Making coffee as good as at the bar is a challenge that lovers of the black beverage face every morning.
Their quest for perfection involves choosing a good coffee machine, selecting a blend with an intense aroma and improving the techniques for making it.
But, often one of the most important elements in making top-quality coffee is overlooked: water!
We are not talking about quantity or the proportions between the amount of coffee powder and liquid. The volume of coffee is 88 to 92% water, and the quality of this ingredient is undoubtedly vital to being able to drink a cup of coffee with the perfect aroma.
Many people think there is only one type of water, underestimating the differences between tap water, bottled water, hot water and cold water. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, both in terms of our health and in terms of preserving the taste of coffee.
Water that flows from the tap can have a negative effect on the preparation of coffee, due to the presence of mineral salts and its PH level.
In addition, these elements can damage the coffee maker, making your efforts to find the ideal mix in vain. Bottled water also has an effect on the taste of coffee, and if you decide to use it, you should select it with attention to its characteristics.
So which water should you choose to make a good coffee?
Here are a few pointers to help you understand which water to use when preparing your espresso.
A choice that makes a difference
The ingredients that affect the preparation of an excellent coffee are:
- the blend;
- the temperature and pressure of the coffee machine;
- the choice of whether to serve the coffee in the ceramic or glass;
- and the water.
Each of these elements is fundamental to the success of a good coffee, and this applies to both traditional mocha and modern coffee machines.
Water, therefore, is one of the basic substances for the preparation of a good coffee. The quality of the ingredients, in fact, has a great influence on the aroma of the coffee but also on the correct maintenance of your professional coffee machine.
To take care of your lever coffee machine, we recommend that you choose your water carefully. This will ensure that you drink a good cup of coffee every day and that your machine will last over time.
Is it true that distilled water improves the quality of coffee?
Over the years, there has been a myth that distilled water affects the taste of coffee. It is true, but in a negative way! Using distilled water for the coffee machine, in fact, deprives it of its intense taste and organoleptic characteristics. This means that, when you go to enjoy a cup of coffee, you will find yourself drinking a dark, bland substance with nothing in common with your beloved espresso.
The only real advantage of using demineralised water in coffee is that it does not damage the coffee machine. In fact, its lack of minerals minimises limescale deposits and residues inside the equipment, ensuring a longer life for your coffee maker.
But is it worth drinking a bland coffee for this reason? Absolutely not! All you need to do is to maintain your coffee machine properly on a regular basis.
But is it possible to use sparkling water?
One of the doubts many people have about coffee preparation is whether or not to use sparkling water.
It seems, in fact, that some experts in the field consider it one of the tricks for having a full-bodied espresso coffee with a characteristic creaminess. One of the most popular tips is to add a small glass of sparkling water to the machine to enhance the taste of the coffee and make the mixture creamier.
In reality, sparkling water does not affect the taste of coffee at all!
However, it does increase the amount of limescale deposits in the machine and ruins it.
The taste of coffee is linked to the choice of a good blend and a quality coffee machine, whether for home use or for the bar, and sparkling water does not affect the taste.
And how hard should the water be?
There is no single answer to this question: the hardness of the water affects the aroma of the coffee, and deciding whether to use soft or hard water is just a matter of taste.
When we talk about water hardness, we are referring to the amount of minerals in the water, particularly magnesium and calcium. According to some people, a marked presence of these two minerals, and therefore the use of hard water, can improve the taste and body of coffee.
But not everyone takes the same position.
Others believe that hard water diminishes the taste of coffee. This is because the minerals act like magnets, attracting the aromatic compounds and then solidifying them. A water softener can be used to reduce the hardness of the water and provide softer water.
Hardness has an influence on the lifetime of the coffee machine: mineral deposits that accumulate can damage coffee makers.
So the choice is yours! Try it out and see what degree of hardness you prefer.
Which bottled water we recommend
For a coffee with an intense flavour that does not lose its aroma, it is best to use bottled natural mineral water. When choosing the most suitable water, we recommend that you pay particular attention to the water hardness. By reading the table of values, check that the fixed residue is not high and that there is the right amount of minerals, so that you will not damage your coffee machine and you will drink a coffee with a fuller and more intense taste.
But what are the correct water values for making good coffee? The Sca, Speciality Coffee Association of America, has identified the ideal water values for an excellent coffee, let’s see what they are:
- Fixed residue 75/250mg/l;
- Ph 6.5/7.5;
- Calcium 17/85 mg/l;
Tap water, unfortunately, almost never has these values and varies from city to city.
So if you are a coffee purist, remember to always keep a bottle of natural mineral water in your kitchen coffee corner.
In addition, you should regularly clean the water tank so that no residue builds up on the bottom.
In order to have a good cup of coffee, the most important elements are a high quality blend, a good coffee machine and good technique.
But that’s not all! Coffee is mainly composed of water and its quality is very important for a good espresso.
The water that arrives in our homes almost never has the ideal values to make a great coffee. Some people wonder whether it is a good idea to use distilled water or add sparkling water to the coffee machine to improve the taste of coffee. In reality, these solutions do nothing to improve the taste of coffee and the only result is to keep the coffee maker healthy for longer.
The best way to enjoy good coffee is to use bottled natural mineral water, paying attention to the fixed residue and hardness of the water.
If you are a coffee lover and decide to drink an excellent coffee with an intense taste, try our lever coffee machines. With Pontevecchio the coffee moment will inebriate you with taste.