Knowing what difference water can make

About 98 percent of your cup of coffee is water. Knowing and taking into account the quality and characteristic of water is a crucial part in the art of coffee-brewing. Different locations around the world have different kinds of water. The mineral balance and added substances of the water differ from location to location.

Not only will the water taste differently, but it will also have a different effect on the grinded coffee beans during the brewing process. Minerals extract the flavor compounds from the beans. It is important that coffee-lovers are aware of the mineral content in the water they are using when brewing their coffees. Beans from a specific roastery will taste different in different locations around the world, just because of the different kind of waters that are around.

Water that contains a high amount of minerals, like calcium and magnesium, is considered to be ‘hard’. If it contains a lower level of minerals, it is considered to be ‘soft’.
Cold water extracts an entirely different flavor profile from the coffee beans than hot water.

Barista at work

Minerals in water for coffee

Water is the most important part in coffee drinks because it makes up 98% of it.
Magnesium Ions, Calcium and Sodium play a significant role during the extraction.
Magnesium has the biggest influence on the extraction effect. Calcium has a slightly smaller influence.


Before you will use water, taste and smell it. If you do not like the smell, or you feel that there is something wrong with the water, do not use it.
Buy good water. The best quality water is usually in glass bottles. Check the composition of the water, on the label.
Use filter water.
Natural mineral water is an excellent choice.


Tip from Coffee Roasters

The other day, I had an interesting discussion about the difference water can make during the brewing process with a passionate barista. He told me that he heard about roasters who always precisely match their roasting procedure to the measurements of the local water quality.

A coffee roaster in Thailand mentioned to me that he brings water from his hometown to coffee events in other locations to present his roasted beans and to raise the awareness among coffee-lovers what impact ‘different waters’ have on roasted coffee beans.

Another barista pointed out that he heard about roaster who ready to adjust their roasting profiles to the various locations to which they are sending their beans.

Learning about basic coffee chemistry is fascinating. Let’s never stop exploring 🙂 And let’s think like protons & stay positive 🙂