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What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
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kayes
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kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 11:53am
Subject: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

I have heard that filtered water should be used when brewing coffee if tap water doesn't taste good. Our water is actually really good most of the time (a little chlorine flavour at times). I have been using the filtered water from my LG refrigerator for a while. Are fridge filters good enough or do they make the water too low in minerals and TDS? I do feel the coffee tastes a little flat at times when I brew. Anyone have any insight on this?

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

The filters in the refrigerator cartridges (guessing that's what you have) are carbon based and don't remove minerals (I got this info directly from Pur and Kitchen Aid), so your hardness is not affected.  Hardness leads to scale build-up.  You can try getting info from your local source (probably the city, if it's just tap water).  Unfortunately, they may not have the details on mineral content because what's regulated (and thus, what's reported) is the pathogen/contaminant levels, not minerals like calcium, etc.

I suggest getting a hardness test kit.  frcn has a recommendation on his website espressomyespresso.com, and he even posted a link to the product via amazon yesterday in another thread (which ought to be easy to find).  An alternative is to order hardness test strips from CCS for a basic start.  They also sell in reservoir ion exchange resin cartridges that you can use to reduce the hardness.

My setup is...city water through fridge cartridge, then through in reservoir ion exchange resin.  Being in Houston, the hardness of my supply is low enough that I get it down to about target (3 grains) by the time it leaves the reservoir.  

When I plumb in (hopefully later this year), I'm installing an in line ion exchange unit, and praying the city doesn't supply me with contaminated water at any time.

 
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robertl
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robertl
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

For non espresso brewing your fridge filter should be fine if you are using the water in your espresso machine you may want to consider something else. From what I've read you really don't want to use softened water to prepare regular coffee. Do a search of this site and you will find plenty of info on water quality for coffee.
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kayes
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kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

Good stuff! What should the hardness or TDS be optimally for non-espresso brewing?

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

agreed.  The main reasons excessive water hardness matters are scale build up and flavor.  Regarding over softened water, I don't know why it's not recommended, though I'm sure I've read it somewhere before.

 
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

Here is a read http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html
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kayes
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kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
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Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

Awesome read! Thank you

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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Wraywayproducts
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Iowa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

I'm not sure, but I've heard that the reason why coffee can have that "flat" taste sometimes is due to the hardness of the water and the chemical treatment.  I noticed that when we moved from Oklahoma to Iowa, that my coffee tastes better even though I brew with tap water still.  Now, I did have to get a new coffee brewer though, because the quality of water that I used to put through the one I brought from Oklahoma was not as good as the tap water where we live in Iowa.  We live right on the Mississippi at Dam #19, which is home to a powerplant, and so the city has a very good water treatment facility.  The water makes all the difference, man!

 
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kayes
Senior Member
kayes
Joined: 18 Nov 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Bodum Press
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Feb 21, 2012, 3:31pm
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

I brewed two aeropress cups side by side today. One had filtered water from the fridge and one was fresh tap water. Both were good but the coffee with the tap water was stronger, not as silky, and slightly more bitter. Both were yummy though.

 
My name is Kayes, and I'm obsessed with coffee.
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srivastava
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Joined: 7 Feb 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Hyderabad
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012, 5:01am
Subject: Re: What is the best water to use for brewing coffee?
 

filtered water should be used when brewing coffee....
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