[Homeroast] distilled water

Mike Chester mchet at charter.net
Wed May 16 16:09:44 CDT 2012

Before entering my La Marzocco GS-3, my water goes through several steps. I 
have a well so chlorine is not an issue, but iron and other minerals are in 
the raw well water. When it leaves the pressure tank, it first goes through 
an iron filter. This removes the iron and iron containing compounds, such as 
iron sulfide. It then goes through a water softener. This feeds the sinks, 
showers, toilets, etc. Some of it then goes through a 5 stage reverse 
osmosis filter and this is plumbed to the LM, my ice maker and drinking 
water chiller. This water has a clean crisp flavor that does not taste 
bland. My espresso and other coffee drinks (I make them all using the LM) 
are better than any coffee house I have been to, though I have not been to 
Compass Coffee yet.
When I have city water while out, it tastes like pool water to me due to the 


-----Original Message----- 
From: Josh Housh
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:44 PM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this 
list,available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] distilled water

Distilled water should not be used when brewing coffee, the lack of
minerals will mean there is nothing for the flavorful elements to bond to
during brewing leaving lots of good stuff behind in the basket.  In fact,
our fancy Giotto espresso machines have a sensor that detects when the
removable tank gets low and this sensor won't even function properly if
distilled water is used since the electrons from the minerals carry the
current through the water.  It is a well established fact that distilled
water does not yield good results.  That said water varies greatly and so
will brewed results.  Some people are even selling little packets to treat
water to ensure it has the "optimum" mineral content.  If you want to use
purified water from the store use Spring water for best results.

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM, j3r <j at j3r.org> wrote:

> On 12-05-16 04:13 PM, sci wrote:
>> Do some cupping tests with distilled, tap, spring and filtered water. I
>> think you'll find the spring and filtered give the best results for 
>> coffee
>> and tea. The reason is because they have good mineral content that makes
>> water taste good. Tap of course usually has chlorine. Distilled, lacking
>> vital minerals, is flat and dull tasting.
>> Ivan
> I suppose it all comes down to taste. I don't want water to taste like
> anything but water personally (ie have no taste). The trace minerals found
> can change the taste, but they are not adding anything to my health, nor 
> my
> taste. If I want my water to taste different I will drink a beer or a 
> fruit
> juice :)
> I will do a blind cupping, it is certainly important to get the best
> liquid medium for your personal taste. I do find it strange that SCAA
> cupping relies on water that is not truly neutral tasting - this seems 
> that
> it could introduce a variation in taste from geographic region to region.
> The tap water here tastes very different from water a hundred kilometers
> away, even after charcoal filtering.
> Even if it does seem to produce less "tasty" coffee for some (I suppose
> due to the fact that many find distilled water to be "flat tasting"), it
> should still give a truer idea of the taste of the coffee instead of the
> water. In my understanding we are not trying to evaluate the water being
> used, it is simply a delivery vector for the oils and particulates in the
> coffee.
> I use glass for my brewing so I don't see a problem with it picking up
> metallic tastes and so forth.
> Thanks for the ideas and thoughts all!
> Jeremy
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