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JasonCoffee
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Posted Tue Sep 21, 2010, 7:54am
Subject: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

I have started noticing a bunch of chatter about this. I was taught and was under the impression that filtered water was the way to go.

What is the absolute best type of water to use for Espresso? Does it change with brewed coffee, french press, chemex and so on... ???

 
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AndyPanda
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Posted Tue Sep 21, 2010, 8:50am
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

Here are two things I read that were helpful:

Click Here (web.archive.org)

Click Here (www.scaa.org)
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takeshi
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Posted Wed Sep 22, 2010, 12:31pm
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

There's an "Insanely Long Water FAQ" (that's the actual name of the FAQ) out there that's probably more than you want to know.

As for which is better, it depends on the specific tap water you're talking about.  Not all tap water is the same.  Not all filtered water is the same either.  I don't recall what's tossed around as the ideal range of total dissolved solids but mixing 50% reverse osmosis and 50% local tap water for me yields ~125PPM (tap water here is definitely hard to very hard) which was close enough according to what I ran across, IIRC.

The SCAA link above has a target of 150 mg/L TDS which is pretty close to 150PPM, according to an online conversion tool.

The trick is that you want some dissolved solids for coffee brewing.  However, you want to balance that with the fact that more dissolved solids means more scale.

...and I'm no water expert by any means.  Just relaying what little I know.  Hopefully without too many mistakes.
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JasonCoffee
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Posted Wed Sep 22, 2010, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

takeshi Said:

There's an "Insanely Long Water FAQ" (that's the actual name of the FAQ) out there that's probably more than you want to know.

As for which is better, it depends on the specific tap water you're talking about.  Not all tap water is the same.  Not all filtered water is the same either.  I don't recall what's tossed around as the ideal range of total dissolved solids but mixing 50% reverse osmosis and 50% local tap water for me yields ~125PPM (tap water here is definitely hard to very hard) which was close enough according to what I ran across, IIRC.

Posted September 22, 2010 link

Thanks so much this is really helpful. Never thought of mixing tap water, one of the concerns I have with doing that to accomplish the correct amount of dissolved solids is water purity but I imagine I will learn a bunch from the Insanely Long Water FAQ. ;)

 
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AndyPanda
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
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Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Wed Sep 22, 2010, 1:09pm
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

The insanely long faq was getting to be hard to find (all the links broken) ... but one of the links I posted (a few posts earlier in this thread) is a copy of that faq.

Most inexpensive home water filters just remove the bad tastes and odors.  It is the fancy ionized filters or the RO filters (or steam distillation) that removes the disolved solids.  I think water softeners trade one sort of mineral for another sort (removes calcium and magnesium and replaces with sodium?)  but I could be wrong.
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johnnyquade
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Joined: 22 Sep 2010
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Posted Wed Sep 22, 2010, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

takeshi Said:

There's an "Insanely Long Water FAQ" (that's the actual name of the FAQ) out there that's probably more than you want to know.

As for which is better, it depends on the specific tap water you're talking about.  Not all tap water is the same.  Not all filtered water is the same either.  I don't recall what's tossed around as the ideal range of total dissolved solids but mixing 50% reverse osmosis and 50% local tap water for me yields ~125PPM (tap water here is definitely hard to very hard) which was close enough according to what I ran across, IIRC.

The SCAA link above has a target of 150 mg/L TDS which is pretty close to 150PPM, according to an online conversion tool.

The trick is that you want some dissolved solids for coffee brewing.  However, you want to balance that with the fact that more dissolved solids means more scale.

...and I'm no water expert by any means.  Just relaying what little I know.  Hopefully without too many mistakes.

Posted September 22, 2010 link

Interesting.. I never thought about mixing either.  I always just used straight distilled water, but I will have to try this tomorrow morning!

 
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aleks192
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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: Filtered vs Tap Water
 

So my tap water is considered acceptable for brewing...I get a TDS of 144 when I test, and I use RO/DI water I make at home for brewing right now, which has a TDS of 0-3PPM, within the error range of my cheap TDS meter......Interesting.....I always have RO/DI on hand as I make it for my water cooler and my salt water reef tank, and always thought it was better.....I guess I am going to try tap now to see how it changes the brew! Interesting stuff

 
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