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What Type of Water Should I use in my Keurig®  Brewer?

keurig water reservoir

There are two ingredients in a great cup of coffee- water and well, coffee.  We take all of this time to discuss where the coffee beans come from, what is the best roast, will I like this flavor, etc. but exactly no time thinking about the water we are using to prepare our precious cup of joe.

Water makes up 98% of every wonderful brew, so we thought we would take a little time to discuss what is the best type of water to use not only for amazing tasting coffee but, also for the longevity of your Keurig® brewer. 

The most common concern when it comes to the water from your tap is hardness. If you have hard water it simply means that it contains a high amount of natural minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, sulfate and chloride. As many of you know these minerals can reek havoc on your plumbing, dishes, laundry and showers by depositing scale or lime. The same applies to your Keurig® brewer. These minerals will pass through your brewer leaving their trail of scale and lime deposits reducing the efficiency of your unit, not to mention affecting the taste of your coffee. 

To combat this most people soften their water with salt.  Salt removes the minerals and the resulting soft water is much easier on plumbing and even becomes more compatible with soap making washing more efficient.  Problem solved, right? Not when it comes to your Keurig® . Softened water contains sodium ions that will form around coffee grinds and tea leaves making them less penetrable.  This will slow down the extraction process, causing over extraction (bad tasting coffee and tea) and clogs in the brewer resulting in performance issues.  

putting a water filter in keurig coffee maker

Water for your Keurig® Brewer

Use filtered water.  

Many refrigerators now come with a filter built in, you can easily add one to your sink faucet or some go as far as a whole house filter. I strongly recommend speaking to an area water professional to be sure that you are purchasing a reputable filter that actually will produce the results you are looking for.  Filters will eliminate the smell and taste of chlorine, sulfur and iron as well as some minerals.  Your Keurig® will thank you with longevity and better tasting coffee and tea.  The filter can be on your fridge, your sink, free standing or these filters specifically designed for classic Keurig models or these for Keurig 2.0.

2) Use bottled water.

Our preferred option is bottled water but, make sure your read the label!  Not all bottled waters are created equal. There are several types- spring, distilled, mineral, etc.. This can be confusing and if you pick the wrong one you can be doing more harm than good.  You should never use mineral or spring water in your Keurig brewer. As you might guess they both contain high amounts of minerals that your Keurig will not like. 

Distilled water is an excellent choice for brewing coffee in your Keurig®. Distilled water is purified, containing less than 1 PPM of minerals. This lack of minerals will leave your Keurig® brewer happily serving up your delicious morning coffee for many, many years. Distilled water will also reduce the dreaded descaling routine. I actually know someone who has had a brewer for several years and has never used anything but distilled water and has never had to descale her unit nor has she ever had a performance issue.  

k cup coffee in a mug by coffee maker

However, please note, distilled water should not be used in Keurig® models 2.0 and newer.  This water is too pure for the sensors to operate properly.  If you are using a Keurig® 2.0 or newer model which you likely are,  stick with filtered water or use a Keurig filter.

But, does distilled produce great tasting coffee?

My vote is yes, but, there are some coffee snobs (no offense, I certainly don’t blame you for wanting a perfect cup of coffee) out there that will argue that there needs to be some minerals in the water to bring out the taste of the coffee, much as salt brings out the taste in food.  This may or may not be true you can test it for yourself. 

3) Use a water filter in your brewer.

Keurig® has made it quite a bit easier for us by designing these filter cartridges to be used right in the water reservoir of your unit.  

Additional resources:

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