換一種水，讓咖啡更好喝 Change the Water for A Better Coffee
Water quality is one of the factors that affects the quality of coffee. Water looks the same, transparent, colorless, and tasteless. But after tasting it, we find that some water is actually sweet, and some has raw water feel. It turns out that the water contains calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and other minerals that we can't see.
The right amount of magnesium and calcium help extract the flavors in the coffee, while bicarbonate adjusts the pH of the water. Calcium ions can bring out the round and rich creamy flavor in coffee, while magnesium ions bring out the fruity citric acid and malic acid; different mineral ions affect the extraction ability of coffee, therefor they can change coffee flavor.
精品咖啡協會(SCA)針對適合沖泡咖啡的水質建議，TDS 在 75~250ppm，理想值為 150ppm；總硬度建議在 50~175ppm；PH值 6.5~7.5，理想值為 6~8。我們將總硬度建議範圍與水的硬度等級對照，如下圖可見約略是介於中軟水與硬水之範圍
Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) recommended water quality suitable for brewing coffee: Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is 75~250ppm, ideal value is 150ppm; total hardness is recommended at 50~175ppm; PH value is 6.5~7.5, ideal value is 6~8. We compare the recommended range of total hardness with the hardness level of water. As shown in the figure below, it is roughly between the range of medium-soft water and hard water.
水的硬度依據WHO之定義標準，區分為 4 個等級： 1、軟水：總硬度 0~60 mg/L；2、中軟水：總硬度 60~120 mg/L；3、硬水：總硬度 120~180 mg/L；4、超硬水：總硬度 180 mg/L以上。
Water hardness is different from Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
The hardness of water is divided into 4 grades according to the definition standard of WHO: 1. Soft water: total hardness 0~60 mg/L
2. Medium soft water: total hardness 60~120 mg/L
3. Hard water: total hardness 120~ 180 mg/L
4. Super hard water: the total hardness is above 180 mg/L
The TDS value reflects the total amount of ions in the water, such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium ions and carbonate ions, bicarbonate ions, chloride ions, sulfate ions and nitrate ions. The total hardness of water mainly reflects the relationship between calcium ions and the total concentration of magnesium ions. Therefore, the TDS value can only be used as a reference for water hardness and softness, and is not absolutely related. Please refer to the following figure.
哪種水沖咖啡較好喝 – 市售水比拚
Which water is better for brewing coffee? Commercial water competition
We randomly selected three available water brands with large differences in total hardness to test the effect of coffee hardness on coffee brewing flavor. They are Evian, Boer Natural Drinking Water, and Taiyen Alkaline Ion Water, as shown in the figure below: super hard, medium hard and soft water. We can see that Boer Natural Drinking’s hardness is within the range of values recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association.
1. Evian (super hard water): TDS 370ppm; total hardness: 304ppm
2. Boer Natural Drinking Water (medium hard water): TDS:75-90ppm; total hardness: 50-70ppm
3. Taiyen Alkaline Ion Water (soft water): TDS: 22-40ppm; total hardness: 3-18ppm
(The above values are approximate and may vary from batch to batch)
Before brewing coffee, let's drink pure water and feel the difference
1.evian(超硬水) – 較無味，生水感，稍不順口
2.波爾天然水(中硬水) – 微甜度剛好，順口
3.海洋鹼性離子水(軟水) – 甜度較高，圓潤
1. Evian (super hard water): tasteless, raw watery, slightly unpalatable
2. Boer Natural Drinking Water (medium hard water): sweetness and smooth
3. Taiyen Alkaline Ion Water (soft water): about average sweetness, mellow
水溫 – 93°C；
粉水比 – 1:15；
沖煮時間 – 2分鐘；
使用的咖啡豆 – 哥斯大黎加 聖維托 小蜜蜂 厭氧日曬
Pour-over brewing method:
Water temperature – 93°C;
Powder to water ratio – 1:15;
Brewing time – 2 minutes;
Coffee Beans – Costa Rica San Vito LA ABEJILLA Anaerobic Natural
(The flavor of this coffee has sweet and rich taste, like red wine, blueberries, honey, tropical fruits, etc.)
實驗結果 Experimental results
Hot 70°C à
Room temperature 28°C
Evian (super hard water)
the sweet aroma is medium compared to the other two types
mellow, slightly strong
strong sourness, overpowering sweetness
Boer Natural Drinking Water (medium hard water)
the aroma layer is clear, and rich in tropical fruit sweetness
smooth, mellow and sweet
mellow sweet and acidity, good structured, overall balance
Taiyen Alkaline Ion Water (soft water)
relatively bland and astringent
sweet, sharp acidity
The above experimental results show that Boer Natural Drinking Water (medium hard water) - TDS and total hardness are within the water quality recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) for water quality suitable for brewing coffee. The brewing results are much better compared to the other two types of overall flavor performance. It has clear aroma, sweet and rich, vivid tropical fruit flavor. Evian (super hard water) has a high extraction rate, less smooth, high mellowness and concentration, and the astringency is also extracted; the coffee brewed by Taiyen Alkaline Ion Water (soft water) has a flat texture and obvious astringency, and it even has a sharp sourness when it cools down.
In line with the theory, under the condition that the total saturation is not exceeded, the higher the hardness of the water, the higher the extraction rate, and the lower the hardness, the lower the extraction rate.
Isn't it interesting? The brewing process around two minutes can exert coffee beans’ potential. Although many studies have already confirmed that the influence of water quality on coffee flavor is no less than any other factors, but it is easy to be ignored during our normal practice.
This experiment is mainly to measure the effect of available mineral water with different hardness and softness on coffee flavor. But in fact, the knowledge of water is like the depth of the sea. The water of the same hardness has different composition ratios of calcium ions, magnesium ions and bicarbonate, and the extraction power of the flavor is also different, but we will not discuss it more depth here. We share the actual measurement experience with you as above, and you may also try it with your own taste buds to find out the destined water for your own coffee.
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