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Water question
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Water question  
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Mizspresso
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Mizspresso
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2007, 3:54pm
Subject: Water question
 

I am considering buying a new machine needing plumbing. I won't be plumbing it immediately, though, as I am hoping to remodel the kitchen soon and will do the direct plumb as part of the plan.

So, this morning I looked into bottled water delivery in order to use a flow jet and find that I have several water choices. There are four choices

Drinking water
Spring water
Distilled water
Fluoridated water

I am thinking my best choices are either Drinking, or Distilled, but I don't really know. Anybody know what the best choice is?
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DonTMan
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2007, 4:13pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

Mizspresso Said:

Drinking water
Spring water
Distilled water
Fluoridated water

I am thinking my best choices are either Drinking, or Distilled, but I don't really know. Anybody know what the best choice is?

Posted November 17, 2007 link

I guess you do have 4 choices.  To inexpertly answer your question you really have 2.  Distilled water should not and in many cases cannot be used with Espresso.  It poorly extracts the solids from the coffee.  Some plumbable units actually have fill sensors that are tricked by distilled water so your machine wont know it is full.

Second, you do NOT want to be running Flouride through your machine or your coffee. Yech.

This leaves Spring and Drinking.  

Spring water usually has lots of minerals. Good for consumption, good for taste, good for extracting the juicy delicious bits from the coffee.  Terrible for the machine.  You will need to descale well and often.  

Some experts actually recommend a combination of distilled and spring.  The spring to extract your coffee well, the distilled to be kind to your machine.

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that that Drinking Water is a combo of Spring and distilled and would be, for that reason, your perfect choice.  

Of course I am not a true expert when it comes to water.

 
Don Cummings
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MatthewBrinski
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2007, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

Don't use distilled. As stated above, you need at least some mineral content ... preferably 5 grains (90 mg/l) with as neutral a pH as posssible. When looking at the hardness for possible water to use, reference the above values to the calcium or magnesium content of the water.

 
Matthew Brinski
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rmongiovi
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2007, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

The Insanely Long Water FAQ
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Mizspresso
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Mizspresso
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2007, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

That is insanely long, but covers just about everything! Thanks a lot.

-Barbara
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faaparasite
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Posted Sun Nov 18, 2007, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

Mizspresso Said:

That is insanely long, but covers just about everything! Thanks a lot.

-Barbara

Posted November 17, 2007 link

Here's my short version, which is much less informative, but gets right to the point.

If the water tastes good, it will probably make good coffee.

The water in my area tastes good, so that's what I use and the price can't be beat.  I have a pourover machine so I just filter it through a brita first.  I descale every time I change my group gasket, so scale buildup is not something I worry about anyway.
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Mizspresso
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Mizspresso
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Posted Thu Nov 22, 2007, 1:08am
Subject: Re: Water question
 

Hi Mike,
Scale is something I have been worrying about, though I don't think the tap water in my area is very hard. I have been using Brita filtered so far on my little pourover and things taste fine.

I thought I would stay away from the 'Spring' option because of the prevalence of minerals. The 'Drinking' option is sounding good to me as it seems to be distilled with some added spring. Sheesh, water as a 'blend'.
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faaparasite
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Posted Thu Nov 22, 2007, 9:02am
Subject: Re: Water question
 

Mizspresso Said:

Hi Mike,
Scale is something I have been worrying about, though I don't think the tap water in my area is very hard. I have been using Brita filtered so far on my little pourover and things taste fine.

I thought I would stay away from the 'Spring' option because of the prevalence of minerals. The 'Drinking' option is sounding good to me as it seems to be distilled with some added spring. Sheesh, water as a 'blend'.

Posted November 22, 2007 link

If you have good local tap water, I suggest trying it.  You can certainly try other water sources and see if you can tell the difference.  Let taste be your judge.

If you are descaling twice per year, there's no reason to worry about scale buildup even if you leave your machine on 24/7.  My machine was several years old when I got it, and had probably never been descaled.  I've been using it for many years now and have no scale problems.  A buddy of mine is in a similar situation and has a regular descale routine like I do.  He had to replace the heating element in his boiler.   When we cracked open the boiler there was absolutely no evidence of scale buildup.  We were both pretty amazed at this.  Regular descaling works, and it works well.

Depending on the mineral content, you may be able to get away with descaling only once per year.  Plumbed in machines are a bit harder to descale unless you have an external tank option.  I'm not really big on plumbed in machines for home use, but rotary pump machines are generally plumbed in, and a rotary pump is certainly a nice thing to have.
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ANON
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Posted Sun Nov 25, 2007, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

I was in the same situation as you a couple months ago when I purchased my Andreja - I used bottled water for a couple months, but decided to move the plumbing in ahead of the kitchen renos when refilling the reservoir all the time got tired.  (Found that I was using the machine even more than I had initially thought!)

Scale was a concern, as our water is hard, so I installed a whole house water softener, and while I was at it, installed a valve to route upstairs to the kitchen, which I then connected to the Andreja direct connect kit.  It was an easy job, so redoing some of it when we actually get around to the kitchen renos won't be a big issue.
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Kaa
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Joined: 4 Dec 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Milky Way
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 7, 2007, 1:41pm
Subject: Re: Water question
 

DonTMan Said:

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that that Drinking Water is a combo of Spring and distilled and would be, for that reason, your perfect choice.

Posted November 17, 2007 link

I'll take your bet :D

Generally speaking, to label something "spring water" the water must actually come directly from some natural source.  "Drinking water" has no such requirement and is almost always nothing but filtered tap water. Much cheaper than combining spring and distilled.

As has been pointed out, distilled water has an awful taste and is unsuitable for making any kind of drinks, coffee included.

You may want to experiment with different water to check if it affects the taste of your coffee. Water hardness certainly affects the taste of tea, for example.

Kaa
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