How Does a Water Filtration System for Coffee, Tea, and Espresso Work?

Posted by
John Woodard on March 05, 2019

Filtered water is essential for good coffee, tea, or espresso. A water filtration system improves the quality and enhances the flavor of beverages in your coffee shop or at home. Our Master Water Specialist, John Woodard, explains how hard water affects your coffee or espresso how you can find the best filtration system to help you make delicious lattes and cappuccinos. 

Why should you use filtered water for coffee, tea, and espresso?

Using filtered water with coffee, tea, or espresso is incredibly important when you consider that 98% of all those beverages are made up of water.

How does water affect the taste of coffee?

Water affects the taste of coffee if the water's not very good, so it's important to filter it. 98% of that cup of coffee is water. As you can imagine, if the water tastes bad or smells bad, it's going to affect the flavor of your coffee. It's important to understand what affects the flavor of coffee. For example, on city water, chlorine or chloramine is crucial to get out before you brew a cup of coffee. You'd be amazed at how much better it would taste.

Is it safe to use tap water for coffee?

Using tap water for coffee is safe, assuming that the tap water's coming from a municipal supply. If the water source is well water, it's up to the well owner to make sure it's safe. But assuming that the tap water is safe, using it for coffee is just as safe. It may not taste great, but it's just as safe.

Do coffee makers purify water?

No coffee makers that we're aware of purify water. You'll need to install a water filtration system.

What is the best filtration system for a coffee shop?

The best water filtration for a coffee shop depends on the kind of water coming into the coffee shop. Coffee and espresso have to have a certain grade of water. That water needs to have a little bit of mineral in it. For example, TDS should be somewhere between 100 and 150 part per million. A little bit of hardness is sometimes good, around two to five grains per gallon. A little bit of mineral allows the extraction and the oils to come out of the beans, whereas too much mineral bonds with the oils and inhibits extraction. Without enough mineral, you don't get any extraction and the coffee or espresso tastes flat. There's not a lot of flavor to it.

To get the best water for a coffee shop, you have to pay attention to what kind of water you're starting with. We can filter it and get the chlorine and chloramine out for example. Maybe the mineral content in the water for that coffee shop the right amount to make great coffee and espresso. In this case, you would just filter out the chlorine. If there's too much mineral, then you're going to want to take steps to reduce that. There are products on the market that will allow you to blend some of the raw water while removing a lot of the hardness minerals so you can hit the sweet spot of just the right water quality for the coffee shop.

What is the best filtration system for my coffee machine at home?

The best filtration for your coffee at home has, again, a lot to do with the water quality coming into your house. Many times, just removing the chlorine or chloramine from the water makes all the difference in the world and gives you a great cup of coffee. Sometimes, you might have a lot of hardness in your water or you have a water softener already. Well, too much sodium in the water going into your coffee maker could make the coffee taste bitter. You may need a reverse osmosis system to reduce some of that sodium.

Do you have to use filtered water in a Keurig?

Using filtered water in a Keurig is good because it's going to enhance the flavor of the coffee. Some Keurigs come with a filter built in. You should make sure you replace it when needed, or it could make the coffee taste worse. Using filtered water in a Keurig helps enhance the flavor of the coffee.

Browse all our filtration options for food and beverage equipment. 

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