I haven’t dealt much with different types of water with coffee brewing. Yes, there is a slight difference in taste most of the time between tap and bottled purified water, but the difference has mostly been minimal. Until now.
As my palate has evolved over the last six months, so has my ability to detect flavor changes due to water, and recently it’s been very noticeable. I’ve had a few cups in the last couple of days that have left me questioning, “Why does the coffee I brew at Yellow House taste so much better than the coffee I brew at my house?” Our water at Yellow House Coffee meets the SCAA Water Standards well, but Lubbock, Texas isn’t really known for its ideal water.
Everything makes sense now.
Chlorine / Chloride
Based on my limited chemistry knowledge, chloride is simply chlorine with an attached electron. I think it’s safe to compare Lubbock’s chloride reading to the SCAA’s chlorine standard.
The SCAA claims the target is 0 mg/L.
Lubbock’s water has anywhere between 200-300 mg/L. Yikes.
Total Dissolved Solids
Lubbock’s report doesn’t include TDS, and I don’t have a tester with me, but it’s safe to say that the TDS of Lubbock water is far beyond the ideal range according to the SCAA. I am confident in this estimate because TDS is commonly associated with water hardness.
The SCAA calls for a hardness of 17 – 85 mg/L.
Lubbock’s water is anywhere between 120 and 240 mg/L.
The SCAA advises 40 mg/L for total alkalinity.
Lubbock boasts 170 – 230 mg/L depending on the water source.
6.5 – 7.5 is the SCAA’s approved range.
7 – 8 is Lubbock’s reading.
The SCAA targets 10mg/L of sodium.
Here in Lubbock we have anywhere from 30 – 240 mg/L.
Goodness gracious, those are some terrifying readings for coffee enthusiasts. No wonder the coffee at Yellow House is always better! I just can’t believe I haven’t noticed it so clearly until now. How embarrassing.
It’s important to note that while Lubbock’s water is full of minerals that negatively affect coffee taste, it still falls within the allotted ranges that the US government has laid out, making it safe, even healthier than purified water, to drink.
The next step is to check out different bottled water companies and see which comes closest to ideal water quality.