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03 October 2023
Perfecting Your Coffee: A Guide to RO Water and Flavor Extraction
“The better your water, the better your coffee. That’s why so many specialty coffee brewers insist on reverse osmosis (“RO”) water. Because day after day, brew after brew, especially when across many locations, they can serve the same high-quality coffee consistently.

Water Minerals and Coffee Flavor Extraction

According to an article published in the May 28, 2014 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “The flavorsome compounds in coffee beans exist in the form of aprotic charge neutral species, as well as a collection of acids and conjugate salts. The dissolution and extraction of these organic molecules is a process dependent on the dissolved mineral content of the water. So, different rates and compositions of coffee extraction are achieved through the control of the water impurities; Na(+), Mg2(+) and Ca2(+), which coordinate to nucleophilic motifs in coffee. Using density functional theory, we quantify the thermodynamic binding energies of five familiar coffee-contained acids, caffeine, and a representative flavor component, eugenol. From this we provide insight into the mechanism and ideal mineral composition of water for extraction of flavorsome compounds in coffee.”

Explaining the Science with Global Water Solutions

So what does this scientific jargon mean?  It means your water profile can have a tremendous effect on the quality of your brew.  If your water supply contains chlorine, sulfur, high mineral content, or worse yet, bacteria and pathogens, you are not going to get a flavorful cup.  One could use distilled or bottled water, but this comes at a high operating expense, takes up storage space, and more importantly, produces environmentally unfriendly plastic waste.  

The G500TM RO system from Global Water Solutions will produce up to 400 gallons per day with a 95%+ reduction in Total Dissolved Solids (“TDS”).  So, no matter what the feed profile, it will ensure a clean, odor-free and purified water source to your equipment, either directly or through an RO storage tank.  Featuring easy-to-change, spill-proof filter replacement, it also sports a compact size, auto-flush function to extend membrane life, dry-run protection with auto-restart, and leak detection.  Less space, time, plastic, and economic waste… what’s not to like?

Enhancing RO-Treated Water for Better Coffee

Keep in mind that RO-treated water can be so pure that it can be corrosive in its unaltered state.  Though RO water prevents scale build-up, it can potentially rust or pit soft metals in the equipment due to its aggressiveness.  It also can cause sensor issues in some machines.  To avoid this, it is possible to add back mineral content by blending feed water into the RO water using a by-pass tube and a valve.  If using this method, you need to make sure the feed water is filtered with activated carbon.  A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter or carbon block filter will take out bad odor and taste, such as chlorine and other organic contaminants, from the side stream feed water being combined with the purified source. A blended RO system allows you to achieve the precise TDS level desired by adding some hardness and making the water less corrosive.  With the proper cation concentration, blended RO water makes for great coffee.

Maximizing flavor extraction

Another method to address the aggressiveness of low TDS RO water is to use a remineralization filter to add a controlled amount of calcium and magnesium hardness to the RO water; allowing you to maintain the right balance.

For ideal coffee preparation, water should have a PH of 7.5-8.5, Mg2(+), Ca2(+), and TDS from 45 – 85 PPM to maximize flavor extraction.  Marrying the G500 RO system with our high-quality alkaline filters will allow you to achieve this goal and keep your customers returning.  

Global Water Solutions at The New York Coffee Festival

See for yourself at The New York Coffee Festival 2023 where Global Water Solutions is the proud official water filtration sponsor for the event!  Find us at booth 55B to learn more about our company and innovative products.

Follow their water filtration journey:

2023 Sponsors
Slayer Espresso
Pietro Grinders
Battenkill Valley Creamery
Consulate General of India
Mr. Black
Decent Packaging
Matcha Direct
ePac Flexible Packaging
Eight Ounce Coffee
East One Coffee
La Marzocco
Variety Coffee Roasters
Barista Attitude
Nonni’s Bakery
Global Water Solutions
World Coffee Portal
Project Waterfall
Espresso Parts
Global Coffee Institute
Big Picture Media
Perfect Daily Grind
Charity Water
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