Coffee lovers know that the secret to great coffee is great beans. But what some may not know is that great coffee needs great water too. Water is the key ingredient in most coffee. No matter how amazing your beans are, if you're using sub-par water, your coffee will be worse for it. To get the best espresso, you need the best water.
Water and coffee
The average cup of coffee is roughly 98% water. The minerals, alkalinity, and hardness of the water impact the flavour of the coffee beans. Cafés and coffee aficionados at home need to control the water that goes into their cup.
No matter the water source, all water gets filtered to meet safety regulations to be safe and healthy to drink. Filtration to remove harmful contaminants ensures that the water quality matches government standards. But as the drinking water travels through the pipes, it can pick up trace metals. These metals are not harmful, but they are noticeable to a sophisticated palate, making more alkaline water or hard water. Single-origin or high-class Arabica, a sophisticated barista, the best organic milk—none of it matters if the drinking water isn't cafe-quality for the perfect cup.
Using a water filter for better flavour
The biggest factors in water flavour are calcium and magnesium, though chlorine can play a factor in the flavour of drinking water as well. Water quality can vary based on location and environment. You might notice that your water tastes different if you move to a new region. With that in mind, the best way for a café or home barista to take control of their water is by filtering it with the right BRITA water filter for your location.
A water filter system can reduce contaminants that you want to eliminate from your water. Drinking water is healthy for consumption, but a filter can remove impurities provide greater flavour and a better coffee consumption experience. There's a delicate balance of minerals that leads to the best flavour from filtered water, and the best tasting coffee.
The Australian environment itself plays into that delicate balance. Things like drought or bushfires can affect the water in the environment. That makes water filtration more important here than in other places for the perfect espresso.
Using a water filter for better machinery
Water filtration can will improve taste, but it will also remove impurities or contaminants that can damage your machinery. Calcium, in particular, is worth filtering for as it leads to limescale build-up.
Using a good filter and changing the cartridge on a regular basis will help save your coffee machine and other appliances from the day-to-day limescale that can come from unfiltered water.
Again, the environment can play a factor in how essential a water filter is for good coffee. Unfiltered tap water in Perth can make an espresso machine have issues within a week. An under-sink or tap attachment will go a long way towards saving that machine. On the other hand, Melbourne has much softer water. A barista there may only need to change their water filter every six months to maintain the high-quality brew their coffee drinkers expect.
The types of filters available
There are plenty of water filters available. BRITA water filters use a combination of alkaline water filter, ion exchange filter, and activated carbon water filter systems. For professional use, the Quell and Finest filters are tailored to reduce water hardness and protect professional machinery.
Tap-mounted filters mean you can enjoy the taste and health benefits of filtered water, straight from the water source. In a busy environment like a café, this kind of automated water filtration system is ideal, as opposed to other home water filters.
Home baristas can filter their water as well, of course. While a tap filter may be right for your home, sometimes an under-sink filter system is right. Many opt for water filtering jugs that they can use to keep their clean and healthy water ready for their next brew.
The best way to better coffee flavour and coffee taste is with the right water. And the best water is the water you filter to suit your needs.