Filtered vs. Unfiltered Water: Does It Really Make a Difference for Coffee?

August 25, 2022 2 min read

Filtered vs. Unfiltered Water: Does It Really Make a Difference for Coffee?

Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to brew your coffee? Depending on who you ask, one is definitely better than the other. The truth is, the water you use directly impacts the outcome and taste of your brew. Why, you ask? Because your beloved brew is 98% water, on average. 

But, which decision is right for your coffee brewing - filtered or unfiltered? Here are some points to consider.


Tap water is different everywhere you go.

Water isn't just pure H2O, no matter where you go. Depending on your location, your local water source can be filled with minerals, heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, and much more. While your local water authority does their best to filter out what shouldn't be there, they don't catch everything. Plus, dependent on various environmental factors, what's in your water at the end of the day can change. All of these factors equal why the water you drink varies in taste from your house to your best friend's house and can directly impact how your coffee tastes in the end. 


Do you have hard water or soft water?

When you have hard water in your home, it simply means there are more minerals present than average. And when you have less minerals present, you have soft water. Whether you prefer the taste of hard or soft water boils down to personal preference; neither water is bad for you, but they will taste markedly different. Some coffee drinkers even prefer the stronger taste of minerals in their brew. 

Curious about whether you have hard or soft water? You can buy a testing kit at most big box stores or on Amazon.


Sometimes, it comes down to the brewer.

Coffee brewer manufacturers have long taken into account the impact of water used on the coffee brewed. The general consensus is that, whether from the tap or a water purifier, it's important that water acts as more of a delivery system for coffee instead of a flavor influencer; this means that a more neutral water choice is often optimal for a more genuine and natural coffee flavor. Keurigs and other brewers usually have built-in or included water filters for optimal brewing. If you're using a French Press, pour over system, or other method for brewing your coffee, the water you use will come down to personal preference.


What about distilled?

Whether or not to use distilled water is a common question. For many, distilled water is considered the purest form of water - but how does it impact the taste of coffee? While it's generally agreed that distilled goes easier on appliances like coffee makers due to the reduction of impurities, it's often thought to fare worse in the taste category. Plus, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises against consuming distilled water because it fails to provide any of water's natural vitamins to the drinker.


In the end, coffee friends, whether you use filtered or unfiltered water for your daily brew is really up to your personal preference. There's no wrong choice, just as long as it leads to you enjoying that perfect cup of coffee. Happy sipping!