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  1. #1
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    Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    You can call me all variations of crazy if you wish, but I am 100% positive that coffee tastes better when made with tap water instead of bottled (or any kind of purified) water. Every time I make coffee (using the same temperature, amount of coffee, filters etc.) using purified water, it gets incredibly sour and tastes extremely gross; however, when I make the coffee using the tap water, it tastes perfectly fine. I know it's the water I'm using and not anything else.

    So, I don't get why people say to use bottled/purified water when it get so sour and costs more?

  2. #2
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Could be that you're so used to using regular "tap" water that anything else just tastes out of whack to you. I do know that most bottled water I've tried tastes acidic (to me) and that could certainly lead to a sour taste. Your tap water could be great as is depending on where it comes from.

    The main reason purified water is recommended is to lessen the chances of chlorine, lead, limestone (which will lead to scale buildup) and really a host of other things that can be present in most well or municipality supplied water.

    Try this... buy some pool test strips, the type that indicate 5-6 things in your water such as chlorine, PH, alkalinity, hardness and test your tap water to see what it's showing.

    Finding great water for coffee can be tough. The most common things used are the filter pitchers/faucet mounted type that really only mildly filter, leading to better taste, but not performance.

    Some people think distilled or R.O. water is the best way to go but that actually makes water too perfect because it takes everything out. For coffee you do want a bit of minerals in the water to balance out the taste. You also want the PH to be in the 6.8-7.5 range as that is where water generally tastes better and is safer for all plumbing. Too low and it becomes acidic, too high and it becomes alkaline. You also want a touch of hardness, but not so much that scale becomes an issue.

    Again, if your tap water tastes great for you and causes no issues with your equipment then by all means use it. Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  3. #3
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Thanks for the lengthy reply.

    I think I'll try doing that (testing the jug water and then the tap water).

    Let me be a bit more specific about "tap water". I live in Indiana and we have well water specifically. The water in the bathroom sinks are better than in the kitchen because I think no salt goes into the water in the kitchen.

    Could the fact that there's salt in the water we use have anything to do with cutting down on the sourness?

  4. #4
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Why would you have salt in your water? Could possible be small amounts naturally occuring... Or a malfunctioning softening system if you have one. Also, why would you have this issue in part of your plumbing and not the other? How old is your home? Maybe different types of plumbing in 2 different areas could account for different taste... Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  5. #5
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Water softeners use salt to soften the water...that would be why there might be salt in the water...very minute trace amounts.

    Its unusual for a water softener to soften only water to a certain faucet unless its set up that way...

    One of the water folks at Coffee Fest mentioned to me to take some purified water, and add some minerals back to it...they even gave me a single use packet of the minerals...I haven't tried it yet, but I am wondering if your bottled water just needs some minerals. Sometimes those bottled water companies simply use some sort of filter on the local water source...they really don't do much.

    Also - I use a filter pitcher - Brita - and I love the taste of my coffee. The tap water is on a water softener, and the Brita seems to change the taste.

    Good luck....

  6. #6
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Not all softeners use salt for regeneration. AND salt isn't directly responsible for softening as it simply recharges the ions that remove minerals from incoming water. There shouldn't be a hint of salt in the water unless a regeneration has just taken place or a malfunction is present. Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  7. #7
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745
    Not all softeners use salt for regeneration. AND salt isn't directly responsible for softening as it simply recharges the ions that remove minerals from incoming water. There shouldn't be a hint of salt in the water unless a regeneration has just taken place or a malfunction is present. Later!
    There are only a handful of working water filtration systems out there that will produce soft water without the use of salt. There are a good many systems out there that claim to give you soft water and really only offer snake oil.

    Now on to your statement of Salt isn't directly responsible for softening. I would suggest a little more reading on your part. SALT is directly related to how water softening via ion exchange works. When the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions pass through the negatively charged resin the sodium ions are exchanged and added to the water. The resin then will hold those calcium and magnesium ions until the system is recharged replacing them with more sodium ions and flushing the waste down the drain.

    So the harder the water the more sodium ions will be exchanged. This is why when you have people with certain heart conditions who must stay away from salt need to be warned they are drinking soft water.

    Now to let you know it is very possible to get a hint of saltiness in your espresso when you have extremely hard water. I've been to places where the water is well over 30 grains. It takes a lot of salt to get that down to 0 grains and that espresso has a hint of salt. Not much you can do about that unless you wish to purify the water even more by running it through a RO system which that will remove all traces of the salt as well as any other mineral.
    Have you ever walked through the aisle of your local grocer and smelled the death of a dying bean?

  8. #8
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    I know a fair amount regarding softening systems, carbon filtration and chemical injection for water treatment systems dealing with aluminum sulfate, caustic soda, ferric chloride, ferric sulfate, etc. as it was my career previously.

    I guess we can both agree that most people don't know how important properly balanced water is to coffee and the equipment used to brew it. I surely would never use distilled or reverse osmosis water because it leaves nothing behind except flat taste.

    And yes 30gpg of hardness is quite high, but if the softener is properly SIZED for the task at hand, regenerating properly and high quality salt is used there should be no noticeable hint of sodium. Furthermore I wouldn't want perfectly soft water hitting 0 gpg simply because a bit adds to taste/texture of the water IMO. And of course 1-2gpg won't cause any noticeable buildup of scale in most situations.

    Also must add the fact that most people are concerned with chlorine, hardness and that sort of thing. Proper PH and alkalinity must be taken seriously as well. Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  9. #9
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    While do appreciate all of the other answers, I believe Shadow745's answers have been the most satisfactory because they make the most sense to me. The reason for this is because the purified water I'm talking about that tastes too sour to me actually does undergo reverse osmosis, and many other steps of filtering. I think his input helps me better understand why my coffee tastes unbelievably sour when I use the water from the jug (the kind you buy at, say, Kroger).

    Shadow745, which type of water would you recommend for perfect tasting coffee? What kind of water do you use for your coffee? Everyone else, please feel free to answer as any input would be appreciated, but I want to make sure that Shadow745 answers because I think I can relate most to him.

  10. #10
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    Re: Coffee taste better with tap water instead of bottled water.

    If you go to You Tube for videos from Seattle Coffee Gear or http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com, they have a great video on this subject. By using R/O water and adding the right amount of minerals to it you will have the correct composition. The minerals are produced by Cirqua Water Systems and their system has been proven and being used by some of the finest cafes. I am not a sales person for Cirqua but a customer.

    If anything spend the 8 minutes watching the video.

    JMO
    Charlie
    Charlie
    If you are afraid of failure or losing money, quit while you are ahead

 

 
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