The Science of Coffee: Water

The Science of Coffee: Water

Freshly roasted and ground beans are important to the foundation of your brew. But, water is also crucial to the brewing process. The temperature, ratio of water to coffee, as well as the minerals found in the water, all influence the quality and flavors extracted in your brew.

Let’s start with the water temperature. 

After you’ve ground your freshly and fearlessly roasted coffee beans you’ll want to extract the solubles in the ground beans to craft your coffee beverage. 

Water temperature along with brew method help determine what flavor notes you will be enjoying in your cup of coffee.

Fruity and acidic notes, for example, are extracted by the use of hot water while brewing. Cold brew on the other is extracted by the use of cold water and tends to yield more earthy, nutty, and chocolate notes.

Check out your bag of fearlessly roasted single origin beans and you’ll notice a description of the flavor notes under the name. For example, the single origin coffee from Rwanda FTO Kigeyo Washing Station has these flavor notes: sugary sweet with round fruit acidity and a creamy mouthfeel; lots of grapefruit and lemon with caramel and floral flavors.

The prevalent fruity and acidic notes in this single origin would be best extracted using a hot, not cold, brewing method. The ideal brewing temperature is anywhere between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly around 10 degrees below the boiling point of water.) This bean would be a perfect match for a hot-brew method such as pour-over or Aeropress. 

If you’re looking for a refreshing glass of iced coffee, a single origin such as Guatemala Patzun Finca Las Camelias would be perfect for a cold brew method. The cold water would extract flavor notes found in this particular bean.

Next, you’ll want to check your water quality for a better brew. 

Minerals are essential to the extraction process. Calcium and magnesium, for example, are essential because their positively charged particles attract the negatively charged particles found in ground coffee. 

To improve your water quality for brewing you may simply filter your coffee to remove unwanted particles. If you want to improve the minerals in your coffee, Third Wave Water will make sure you have the proper ratio of minerals for perfect extraction. 

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