H2O...it’s the lifeblood of our world, keeps us hydrated, composes more than 60% of our body, and most important of all...it helps us brew coffee! Lots of people are surprised to learn that water quality makes such a difference when brewing coffee though.
After all, isn’t it the coffee grounds that make a great cup of coffee? The answer, like most things in coffee isn’t so black and white. It depends, and surely the quality of your beans matters, but water quality has a huge impact on the overall flavor of your morning brew.
At Himalayan Coffee Importers, we believe in helping others to brew the best cup of coffee possible, and with such rare coffees from Nepal, it would be a sin if we didn’t walk you through your water options, and how they will make or break your morning cup of goodness.
So What Makes Good Coffee Water?
Before getting too technical or jargony and breaking out the home chemistry kit to measure pH levels or chlorine content, you can follow two simple rules - or at least that is what the Specialty Coffee Association of America says. The SCAA suggests assessing odor and color before anything else, so if it tastes good, go for it!
For most of us who aren’t too picky this rule will suffice, but think about it this way. If you drink filtered water, why would you use tap water to brew coffee? Keep it simple but as a general rule your coffee deserves the same quality water as your body!
What About Tap Water? That Should Be Fine Right…?
Of course it will be fine and you’ll no doubt have a good cup of coffee, but remember, we want to make the BEST cup possible, not just a good cup.
Tap water is notorious for having sediment and considerable amounts of chlorine to kill off microbes and bacteria and is fine to drink. But both can ultimately impact the flavor profile of the coffee throughout the brewing process.
One simple and affordable solution here is to add a faucet filter or a pitcher filter such as a Brita. Both will filter out sediment and chlorine, get you one step closer to purified water, and brew an instantly better cup than just tap water.
The Bottled Water Conundrum
Himalayan specialty coffee is grown in Nepal with the utmost care taken to ensure a process that is as environmentally sustainable as possible. While we acknowledge that some bottled waters are filtered, balanced, and purified, thus meeting the SCAA brewing water guidelines, we encourage you to think about your options before buying cases of plastic bottled water.
Consider a refillable service from your local grocery store - many supermarkets offer this already, and if not, it is usually pretty easy to find local shops that have subscription services.
These waters are filtered and balanced with minerals to even out pH levels and give you as pure a brewing water as possible for making a great cup of coffee.
Some Final Thoughts
Brewing a great cup of coffee is about experimentation and finding what best suits your taste buds. Just like you might play around with ground size or brewing time, start to play around with water and see what happens.
Mix tap water with filtered water, buy bottled water and mix it with a home filter, maybe even mix all three - but start to pay attention to the subtle differences in taste that come from using a different water.
The goal is to always improve the cup of coffee you’re brewing. If you’ve been a bit underwhelmed lately by your coffee’s flavor, the type of water you use is a surefire great place to start. And when in doubt, follow the simple SCAA rule - if you wouldn’t drink the water as is, odds are your coffee won’t want it either!