6 Best Water Filters for Coffee: Complete Buyer’s Guide

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on November 8th, 2022

A good coffee-drinking experience is one where there are no weird aftertastes and awful odors. However, when this happens, the blame instantly goes to the coffee beans used or to the coffee-making equipment. Sometimes, this is not the case.

Since coffee is made up of mostly water, the water quality will highly impact your coffee. This is why you need to invest in a water filter if your area is prone to hard water. 

filtered water

Top six water filters for your coffee-brewing needs

Since coffee is 98 percent water, your choice of water quality will highly impact your coffee taste. Here are our top picks, considering the standards set by SCA. 

Brondell RO circle water saving reverse osmosis water filter

If you are looking for a compact, affordable and reliable water filter, this model is the best fit for you. This is the best water filter today because of its four-stage reverse osmosis system.

According to The International Water Association (IWA) RO system can remove 90-99.99% of contaminants and trace minerals. It is compact enough to fit under your sink and designed for back pressure elimination for lesser water usage.


  • Affordable
  • Has a warranty
  • Easy to use and install
  • Does not need electricity to work
  • Can refill its 6-liter capacity in an hour
  • Pro-environment, purifying process uses less water


  • May occasionally leak
  • Prep time is needed due to the slow water flow
  • Water may be flat because it does not undergo mineralizing stage

Filtered Water Filter Pitcher

His favorite water pitcher is the Clearly Filtered water pitcher since it has the best contaminant removal capacity he’s seen on the market. It is NSF approved and, according to the manufacturer, removes over 270 pollutants while maintaining beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium.

I enjoy the water-dam feature in the top reservoir, which allows you to flow out filtered water even after you’ve just refilled it. Depending on the source water, the filter cartridge should last four months.

It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which means that if it ever breaks, Clearly Filtered will replace it for free.


  • Made in USA
  • Filters out chlorine, lead, fluoride, and 267+ other chemicals
  • While healthy minerals are retained in water.
  • BPA-free Tritan plastic
  • Filter lasts up to 100 gallons
  • Lifetime Guarantee


  • Takes a while to filter
  • No filter change indicator

The ISpring RCC7AK 6-stage reverse osmosis system

This high-end water filtration has six stages of reverse osmosis, giving you a better than drinking from bottled water result. With its RO system, all contaminants are removed as natural minerals such as magnesium, sodium, and calcium are later added to your water to neutralize its pH level.


  • A better investment than buying bottled water constantly
  • With a fifth stage for coconut husk addition to improve water taste


  • Can be pricey

Brita stream ultra slim water filter dispenser

This water dispenser is the best option for an affordable model with decent performance. Manufactured by Brita, a company known in the water filtration industry, this water filter dispenser can effectively remove unpleasant odors and tastes in your water, such as chlorine.

With its rectangular shape of 4.4” width, 10.25” height, and 16” dept, it is slim and compact enough to fit in most refrigerators.


  • Affordable
  • With a large capacity of 40 gallons
  • With an onboard LED which changes color to signal need for water replacement


  • No drawbacks mentioned

WaterDrop WD-FC-06

If you love tap water but want to get rid of any unpleasant odor and taste, the WaterDrop WD-FC-06 is the best option for you. It has a sturdy stainless-steel design.

Because of its Sri Lankan-made advanced carbon block filtration medium constructed from coconut shells, it is also capable of removing sediments, heavy metals, and rust.


  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with most faucet designs
  • Ease-of-switch between tap and filtered water
  • High and stable flow rate of 0.5 gallon per minute
  • Can handle 320 gallons of water before swapping
  • Lead-free and BPA-free carbon block filtration


  • Not the cheapest of all the options

Third wave water

This is specifically designed for coffee and is not just limited to cleaning or purifying water. Adding a Third Wave Mineral capsule into your water will give it just enough minerals, with a balanced proportion to prevent it from becoming too acidic.

These minerals, called Total Dissolved Solids (TSD), are magnesium (for sweetness), calcium (for balancing), and bicarbonate (for enhancing flavor profile), and this will enhance the flavor of your coffee. You can choose between two profiles.

  • Classic profile for brighter taste because of low sodium content
  • Espresso profile for alkalinity buffer through adding potassium bicarbonate


  • Specially made for coffee
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Can fit with any style of brewing
  • With minerals to enhance your water’s flavor profile


  • Packets need to be refilled
  • Dissolution may take time depending on water temperature

What is a water filter, and how does it work?

Water contains a lot of different substances ranging from sediments to chemicals and minerals, and the amount of these varies depending on your water source. That is the reason why your water’s taste varies per source or location.

A water filter acts as a colander, filtering the substances, but in a much microscopic sense.

Why do you need a water filter?

Around ninety-nine percent of water from treatment plants is used for several purposes other than drinking. This explains why taste is not a priority and why you might get water with a taste and odor that does not fit your standards.

Aside from this, contamination may occur during water transport since some would use old pipes and plastic containers. To address these contamination and taste, and odor issues, a water filter is needed.

What should my water for coffee brewing be like?


Using odorless water for your brewed coffee will help preserve its aroma and tantalizing smell. This aroma can help improve mood, and using water with odor might jeopardize its impact.

Among the smells that should be removed in water is chlorine which gives a pool odor, and hydrogen sulfide, which causes a rotten egg smell.

Phenolic compounds and bacterial presence should also be removed since these can leave a sickly odor and decay-like smell, respectively.

What to do:

The amount of presence of these odor-smelling substances and organisms depends on your water source. It is best to do a water test first to identify the kind of treatment and filtration approach.


Having cloudy, tinted, or discolored water for your brewed coffee can be off-putting in terms of aesthetics and taste. That is why the water you should use for your coffee should be clear and colorless.

Water from corroded and aging pipes, especially from underwater sources, can have a red or orange color due to the heavy metal content like iron, copper, or rust particles. The presence of these particles can leave an unpleasant metallic taste in your water.

However, this should not be a health concern. Another substance that can affect the color and taste of your water is sediments. This can lead to a gritty taste.

What to do:

For water containing floating debris, the best approach is through mechanical filtration. An example of this is by using sediment filters.

Doing so will remove even the particles not visible to the naked eye because it is micron-rated; that is, it can remove any dirt or sand particles from your water.

If your water exhibits turbidity or loss of transparency caused by particles, you can use an inline sediment filter with a fine micron rating.

Chlorine and chloramine free

Your water having that unpleasant and sharp odor might be a sign that it is contaminated by chlorine. This will then affect your coffee, giving it a weird aftertaste and preventing you from fully enjoying the unique flavor of your coffee bean.

However, chlorine contamination is inevitable because it is commonly used as a disinfectant for waterborne pathogens and bacteria elimination.

Another compound that can contaminate your water supply is chloramines which are a combination of chlorine and ammonia. 

What to do:

It is best to ask for a copy of the consumer’s confidence report from your water provider to see what disinfectant they use– whether it is chlorine or chloramine.

The best way to eliminate chlorine is through a carbon filter. To fully enjoy your brewed coffee without any weird smell and taste, there should be no traces of chlorine (0mg/L). The carbon filter works well because the chlorine attaches itself to the activated carbon’s surface.

If your problem is chloramine, it may be challenging to remove and needs a longer contact time with the activated carbon for it to work.

With this, catalytic carbon is advisable because using this can convert ammonia and chlorine into ammonia gas, nitrogen gas, and chloride. Catalytic carbon filters are effective in removing chloramine without having a negative effect on your water flow rate.

What are the indicators of water problems?

Water is not always the culprit for an awful-tasting coffee. It could be because of the wrong choice of beans or grinders. How will you know if the water quality is to blame?

Here are some steps to determine if the water is the issue.

  • Try brewing coffee with at least 3 water batches. You can try bottled, distilled, and spring water to easily spot the difference using the same beans. If there are unpleasant tastes and odors, your water is to be blamed, not the coffee.
  • Clean your coffee maker. Having particles and rust stuck on your coffee maker can negatively affect your coffee taste.
  • Consult a local barista. You can ask them for recommendations for their water source, and you may try it at home.

The brewing process does not only rely on the beans used. There are other factors that affect your coffee taste, such as the water quality, the equipment used, and even the brewing method.

What are the 3 categories of water?

Water can be classified into three: filtered, purified, and distilled.

Filtered water

From the name itself, filtered water is devoid of any major impurities, but its makeup, composition, and mineral content are not altered. Hence, it is still natural.

Purified water

Purified water, that is, for instance, underwent reverse osmosis, is free from good and bad elements. It has been thoroughly cleaned, and while the good and bad elements are removed, some good minerals are also put back in.

Distilled water

This is almost similar to purified water because distilled water is also devoid of good and bad particles. This type of water is not best for coffee because of the lack of minerals.

What are the standards for water used in brewed coffee?

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) gave parameters that set standards for water in brewed coffee use. This standard is popular and adopted in the industry, and this consists of five categories with corresponding ranges.

Sticking to the numbers within each category will help you achieve the perfect condition to showcase your beans’ profile and aroma. These categories are Calcium hardness, pH, sodium, total alkalinity, and TDS.

Calcium hardness

Calcium Hardness3-4 GPG (51-68 mg/L)1-5 GPG (17-85 mg/L)

Calcium hardness refers to the calcium ions dissolved in the water, while total hardness refers to both the calcium and magnesium ions dissolved. Water for your coffee should have low calcium content to better extract flavor from your drink, giving you a well-rounded taste.

A calcium hardness range of 1-5 grains per gallon (GPG) or 17.875 mg per liter is best for espresso and coffee.

However, too much calcium content is also not good, as it can damage your plumbing. Calcium may precipitate out of the water, causing limescale or a chalky white substance that can clog pipes and appliances. This can then lead to pipes losing pressure and appliances consuming more energy.



pH, which is based on the hydrogen ions concentration in a solution, refers to how acidic or alkaline a water-based solution is. Its value ranges from 1-14, with 7 being neutral, below 7 being acidic, and over 7 being alkaline.

Thus, since coffee has a pH level of 5, it is considered acidic. To optimize the taste of your beans, the water for your coffee should maintain a neutral pH of 7. The range should be 6.5 to 7.5, with an ideal target of 7 pH.

Aside from the pH being an indicator of acidity and alkalinity, it also determines the water solubility. The water becomes capable of dissolving more or increasingly soluble once the pH decreases.

Having very acidic and very alkaline water is not ideal. The former can lead to an astringent and bitter taste, while the latter can give you a dull and bland taste.


Sodium10 mg/L<30 mg/L

Most water supplies have a sodium level of less than 20 mg/L, according to the World Health Organization. The best sodium level for brewing coffee is 10 mg/L, so there is not much need for concern unless your water source is well.

However, for some areas where high water hardness is a concern, they may use a water softening process which can elevate the sodium level in your water.

Having high sodium levels, albeit does not have a health impact, can still negate the flavor profile of your coffee.

It is best to strike a balance between water hardness and sodium levels in your water supply. If using a softening process is inevitable, it is best to consider that there is not too much sodium to the point that it will affect your coffee profile.

Total alkalinity

Total Alkalinity40 mg/L40-70 mg/L

Total alkalinity is usually used along with pH level. It is because total alkalinity refers to how well your water can resist pH change. In other words, total alkalinity measures the negative ions’ concentration from dissolved alkaline substances such as bicarbonates and hydroxides.

These ions help prevent pH fluctuations by neutralizing the acids in water, preventing it from becoming too acidic.

Hence, it works as the water’s buffering system. How dense the ions are in milligrams-per-liter or parts-per-million is measured by total alkalinity, while pH simply refers to the dissolved hydrogen concentration in a solution.

Too high and too low alkalinity can ruin your coffee taste by hampering the extraction and can make the pH drop by being not able to absorb hydrogen ions respectively. The ideal alkalinity is 40 mg/L or between 40-70 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids (TDS)

TDS150 mg/L75-250 mg/L

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) measure in parts-per-million the dissolved salts, inorganic and organic matter, and minerals in the water. These contaminants include pollutants like fertilizers and pesticides, nitrates, and heavy metals.

Hence, a high level of TDS means high contamination or very hard water. A low level of TDS with a range of 75-250 mg/L is best suited for brewing coffee. For commercial brewing purposes, SCA recommends 150 ppm.

A too-high TDS like 500 could be too hard to brew, and minerals will overpower the roast’s taste. Having a too-low TDS, like zero, is also not advisable as it will give you a bland and empty-tasting coffee.


Which is better for coffee, hard water or soft water?

For better coffee extraction, hard water is ideal because it contains a lot of minerals that aid in the process. But it can be risky considering the unfiltered and unpurified contaminants that come with it.

In the case of soft water, it is best for espresso machines because they do not need minerals during brewing. The only downside is that it can lead to machine blockage.

As a rule of thumb, you better have your water checked for hardness in order to decide what mineral and pH level works best while abiding by the standards set by SCAA.

Why do I need to consider the water quality of my coffee?

Since coffee is 98 percent water, your water quality will highly affect your brewing experience. In order to bring out the best aroma from your coffee, the SCAA sets some standards.

The standards do not refer to the filtering process, just the ideal and target ranges. Among these are odorless, colorless, clean, and freshwater, with a mineral content of 150 parts per million (ppm), with a neutral pH of 7.

However, these standards are not fatal when not followed; these are just set to optimize your coffee profile.

How can I protect and maintain my coffee equipment?

Though high levels of minerals are not harmful to your coffee, they can have detrimental effects on your machine, causing clogging and rusting.

One way to ensure machine longevity is by cleaning it. If you want a more proactive approach, install proper filtration systems or use distilled water instead.

How will I know if the water is good water for coffee?

A good indicator that a certain type of water is good for brewing purposes is that it has a neutral or blank taste. With a blank taste, it can easily complement any coffee flavor without overshadowing its tone and profile.

Is distilled water good for coffee machines?

Hard water and soft water have both disadvantages. Making coffee from distilled coffee can give you a bland and empty-tasting one because it is free from chemicals.

Distilled water is devoid of chemicals that give it its taste; small amounts of chemicals are needed for a better taste. Distillation or reverse osmosis can be used for great-tasting coffee, but another step is needed, which can be long.

If you want to use distilled water, it would be better to invest in an automatic water distiller instead.

Is a special distilled water coffee maker essential?

No, you do not need to purchase a special coffee maker for distilled water. Despite the claims that it is not okay to use distilled water for your coffee machine, there are no available models out there which are specifically designed for distilled water.

Even Bed Bath Beyond has not released this kind of coffee maker either.

Can reverse osmosis be used to brew coffee?

Using water that underwent reverse osmosis is not ideal because it will no longer have the minerals that give it each flavor; in fact, some TDS is needed for the flavor to emerge.

In reverse osmosis, all TDS will be removed because of its 0.025-micron pores. Though it produces very pure water in the process, it can be slightly acidic at a pH of 5-6, which can lead to a sour-tasting coffee.

It may also highlight the coffee’s flavor profile due to the dissolved solids, calcium, and magnesium content.

Reverse osmosis is used by aquariums, hydroponic farms, and breweries for accuracy in nutrient content, but you don’t need such accuracy for your home coffee.

Aside from this, RO takes time to produce water, so you need to have a lot of storage tanks, unlike breweries who have this equipment plus access to ions and minerals they can place on their water for preservation.

It is fine to use reverse osmosis for commercial brewing, but you need to find a remineralization post-filter to elevate the water’s pH and alkalinity.


The weird taste in your coffee may not be solely caused by the equipment or the beans you use. It could be due to the water quality. This is why it is important to invest in reliable water filters.

The overall best water filter is the Megahome Countertop Water Distiller because it is durable, can perform its job well, and is compact enough to fit in most storage areas.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Last update on 2023-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.