Top of the list of priorities for coffee shop operators is the best coffee machine for the job, and quality coffee. Yet water makes up to 98% of a cup of coffee, so it shouldn’t be ignored. With high quality, filtered water you can taste the difference in the flavour and aroma of your coffee. And it increases the lifecycle of your coffee machine by preventing limescale build-up, so it’s good for the environment too.
But one solution doesn’t fit all when it comes to water – water hardness, and particle and mineral make-up varies between regions and countries. So we asked Project Waterfall supporters, BRITA Professional, what you need to know and how you can achieve consistent water quality in your coffee shop:
1. During the journey from rainwater to your tap, water picks up minerals, chemicals and sediment that interfere with brewing the perfect cup of coffee. These particles explain why different areas have hard and soft water with varying pH values and dissolved solids
2. Different water types have a huge impact on the acidity, sweetness, body and mouthfeel of your cup of coffee. The wrong mineral balance in your water can lead to problems like over extraction of your coffee. So your water needs to be controlled in the same way as you control the grind and extraction of your coffee
3. Hard water has a high level of calcium and magnesium hydrogen carbonate. These affect the taste of drinks prepared with hot water, and leave limescale deposits in coffee machines, which is responsible for 70% of breakdowns. Around 60% of the UK has hard water
4. Other regions are soft water areas, or have high levels of the mineral gypsum. Both impact the flavour of your coffee if left non-filtered
5. It’s easy to test your water for hardness. A simple water drop test kit for temporary hardness will determine which type of filter is ideal for your water make-up, so that you can consistently serve quality coffee
6. BRITA filters have three elements with different jobs: the ion exchanger removes heavy metals; the activated carbon removes chlorine and organic impurities; and the particle filtration removes rust, scale and other particles. Your water drop test makes sure you have the right filter specification for your local water.
Freshly filtered water gives you a perfect crema on top of your espresso, enhances the quality of your water to make the most of the flavours and aromas in your coffee, and protects your investment in your coffee machine. And BRITA’s new PURITY C Finest cartridge has been specifically developed for areas with permanently hard water, to deliver water with the perfect composition of minerals for espresso.
So, understanding your local water and how to filter it for the best quality is the first step to brewing a great cup of coffee. Speak to a BRITA Professional to understand your water, request a water testing kit and get advice on finding the right water filtration solution that will provide consistent quality in the cup.
BRITA Professional supports Project Waterfall.