have your first answer – use filtered water instead of tap water!
This is another tricky question coffee lovers frequently ask and it is a very important one. Water hardness refers to magnesium and calcium content. If you’ve never paid attention to the issue, it might interest you to learn that experts in the industry say that minerals are essential to bringing out all the flavor in those lovely beans. The water you should use for your coffee should be rich in both, but particularly magnesium.
This brings us the question of Reverse Osmosis water, which is basically stripped of all the minerals. Using this type of water for coffee is out of the question unless you have a reverse osmosis system with blending capabilities which allows you to bring back some of the minerals in your water.
There is one thing Reverse Osmosis water is good for and that is espresso. The extraction process used to make espresso is different than that used to make coffee and it doesn’t require minerals.
It’s a very quick process and the water goes through the coffee grounds at such speed there’s no time for the minerals to play any part in the flavoring of your coffee. Also, hard water can ruin an espresso machine through scaling, which is the mineral build-up on the internal parts of your espresso maker.
If coffee matters to you and you spend a lot of time deciding what type of coffee beans you should buy, do yourself a favor and switch to filtered or bottled spring water. You will see the difference. Or rather you will taste it!
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