Does Water Really Make a Difference in the Taste of Coffee?
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By Beth Garrison, CEO, Operant Coffee
As I go farther down the rabbit hole of my coffee adventure, I started thinking about how water would affect the taste of coffee. Coffee is made up of more than 99% water, so it would make sense that this is something that would definitely have an impact on your cup of joe.
In his article, How Water Quality Affects the Taste of Coffee, Gary Oden, a freelance coffee writer, describes three reasons why water affects coffee taste: 1) Staleness and Quality--meaning that water that has been left in the kettle is not going to taste as good as water directly from the faucet or filter system; 2) Water Hardness-the amount of metals in the water can affect the taste; and 3) Chlorine--something that can change the aroma of coffee as well as the taste.
I decided to put it to the test, and sample three cups of coffee brewed with different water types. For this experiment, (because I wanted to feel scientific), I used my Chemex to try it out.
The first water trial was sourced directly from my faucet and boiled in the kettle. This round tasted bland, and did not have as strong of a taste as I typically find with my coffee.
The second water trial was sourced from my Brita filter and boiled in the kettle. This round tasted a little better than the faucet water, and some of the strength and taste of the coffee was maintained.
The third water trial was sourced from a spring water filtration system. With this round, I really could smell the coffee nuances, as well as taste the different tasting profiles of the coffee.
Though this was somewhat of an anecdotal case study, I can definitely say that in my opinion, water affects the taste of coffee!
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