The more you know

Chemistry just shared the scientific secret to a perfect cup of coffee

Like a daily dose of coffee, here’s your daily dose of coffee science: If your coffee tastes different from day-to-day, it’s not because of how you brew it or how much coffee you use. It’s because of the water.

Yes, water. We all just think of coffee as being coffee, but the coffee beans and grounds need that liquid to make a delicious cup. Depending on the water you use, and also where you live in the United States, the taste of your coffee can vary from cup-to-cup.

Chemist Christopher Hendon and baristas Lesley Colonna-Dashwood and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood recently teamed up to break down the actual chemical properties of a great cup of coffee, that spans well beyond just the beans. As you know, the beans greatly influence the taste of the coffee, which is why finding the BEST coffee is a full-time job for those working behind the scenes at our favorite coffee shop. But for everyone else, who walks into Target and grabs whatever’s on sale, it’s about time we started thinking about the water we pour into our Mr. Coffee.

“Water can transform the character of a coffee,” the chemist-barista team explains in their book, appropriately titled Water For Coffee.  “It can accentuate its acidity, or wipe it out entirely. It can increase or decrease body, change extraction. It affects the way we roast and the way we brew.”

Water can be described as being “hard,” “soft,” or even “sticky,” depending on what kind of natural minerals are found in it. The key to a perfect cup is figuring out what kind of water comes out of your tap (or what kind you buy in bottles at Target) and then getting coffee for that specific type.

It might require a few extra steps on your part, but the payout can be the most delicious cup of coffee you’ve ever brewed at home. Isn’t that the goal every single day of the week? When it comes to coffee, yes it is.

(Image via Shutterstock)