If you have started making your own coffee at home but haven’t been able to achieve the flavour of coffee you would expect from a coffee shop, this may be down to the type of water you’re using.
If you’re looking to improve the taste of your coffee, continue reading this guide for advice on water filters and much more.
Can you use a coffee machine without a water filter?
You can use a coffee machine without a water filter, however, it is not recommended.
The water filter helps to remove impurities from the water, which can clog the coffee maker and lead to poor quality coffee.
Filtration systems remove unnecessary substances, such as extra salts. This helps to get the intended flavour of the coffee.
Is it ok to use tap water in a coffee machine?
Tap water is a completely fine and safe option to use in your coffee machine, especially if you live in a rural area.
If you live in a large or major city, the water is cleaned before it reaches you, but it is not ultra purified.
If you prefer, you can put it through a purifier like a Brita or Pur filter, but in general, tap water is completely safe to use in your coffee machine.
You will have to consider how hard your water is as well, as this will determine how often you will need to descale. Hard water has a high mineral content, which can affect how your coffee will taste, as well as creating increased limescale.
Why do I need a water filter for my coffee machine?
As we’ve mentioned, you need water filters on your coffee machine to eliminate unnecessary impurities. But what impurities do filters actually remove?
Water filters will remove:
- Sodium (salts)
- Organic solids, such as plant decay and protein
Tap water also has additives such as fluoride, and in rare cases, it may have contamination from old pipes.
Too many minerals in your water causes it to appear hard, giving it a slightly metallic taste which can be transferred to your coffee in the brewing process.
Does coffee taste better with filtered water?
Filtered water is the best type of water to use for brewing your coffee. This is because the water is cleaned of major impurities, yet maintains most of its natural minerals.
Normal filters for water will remove any excess carbon in the water, allowing for a full flavoured brew.
Filtering your water will also eliminate the need to descale your coffee machine as calcium and magnesium is removed from the water.
Do coffee shops use water filters?
Yes, many coffee shops (including chains) use water filtration systems in their coffee machines to remove contaminants and impurities which can interfere with the smell and taste of your coffee.
It’s worth remembering that coffee shops will deep clean their coffee machines very frequently, so they will not experience limescale build ups.
The best water for good quality coffee
Since coffee is mainly made up of water, the type of water you use matters.
Filtered water is one of the best types of water you can choose when brewing your coffee. Filters remove the water’s impurities whilst keeping the good minerals, which helps the full flavour of the coffee to come through.
Purified water thoroughly cleans the water, and usually removes both the good and bad minerals. These good minerals are necessary for brewing your coffee, and you will often have to use reverse osmosis to add the minerals back to the water which can be a lengthy process.
Water which comes straight from your tap is a perfectly fine option to use. If you live in a soft water area, the bad mineral content in your water should be fairly low, which will help you achieve a better tasting coffee.
Should I use soft or hard water?
Soft water will make you a better brew due to the lower concentration of minerals compared to hard water.
Most homes in the UK sit in the middle ground between soft and hard water, but this varies by region. If you live in a hard water area, it is worth buying a water filter to remove the minerals which will leave your coffee tasting metallic.
Which water filtration system do I need for my coffee machine?
There are few different water filtration systems to choose from with varying prices and functions:
The BRITA Marella Fridge Water Filter Jug is an affordable filtration system which can be easily stored away in your fridge door. The jug filter features Micro Carbon Pearls which reduce chlorine and organic impurities, improving the taste of your coffee.
Each cartridge filters 100 litres, meaning you can enjoy fresh tasting water for just a few pence per litre.
Aqua Optima’s Lumi Filtered Water Chiller and Countertop Water Dispenser is a stylish and compact cold water dispenser with a built-in filtration system, providing chilled filtered water at the push of a button.
It has a large capacity of 8.2 litres, meaning you will always have enough water to fill your coffee machine. It also has a smart design featuring a blue LED light which illuminates when the filtered water is chilled.
The Tassimo My Way 2 Tas6507 Coffee Machine has built in Brita Maxtra+ water filter technology to minimise limescale and chlorine in the water. It also features a built-in digital display, indicating when the filter needs to be changed.
Tassimo also has its own range of descaling tablets to clean any limescale effectively.