Does Water Hardness Really Affect The Taste Of Coffee?

The science behind coffee can keep you up for hours — depending on how far you dive into the subject. Things like coffee bean origin, roasting methods, plus preparation strategies can affect the appearance, flavor, and texture of the beverage. Seven Miles explains how origins of higher altitudes translate to a more complex coffee, meaning more value is placed on beans from mountainous regions. Among the common myths about coffee is that a darker roast means the coffee will have more caffeine, when actually that isn't true at all. 

Even amid all that coffee talk, it's easy to overlook one vital element; the state of the water being used. Japanese Coffee Co. reveals the ratio of coffee to water can drastically alter the taste of the finished product, too. If you're just as worried about the quality of your water affecting your coffee experience as using the right amount of water, there is some reason for concern. However, the truth about the situation might surprise you.

Deposits in your water can actually pay off

If you're worried about hard water impacting the quality of your coffee, your fears are actually misplaced. Silver Bridge Coffee says the minerals in hard water can actually make your coffee more flavorful. It's because the minerals in the water, like magnesium, attach themselves to the beans and help extrude more of the beans' influence on the water. Black Insomnia Coffee Company agrees, stating that hard water is "better for making coffee." The coffee company notes, however, that hard water can produce a more bitter taste compared to soft water. At the same time, since there's more overall flavor, it can balance things out.

As Culligan explains, the difference between hard and soft water is in the presence of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. While those minerals are present in softer water (per Culligan), they are not to the same extent. American Home Water & Air says one way to detect the hardness of your water is to try producing lather from a bar of soap using the water. The more difficulty you have doing so, the harder the water is.

Of course, a couple of sure ways to spruce up your morning coffee are to grab some of the best coffee beans of 2022 or one of the best coffeemakers of this year.