Brewing coffee is a science that requires precision in extracting the flavor compounds from coffee beans to get a good brew. Even the smallest of factors can alter the end result of coffee brewing from the freshness and origin of the beans, to the brewing process and temperature of the water used.
The type of water you use to brew your morning coffee can determine the flavors extracted from the beans. Coffee is generally acidic, and acidic water will enhance the sourness of the coffee. Distilled water, on the other hand, creates a flat-tasting, bitter coffee, so it is best to stay away from acidic and distilled water when it comes to brewing coffee.
The best water for coffee brewing should have a mineral content of at least 150-200 total dissolved solids (TDS) per million for a smooth, flavorful brew. Soft water can brew a fairly good cup of coffee, but for a full-body brew, it is best to use filtered water, purified water, or natural spring water.
Natural spring water is determined as the best water for coffee brewing, based on several tests conducted by various barista groups. Most tap water is too acidic or hard to use for brewing, and bottled water made with natural spring water has the ideal mineral content and acidity. Most natural spring water has magnesium and calcium - an adequate mineral mix for coffee.
Pure water, or reverse osmosis water, is ideal for making coffee as it filters out any contaminants that can alter the flavors of the beans, while keeping an adequate mineral content. This filtered water has varying water hardness across different brands, so make sure to check the TDS to find the ideal coffee brewing water.
If you have soft water at home, then chances are you already brew a mean cup of coffee. However, not all soft tap water is ideal for coffee brewing as you will need a moderate mineral content. Soft water is great for brewing coffee in a coffee maker as it leaves little to no mineral build up, and keeps its water lines from getting chalky.
My Own Water offers various types of bottled water from purified water to alkaline water. Their alkaline water is great for creating a well-balanced brew as the alkalinity of the water balances out the acidity of the beans. My Own Water alkaline water is great for brewing low-acidity coffee.
However, My Own Water natural spring water is some of the best bottled water for coffee as it contains an ideal hardness and pH range for making coffee. Its natural spring water is derived from protected springs in Mt. Palomar, CA, and has a high mineral content without making the coffee taste chalky.
Voss bottled water is well-known for a number of reasons, but it is also known around barista circles as one of the bottled water brands good for bringing out the natural flavors in coffee. However, Voss is fairly expensive for the average coffee drinker, and its price point makes it inaccessible to a number of individuals.
ADSA Still Water, despite its low price point, is surprisingly a top contender for creating a good brew. Baristas from Mercanta: The Coffee Hunters tested different brands of bottled waters to find an accessible type of water that is great for coffee. They brewed the same coffee using different brands of bottled water, and found the ASDA's Cumbria plant made inexpensive water that is great for making a smooth cup of coffee.
Like ADSA, Frantelle Spring Water is an affordable brand that creates a full-body, balanced, and flavorful cup of coffee. The water brings out the natural sweetness of the beans, and cuts down on the acidity, resulting in a well-rounded coffee with a pleasant aftertaste.
Volvic natural mineral water is a home barista-favorite as it is accessible, moderately-priced, yet brews a great cup of coffee. Volvic is used for various brewing methods from filter coffee to espresso machines, and has the ideal pH and hardness for specialty coffee.
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