HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Water quality question (6 msgs / 187 lines)
1) From: Bernard Gerrard
Does anyone on the list have opinions on how water quality affects the 
brew?  By this I mean a controlled test using the same coffee type, from 
the same roast, same resting time, using the same brewing method but 
with different water sources.  Our water source here in Maryland is 
adequate for drinking here on the west side of the city where the source 
is treated reservoir water.  Other parts of the city use treated river 
water and there is a difference in taste.  Does heating the water drive 
off some of the treatment taste (chlorine)?  My taste is probably not as 
fine tuned as some on this list. This is just a question and has 
probably been addressed before.  I am one of those types who think that 
if the local water is officially "fit to drink" that all this bottled 
water expense and the plastic generated from it should be rebuked.  
Bernard C. Gerrard

2) From: Randall Nortman
On Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 08:26:04AM -0400, Bernard Gerrard wrote:
<Snip>
Jim Schulman's "Insanely Long Water FAQ" is the authoritative
resource, though it is mostly about espresso rather than brewed
coffee: http://www.big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html<Snip>
Only if you bring it to a full boil and keep it there for a few
minutes.  Also, boiling does not work on chloramine, which some
municipalities are starting to use instead of or in addition to
chlorine.
<Snip>
Hear, hear!  Except I put little stock in what is "officially" fit to
drink, as the sort of officials you're talking about have routinely
gotten that wrong throughout history, and the taste of your coffee and
your long-term health is actually not their #1 and certainly not their
only concern.  But bottling "pristine" water in Fiji (at a plant
powered by diesel generators no less!) into plastic bottles, putting
them on a boat, shipping them to the other side of the planet, and
then trucking them all across the country to get them on store shelves
just makes no sense whatsoever.
There was recently a thread here about home water filters.  The end of
the story is that you should get yourself either a standard-issue
filter pitcher or an undersink or countertop plumbed-in filter (forget
the faucet filters).  Pretty much any of them will do a good job
getting rid of chlorine taste and odor, and better ones will also get
rid of at least a good percentage of lead, mercury, PCBs, MTBE,
pesticides, and all that other stuff that kills you slowly (or just
makes your kids stupid).
-- 
Randall

3) From: Fookoo Network
At 08:26 AM 8/21/07 -0400, you wrote:
<Snip>
Yes
<Snip>
Another possibility is a Brita water filter that is much less expensive 
than bottled water @ ~ $4/filter good for 2 months and is what I use for 
normal water drinking, espresso, and brewed coffee.  Not a perfect 
solution, but its cost is reasonable for everyday usage.

4) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Yes ... I live in Florida and the water isn't as good as where I came =
from in New York. I guess I shouldn't say as good ... there is just a =
different taste. I added a carbon filter and cartage softener in line. =
My main concern was the impurities in the water that would destroy my S1 =
if I didn't pay attention to it. Knowing there is a differents in the =
water in both places .... using the filter setup ... I don't notice any =
differents between both places. Not very scientific ... but it's all in =
the taste. Some folks might even notice differents without the filter. =
Don't know if this helps ,,, but I sure notice it on the condition of my =
S1. Later, Bob

5) From: Rich
As every city and even the owner owned wells have different chemistry what works for one is possibly 
a waste of good money and even ineffective.
The best solution, after collecting the ideas from this list, is to call the local water softener / 
treatment company.  Most will test and analyze your water for free and recommend treatment options. 
If you happen to live outside a city then your county might also do a complete analysis service for 
minimal cost.  Check with the Dept. of Health.
--Original Message Text---
From: Robert Avery
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 10:53:09 -0400
Yes ... I live in Florida and the water isn't as good as where I came from in New York. I guess I 
shouldn't say as good ... there is just a different taste. I added a carbon filter and cartage softener in 
line. My main concern was the impurities in the water that would destroy my S1 if I didnt pay 
attention to it. Knowing there is a differents in the water in both places ... using the filter setup ... I 
dont notice any differents between both places. Not very scientific ... but it's all in the taste. Some 
folks might even notice differents without the filter. Dont know if this helps ,,, but I sure notice it on 
the condition of my S1. Later, Bob

6) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I believe in keeping it simple: good tasting water can make good 
tasting coffee. If your preference in water is high mineral content, 
there's a likeliness that your coffee brewed with that water will 
have accentuated bright notes. The problem is water with high 
potassium, since there is usually a correlation between high levels 
of potassium (and metal salts) and lower cup quality. I've done 
cupping tests with water a lot, and usually there are winder range of 
flavor variation with coffees that are more acidic (i.e. high CGA 
coffees) - but of course i am talking about variation to the my 
senses, not a sort of empirical test.
tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com


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