Best water filtration system for new coffee bar/new house

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Maggiekw

#1: Post by Maggiekw »

I first have to admit that I know very little about water and minerals, other then that it does make a huge difference, in my taste. Today i use the BWT penguin to refill my synchronika and kettle. We are in a process of building a completly new house, and I want a cleaner setup where I dont need to refill the penguin with water or filters all the time. My dream would be to have a separate tap just for the kettle, and the synchronika connected underneath the countertop.

I sent a email to BWT Norway, and they recomands the bwt pure balance RO filter. https://www.ecosoft.com/product/ecosoft ... na-stanini.

They say that the quality of the water will be:
pH 7-8,5
Total mineral content - 60-80mg/L
Calcium - 10-15 mg/L
Magnesium - 4-6 mg/L

Is this good number for coffee? Is there even something of a optimal mineral content? Or is it more behind the numbers that can impact the final taste in the cup?

Rhinoevans

#2: Post by Rhinoevans »

I am by no means a water expert and I have been on the search for a good filter system. I current have the Lelit Bianca. I have a very high quality filter under the sink that goes to the fridge in addition to the filter in the LG. I take water from the fridge and use the internal filter in the Bianca built-in reservoir. I just got the Bianca in Jan and very much want to have a direct connection. I will probably look for a coffee filter to tee off the fridge line.

What I have hear in the past, And I have been doing espresso for 15-20 years. Previous was the La Spazile back inn 2003. Anyway, RO is not good for espresso. It takes everything out of the water and espresso machines are looking for certain elements to actually define the water as water. Like I said, not an experts and someone else can chime in on this.

This one from Clives Coffee
https://clivecoffee.com/products/water- ... essentials

On my old LA Spazile I use a water filter and softener element but in my current kitchen I just don't have the room for 2 large filter housing. Something like this from Chris Coffee
https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/wa ... ion-system

Some systems I have seen include a filter that puts back in the water the necessary elements. The one you mentioned about probably does that based on the #s you posted.

Good luck on the hunt.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#3: Post by homeburrero »

Rhinoevans wrote:Anyway, RO is not good for espresso. It takes everything out of the water and espresso machines are looking for certain elements to actually define the water as water. Like I said, not an experts and someone else can chime in on this.
Pure RO is not recommended for espresso machines, but RO with either blending or remineralization is often the recommended solution. The OP is looking at an RO system that has a remineralization cartridge.

Maggiekw wrote:They say that the quality of the water will be:
pH 7-8,5
Total mineral content - 60-80mg/L
Calcium - 10-15 mg/L
Magnesium - 4-6 mg/L

Is this good number for coffee? Is there even something of a optimal mineral content?
Those numbers reflect what the vendor claims to achieve via their remin cartridge. Your actual numbers will depend on the pH of the feed water and flow rate through the cartridge. Those reported numbers would be fine and would not be corrosive, would not cause scale, and will have more than enough minerals for water sensors to work. My guess is that on average you might expect lower numbers, just based on what people report getting out of remin cartridges like this. You can check it using an inexpensive TDS conductivity meter - flush a half liter or so of water then take a few small samples, then do a reading at around 25C and even if it averages only around 30 ppm (rather than the 60 - 80 ppm that they claim) you still have no reason to worry.

Note: The first water coming out of this system after a long period of no flow might show a high TDS, then over the day it will drop to lower and more consistent values.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

Maggiekw (original poster)

#4: Post by Maggiekw (original poster) »

I think it looks as a good solution to the new setup. My main concern is about the mineral levels. Is it to little, or does it miss any minerals?
I have understood it the way that the more minerals, the more taste, to a point. I dont know if this is right?

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#5: Post by Jeff »

This is a bit of a rabbit hole. OK, it's a huge one.

Any reasonable water can make very good coffee.

Some people think that they think that they prefer (intentionally noncommittal) different mineral balance for different coffees and burrs, even with the same preparation technique. Start mixing espresso and brew methods and opinions get even more spread. You've got some people saying they prefer 80/20, others saying 20/80, and plenty somewhere in between. Then you'e got those that believe they have a preference among the various choices for adding GH and KH.

Back to the second line -- get some clean-tasting, non-scaling water and you'll have a completely functional, enjoyable, and straightforward way to move ahead. If there's an RO tap, you can always switch to some other method for mixing up any concoction you want. Even without that, you can always add to what comes out of your treated tap.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#6: Post by homeburrero »

Jeff wrote:Any reasonable water can make very good coffee.
+1. There are lots of cities like Oslo, Welbourne, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc, that use naturally low mineral water to produce excellent coffee, and many more that have horrible tap water and must use RO with remineralization just like the OP is considering, which also gives you similarly low mineral water.


Jeff wrote:You've got some people saying they prefer 80/20, others saying 20/80, and plenty somewhere in between. Then you'e got those that believe they have a preference among the various choices for adding GH and KH.
Here on HB you have very many people who swear by 0/50 :wink: (Note: I don't think this is a standard notation, but some folks use a shorthand like "80/20" or "80:20" to describe a water with a total hardness (GH) of 80 ppm as CaCO3, and an alkalinity (KH) of 20 ppm as CaCO3.)
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

There's a great overview of a bit of the craziness that Pat pulled together at Good references on water treatment for coffee/espresso

That graph is my road map -- staying out of the red area still gives you a huge target to hit

Idfixe

#8: Post by Idfixe »

I use water filtration to protect my machine much more than I use it to alter the taste.