Reverse osmosis water sounds like it could be a setting on Dr Who’s sonic screwdriver or perhaps a problem with the warp drive on the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek.
Osmosis is actually a natural process where molecules of a solution tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane into another solution until the concentration levels are the same on both sides. Applying pressure on the weaker solution reverses the process.
It can be a long journey from a black rain cloud to the tap in a coffee shop or cafe. In some cases, thousands of years. During that time, the water picks all manner of bits and bobs from the rocks it passes through. And that’s not to mention the bacteria, viruses, and industrial and human waste it collects as it flows through our streams and rivers.
In fact, studies reveal that tap water can contain calcium, sulphate, magnesium, sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, aluminium, nitrates, phosphorus, copper, zinc, lead, chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and hormones (yes, hormones).
What are the benefits of reverse osmosis water?
The advantages of reverse osmosis water are that we are left with a pure and consistent taste and the coffee making machine doesn’t get clogged up with limescale.
Remember that hard water, typically heavy with calcium or magnesium compounds, is great for our bones and teeth, but it’s not so friendly to machinery. It can lead to limescale build-up and corrosion. Yes, sounds expensive. And that makes reverse osmosis for coffee machines cost effective.
What is the best water to make coffee?
Oh dear! Opinions are aplenty, I’m afraid. To sit on the fence, the best water for coffee is down to personal choice.
But if you want to avoid the natural and glorious flavour of the coffee beans being masked by rust from pipes or chalk from them thar hills, pure water produced by the reverse osmosis process has to be number one on your list.
All water companies add chlorine to kill off bacteria. Sometimes you can taste it. Lovely. If the water usage is high, it reaches you quicker and doesn’t lose so much chlorine while sitting in pipes.
Coffee shop and cafe owners can rest assured that the health of their customers is not being compromised in any way by providing the purest possible water.
How to remineralize water after reverse osmosis
Adding minerals to reverse osmosis water may sound a bit contradictory. But many coffee lovers reckon trace amounts of magnesium and calcium actually enhance the flavour and aroma. And, of course, both minerals are needed for healthy bodies.
The ECOSOFT RObust PRO from European Watercare, who are specialists in water treatment solutions for coffee machines, has an inbuilt RObust PRO filter which allows water with some calcium and magnesium back in. And that leaves you with a delicious cup of coffee with all the nasty bits removed.