Like all beverages, and indeed most things on this planet, coffee is mostly water. So the quality of your water is central to the quality of your coffee. But what makes “good” water for coffee? We’ll get into it below.
We’ll keep this post short, but if you want the basics even more quickly, check out this handy infographic, courtesy of our friends at the Coffee Chronicler. The Specialty Coffee Association of America identifies water standards for optimal brewing that includes mineral content and PH measurements. And if you want an even deeper dive into how to find or make the best water for coffee, check out the Coffee Chronicler’s guide.
In short, minerals matter. Calcium and magnesium, aren’t only essential for flavor, they also assist in the extraction of coffee. A good first move is installing a reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems helps remove chlorine and toxins from your water. Removing harmful chemicals from water is obviously good for your health and it also provides optimal ‘base’ water for coffee because these chemicals affect flavor. Apex Water Filters makes top-of-the-line home systems that we recommend.
Once you have RO water, you need to test your water for the mineral content. Once you have the information, you can figure out how to add the necessary minerals to create the ideal water for your coffee. Minerals are cheaply available at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
Or, if you want to skip all this do-it-yourself stuff, there are other options. First, some bottled waters, like Volvic, have a good mineral profile and PH-level. Another option is Third Wave Water, a company that sells capsules of custom-blended minerals that once added to water create the perfect water for coffee brewing.
Not quite ready to add an additional step to brewing at home? At least there is an easy way to try it out. Just swap your out your normal tap water for bottled water and see if you can tell the difference. If you can tell the difference, maybe your ready to start crafting your water before your coffee in the morning. Once you’ve got your water down, check out our guide to different ways to brew!