What Water Makes the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Ever wonder what water makes the perfect cup of coffee? it turns out there is an ideal set of characteristics in water that contribute to great tasting coffee.

A study by Christopher Hendon at the University of Bath, with who I have communicated, found that the flavor of the coffee bean is enhanced by the presence of certain ions in the water. Turns out that what I would define as healthy drinking water also makes great coffee.

First, start with fresh cold water. Of course you want to remove chorine or chloramine from your water no matter what. Either will harm the taste of coffee. You accomplish this by using appropriately filtered water.

Herdon’s study concluded that the following composition makes the ideal coffee:

Water for the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Ideal                    Range

Total Dissolved Solids                     150 ppm               75 – 250 ppm

Calcium hardness                              68 mg/l               17 -85 mg/l

Alkalinity                                            40 mg/l               near 40

pH                                                          7.0                   6.5 – 7.5

Sodium                                               10 mg/l               near 10

What Water Makes the Perfect Cup of Coffee

This specific combination of minerals and characteristics is hard to create. It will depend in large part on where you live and what your water is like to begin with. I suggest the following to my customer base. If you have purchased my Kitchen Defender water filter you’re making great coffee. It doesn’t get any better than that.  Of course if you have my Kitchen Defender it’s because we’ve looked at your water quality report and determined that the water falls within the range identified above, but that had to do with healthy drinking water.

If you have a combination of both my Urban Defender whole house water filter and custom reverse osmosis system you’ll have a tds of about 30 and no hardness or sodium. In this case I would try adding just a little bit of your tap water, which has been treated by the Urban Defender, to your RO water to enhance the flavor of your coffee.

Try one part tap water to three parts RO water and you’ll be approaching the ideal.

If you try it and let me know what you think.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Best Water Filter, Healthy Drinking Water, Reverse Osmosis, Water Purification, Whole House Water Filter, Whole House Water Filtration and Purification. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What Water Makes the Perfect Cup of Coffee

  1. Eugen says:

    Hi James,

    Absolutely agree with the article. In fact, I just don’t like the RO water without the remineralization stage and a certain level of calcium and magnesium is necessary for a good beverage or just a taste of water.

    The only thing I would add is that because RO lowers the pH of water if you use a coffee machine with the metal container to store water, it could corrode it over time.

    Great article.
    Thanks, Eugen

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