Why Water Is So Important to Coffee

in Brewing Coffee

JP asked a great question on Twitter recently.  We were talking about a recent post of mine on making sure you use the right ratio of coffee to waterJP followed it up with a question on water, specifically whether it makes a difference to use spring water versus tap water.

My knee-jerk answer is to always advise applying the same standards to the water you use to make coffee as you would to your drinking water.  If you wouldn’t drink the daily-recommended 2 liters of a particular source of water, then I wouldn’t use that water in your coffee.  Coffee is 99% water.

Many people are fine drinking tap water, but it’s possible they don’t drink enough water daily and so they’ve never invested in something as simple as a Brita pitcher for the fridge (still under $20 to get one – for even a single filtering of water before you drink it).  Or, they’re from a generation that got along just fine drinking tap water and wouldn’t know the difference – after all, it has been through a treatment plant.

If you KNOW there are varying qualities of water, then I go back to applying the same standard to your coffee water as you do to your drinking water.

The Brita pitcher filters the water once, WAY better than nothing.

When it comes to natural spring water, I would suggest this only if you are looking to extend its health benefits to all of your water intake, and coffee certainly qualifies.  Many believe that its natural rise to land surface means it is the healthiest water there is – it contains natural antioxidants and has nourishing qualities that you won’t find in tap or purified water.  Advocates will argue that purified water inevitably filters out essential nutrients found only in spring water.

So, use tap water only if you don’t mind drinking tap as your regular source for water.  I suggest purified or filtered water otherwise – it has an added step to remove unwanted elements from the water, and the fact that it just tastes better will come through in your cup of coffee.  And use spring water if it’s part of a lifestyle choice to make sure you are drinking only the best source of water known to us.

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