HomeRoast Digest


Topic: OT Roasting then "brewing" water (3 msgs / 150 lines)
1) From: Stephen Carey
I have checked the archives and just must be missing this question, 
for surely it has been covered.
In the area I live the water, while safe, is at the upper levels of 
strychnine and other chemicals.  My oncologist and other doctors have 
put me on bottled water.  I use the big 5 gallon cooler type for 
drinking and cooking.
This is an assumption, but won't high levels of chemicals (maybe not 
even that high) have an affect on roasted coffee during the brewing 
process?  I imagine the chemicals changing or interacting with the 
natural chemicals in coffee.
This has come up due to the very nice fact that a friend of mine 
would like to start roasting beans.  She lives in an area that gets 
its water from a different and somewhat cleaner source.  Though how 
clean has been discussed in the papers lately.
She is wondering if the possible affects to the coffee should prompt 
her to get a water cooler such as I have.  I realize that bottled 
water has some things in it, but usually low amounts of certain and 
safe bacteria, certainly not strychnine.  To me it is a no brainer, 
but it is not my money I would be spending.  I have no choice, I am 
squeezing every moment I can out of this life so I spend what I need 
to in order to help my doctors help me.  Drinking cleaner water is one way.
She asked me if I would ask you all what you thought about the water 
and its affect on the brewing process and the end result.  So here I am.
Ideas?
Thank you, as always,
Stephen

2) From: Bryan Wray
Water is the single most important factor outside of the beans themselves IMO, and one that too quickly gets overlooked.  Brewed coffee is about 99% water, it's ridiculous to think that poor water won't result in poor coffee.  Having worked in different cafes over the years, it's interesting to me to see how the ones that invested in water treatment systems succeeded and the ones that didn't failed.  Flat out... no exceptions.  The ones that have water treatment systems are still in business, the ones that didn't are now all long gone.  Of course you can not, and I will not, attribute all of the success or failure to just one reason, location and marketing (or lack of) had a big part of the cafe's success/failure, but I find the filtration part interesting, especially when there is no exception on either side of the issue.
    Without making this email too long or detailed (I can definitely get on some rants) I will say that I think bottled water is the bare minimum requirement for brewed coffee, and that if you are really serious about it, you should look into a more intense water filtration system.  I did a quick search over on google to find some of the water filtration articles that people around CoffeeGeek and H-B have written over the past couple years and retrieved this thread off of CoffeeGeek, which in the very first post has references to the two main ones I was thinking of (Jim S.'s article, which is rather detailed... get ready to do some thinking; and also the one labeled "Beginner FAQ: Practical Water Chemistry").  Definitely at least pick up the major points in Jim's article, it can be a little hard (I definitely thought it was) to take it all in, but I feel it is a must read for people that are serious about their coffee.
Again, I just want to stress that I think, for brewed coffee (not necessarily espresso) the first two most important factors are first and foremost (and most obviously) the beans- freshness, degree of roast, etc all taken into account.  After that, it is water...  Again this is just my opinion, but it is one backed up with a lot of personal research.
HTH
-Bry
 
Bryan Wray
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens.
       
---------------------------------
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3) From: Stephen Carey
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Thank you, Bry.  I will read up.  Some reading has been done when the 
health issues started, but my medical expenses, with insurance, run, 
I kid you not, $8,400 per MONTH (seriously, so this hobby was well 
thought out) - I have good insurance until it gets to experimental 
treatments and prescriptions for pain, micro-chemo, radiation damage 
control, and other things.  So, we spend carefully.
But, I have always thought water was important and for my coffee it 
is triple cleaned or filtered, from the bottled water itself, to a 
pour through filter, to a filter in my brewer.  It isn't perfect, but it helps.
More important is that I get my friend to get better water, no 
questions asked.  Make sense?
At 11:48 PM 7/28/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
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Thank you, Bry.  I will read up.  Some reading has
been done when the health issues started, but my medical expenses, with
insurance, run, I kid you not, $8,400 per MONTH (seriously, so this hobby
was well thought out) - I have good insurance until it gets to
experimental treatments and prescriptions for pain, micro-chemo,
radiation damage control, and other things.  So, we spend
carefully.
But, I have always thought water was important and for my coffee it is
triple cleaned or filtered, from the bottled water itself, to a pour
through filter, to a filter in my brewer.  It isn't perfect, but it
helps.
More important is that I get my friend to get better water, no questions
asked.  Make sense?
At 11:48 PM 7/28/2007, you wrote:
Water is the single most
important factor outside of the beans themselves IMO, and one that too
quickly gets overlooked.  Brewed coffee is about 99% water, it's
ridiculous to think that poor water won't result in poor coffee. 
Having worked in different cafes over the years, it's interesting to me
to see how the ones that invested in water treatment systems succeeded
and the ones that didn't failed.  Flat out... no exceptions. 
The ones that have water treatment systems are still in business, the
ones that didn't are now all long gone.  Of course you can not, and
I will not, attribute all of the success or failure to just one reason,
location and marketing (or lack of) had a big part of the cafe's
success/failure, but I find the filtration part interesting, especially
when there is no exception on either side of the issue.
    Without making this email too long or detailed (I can
definitely get on some rants) I will say that I think bottled water is
the bare minimum requirement for brewed coffee, and that if you are
really serious about it, you should look into a more intense water
filtration system.  I did a quick search over on google to find some
of the water filtration articles that people around CoffeeGeek and H-B
have written over the past couple years and retrieved this thread off of
CoffeeGeek, which in the very first post has references to the two main
ones I was thinking of (Jim S.'s article, which is rather detailed... get
ready to do some thinking; and also the one labeled "Beginner FAQ:
Practical Water Chemistry").  Definitely at least pick up the
major points in Jim's article, it can be a little hard (I definitely
thought it was) to take it all in, but I feel it is a must read for
people that are serious about their coffee.
Again, I just want to stress that I think, for brewed coffee (not
necessarily espresso) the first two most important factors are first and
foremost (and most obviously) the beans- freshness, degree of roast, etc
all taken into account.  After that, it is water...  Again this
is just my opinion, but it is one backed up with a lot of personal
research.
HTH
-Bry
Bryan Wray
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a
caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris
Owens.
Be a better Heartthrob.

Get better relationship answers from someone who knows.
Yahoo! Answers - Check it out. 
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