You may not have ever put much thought into it, but there’s a lot that goes into making a great cup of coffee—the quality of the beans, the brewing method, the temperature, and most importantly, water. A cup of coffee consists of 98.75% hot water and 1.25% soluble plant matter, so it should come as no surprise that water quality is one of the main factors affecting how good your cup o’ joe tastes. When you brew with tap water, all of those harmful contaminants and impurities mix with the coffee, changing the overall taste and altering the flavor profile. Filtered water allows you to brew the most delicious coffee you can find outside of your favorite café! Our Naked Collagen Peptides Protein Powder is a great addition to a morning coffee or to any favourite hot drinks, though.
Where to Find a Water Filter
If you want better-tasting coffee, a water filter should be the first item on your list. When you’re looking for an efficient filtration system, especially one great for brewing coffee, check out The Berkey. It uses a gravity-fed filter design, so it doesn’t require any electricity to work. Just pour some water in the top, and clean, crisp drinking water filters into the lower chamber. Their water filters are affordable, easy to use, and eco-friendly, making them an excellent choice for your home.
Tap Water vs. Filtered Water vs. Bottled Water
Tap water, filtered water, and bottled water have some significant differences between them. Though you might think that bottled water is a great alternative to tap water, that’s not the case. The bottled water industry has even less regulation than a municipal water supply, and most of it is essentially just filtered tap water unless it’s bottled at the source. Bottled water is also devoid of minerals, making it taste bland, and purchasing it is a waste of money and resources. It also contributes to the global plastic crisis, with about 2/3 of the bottles purchased ending up in a landfill or polluting the ocean.
Filtered water is better than both tap water and bottled water, especially for brewing coffee. It gives much safer and healthier water since the filter’s purpose is to cleanse all impurities, pollutants, and chemicals out of the water. Unfiltered water can leave a bad taste in your mouth from all the chemicals. Some water filtration systems are available with a carbon pre-filter, which adds harmless minerals for a clean, natural taste.
What Are the Different Kinds of Water Filtration Systems?
There are several different designs and styles of water filtration systems, and each works in different ways. They also differ in cost, operation, and level of upkeep. However, each of them is effective at filtering water and making it safe to drink.
Gravity-fed systems with carbon block scrubbers
One of the most efficient and environmentally friendly water filters is the gravity-fed, carbon block design. The water is poured in the top, passes through the carbon scrubbers, and comes out clean and filtered. They don’t require any electricity since gravity does all the work, making them excellent for outdoors, camping, or emergency use. They are also ideal for using in-home, and the carbon block scrubbers make the water taste crisp and fresh.
The distillation method uses evaporation to remove all the harmful contaminants and chemicals from water. The process consists of heating the water until it turns to steam, with the evaporation leaving any impurities behind, and then the clean steam is turned back into a liquid state. However, distillation uses a lot of energy, so it isn’t the most efficient water filtration method.
Reverse osmosis filters work by pushing water through a membrane with a fine mesh that blocks anything larger than a water molecule from passing through to the other side. This is great at removing contaminants, but it also removes all the minerals, leaving the water tasting a little flat. However, there are systems available with carbon scrubbers that add harmless minerals to improve the taste.
Water softener systems
Water softener systems are great for tap water, particularly hard water, but they work through an ion exchange process that can leave the water tasting somewhat salty. However, they are great for lowering the hard metal content in tap water, making the water much safer and cleaner. A great way to get around the salty taste is to get a potassium chloride softener system, which filters the water without adding extra sodium.
How Does Water Quality Affect the Taste and Flavor of Your Coffee?
A cup of coffee is over 98% water, meaning the quality of the water used to brew it most definitely affects the taste. The quality of your beans determines the flavor, but water quality determines the overall taste and smell of your coffee. Using a water filter to brew your coffee is critical for getting that fresh taste that only the barista at your favorite café can rival. However, some other factors go into making coffee taste fantastic. Some of these factors include:
· Water temperature
· Brewing method
· Ratio of water to coffee
· Quality of the beans
· Grinding method
· The freshness of the beans
All of those aspects impact how flavorful your coffee is, but using a water filter is the secret to getting a bright, authentic flavor profile out of your favorite beans.
Why Does Filtered Water Taste So Much Better?
When coffee is brewed, the beans are immersed in almost-boiling water, which acts as a solvent, releasing and extracting the flavor and natural oils. When you use unfiltered water, the beans react with any impurities or contaminants during that critical extraction process, altering the taste and smell. In fact, the consistency of contaminants in basic tap water or well water varies, meaning that even though you use the same water from your faucet, the coffee could come out tasting different each time.
The only flavor shots added to a cup of coffee should be things like French vanilla or hazelnut, not chlorine or fluoride! All of the harmful chemicals in tap water can make coffee taste terrible even when you’re using a sophisticated brew method and superior quality beans. Even bottled water is too bland to make a great cup o’ joe. Filtered water makes for a better, smoother, and richer tasting brew. It’s also essential to use filtered water in specific brewing machines, particularly espresso. Using hard water or tap water full of minerals can create buildup, which causes calcification and impacts performance.
Where You Live Could Also be Affecting the Taste of Your Water
When you brew your coffee, you definitely wouldn’t add chemicals, gases, heavy metals, or minerals to your cup. The only extras allowed in coffee are cream and sugar! Unfortunately, when you use tap water or well water straight from the faucet to brew your coffee, all of those contaminants are saturating your beans and ultimately affecting taste. However, the level and type of impurities in your tap water depend on where you live. Luckily, all of that information is made public, and a quick web search will bring up current reports on the water quality in your region.
Some areas have higher concentrations of chemicals than others. For example, regions with a large agricultural presence typically have water with higher nitrate levels due to all the fertilizer runoff from farms. Water tends to have a slightly salty taste in the pacific west due to all the brackish groundwater common to that area. If you’re curious about the quality of your water, you can find a pH test strip at any local hardware store that will tell you the hardness or softness level. Take it a step further by hiring a company to run some tests, giving you a more detailed analysis of your tap water. The results might make you consider investing in a water filter.
Is it Safe to Use Unfiltered Water to Brew Coffee?
Using unfiltered water is not as safe as water that has been treated with a filter to remove any chemicals or contaminants. It won’t kill you, but it negatively affects the quality of your coffee. If you have a higher concentration of certain chemicals in your tap water, it can affect the taste of your coffee in different ways. Chlorine and chloramine are notorious for giving off a smell and flavor reminiscent of a swimming pool—nobody wants their coffee tasting like the locker room at the public pool!
Unfiltered tap water can also contain heavy metals, such as manganese, iron, or aluminum, to name a few. Suppose your water is contaminated with heavy metals, and you use it to brew your morning coffee. The heavy metals can leave a slightly metallic aftertaste, which significantly alters your coffee’s flavor profile—in a bad way. Though you may have heard that hard water is suitable for brewing coffee, that’s not true. If you have hard water, using it to brew coffee will bring out the bitter notes instead of giving your coffee a full-bodied taste and smooth flavor.
Use Filtered Water to Brew the Best Tasting Coffee You’ve Ever Had.
Next time you go to push the brew button on your Keurig or fill up your coffee pot from the faucet, take pause. Using tap water to brew your coffee can leave your cup full of contaminants, chemicals, heavy metals, and impurities. Bottled water doesn’t cut it either, since it can leave your coffee tasting bland. Using a water filter eliminates all those harmful impurities, giving your coffee a brighter flavor profile and an authentic taste. If you want the best tasting coffee you can find outside of a café, use filtered water. When you take the first sip, you’ll never go back to using tap water again!