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Espresso: General Discussion
Do you use filtered water for espresso?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Do you use...  
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christoz
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Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 8:52am
Subject: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

Hi all,
I've got a Cremina I'm trying to dial in.  What's the general consensus for water type? Distilled, filtered, tap?  Thanks

Chris
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Dayglow
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Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:02am
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

I use filtered tap that is allowed to decant for a little while, but I think the general thought is that if heavily filtered, RO, or distilled water is used you need to check your mineral levels and such. Water that is too striped of its flavour components (trace minerals and ions) tends to produce bad results due to off extraction of the coffee. Water test kits are cheap and easy to use, mineral replacement is a little more complicated but doable.
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emradguy
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Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:12am
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

+1

I use water filtered by my refrigerator dispenser.  It does a good job in my home.

My test kit cost me less than $10 online from an aquarium supply, and has enough reagent for 100 samples. you want a kit that allows you to test both general and carbonate hardness (GH/KH).  The brand I have is from API, and I got it from a site called aquacave.com...though there are many, many other options, perhaps even down the street from you at the local pet or aquarium supply.

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Sun Feb 16, 2014, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

Most under counter filter systems but NOT RO do well and if you have very hard water then a point of use softener may be advised. If buying bottled water then look for drinking water and be sure it is not distilled or RO sourced.

 
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takeshi
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Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

Not all filtered water is the same.  Not all tap water is the same.  Not all bottled water is the same.  I don't recall the specifics but some minerals are required but too much causes excessive scaling.  To determine the suitability of your tap water you'd need to test it and you may need to soften and filter.  There's always the Insanely Long Water FAQ if you really want to read up on water.
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homebrewdude
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Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

I have bad well water, and have a softner.  We do not drink it.
We only drink and make coffee with RO water.

So I should look at adding back minerals for espresso?
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acasabia
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Posted Thu Feb 20, 2014, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

I use distilled mixed with 10% filtered tap (I have ~meh~ water). my reservoir also has a built in softener cartridge.

Sometimes I debate other options, but this way has worked well enough for me.

 
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CoffeeLoversMag
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Posted Thu Feb 20, 2014, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

Water has a great impact in your espresso. You’re right of asking the best water for your espresso. If I will say bottled water is not advisable, this is not also guarantee that tap water or filtered water is the recommended water for your great espresso. You better have a test kit to find out the key parameters and their target values to achieve the best espresso. These are the pH, TDS, Hardness and alkalinity. The recommended water should have the pH of 7, TDS of 130, Hardness of 62, and alkalinity of 58.

 
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kolu
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Posted Thu Feb 20, 2014, 4:21pm
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

Sorry for thread hijacking, but:
I have mesured water at café where I work. TDS 128, GH 3,5 °dGH (does it mean Hardness = 62 mg/l?), KH less than 0,5 °dKH (that means Alkalinity = 9 mg/l?) at 70 % bypass from Brita water filter.
Even straight tap water is pretty soft here (about 150-160 TDS, 5 °dGH, 4 °dKH at my home) in Prague, but with tasteable traces of iron.

Is there a cheap way to increase the alkalinity? Like adding a bit of CaCO3 to the water in test batch? Or we should turn the filter to max (to get rid of iron and other impurites) and add minerals afterwards? I ask because I'd like to do the same at home.

What about filter/drip coffee (Aeropress, V60, Kalita Wave, ...) - is the "ideal" water the same or softer?
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khuzdul
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Posted Sun Feb 23, 2014, 9:06am
Subject: Re: Do you use filtered water for espresso?
 

I use Britta filtered water, even though my tap water is generally good quality.

Household RO is low pressure, and does not remove as many minerals as large commercial RO plants, so it is not super corrosive and is probably fine to use for most household situations.  Commercial RO'ed water or distilled water is super aggressive to metal piping, I would avoid using them straight / unmixed.
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