There are two ingredients in a great cup of coffee- water and coffee. We take all of this time to discuss where the coffee beans come from, what is the best roast, and the flavor. But, no time thinking about the water we use to prepare our precious cup of joe. What is the best water to use in a Keurig® coffee maker? 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 for taste and 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 contains a high amount of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, sulfate and chloride. These minerals can reek havoc on your plumbing, dishes, laundry and showers by depositing scale or lime. The same applies to your Keurig® brewer. Minerals pass through your brewer leaving their trail of scale and lime deposits. Over time this will reduce the efficiency of your unit and alter the taste of your coffee.
Most people with hard water use a water softener. 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. Over extraction makes your coffee and tea taste bad and clogs your coffee maker.
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. We recommend speaking to a water professional to be sure that you are purchasing a reputable filter. Filters will eliminate the smell and taste of chlorine, sulfur and iron as well as some minerals. Your Keurig® will thank you by lasting longer and producing better tasting coffee. 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.
Our preferred option is bottled water. 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. They both contain high amounts of minerals that your Keurig will not like.
Distilled or reverse osmosis (ro) water are excellent choices for brewing coffee in your Keurig®. These are purified waters that 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 and reverse osmosis 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.
*Please see the up date at the bottom of this post concerning purified water for brewing coffee with Keurig® machines.
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 who are concerned with the mineral content. They 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.
Keurig® has made it quite a bit easier for us by designing these filter cartridges to be used with tap water. They are designed to fit right in the water reservoir of your unit. It is optional however, to choose best water to use in a Keurig® coffee maker first.