Most people never consider the effect of water on the quality of their coffee brew; after all, water is water, right? … Wrong! Ever had such great coffee at a friend’s place or a café that you decided to brew it yourself, only to end up with a cup so bad it can only be described as terrible?
You could have blamed it on your brewing method, but what if you followed the instructions on the pack to the letter? The only other factor that could have contributed to the poor taste in your brew is the water you used.
As strange as it may seem, the chemical properties of water have a significant effect on the taste of the coffee. The most basic assumption of water concerning coffee brewing is that if it tastes good, then it produces a tasty brew. That is true. Natural tasting water that is odorless and free of additional flavors brings out the authentic taste of coffee in your brew, thus giving you a great cup of coffee.
Which is The Best Water for Coffee?
When it comes to coffee, there are very many options to choose from. Since it is sourced from all over the world, each coffee type is different from the other. This is because each is roasted, ground, and brewed differently. Therefore, finding coffee that suits your pallet is quite easy.
The hard part comes when you are brewing it. You not only have to perfect your brewing method but also choose the best water. So you’re probably asking yourself, how do I choose the best water for my brew?
The answer to that question is simple yet sophisticated. For starters, you have these to choose from;
- Ordinary tap water
- Spring water
- Mineral water
- Distilled water
- Well water
- Sparkling water
All these types of water have one fundamental difference, their mineral composition. Although many people assume that the more pure water is, the more tasty a brew it produces, it is not the case. Various minerals such as calcium and magnesium help in extracting the flavor from ground coffee beans. Also, the water’s mineral composition ultimately affects the taste of the coffee.
Soft or Hard Water?
Although a debatable subject, hard water certainly makes a better tasting cup of coffee than soft water. Water hardness is simply the measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium that is dissolved in water. As discussed earlier, these minerals are vital in extracting the flavor of coffee from ground beans.
In general, water that contains both calcium and magnesium produces a great tasting brew, but if these minerals were to be replaced with sodium, the coffee produced would be flat by comparison.
Now that we’ve seen that hard water is the best for brewing coffee let’s check out its limitations. After all, nothing is all good, right? Hard water causes scaling, which can be a significant problem in pressurized brewing. When scale forms in your espresso machine, it can not only reduce its efficiency but also damage it.
On the other hand, manual brewing methods that utilize the use of the kettle and other related equipment are not affected as much by hard water. This is because regular descaling and maintenance remove the scale, thus reducing its impact on the machine significantly. You can also check manual coffee brewing for other water ideas for your coffee.
Filtered and Distilled Water
Filtered and distilled water is excellent for coffee brewing because it has no impurities, hence no odor or additional flavor or chlorine. Also, according to distilled water companies, the absence of minerals and contaminants in distilled water lengthens the lifespan of your brewing equipment.
Best Water Filters and Distillers on the Market
The most effective way to ensure that you have the best and most pure water for coffee is by using water filters and distillers. Numerous brands on the market produce water distillers of all qualities and sizes.
Being so many, finding the right one can most often prove daunting, but lucky for you, we got you! We will review five of the best water filters and distillers on the market to ensure you have the best water for coffee.
1. Pure Water Mini-Classic CT Counter Top Water Distiller
If you are searching for a compact water distiller at a great price, then this is the best product for you. One of the most impressive things about this distiller is that it does not require any further assembly. It is ready for use straight out of the box.
Its compact design makes it perfect for small kitchens and RVs. The amount of water it produces is enough to cater to the water demands of small households.
Another impressive thing about this water distiller is its ease of use. All you need to do is fill it up with water to the marked level. It also eliminates the need for ‘supervision’ as you can leave it and go about your business. Its automatic timer turns the unit off as soon as the water is filtered.
- Silent operation
- Although not completely silent, it produces a negligible amount of white noise that cannot interfere with your regular activities.
- Long process
- This filter produces clear, clean water, but the filtration process is a bit too long for some people. The entire filtration process takes about three hours to complete, but this is not a problem if you don’t have to use the water right away.
2. Water Wise 4000 Water Distiller
This water distiller provides you with clean and clear water that you can not only use for coffee brewing but also a wide variety of other usages like drinking and cooking. It plugs into a standard 10V outlet and is made of BPA-free plastic.
Although glass and stainless steel are more durable than BPS-free plastic, the plastic components are lightweight and allow water to cool down faster. It produces a negligible amount of white noise hence does not interfere with your activities.
On the downside, this distiller cleans water at a rate of one gallon per four hours; hence it is pretty slow.
To keep this distiller in perfect shape for maximum efficiency, you need to remove any scale build-up. The use of a solution of equal parts of hot water and white distilled vinegar will do the trick. You also need to replace the filter every two months.
- It is quiet and lightweight
- The plastic body is light; hence the construction is not heavy. The sound produced is somehow similar to a microwave fan; therefore, it is not disturbing.
- Easily damaged
- The primary concern about this distiller is that after some time in operation, it starts under performing and might fall apart due to internal damage.
3. Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
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If you want a water filter that not only purifies your water, leaving it with a fresh, clean taste but also looks good, then this is the product for you. This water filter from Big Berkey Water Filters is made of stainless steel and is designed for home use but can also be fitted in an RV for travel or even used during unexpected emergencies where clean water is not available.
This system comes with two or four purification elements, two chambers, a spigot, a base, and other associated hardware. It also has LED lighting. It is, however, essential to note that the LED light is purely for aesthetic purposes and does not contribute in any way in the purification process
The system with two purification elements can purify up to four gallons of water per hour, while the one with four purification elements can purify up to eight gallons per hour. For additional fluoride removal, you may install up to four PF-2 Arsenic and fluoride filters.
The construction is very sturdy, and it produces the sound of falling raindrops when purifying water, which is pretty soothing. It also comes with a two-year warranty that is calculated in 6-month intervals.
- Short purification process
- This water filter comes with either two or four purification elements that can filter up to four and eight gallons of water per hour, respectively.
- Berkey does not ship this product to Iowa
- If you are a US citizen, when you order this filter from Berkey, they will ship it free to all other states apart from Iowa.
4. Best-In-Class Stainless Steel Water Distiller
- Stainless Steel
- Air Still
- Water Distillation Unit
- Make 1 liter bottle of distilled water in 2 hours
This distiller is made of high-quality materials and components. Its service is also impeccable as it produces super clean water for coffee.
All its condensing coils and the steam chambers are made of stainless steel and all plastic components are made of BPA-free food-grade material.
Among the many advantages of using this distiller is that it has an innovatively-designed nozzle that facilitates the release of distilled water. It ensures that the distilled water does not come into contact with any metal or plastic components in its path.
The maximum capacity of the water tank used for collecting distilled water (the carafe) is one gallon. It is made of glass and has an ergonomic design to facilitate easy manipulation. The carafe has a large opening to allow easy cleaning.
- Easy to clean
- Both the stainless steel distiller and the carafe have large openings to facilitate easy cleaning
- Quite heavy
- It weighs about 10 pounds; hence it might prove problematic if you want to move around with it.
5. Megahome Water Distiller
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This is one of the most efficient and high-quality distillers on the market. It has a stainless steel interior; hence the filtered water does not come into contact with the plastic components. The water is then collected in a glass container.
Its distilling capacity is one gallon per 5.5 hours; hence you can be able to distill up to two gallons of water per day, thus ensuring you always have a supply of the best water for coffee.
Among the many perks of using this product is that it is UL certified. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is a private independent testing facility used by most big brands to test if their products are safe for use. This distiller is certified as safe.
- Made of high-quality materials
- Dawdling filtration
- This water distiller takes up to 10 hours to distill two gallons of water
6. H2o Labs Model-200 Countertop Home Water Distiller
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If you are looking for a compact, lightweight and budget-friendly distiller, then this might just be the product for you.
It has a high filtration capacity of up to four gallons a day, thus providing you with an ample supply of the best water for coffee throughout the day.
Its user-friendly design allows anyone to use it with ease. It makes it perfect for the elderly and anyone else who is not tech-savvy. Its water container is easy to fill, and it also comes with LED lighting to notify you when the filtration process is complete.
- Easy to use and operate
- It has a simple design that makes it easy for anyone to use it.
- Although it is designed to be easily operable, sometimes, it can be challenging to manipulate.
For most people, it’s hard to imagine that a simple cup of coffee could require so much detail. Most people think that the selection process ends with finding your favorite brand of coffee beans, but little do they know, that’s just the start.
As we have discussed in the article, it is evident that the only other thing that dictates the quality of your brew, apart from your choice of beans, is the water you use. If you want to brew a delicious cup of coffee, you need to know your water.
In the article, we have discussed a few examples of water and the effect they have on the quality of your brew.
We understand that any odor or additional flavor in the water you use to brew your coffee could ruin an otherwise perfect cup. That is why we have gone a step further by reviewing five of the best water distillers on the market to ease your search. We hope that this guide has been of use to you and that you will enjoy your life with the cup of good coffee. Feel free to ask any questions concerning the best water for coffee that you might have.