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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    2

    Advice for a new home barista

    I have just purchased a home espresso maker. It is nothing special but is a 15 bar non- boiler maker. I just want a decent cappuccino from home. I'm still figuring things out a bit but I wanted to get some thoughts on what I can do for my water source.

    Would you recommend using Distilled Water, bottled water or just tap. My tap water isn't undrinkable but it is close. Very hard water from what I've seen it do to my humidifier. There are tons of deposits on that when I use tap water and I'm concerned that will clog my machine.

    So really it is a two part question:

    What kind of water should I use for best taste and what type of water should I use for longevity of my machine.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
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    121
    Distilled water tastes flat, so avoid brewing coffee with it. Also avoid mineral spring water ( like San Pellegrino), since the high levels of minerals which add flavor to the water also increase deposits - like your tap water.
    Bottled water and bottled spring water can do a nice job, just keep in mind that the quality and taste characteristics can vary from brand to brand.
    Depending on the quality of your tap water, it may be treatable. Municipally treated water is frequently acceptable with carbon filtration. Sophisticated filters are available at home improvement centers, and cheap tap-end types or pitcher types can improve mildly offensive tap water. Severe cases may require RO (reverse osmosis) treatment, but bottled water may be more practical at that point.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    2
    So what do you think they use at your neighborhood coffee shop? Perhaps tap water is fine as long as I clean things out regularly.

    Thanks for they help BTW...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    576
    Quote Originally Posted by babaoriley7
    So what do you think they use at your neighborhood coffee shop? Perhaps tap water is fine as long as I clean things out regularly.

    Thanks for they help BTW...
    We normally have custom water treatment systems built for our coffee shop clients that output a specific water formula for espresso and a slightly different formula for brewed coffee. Very small variations in mineral hardness, calcium, chlorine, alkalinity and silicates make substantial changes in flavor. Try a few different sources and compare (mineral water, distilled water, local tap water). You'll be amazed at the difference each makes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    316

    filters

    City of Austin actualy required a filtration system for my shop. We have pretty hard water here as well and I have been using two filters I found at homedepot for 30$. One didnt really cut it so I double it up and now I have pure water that still has some flavor other than charcoal or chlorine. It looks like a mess under my sink but I love it.
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    EDISON WA-Center of the Universe
    Posts
    487
    For a cappuccino, I would be more concerned about this ability of this machine to create steam, and the quality of the grinder. Often folks buy a " espresso" machine, and don't realize that the grinder is THE MOST important component. Understanding the complete espresso technique is paramount, to satisfaction.

    I would recomend a few hours at:
    http://www.coffeegeek.com/

    learning about home espresso.

    Thank you for your time, and Merry Christmas.
    If your java tastes bitter: ASK QUESTIONS.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

 

 

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