Water: An Amazing Cup Series

An Amazing Cup of Coffee Series: Water
The research and experimentation that has gone into brewing a great cup of coffee is extensive and overwhelming.
Fortunately, i’m here to break down what i’ve learned so your morning routine (or afternoon) isĀ even more extraordinary.

This article will be about water, 99% of what your cup of coffee is going to be made of.

  • First off: Make sure your water isn’t from the tap.

Unless you live in the Pacific Northwest where the tap water is amazing.

Brita filters are ok but they really don’t filter anything out of you water, they just flavor it with a carbon block.

The chemicals in water bind to solubles in coffee that produce either a pleasant or unpleasant addition to your cup.


According to freshlysueezedwater.org most tap water has:

  • Chlorine
  • Fluorine compounds
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • Salts of:
    • arsenic
    • radium
    • aluminium
    • copper
    • lead
    • mercury
    • cadmium
    • barium
  • Hormones
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides

I said, pleasant or unpleasant addition to your coffee. That means that some chemicals in water are wanted, you don’t want distilled water. (Water with everything taken out of it, pure H2O.)

Really what you should get is purified water from the grocery store.

Don’t get distilled and don’t get spring water. Spring water is close to tap water and isn’t filtered.

A 5 gallon jug of it is usually 1.50 or a gallon being $1.
Hardly an expense when your cup of coffee is 99% water.

The next upgrade is an RO (reverse osmosis) water filter system they are about $300.
But a $1 jug will be about the same quality.

  • Second: Temperature

Make sure your water is hot enough, but not too hot. You are shooting for the ideal ranging of extracting delicious solubles out of coffee. 195 F -205 F or 90-96C.

At lower temperatures, caffeine and sugars are extracted, this is why Keurig’s and Drip Makers are still popular. But if your water is too cold, you won’t get a lot of the acidity and nuance flavors that you could be enjoying from Grade 1 Specialty Coffee.

At higher temperatures, the water can seem to “burn” the coffee and impart a roasty flavor that isn’t pleasant.

Tip: when you don’t have a thermometer, boil water in a kettle and then about about a minute later it will be down to 205 F, 96 C.

Coming soon in this series: Ratio