Our society has spent years perfecting the art of coffee—we know everything about different kinds of beans and how they’re roasted, but there’s one crucial coffee ingredient we’ve been neglecting: water. Coffee is 90% water, so why haven’t we been paying more attention to its effect on our coffee?
The right kind of water can drastically change the quality of your coffee. It’s not just an ingredient—it also acts as a solvent when it comes into contact with your coffee. Here’s what you need to know.
What Water Does
Water is absolutely essential for the extraction of coffee flavor itself. That’s why the specialty coffee that tastes amazing with pure bottled water tastes dull and lifeless with regular tap water.
So for starters, don’t use regular tap water! Get yourself a TDS (total distilled solids) meter to test your water. This meter will be able to tell you how many minerals are in your water. You can also buy your own minerals to enhance regular old water. You can buy these minerals separately or buy mineral capsules to just throw in!
Not All Water is Equal
On the surface, all water may look the same, but water contains salts and minerals and maybe even some impurities if you’re unlucky. Most natural spring waters like San Pellegrino and Evian are packed with minerals to make them tastier and healthier, but these don’t necessarily offer the best water for coffee.
So what is the best water for coffee made of? Pay attention to the calcium and magnesium in your water—these are your best friends for premium coffee because they have the strongest extraction properties. The “hardness” of water refers to the total combined measurement of calcium and magnesium and is more important than the overall mineral content. While hard coffee has the potential to really ruin your cup of joe (speaking from health and taste perspectives), you also don’t want your coffee 100% mineral-free.
Tap water is usually healthy for drinking but is not necessarily ideal for coffee because of its high calcium and bicarbonate content. These minerals are essential for the extraction of coffee flavor, but too much will ruin the balance. Lighter roast coffee will especially suffer from this kind of water composition. You need some magnesium in the mix to really pull out the juiciness of the beans.
Do it Yourself!
Try different water recipes—always start with the purest water possible, in order to work with a blank canvas and figure out which recipe works for you. You can try adding epsom salt and baking soda as a starting point. You can buy these ingredients almost anywhere and start experimenting with creating the perfect coffee water. You’ll notice a huge difference in your morning pick-me-up!
For the best water possible and more information on getting this water delivered directly to your home, contact Water Way today!