You could easily spend hours browsing the many types of coffee online, at the
grocery store, or in your local coffee shop. Each one has a different origin, is made
from a different type of bean (arabica, robusta or a blend), and features a different
roast (light, medium, medium dark, or dark).
But whether you prefer a cup of medium-roasted Columbian coffee or a dark French
roast, all coffee shares one common ingredient: water.
And the source, amount and temperature of that water can make all the difference
in the world to your coffee’s taste.
Here are three ways that water can help you brew your perfect cup.
Tap Water vs. Filtered Water
Chlorine is often used to disinfect and kill germs in city water. When you brew a cup
of coffee using tap water, chlorine has the potential to impact the taste. So if
your tap water has a strong odor or taste, you may want to consider a reverse osmosis
water filtration system that will filter chemicals like chlorine.
A reverse osmosis system can help to preserve the rich aromas and flavors
ground into your coffee.
Coffee-to- Water Ratio
To measure out the right amount of coffee vs. water, the National Coffee
Association (NCA) recommends using a general guideline called the “Golden Ratio.”
The ratio is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water.
However, coffee is all about discovering your own personal tastes and preferences.
So if you prefer a weaker or stronger cup, you can always add or reduce the
amount of water you use to brew it.
Single-serve coffee makers often have pre-set options to choose from so try each
one to see which suits you best.
Some Like it Hot (or Cold)
The temperature of the water you use to brew your coffee can also impact its taste.
Colder water has a tendency to produce flat coffee, while overly hot coffee can
reduce the quality of its taste.
So what temperature is best? If you’re using a brewer, the water temperature
should stay between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the NCA. If you’re
brewing it manually, the NCA recommends letting the water come to a full boil
before turning off the stove, letting it cool for a minute, and then pouring it over
As with any hot beverage, make sure that your coffee has come to a comfortable
temperature (below 140 degrees Fahrenheit) before attempting to drink it.
Prefer a cold brew? You don’t actually even need to heat the water. Just follow
these steps and let the coffee steep overnight for optimal taste.
Then pour yourself a cup, sit back and enjoy!
National Coffee Association USA