The One Issue 4 - Coffee and Water

Coffee and Water

Water makes up 98% of coffee. A great cup of coffee starts with the right water.

To perfect your water, you need to control two things: type and temperature. Hopefully I can make this informative without boring you with chemistry or terms like “water hardness”.

1) Type (Tap vs. Filtered vs. Third Wave Water)

Tap water is not ideal for coffee because it can contain impurities (for health) and can taste metallic or acidic. So is filtered water the solution? Not necessarily. Great tasting water does not always make great tasting coffee. Filtered water may reduce the amount of impurities in the water, but does not always have the correct level of minerals for coffee.

Third Wave Water – a company featured on "Shark Tank" – develops mineral packets that, when mixed with distilled water, create the perfect level of minerals for coffee.
Pro tip: Distilled water without added minerals is the worst option because coffee oils need minerals to attach to.

2) Temperature

195–205 degrees Fahrenheit is commonly referred to as the target water temperature for brewing coffee. This is reasonable advice if the temperature can be maintained. The problem is that pour overs lose heat very quickly. I typically set the water temperature to 207 degrees to account for the temperature loss. If you can’t set your kettle to an exact temperature, let the water sit for 30–45 seconds after it starts to boil.
Pro tip: If your coffee tastes sour, the water temperature is too low. If your coffee taste bitter, the water temperature is too high

Can you still make good coffee if you only have access to tap water? Of course. But “good” isn’t our benchmark.

Written by Seth Jorde |