By Jim Franceschetti, Pentair Everpure
To some, coffee is coffee. A heartbreaking mentality to coffee lovers, I know. I must admit that, before I started working for Pentair Everpure, I was guilty of this mentality. Sure, I could tell the difference between a strong and weak cup, and I knew what type of roast I preferred, but I certainly didn’t appreciate and respect all that goes in to making a great cup of coffee.
Once I started learning the nuances, though, it didn’t take long to develop a curiosity and appreciation for the science behind brewing coffee. From the source of the bean, the style in which it is brewed, the quality of water used, and beyond, I’m all in.
I have found myself feverishly searching out the best home brew methods for my taste — is it French press? Or pour over? Espresso? Obviously it’s very subjective and a hot topic to debate. One thing that’s not subjective, however, is water quality. Regardless of what brew method I ultimately choose, I won’t have the perfect cup unless I ensure I’m using the proper quality ingredient water.
It’s a fact that great coffee requires great water. Utilizing the proper tools to achieve your ideal water recipe not only makes for outstanding coffee, but will help you protect your equipment investment from damaging scale. Did you know that water with too little total dissolved solid (TDS) content can leave the coffee bitter, and that too much TDS can leave the coffee with a weak flavor? That’s just the beginning! There are numerous water quality variables to consider when striving to make the ideal, delicious cup — or pot — you’re craving.
Here are four:
1. Coffee’s 98% water and espresso is 95% water
Water, the main ingredient in coffee and espresso is oftentimes the most overlooked ingredient. The water you use to make coffee can impact the taste, appearance and aroma of your favorite beverage.
If you’re into coffee, you should be into water.
2. What’s in your water plays a part in the taste
Water quality can be vastly different depending on where in the country — or even city — you are brewing. That’s why you might prefer a brew from SoHo over the one at the diner down the street from your home. Hard water, soft water, high levels of total dissolved solids, low levels of total dissolved solids, high pH level or low pH level — it all makes a difference. In order to make sure you’re getting the best water for your beverages, have it tested or contact your local municipality to find out exactly what you are working with. This will help to tell you if you’re leaning towards a bitter cup, a weak cup or the perfect cup.
3. Water is important for your equipment too
Proper water quality can ensure your coffee equipment is operating in the best condition possible which can help drive down service and replacement costs. Are you experiencing these all-too-familiar issues that can be caused by poor water quality: scale, corrosion, channeling? Using the proper filtration for your water can extend the life of your equipment, prevent costly maintenance and increase energy efficiency.
4. The proper water filtration system makes a difference
You wouldn’t leave your bean or brewing equipment selections to chance, would you? The same level of care that goes into those selections should go into the water filtration system you use. Oversizing may leave you with a system that far exceeds your needs and takes up too much valuable space; an undersized solution may not be large enough to handle the volume of water you need to feed your equipment…right-sizing a system can make all the difference. Sizing your filtration system properly will not only reduce water waste and save you money on replacement filter cartridges, but will also provide you with the proper ingredient water needed to make the perfect cup of coffee, espresso or tea!
Pentair Everpure will be demonstrating the visible differences between filtered and unfiltered water at The New York Coffee Festival. Click here to find out more.