Key issues regarding water for coffee and tips on how to improve it
 

Beside the coffee itself, the water is the second most important factor when brewing coffee. After all, coffee which is ready to drink consists up to 99 % of water. Best coffee requires best water. Water which is not completely suitable for brewing coffee does not only negatively influence the taste but long-term it can also damage the machines and devices with which the coffee is made.

The water values ​​differ from region to region in Germany - depending on the rock deposits and soil conditions. Water hardness is measured by the content of calcium and magnesium ions and in ° dH (the degree of German hardness). The higher the ion content, the harder the water.

The ideal water for brewing coffee and espresso should be neither too soft nor too hard. It should be somewhere between 8 and 12 ° dH. This corresponds to the sector II of the German definition (moderately hard water). The pH value lies here in the neutral area between pH 6.5 and pH 7.5. The water hardness is always associated with the pH value. Hard water is of basic / alkaline nature. And soft water of up to 6°d is, in contrast, more acidic.

 

How to determine the hardness of your water?

You can go to www.wasserhaerte.net and enter the city and the postal code to find out what is the water hardness at your location.

If the hardness of the water is unknown, you can easily test it yourself. The company BRITA will send you on request free strips for testing the water hardness. Simply send an e-mail with your postal address to konsumentenline@brita.net. The free test strips, which BRITA will send you, will allow you to determine the hardness of your water within a few seconds.

 

How does hard water affect the taste?

In the case of hard water, the fine fruit acids, which are especially typical for Arabica coffees, are neutralized by the basic properties of this water. The longer the contact of coffee grounds with the water, the stronger the effect. The result is a pretty poor coffee with little flavour. In addition, the hardness-forming minerals develop an unwanted taste. And further, during  heating of the water gray deposits are formed (detached ions or calcium carbonate). These calcium deposits are perfect environment for the formation of unwanted bacteria. The lifetime and performance of the brewing equipment decreases considerably.

 

How does soft water affect the taste?

Soft acidic water intensifies the sour taste of the green coffees which are high in acid and of light coffee roasts. Due to the changes in the blooming behaviour of coffee powder, an over-extraction takes place. The result is an unwanted high intensity of acid and bitterness.

 

How to prepare water easily and inexpensively?

Table water filters from e.g. Brita or BWT are a good and inexpensive solution. Make sure that the filter cartridges are replaced regularly. We can recommend the following two products:

amazon-logo_spiegeleffekt  BWT Tischwasserfilter 3,3 Liter (low priced option)

amazon-logo_spiegeleffekt  Brita Starterpaket Marella Cool 1,7 Liter (more expensive option)

The functionality of a table water filter is based on ion exchange. An ion exchanger is an insoluble organic material, which is responsible for reducing calcium or magnesium salts in the water. The hard, calcareous water flows through the exchange material (filter material) which is enriched with hydrogen ions. The calcium ions present in the water, which are responsible for the hardness of water, attach to the replacement / filter material. At the same time hydrogen ions are released into the water. This process is called ion exchange. The word "ion" comes from Greek and means "wander". Conversely, soft water can be made hard. Also in this case the pH is corrected. The process is initiated by appropriate mineral granules.

Filter systems that operate with an activated carbon filter can also remove organic contaminants such as chlorine from the water. In that case, however, ionic substances such as minerals, salts and lime, remain in the water.
In order to avoid contamination of the filter system, a regular change of filter cartridges is very important. For additional information on this topic please refer to the instruction manuals of the respective product or ask the manufacturer.

TIP: Before purchasing a water filter, check the hardness of your water. In some cases no water treatment is needed.

 

Conclusion: Table water filters are a very good and cost-effective solution to prepare perfect water for brewing your coffee or espresso. In addition, harmful deposits of lime in the preparation devices can be avoided, which increases their lifetime considerably. Good coffee water should always be fresh and rich in oxygen. It, therefore, makes sense to use only cold, not stagnant water.

 

 

  Key issues regarding water for coffee and tips on how to improve it   Beside the coffee itself, the water is the second most important factor when brewing... read more »
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Key issues regarding water for coffee and tips on how to improve it
 

Beside the coffee itself, the water is the second most important factor when brewing coffee. After all, coffee which is ready to drink consists up to 99 % of water. Best coffee requires best water. Water which is not completely suitable for brewing coffee does not only negatively influence the taste but long-term it can also damage the machines and devices with which the coffee is made.

The water values ​​differ from region to region in Germany - depending on the rock deposits and soil conditions. Water hardness is measured by the content of calcium and magnesium ions and in ° dH (the degree of German hardness). The higher the ion content, the harder the water.

The ideal water for brewing coffee and espresso should be neither too soft nor too hard. It should be somewhere between 8 and 12 ° dH. This corresponds to the sector II of the German definition (moderately hard water). The pH value lies here in the neutral area between pH 6.5 and pH 7.5. The water hardness is always associated with the pH value. Hard water is of basic / alkaline nature. And soft water of up to 6°d is, in contrast, more acidic.

 

How to determine the hardness of your water?

You can go to www.wasserhaerte.net and enter the city and the postal code to find out what is the water hardness at your location.

If the hardness of the water is unknown, you can easily test it yourself. The company BRITA will send you on request free strips for testing the water hardness. Simply send an e-mail with your postal address to konsumentenline@brita.net. The free test strips, which BRITA will send you, will allow you to determine the hardness of your water within a few seconds.

 

How does hard water affect the taste?

In the case of hard water, the fine fruit acids, which are especially typical for Arabica coffees, are neutralized by the basic properties of this water. The longer the contact of coffee grounds with the water, the stronger the effect. The result is a pretty poor coffee with little flavour. In addition, the hardness-forming minerals develop an unwanted taste. And further, during  heating of the water gray deposits are formed (detached ions or calcium carbonate). These calcium deposits are perfect environment for the formation of unwanted bacteria. The lifetime and performance of the brewing equipment decreases considerably.

 

How does soft water affect the taste?

Soft acidic water intensifies the sour taste of the green coffees which are high in acid and of light coffee roasts. Due to the changes in the blooming behaviour of coffee powder, an over-extraction takes place. The result is an unwanted high intensity of acid and bitterness.

 

How to prepare water easily and inexpensively?

Table water filters from e.g. Brita or BWT are a good and inexpensive solution. Make sure that the filter cartridges are replaced regularly. We can recommend the following two products:

amazon-logo_spiegeleffekt  BWT Tischwasserfilter 3,3 Liter (low priced option)

amazon-logo_spiegeleffekt  Brita Starterpaket Marella Cool 1,7 Liter (more expensive option)

The functionality of a table water filter is based on ion exchange. An ion exchanger is an insoluble organic material, which is responsible for reducing calcium or magnesium salts in the water. The hard, calcareous water flows through the exchange material (filter material) which is enriched with hydrogen ions. The calcium ions present in the water, which are responsible for the hardness of water, attach to the replacement / filter material. At the same time hydrogen ions are released into the water. This process is called ion exchange. The word "ion" comes from Greek and means "wander". Conversely, soft water can be made hard. Also in this case the pH is corrected. The process is initiated by appropriate mineral granules.

Filter systems that operate with an activated carbon filter can also remove organic contaminants such as chlorine from the water. In that case, however, ionic substances such as minerals, salts and lime, remain in the water.
In order to avoid contamination of the filter system, a regular change of filter cartridges is very important. For additional information on this topic please refer to the instruction manuals of the respective product or ask the manufacturer.

TIP: Before purchasing a water filter, check the hardness of your water. In some cases no water treatment is needed.

 

Conclusion: Table water filters are a very good and cost-effective solution to prepare perfect water for brewing your coffee or espresso. In addition, harmful deposits of lime in the preparation devices can be avoided, which increases their lifetime considerably. Good coffee water should always be fresh and rich in oxygen. It, therefore, makes sense to use only cold, not stagnant water.

 

 

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