For those of us who need our coffee, it can be frustrating having to wait for it to brew. Those few minutes can seem like a lifetime, as you try to wake up and start your day. You may think using hot water will make it go faster. So, should you use hot or cold water in a coffee maker?
It’s better for both the coffee and the machine to use cold water. This is because hot water can contain several minerals like calcium, magnesium, and more dissolved limestone than cold water.
While cold water comes directly from the outdoor source, hot water could potentially be sitting in the hot water heater for quite some time. It mixes with the sediment and other deposits that collect at the bottom of the heater.
Hot water also goes through pipes where mineral deposits could be lurking. This can ruin your machine.
These mineral deposits can also cause the hot water to pick up odors and and “off” flavor. Hot water will also cause a quicker extraction rate from the coffee grinds. This means that more acid, oils, and caffeine will be released into the water, causing a bitter cup of coffee.
Some machines, like Mr. Coffee will flat out refuse to make coffee if the water is too hot. They have a mechanism in place that will prevent water from flowing if it’s too hot. So you’d end up waiting for it to cool. Which defeats the purpose of using hot water to speed up the process.
Should You Use Tap Water Or Bottled Water To Make Coffee?
So, now that you know cold water is best to put in your coffee machine, let’s explore what type of cold water is best. Believe it or not, water can make or break your coffee.
Should the cold water come from the tap or a bottle? Should it be distilled, spring, or purified? It comes down to your personal taste buds, and how badly you want to preserve your coffee maker.
Distilled water is simply tap water that’s gone through a purification process to strip it of magnesium and calcium. These are the main culprits that wage war on your coffee machine. So that’s a check in the plus column.
However, it’s the minerals that add flavor and layers to the water, like spices do to food. The takeaway is, distilled water is good for your machine, but blah for you.
Most people use tap water for their coffee. Unless your water is highly chlorinated and has other added chemicals, tap water is your best bet for coffee making.
You can use a tap-mounted filter or a pitcher filter to remove the chlorine, excess limestone, and odor the tap water may have. The magnesium will remain and give it the flavor you want.
Bottled water is a good alternative to tap as long as there is some level of magnesium. Check the mineral content of individual brands before purchasing it for coffee.
If you’re really into finding the best coffee water, don’t be afraid to play around with different types and brands. Many baristas have been doing this for years. There are even “coffee water” recipes and competitions.
Can You Make Your Own Coffee Brewing Water Recipe?
Yes! This popular barista pastime can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are companies out there selling very expensive packages of distilled water and “mineral supplements.” They want you to believe it’s a magical potion that’s difficult to come by.
The truth is, you probably have the ingredients in your cupboard. If not, the supermarket does. It will cost you a fraction of what the “magic bean” companies charge.
By making your own, you save your coffee machine from getting full of muck and sediment, and your wallet will thank you. You’ll also ensure that it’s got the tasty components needed for flavorful Java.
To make your own coffee water only takes 3 ingredients and it’s simple.
Coffee Brewing Water Recipe
- 1 liter of distilled water
- .34 tablespoons of Epsom salts
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- food scale
Double the recipe as needed. Simply add the salts and soda to the distilled water and shake it well. You’ll have the perfect water for coffee brewing.
How Do You Get Sediment Out Of Your Coffee Machine?
Follow these steps for a squeaky-clean coffee machine.
1. Pour 3-4 cups of vinegar into the machine.
2. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Run it through the machine as you would your coffee water.
4. Run 2-3 cycles of fresh water, or until the vinegar smell is gone.