Can You Use Distilled Water For Coffee?

Having a good cup of coffee is pretty much how most coffee lovers start their day. Over time, you do everything you can to fine-tune your coffee and get the most of your cup of joe. At some point, you start wondering which water is best for making an excellent coffee. Here, we’ll answer one of those questions.

Can you use distilled water for coffee? No, using distilled water for coffee will result in a better-tasting cup of coffee. The lack of minerals might save your coffee machine from mineral buildup but will not help the taste of your coffee in any way. Bottled water and tap water are better alternatives to distilled water from a taste standpoint.

Is Distilled Water Good For Making Coffee?

When it comes to making coffee, we often overlook the importance the using the right kind of coffee. After all, coffee is more than 95% water. There are many kinds of water like distilled water, spring water, tap water, and so on.

To answer the question at hand.

Is distilled water good for making coffee? No, you should not use distilled water to make coffee as you would end up with a bitter-tasting coffee. Distilled water is stripped of all the minerals and has very low PPM in it. 

Without the presence of calcium and magnesium, the flavor of coffee takes a hit. Some might argue that this is not the case, but after a few experiments, we can confidently say that distilled water doesn’t make the best cup of coffee.

Let’s discuss in a bit more depth how distilled water affects your cup of coffee.

What Happens To Coffee’s Taste?

Like we mentioned above, using distilled water to make your coffee will result in a bitter cup.

This is because of the over-extraction of coffee.

Thanks to the very low ppm (around 0.5 (source)), distilled water aids in the over-extraction of coffee. 

With normal water (with a ppm of 150), the extraction of coffee happens at a balanced level, thanks to the essential minerals present. Coffee is neither under-extracted nor over-extracted. So the taste of the coffee will also be a lot better.

Whenever you used distilled water to make coffee, you will notice a lack of the regular flavor and there will also be some bitterness attached to that cup.

If you have the habit of leaving water in your coffee maker overnight, then your coffee might taste even worse.

Due to the lack of minerals, water will react with the metal in the water reservoir tank and develop a certain taste. When you make coffee with this water, the taste will not be very good.

If you’re looking to make the best-tasting coffee, simply use bottled drinking water or purified water/reverse osmosis water. RO water also comes with a low ppm, but it is not as bad as distilled water.

Also Read: Can You Make Instant Coffee With Cold Water?

Is it Ok To Use Distilled Water in a Keurig?

Using distilled water in a Keurig is not recommended as the water comes with non-existent ppm and that could affect the taste of your coffee and also interfere with the machine’s ability to operate normally.

Distilled water is a bit too pure for the Keurig 2.0 models. The sensors in the machine need a bit of mineral in the water to detect the presence of water.

Due to the complete lack of essential and conductive minerals, the machine doesn’t know if the tank contains water or not. This confuses the Keurig and the tank might be overflowed which will require manual, human intervention.

When using a Keurig 2.0 model or an earlier model, you will get an error message when using softened water without any contaminants.

In addition to these concerns, distilled purified water can also speed up the process of corrosion of heating elements, rubber washers, boiler walls, and other components.

If you have a Keurig model at home, you would be better off using bottled water or even tap water to make coffee. Both come with enough minerals and should give you a flavorful cup of coffee.

Is it Ok to Use Distilled Water in an Espresso Machine?

If you’re using an expensive espresso machine, then you will benefit from using distilled water. Using distilled water will also prevent mineral buildup on your inner tubes, boiler, and other components.

But won’t distilled water produce bitter coffee?

Distilled water usually does over-extraction of coffee which gives us a bitter taste. But in an espresso machine, the extraction process is different.

An espresso machine makes use of a puck which is a compressed form of coffee grounds. It is not easy for water to pass through it. 

The extraction process is as follows.

First, the puck is pre-wet and prepared for extraction. Then, hot water is passed rapidly through the puck under pressure. The entire process happens in 25 to 30 seconds.

Now, when you are brewing coffee using other methods, it can take around 4 to 5 minutes or more (depending on the method) for the extraction to complete. Here, the mineral content in the water will play a part in its taste.

But during the extraction process in espresso, the mineral content doesn’t get enough time to make the coffee’s flavor any better. This is why using distilled water in an espresso won’t affect its flavor.

But there is one scenario where using distilled water in an espresso machine is not recommended.

If your espresso machine comes with an autofill boiler, then distilled water is not a good idea. The boiler makes use of the conductive nature of the minerals in the water to find out if there is enough water.

In distilled water, you will not have any of these conductive minerals, so the sensors will have a problem in figuring out the presence of water. This can become a problem quickly and can make your life a bit hard.

A quick solution is to replace distilled water with bottled water or just regular tap water.

When Should You Use Distilled Water For Making Coffee?

The only acceptable scenario for using distilled water is when you have an expensive coffee machine at your place.

Using regular tap water that is mineral-rich can create problems for your coffee machine over time.

Mineral buildup is a serious issue and if you don’t clean your coffee machine now and then, you will have a problem at your hands. It can also start affecting the taste of the coffee you make.

You can also use distilled coffee if you don’t care about the taste. 

For coffee hobbyists, not using distilled water for coffee brewing for sake of taste might look like a weird thing because the difference might not be noticeable for most. 

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you will notice the subtle change in the notes.

Can You Use Distilled Water For Coffee? – Wrap Up

You came here with a question regarding distilled water and coffee.

You can make coffee with distilled/filtered water, but you’re going to notice a small dip in taste and for some, it could be a dealbreaker. Sticking with tap water or mineral water or bottled water could deliver better-tasting coffee.

We agree that super hard water is no good for your coffee. But using soft water is not the solution you need.

You could preserve the hardware of your coffee machine by using distilled purified water as it will minimize the mineral build in the inner components. 

We hope we answered all your mysteries around this topic. If you have any more questions regarding your perfect cup, you know where to find us.

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