Though a cup of brewed coffee is very nearly 100 per cent water, water is just about the last thing on people’s minds when they think of coffee.

It shouldn’t be.

Tap water varies enormously in its mineral and chemical content, as well as the amount of chlorine present, this affects everything from the flavour, how long the taste lasts on your palate, to how much coffee should be used to make each cup, whether it’s brewed or espresso.

At Crema, owner Geoff Polci installed a water filtering system that enables him to manually control the quality of the water that goes into every cup, glass and ice cube in the place. First, the sediments are filtered out, and then the water is run through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides and mercury. The water is then split into two streams, one of which is stripped of all its mineral content through reverse osmosis, the other being kept in its original purified state. These two streams can then be mixed according to settings Polci sets to determine the exact mineral content, or hardness, of the water.

“There’s an ideal hardness for extracting coffee,” he says. “It’s between 30 and 50 mineral parts per million. Toronto tap water is around 120-200 parts per million.” When the water’s harder, you need more coffee to make up for the lower relative solubility of the water.

Many cafés don’t pay much attention to the water they use to make their coffee. And those that do, tend to use water softeners to take care of the problem of Toronto’s relatively hard water. But water softeners are mostly forms of salt, which as you might suspect add a certain flavour to the water and changes the ultimate taste of your coffee.

Crema’s house blend of water ensures that you’re getting everything you should out of the high-quality and often subtly flavoured beans Crema offers. And don’t forget to ask for a glass of water with your coffee.

2 Responses

  1. Maria Egervari says:

    Makes perfect sense to be concerned about the quality of water used for making coffee. No wonder Crema’s cappuccinos are simply superb! Tanks for investing in high quality pure water!

  2. You’ve got great insights about pure water is, keep up the good work!

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