Is Distilled Water Good for Making Coffee?

Distilled water is pegged as the purest kind of water. Others say it is pure and fresh as newly formed raindrops. But is it ideal for making coffee? Is it going to impact the taste of your java? Is it going to bring out your coffee’s best flavors? Keep reading to learn more!   

What is distilled water?

Distilled water is produced by boiling water into vapor and then condensing the vapor into liquid in a separate container. During distillation, minerals and other impurities present in water are removed. This means the water constituted from the vapor is purified — is substantively free from many pollutants and minerals, especially essentials minerals and vitamins which are vital for your health. So, drinking this water for long may not be a good idea.

However, it is good to note distilled water has a few contaminants. That why distillation doesn’t necessarily make non-potable water safe to drink.

Distilled water has roughly 9 parts per million of mineral content or only around 6% of the recommended mineral content.

How does distilling water affect the taste of coffee?

Minerals present in water play a key role in helping retain flavor and preventing water from leaching flavors from containers in which it is stored. Distilled water lacks these minerals (if present, are very few) and hence it will take on a plastic taste and may also absorb some of the plastic’s chemicals. Not to mention that distilled water also assimilates compounds such as carbon dioxide and over-extract caffeine from the ground beans, resulting in increased coffee acidity—the increase of acidity and diminishing of flavor results in a cup that is overly bitter or bland.  

Bonus! If the water is hard (has high mineral content), the coffee will under extract and produce a cup that is weak and sour.

What effects does distilled water have on coffee-making equipment?

So far, we have not recommended using distilled water to make coffee. However, there is one benefit of using this water; it reduces the need to clean your brewer. This is because distilled water lacks calcium and magnesium —the primary minerals that besides helping water retain flavor result in minerals build-up in the reservoir and internal mechanism of coffee machines. It is for that reason this water is recommended for use in other appliances such as hot water urns and steams irons.

Why does Keurig say not to use distilled water?

This is because Keurig coffee makers have sensors that detect minerals content in water. Now, if you are using distilled water, the sensors won’t work, and you will get an error message if you attempt to use the brewer.

Wrap up

If you care more about the taste and acidity of your java, skip distilled water. But if you want to keep your brewer for and not concerned about the resulting brew, feel free to use distilled water.

Get crazy with coffee!

nv-author-image

Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.