The main things added in a great cup of joe – water and well, of course, coffee. We are immensely careful about choosing the right beans, roasting it, brewing it well, adding chocolates or marshmallows, but more often than not we forget the importance of such an important ingredient, that is- water.
The human body consists of about 70% of water, likewise a good cup of coffee consists of 90 percent of water. Just like the presence of salt in a meal would not make much of a difference but its absence definitely will make your meal your worst nightmare, the same is with water. This tells us that we need to be careful while choosing what kind of water would make a good cup of joe.
We have always heard that it is not safe to use tap water. It is true that hard water shouldn’t be used because tap water consists of hardness. Hard water contains high levels of minerals which are not good for our body. Minerals such as bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium. There are two types of hardness in water.
- Temporary hardness.
- Permanent hardness.
While temporary hardness can be removed by boiling the water but permanent hardness is difficult to get rid off. To solve this problem people soften their water with salt. Salt removes the minerals and the resulting soft water is much easier on plumbing and even becomes more compatible with soap making washing more efficient. Problem solved, right? Not when it comes to your Keurig ®. Softened water contains sodium ions that will form around coffee grinds and tea leaves making them less penetrable. This will slow down the extraction process, causing over-extraction (bad tasting coffee and tea) and clogs in the brewer resulting in performance issues.
Which Water To Use?
1. Use bottled water.
Our preferred option is bottled water. There are several types- spring, distilled, mineral, etc.. This can be confusing and if you pick the wrong one you can be doing more harm than good. You should never use mineral or spring water in your Keurig brewer. As you might guess they both contain high amounts of minerals that your Keurig will not like.
Distilled water is an excellent choice for brewing coffee in your Keurig®. Distilled water is purified, containing less than 1 PPM of minerals. This lack of minerals will leave your Keurig® brewer happily serving up your delicious morning coffee for many, many years. Distilled water will also reduce the dreaded descaling routine. I actually know someone who has had a brewer for several years and has never used anything but distilled water and has never had to descale her unit nor has she ever had a performance issue.
2. Use filtered water.
Many refrigerators now come with a filter built in, you can easily add one to your sink faucet or some go as far as a whole house filter. I strongly recommend speaking to an area water professional to be sure that you are purchasing a reputable filter that actually will produce the results you are looking for. Filters will eliminate the smell and taste of chlorine, sulfur, and iron as well as some minerals. The filter can be on your fridge, your sink, free-standing or these filters specifically designed for classic Keurig models or these for Keurig 2.0.
If we use hard water, scales and lime start forming on the interiors of the vessel. This is why it is so important to do the periodic cleaning of an espresso machine using the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
For plain coffee, a minimum mineral content of 150-200 parts per million is essential to a good extraction. Water softer than this will result in weak and flavorless coffee. Using bottled water or soft water is the best for your coffee as well as your health.