06-07-2020, 12:29 PM
#1
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What type of water do you gentlemen use for your espresso machines?  Regular tap?  Filtered or purified?  Distilled?  Do you use a water softener?

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 06-07-2020, 12:37 PM
#2
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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Seemingly a simple question. This topic has plagued coffee forums for years and provoked unending discussions. My answer will be simple. Personal taste. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Our water is pure. A large portion of our water is bottled and sold to the rest of the world. Distilled water is too pure and makes the coffee flat tasting. Therefore, I use plain tap water.

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 06-07-2020, 01:07 PM
#3
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Crystal Geyser, that's what my roaster uses for his cold brew and for his espresso machine. Says it has the needed mineral (makeup) for optimal taste.

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 06-07-2020, 02:46 PM
#4
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(06-07-2020, 12:37 PM)Barrylu Wrote: Seemingly a simple question. This topic has plagued coffee forums for years and provoked unending discussions. My answer will be simple. Personal taste. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Our water is pure. A large portion of our water is bottled and sold to the rest of the world. Distilled water is too pure and makes the coffee flat tasting. Therefore, I use plain tap water.

Yes, opinions on this are all over the place.  I'm hoping to get some clarity from the experts here.

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 06-07-2020, 03:02 PM
#5
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Reverse Osmosis.

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 06-07-2020, 03:30 PM
#6
  • Garb
  • Senior Member
  • Oregon
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I'm an expert at drinking coffee and use cold refrigerated tap water from the great Pacific Northwest in the USofA.

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 06-07-2020, 06:57 PM
#7
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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(06-07-2020, 03:02 PM)primotenore Wrote: Reverse Osmosis.

Same here.  I experimented with adding minerals but I didn't notice much of a difference.  Some espresso machines have water level sensor and if you are using RO water the sensor thinks the water tank is empty and the machine won't work.

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 06-08-2020, 04:45 AM
#8
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(06-07-2020, 06:57 PM)Sully Wrote:
(06-07-2020, 03:02 PM)primotenore Wrote: Reverse Osmosis.

Same here.  I experimented with adding minerals but I didn't notice much of a difference.  Some espresso machines have water level sensor and if you are using RO water the sensor thinks the water tank is empty and the machine won't work.
Central Indiana has some of the hardest water in the country. I am just west of Indianapolis. 
[Image: iAodvhJ.png]
Without a reverse osmosis filter, everything that comes into contact with H2O immediately has a calcium deposit. Not too mention, if you have a history of kidney stones, as I do, this is just asking for trouble. Coffee and tea taste great and yes, I probably would have somewhat better results with a quality mineral water, we are satisfied with our solution.

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 06-08-2020, 02:27 PM
#9
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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(06-08-2020, 04:45 AM)primotenore Wrote:
(06-07-2020, 06:57 PM)Sully Wrote:
(06-07-2020, 03:02 PM)primotenore Wrote: Reverse Osmosis.

Same here.  I experimented with adding minerals but I didn't notice much of a difference.  Some espresso machines have water level sensor and if you are using RO water the sensor thinks the water tank is empty and the machine won't work.
Central Indiana has some of the hardest water in the country. I am just west of Indianapolis. 

Without a reverse osmosis filter, everything that comes into contact with H2O immediately has a calcium deposit. Not too mention, if you have a history of kidney stones, as I do, this is just asking for trouble. Coffee and tea taste great and yes, I probably would have somewhat better results with a quality mineral water, we are satisfied with our solution.


Nice info graphic.  I live close to San Antonio and have hard water as well.  There is a coffee roaster in town that also repairs espresso machines and grinders.  The owner has showed me boilers and water lines that are clogged with calcium deposits, I've always used RO water in my machine.  Espresso shops around here have a filtration system to to purify their water and then they have a reverse filter to add minerals back in.  IF I ever get the machine of my dreams, or at least a big upgrade I might do a filtration system like the pros use, for now RO works for me.

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 06-08-2020, 03:10 PM
#10
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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Use sour salt to clean deposits from your machine

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 06-08-2020, 05:40 PM
#11
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I use cold filtered water out of a water purifier

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 06-08-2020, 06:38 PM
#12
  • 2Chops
  • Member
  • North Central PA
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I live in North Central PA.  In our cafe', all water goes through filters that control lime and a thousand other nasties.  Dedicated filters for our espresso machine, batch brewer, hot water tower and ice machine.

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 06-09-2020, 05:01 AM
#13
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Destillier water would not taste that good.
Hardness, at least some hardness of water is required for the taste.
I personally use only Volvic.
Volvic is very soft which means no need to have calcification removed from the innards of my espresso machine for many years.

[Image: GoL0AB7.jpg]

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 07-02-2020, 10:59 PM
#14
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I don't know why, but I'm sure just a regular tap will be a cause of scale. After all this water go through ground coffee and it may spoil all the taste. That's why I always use filtered water for y espresso machine at home.

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 07-03-2020, 04:02 PM
#15
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I have to point out that the correct spelling is 'espresso', not 'expresso'. I say that because if you are trying to research the topic, you are more likely to find a greater variety of material to study. Hate to sound a pedant. For what it's worth, for me, normal Sydney tap water is perfectly fine. Wink

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 07-03-2020, 04:33 PM
#16
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(07-03-2020, 04:02 PM)Shaun Wrote: I have to point out that the correct spelling is 'espresso', not 'expresso'. I say that because if you are trying to research the topic, you are more likely to find a greater variety of material to study. Hate to sound a pedant. For what it's worth, for me, normal Sydney tap water is perfectly fine. Wink

This is correct.  My misspelling.  

Miami has hard water.  For years I used tap water, and descaled regularly.  Earlier this year, I switched to water purified by reverse osmosis, purchased from the supermarket.  The test strips show it's softer than tap water.

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 07-09-2020, 05:24 PM
#17
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I used to use RO water, to keep more mineral content than distilled but still light on mineral content.
I moved somewhere without super hard water and have been using tap. I'm not sure it's the right choice I need to check the scale build up in the past month and might go back to RO.

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 07-11-2020, 02:44 PM
#18
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This is a great question, and one that is often overlooked. After all, most of what's in your cup of delicious espresso is water, and it can make or break both your shots and your machine. Here's a good article from La Marzocco regarding water. https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/water-for-home-espresso/

I personally have an RODI unit for our reef tank at home. I have separate lines for RO VS RODI so I can switch between the 2 for either making saltwater for the reef, or water for the espresso machine. Since our machine is not plumbed in, I fill a jug with RO water, then mix in filtered tap (very hard) water to achieve ~80ppm hardness. I use a TDS meter to measure the water each time I refill the jug to make sure the numbers are exact. 

This may be overkill for many, but I am seeking the absolute best shot of espresso I can, and I want to do it every single time. Consistency is key regardless of your water, but using a soft water with some mineral content seems to be the industry standard. Having a TDS meter ($20 on Amazon) is a priceless tool to have no matter which way you go about it, as you'll at least have a base of where your water is on the hardness scale.

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 07-11-2020, 03:59 PM
#19
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(07-11-2020, 02:44 PM)cessnabird Wrote: This is a great question, and one that is often overlooked. After all, most of what's in your cup of delicious espresso is water, and it can make or break both your shots and your machine. Here's a good article from La Marzocco regarding water. https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/water-for-home-espresso/

I personally have an RODI unit for our reef tank at home. I have separate lines for RO VS RODI so I can switch between the 2 for either making saltwater for the reef, or water for the espresso machine. Since our machine is not plumbed in, I fill a jug with RO water, then mix in filtered tap (very hard) water to achieve ~80ppm hardness. I use a TDS meter to measure the water each time I refill the jug to make sure the numbers are exact. 

This may be overkill for many, but I am seeking the absolute best shot of espresso I can, and I want to do it every single time. Consistency is key regardless of your water, but using a soft water with some mineral content seems to be the industry standard. Having a TDS meter ($20 on Amazon) is a priceless tool to have no matter which way you go about it, as you'll at least have a base of where your water is on the hardness scale.

Jeremy, it's great to see you posting again!  Thanks for the article.  It looks like you brew a fine espresso.

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 07-11-2020, 09:48 PM
#20
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(07-11-2020, 03:59 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Jeremy, it's great to see you posting again!  Thanks for the article.  It looks like you brew a fine espresso.

Thanks, Ricardo. It has indeed been awhile. I hope you're enjoying some amazing coffees!

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