Why choosing the right water and a filter have such a big influence on the brewing result.
It's ALL about water!
An article about water inevitably begins with the question: Do you actually know how much water is contained in a cup of coffee? Holding our breath for a moment, we see a slowly filling coffee cup in our mind's eye.
Why the choice of the right water and a filter have such a big influence on the brewing result, we explain in this blog.
Water is always an important topic of conversation. Filter coffee is about 98% water, espresso about 95%. So if the quality of the water is poor, the brewed coffee will never be as good as it could be. That's why you should take a look at what's coming out of your tap (if you're using tap water).
Water is one aspect of coffee brewing that is not easy to mineralize.
Although hardness is a very important aspect of water quality, it's not the only one: minerals, such as bicarbonate and calcium, are the main things that affect the taste of coffee. Too high a level of minerals can lead to excessive extraction of the coffee - so it's not good either.
Compared to Berlin water, which is very hard, water in Germany tends to be soft. To find out what kind of water you have in your area, check out this map.
Germany is one of the countries in the world where you don't have to worry about water quality. Compared to the usual values for German water, Berlin water is known to be very hard (17°dH or 302.6 ppm total hardness). In contrast, we have very soft water in our roastery.
The effect of very hard water on coffee is that it supports acidity in the brew. This can result in a very sour cup.
Be aware that hard water is not necessarily bad water and soft water is not necessarily good water. Water often goes a long way through the pipes of a city, or your home, before it reaches you. Accordingly, the specific ingredients can vary.
Although the SCA has established some water quality recommendations. This is important to make brewed coffees more comparable.
Can I use tap water / What type of water should I use?
Yes, you can, but it's not ideal. Tap water contains many minerals and organics that may not taste great in your coffee. Your water should have a mineral content between 100 and 200 mg/L.
Test your tap water with a test kit.
Never use pure distilled water!
Extraction is a chemical reaction; therefore, you need minerals in your water to extract the flavors from the coffee. To find out what the mineral content is in your water, you can check here, for example.
One water with a high mineral content that goes well with our coffee is Volvic.
How do you make your own water?
You need distilled water and minerals. There are several options here:
Get your own supply of minerals and mix it yourself:
We make our own water at the roastery - though this isn't a particularly viable method for the common home brewer. If you do, we can recommend the following minerals:
- Salifert Profi Test Magnesium
- Salifert Profi Test Calcium
Using the ready-made mineral mix from Third Wave Water: It is super easy to use the ready-made water kits from Third Wave Water. Here you get ready mixed packets for your brew. The minerals are added to distilled water, mixed well and are ready to use. You can also buy the Third Wave Water kits in our webshop.