You know that coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, but did you know that it’s also one of the most complex? You could be wasting your time and money on a bad brew if you’re using the wrong water filtration method.
The main types suitable for home coffee-making are carbon filters, activated carbon filters, and reverse osmosis. Learn which one will give you an extra-delicious cup of Joe so you can start your day off right!
Why water filtration is important for coffee-making
Water is one of the most important parts of the coffee-making process. The wrong water filtration method can lead to a bad cup of coffee, while the right one can make all the difference.
Water can affect the taste of your coffee because it can alter the flavor of the beans. If your water is high in chlorine, for example, it can give your coffee a harsh taste. To get the best-tasting cup of coffee, you need to use water that’s free of impurities and has a neutral flavor.
This is where water filtration comes in. By using a carbon filter, activated carbon filter, or reverse osmosis system, you can remove harmful contaminants from your water and improve its flavor. Which one you choose will depend on your needs and budget.
Common types of filtration for coffee-making
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular filtration methods and their benefits.
Carbon block filters
These filters use carbon to remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water. This is a good option for people who live in areas with chlorinated water. They also remove sediment and organic matter, which can affect the taste of the coffee.
Carbon block filters are expensive to manufacture, and while the filtration quality is high, the water can take a long time to flow through the filter.
Activated carbon filters
Compared to carbon block filters, those made with activated carbon are cheaper and the water flows much quicker.
Many popular water filter pitchers like the Brita pitcher use activated carbon filters.
Reverse osmosis (RO)
This filtration method is very popular. It uses a membrane to filter the water, and it reduces the TDS (total dissolved solids). However, this method wastes as much as 2 gallons of water for every 1 gallon that comes out of your faucet.
RO is generally considered the best water for making coffee because it’s totally flavor-neutral. However, it wastes a lot of water and is far from environmentally friendly.
Reverse osmosis also tends to be pretty expensive.
Ceramic Water Filters
These filters are a good option for people who want to remove chlorine and other chemicals from their water but don’t want to spend a lot of money. They also remove sediment and organic matter.
Ceramic water filters are usually used as gravity filters. These are popular for camping and RVs as they’re lightweight, require no power, and are easy to move around.
A note on bottled water
Not all bottled water is created equal. Some bottled waters are great for coffee-making, while others are not. Make sure to read the label to see how the water has been filtered.
Reverse Osmosis bottled water is readily available in most supermarkets these days, and it makes a great cup of coffee. The big problem is that by using bottles, you’re contributing to unnecessary waste and adverse environmental impact.
How to choose the best water filter for your coffee making
Choosing a filtration method will depend on what kind of coffee drinker you are.
The Home Coffee Purist
Do you grind your own beans, own a drip machine, an AeroPress, a Moka pot, and a V60? Then you’re probably a purist.
For the home coffee purist, the outlay and upkeep of a reverse osmosis system are probably worth the investment. Plus this will give you peace of mind knowing that every cup of coffee is going to be great.
The Refined (But Lazy) Coffee Drinker
Some people want all the fancy bells and whistles in their coffee machines and equipment – but they don’t want to go through the work of making it themselves. For these coffee drinkers, carbon filters are probably a good bet.
This way, they can enjoy delicious cups without having to do any extra work or spend too much money. The only drawback is that carbon filters tend to be less environmentally friendly than reverse osmosis systems, with disposable cartridges.
Nescafe during the week, and a specialty blend at the weekend? The initial outlay of a reverse osmosis water filter is probably overkill for you. You can probably get away with tap water to make your instant coffee in the week and buy a bottle of reverse osmosis water from the supermarkets for the weekend.
Just make sure you’re recycling your bottles and not just throwing them in the regular trash can!
The Budget-Conscious Coffee Drinker
Activated-carbon water filter pitchers make a great option for those who like filtered water and want access to home-brewed coffee without spending a lot of money. They are affordable and easy to use, and they don’t require any extra equipment.
However, they don’t remove all of the chlorine from the water, so they’re not ideal for people who live in areas with chlorinated water.
The Coffee Nomad
Do you pack your AeroPress on every hiking trip? Are you always on the go?
Picking up a gravity-fed, ceramic water filter like the Big Berkey is probably the best bet for you. Not only will you have clean drinking water, but you’ll be able to recreate your perfect cup of coffee wherever you are!
The Bottom Line
Water filtration is an important part of making a great cup of coffee. The right filter can make all the difference in the taste of your beverage. There are several different filters to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Choose the one that’s best for you and start brewing!
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can only find in Canggu. Welcome to my coffee world!