The Importance of Water Quality When Extracting Coffee

There are a few key factors to consider when choosing water for brewing coffee:

  • Mineral content: Water contains a variety of dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. The mineral content of water can affect the extraction process and the taste of the coffee. Hard water, which has a high mineral content, can enhance flavour extraction, while soft water might lead to under-extraction.
  • pH level: The pH level of water measures how acidic or alkaline it is. Ideally, water should be slightly acidic (pH 6.5-7.5) to achieve optimal extraction. Extremely high or low pH levels can result in imbalanced flavours.
  • Total dissolved solids (TDS): TDS refers to the amount of dissolved minerals and compounds in water. A high TDS can make coffee taste bitter, while a low TDS can make it taste sour.

If you are unsure about the quality of your tap water, you can test it using a TDS meter or water hardness test strips. You can also use bottled water or filtered water to brew coffee.

Here are some tips for choosing the best water for brewing coffee:

  • Use filtered water if possible. This will remove any impurities or off-flavours from the water.
  • If you are using tap water, let it run for a few seconds before brewing to flush out any stale water.
  • Avoid using distilled or softened water. These types of water have a low mineral content, which can lead to under-extraction.
  • If your tap water is very hard, you can dilute it with filtered water or bottled water.

Once you have chosen the right water for brewing coffee, it is important to use the correct temperature. The ideal brewing temperature for coffee is between 90°C to 96°C. Water that is too cold can result in a weak, under-extracted cup of coffee, while water that is too hot can scald the coffee grounds, resulting in a bitter taste.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are using the best water possible to brew coffee. This will help you to extract the full flavour and aroma from your coffee beans and create a delicious cup of coffee every time.