You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, water is important — even beyond the fact that it's a basic necessity of life — it also makes up 98% of your coffee. But, for whatever reason, it tends to be the variable most often overlooked in home brewing. Maybe it’s because for most of us, water comes in three forms: tap, filtered, and bottled, but when it comes to water that’s optimal for brewing coffee, there are many other factors that come into play.
Water is what extracts the coffee’s flavors. It’s how the beautiful citrusy and floral notes come to life on our pallets, and when it is held to a certain standard, you will get the most out of your coffee with every brew. Water may be the one thing standing between you and cafe-quality coffee at home. SCAA developed a criteria for water, and it's pretty straight forward. The ideal water is:
Now, this looks all fine and dandy when laid out that way, however, what does it really mean, and how on earth do you figure it out? We will be the first to tell you that determining how all of these affect your water can feel like a task that requires nothing short of having a PhD in Chemistry, but thankfully, the experts of the industry have created products that make optimizing your water a simple and painless task.
Here at Prima, we carry several options to both test and optimize your water at home. So let us break it down for you!
Home Water Treatment:
Peak Water Pitcher
The beauty of the Peak Water Pitcher Starter Pack is that it takes the water from your faucet and optimizes for ideal brew water! The process is very similar to drinking-water filtration pitchers. The Peak however, has a unique two-chamber design that consists of a dual-ion resin that has the capacity to remove all minerals from your water. The second chamber is made of carbon and combats unwanted organic compounds, only allowing the desired minerals through to the liner of the pitcher. The Peak is a great choice for those who want to work with the water they have at home without the hassle of ensuring there's distilled or RO water on hand at all times.
The stepless dial can be adjusted to meet the exact filtration for your unique water based on the results of your water test strip that comes complimentary with your starter pack.
Third Wave Water
Third Wave Water makes the process of getting water that lives up to SCAA water standards at home, a breeze. It can turn any distilled or reverse osmosis water into the ideal water for coffee! A single packet is filled with the perfect combination of minerals (sodium chloride, calcium citrate, and magnesium sulfate) to optimize one gallon of water. The only work you have to do is add Third Wave Water, shake, and you're ready to brew. TWW is also available in an espresso formula and 5 Gallon Sticks allowing you to optimize more water at once. TWW is a great option for those who want water that is up to SCAA standards and beautifully compliments "third wave" style beans.
Global Customized Water
Global Customized Water Perfect Cup Formula offers their AB formula to allow you optimize distilled or RO water to bring out the best flavors of your coffee. GCW comes with two dropper bottles — A and B, each with their own volumetric droppers. All that's needed is 1 ml, or full dropper, from each bottle to be added to your gallon to leave it perfectly balanced with sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and calcium chloride. This is a great option for those who don't mind keeping gallons of distilled water on hand and want to stretch their money, as each kit contains enough to treat nearly 30 gallons of water.
Third Wave Water TDS Meter
TDS or Total Dissolved Solids are one of those fun factors of your water that play a big role in the outcome of your coffee. The Third Wave Water TDS meter can quickly and accurately — within 2 % — determine the amount of minerals in your water. This knowledge can be useful in verifying the purity of your water before adding a supplement like the TWW water pack or dialing in your water the with Peak Water Pitcher. And if you're a coffee nerd like us, it's just fun knowledge to have. So, if you're the type of person who wants to geek out and measure the and determine how many inorganic and organic substances reside in your water, your friend's water, and maybe your parent's water too, this meter is probably a great option for you.
Peak Water Hardness Test Strips
Peak Water Hardness Test Strips, unlike the TDS meter, test the carbonate hardness or total alkalinity of your water. This hardness level can have a huge impact on the flavor of your coffee. Water hardness varies across the globe, sometimes on the extreme ends of the spectrum, so this knowledge can not only help when brewing coffee, but also in your consumption, beer brewing, and baking needs too. These test strips come standard with Peak Water Pitcher Starter Kit and align with the dial, but are also free with any purchase when added to your cart. This testing strip is great for those who are looking for a one-time test to determine the hardness of the water in your town or city and help you make an educated choice on what water options are best for you.
OptiPure Water Test Kit
The OptiPure Water Test Kit does it all. It evaluates all the components of your water to help determining what route is best when choosing the right water system for your home, whether that be an option like Peak, or a more extensive water system like Everpure QTCR-2 High Capacity Catalytic Carbon Water Filter. The only task required of you is to collect samples of water from your tap that will be sent off to lab and evaluated for a number of factors such as pH, alkalinity, chlorine and much much more. If you're looking for a comprehensive evaluation of your water, as well as a suggested solution, this is definitely the right option for you.
Water is a technical topic that can get complicated and confusing, but ensuring the water you're using optimized for coffee is vastly important in the outcome of your brew. Whether you're just starting out or looking to dive deeply into the chemistry of it all, there are water treatment options available to meet all needs and nearly all budgets. If you'd like to learn more about water and all it entails in your coffee setup, check out our water blog.