Let me first start by saying, I don’t have an ‘ology’ and therefore I am not a scientist.
Secondly, make yourself a coffee - you’ll need it.
I am vaguely hopeful that someone might stumble over this after I have been given the answer I am looking for and it might work for them too. Maybe they feel as clueless as I do despite my best efforts!
What I am is a bloke who, when he turns on the tap, can smell the chloride in his water. Other times the water looks very cloudy.
I like the taste of my water to drink and enjoy the coffee I drink for the most part. On this everlasting journey of coffee discovery, I am slowly trying to improve all aspects of my coffee making by honing my skills, purchasing better equipment, better coffee and now - investing in better water.
Importantly, as I scrape together enough pennies to buy a better machine than my £30 off gumtree Gaggia New Baby, I want to make sure the water I will use will give me the best tasting cup and do the least harm to my new machine.
Given this machine is months off, I figure I have the time now to find what works best from a water point of view. I brew with a moka pot, Aeropress, V60, French press and the Gaggia and intend to use the same water for all methods. I bet there is someone wonderful out there that changes their water for each method right?
I’ve watched a few videos, read the relevant bits of both of Hoffman’s books, read numerous posts on
various coffee forums this very fine forum and all in all I am perplexed.
The key for me is to find a relatively inexpensive method to get the best possible water. By inexpensive, I mean that I am not installing new taps, water filtration devices etc. to my mains water supply. A Brita type filter, Zero Water filter to which I then supplement the water with…..er, supplements or some kind of recipe water could work I guess but I assume RO filtered water is out of my price range.
Blimey this is going on isn’t it?
You’re going to ask about my water aren’t you? Well, here is the Northumbrian Water Report for my postcode:
The water in my area apparently ranges from moderately soft to slightly hard.
When I look at the numbers and compare to Hoffman, I think I am right in saying my Calcium Carbonate levels are in roughly the right place, the Calcium is ok, it’s super alkaline and Sodium is high.
I don’t want to be a Hoffman fan boy and I am happy to be led but struggle to wade (pun intended) through lots of information about what is “right” and his information is so accessible.
The answer may be as simple as buy a Brita and see what you think. Or that and BTW and compare. Or Zero Water and a few sachets and try them and see which you like best.
If that’s the case, I’ll be back to ask where to get these things cheaper than from the supermarket!
If you’ve got this far and have the will to engage further - you have my thanks in advance.