Not all water is created equal. When it comes to coffee and tea for the discerning palate, water can make or break the taste. With the correct water, coffee can produce a full aroma. Whether you’re preparing an elegant espresso or an aromatic mocha with Ethopian Highlands Coffee; top quality water is the basic of most refined beverages.
Does Water Quality Affect the Taste of Your Coffee?
Selecting the right quality of water matters a lot, my dear coffee fashionista extraordinaire. And while the quality of water varies throughout regions of the world, it’s not just a case of hard water is bad and soft water is good. What actually matters is what the dissolved solids are and what they’re doing to the brew.
Depending on your location, your tap water will have a different mix of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium and they will determine whether the water is hard (higher in minerals) or soft (more distilled). High levels of magnesium (hard water) can produce a stronger, more flavourful coffee compared to a softened or more distilled water.
When it comes to coffee, roasted beans are full of compounds like citric and lactic acid and eugenol (but you knew that!) which exist in different variations – giving it complex and varying flavours. Water itself is complex with varying levels of calcium and magnesium which affect the taste of your coffee.
Magnesium and calcium generally make up the bulk of dissolved solids in water and both are beneficial to extraction. Magnesium tends to bring out fruitier, more acidic and delicate notes, whereas calcium brings out more chocolatey, creamy and heavy notes – choose your poison! Actually, it is important to have a balance of both these minerals when brewing coffee, but in specialty coffee we generally prefer softer water with higher levels of magnesium to help promote and nurture complex acidity.
Achieving Perfect Water for Coffee
There are various filtration methods used by high-end specialty coffee shops to get softer water. Here are a few of the methods with their pros and cons.
- Reverse osmosis (RO)
- While RO is a popular filtration method used, it can be expensive. A semipermeable membrane removes unwanted particles and chemicals and then minerals too. With more expensive models you can remineralize the water with the desired minerals. Without remineralising the water with magnesium and calcium, coffee can end up tasting flat. (Lack of magnesium and calcium however is good for coffee-machine health though.) Another downside with RO systems if that for every 1 litre of filtered produced, 1 litre of water is wasted. Not ideal.
- Calcium Treatment Unit (CTU)
- This is a popular and more affordable filtration system with the aim to remove calcium thereby preventing a build-up of limescale in your equipment. From a long-term cost perspective this saves you money, as limescale build-up over time can cause major damage. A disadvantage of CTU’s is that they filter out a certain amount of favourable minerals and still produce relatively hard water.
- Magnesium-Enriching Filter
- One of the latest additions to the coffee offering at Climpson and Sons, original East London Coffee Roasters, is the BWT magnesium enriching filter called Bestmax Premium. Read on for more interesting details.
H2O | BWT's Perfect Water for Your Coffee.
Here at H2O | BWT, we have the Ecosoft RObust PRO: a unique offer for true professionals and connoisseurs of coffee and coffee shops. The filter is designed to meet the world’s coffee standards and provides you with a water supply that reveals the unique taste of coffee, perfectly.
1. It Reveals the Taste.
- With the Ecosoft RObust PRO filter, you can experience the particular flavour of your coffee bean, thanks to optimal water salinity:
- Calcium will fill the body of the drink
- Magnesium helps extract fruit acids
- Bicarbonates provide a balance of taste and aroma
2. It Allows You to Create Your Own Designer Coffee.
- We customize the water according to your coffee, so you can create a perfect taste.
3. It Saves You Money.
- The RObust filter is an economical way to get high-quality purified drinking water.
H2O | BWT’s Perfect Water for Coffee
We connect with baristas and coffee connoisseurs from around the globe and so we know exactly what’s important when it comes to preparing coffee. For every water challenge, we have the water optimisation system for you.
Our H2O | BWT Magnesium Technology not only enriches the water with taste enhancing magnesium and reduces limescale, it also produces an outstanding cup o’ coffee.
See our filters for hospitality here:
Ecosoft Reverse Osmosis System RobustPro 75L/HR (Barrista Pro)
Ecosoft RObust reverse osmosis filters provide a sufficient amount of pure and safe water for HoReCa needs: for food and drink preparation, as well as delicious drinking water for guests and staff. We have combined high-quality water treatment technology with a modern design and compact dimensions.