Professional baristas don’t use tap water to make coffee. It’s a matter of taste. Not "taste" in a snobby sense, but in a "this would taste bad to my customers" sense. Let’s look at why and what non-baristas should know about making great cups of coffee.
If Tap Water is Safe to Drink, Why Don’t Baristas Use It to Make Coffee?
Water is the most plentiful ingredient in a cup of coffee or espresso. (At least 90 percent.) Your barista needs a constant supply of water that consistently tastes great and has other characteristics beneficial to their coffee-making process.
The primary reason tap water is a barista’s enemy: Tap water contains chlorine. Communities add chlorine to their drinking water to kill parasites, bacteria, and viruses. A small amount of chlorine isn’t harmful to people, but chlorine has an oxidizing effect that makes coffee more bitter and "bleaches the creamy layer on the surface" of espresso.
Additionally, chlorine compromises water’s effectiveness at extracting flavor from coffee grounds during preparation, resulting in a less flavorful cup. Using chlorinated, unfiltered tap water for preparing coffee is counterproductive for true coffee lovers.
So What Kind of Water Do Baristas Use?
Starbucks is proud of the filtered water they use in their coffee and tea drinks. (Request a cup of water at Starbucks to sample that same filtered water.) According to the coffee education site xLatte, Starbucks equips its stores with sophisticated filtration systems that use carbon filters to remove chlorine from water.
Leading-edge coffee professionals currently have science and scalability on their minds. Much brainpower and enthusiasm are focused on water chemistry, ultra-precise measuring, and other micro-details.
Where does that leave you, a regular joe who loves an exceptional cup of joe?
Can I Make Great Coffee at Home?
Yes! When it comes to being your own barista, you can make high-quality coffee beverages using filtered water. You don’t have to buy fancy bottled waters or special additives that optimize water for coffee making (yes, they exist).
Filtering the water from your tap is easy, inexpensive, doesn’t create plastic bottle waste, and can be part of your method for producing great cups of coffee and espresso.
PUR Products for Coffee Lovers (and Everyone Else)
Start by checking out PUR faucet systems, PUR pitchers, and PUR dispensers. Genuine PUR filters ensure that you’re benefiting from activated carbon, which coffee experts recognize as eliminating chlorine from water.
You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that PUR filters have been certified by two independent water testing organizations, NSF (originally the National Sanitation Foundation) and the Water Quality Association (WQA). Anyone who loves a glass–or refillable water bottle–of clean, great-tasting water will appreciate PUR pitchers and faucet systems.
Let PUR products transform your tap water. Your barista would approve.