The Wonders of Water
One of the most misunderstood aspects of obtaining a good coffee extraction is the importance of water quality. I don’t mean water that is just biologically safe, but water that has the right total dissolved solids and right amount of hardness. Without the hardness coffee just does not extract properly, leaving much of the flavor in the grounds.
I’m not exactly sure of the science behind this phenomena. I do know that reverse osmosis, distilled and soft water for filter drip coffee will not produce the quality in the cup that we demand in our business. Folks that use water processed with reverse osmosis,distillation, or soft water will never achieve the dimension or richness of flavor that is produced by brewing with a five to 10 grain calcium hardness water. When I ask a new customer what roast level they prefer I also ask what type of water they are using to brew their coffees at home. This helps me guide their coffee choice.
If people are brewing with softened water they will choose a dark roast 96% of the time. Interesting. People with a naturally mildly hard water prefer my medium to light roasted coffees. What is going on here? Simply, people are picking roast styles based on their ability to extract flavor with the residential water type they have available.