Water Treatment

Water Treatment

Lee Brooks

Water for coffee

The quality of water used for coffee is extremely important. First and foremost it can dramatically affect the taste. Espresso and brew coffee can taste flat, astringent and we often assume its the equipment or problem with the brew process.

Water also has a huge impact on the condition of espresso machines, especially in the UK with hard water regions dramatically reducing the longevity of your coffee equipment.

Water for your coffee machine

If you're considering a purchase of a coffee machine from Bella Barista we recommend that you treat the water, especially if you live in a hard water area. Below are some of the options available to you.

How do i find out my water hardness?

In the UK you can visit your water suppliers website. Most often they have a postcode or area search. This will give you a close approximation of the hardness of water.

Hard water depends on local geology – water hardness varies widely throughout the UK. The hardness of water is due to the presence of calcium and magnesium minerals that are naturally present in the water. When rain falls it contains no calcium, but as it flows over the land and filters through rocks, it dissolves minerals and becomes harder. Water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Large parts of the UK supply hard water, as it comes from underground chalk aquifers with high levels of calcium. The majority of raw water in the North West for example comes from upland surface water reservoirs which are soft.

Water Hardness Guide

  • Soft water contains less than 100mg of calcium carbonate per litre
  • Moderately hard water contains between 100 and 200mg of calcium carbonate per litre
  • hard water contains between 200 and 300mg of calcium carbonate per litre
  • very hard water contains more than 300mg of calcium carbonate per litre.
*There is no UK or European standard for the hardness of drinking water.

Plumbed in Coffee Machines - We recommend BWT Bestmax Premium

The water hardness above is a general guide. Its worth finding out in more detail the Total Hardness and Permanent Hardness of your water by using a BWT water test kit.

If you're about to invest into a coffee machine for home, business or office we recommend using the BWT Water Test Kit. Once you know the Total hardness of the water in your area we can recommend the best water treatment / cartridge. This information isn't supplied by water suppliers.

Non Plumbable Coffee Machines - We recommend Bottled Water or Filter Jugs

Bottled water from supermarkets is naturally soft, thanks to low levels of calcium and magnesium. We recommend Tesco Ashbeck, Volvic or Waitroise Essential branded still water. For example 5 litres Tescos Ashbeck can be purchased for £1.10 (Time of writing 2019). It can purchased online and delivered to your door saving you lugging it from the Supermarket. Maintenance of your coffee machine using bottled water requires only a light descale once a year. This method is cheaper than filter cartridges.

BWT Filter jugs and BWT cartridges can work in moderately hard water areas using tap water. The drawback is this method requires efficiency planning and replacing the cartridge each time.