• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Hard water key to the perfect coffee

Scientists have uncovered the surprising secret behind the perfect cup of coffee - reasonably hard tap water.

Experts used computational chemistry methods to examine the impact of different compositions of water on the flavour of coffee.

They found water ­composition made a "dramatic difference" to coffee from the same bean - with certain types of hardness boosting the taste.

High magnesium ion levels were found to increase the extraction of coffee into water, though high bicarbonate levels were bad for flavour. Sodium rich water, such as that produced by water softeners, was also not beneficial to taste, according to chemist ­Christopher Hendon,of the University of Bath.

Mr Hendon embarked on the project with his friend, local coffee shop owner Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, who was crowned the UK's Barista Champion in April.

The pair, armed with their new coffee chemistry knowledge, are now heading to represent the UK in the World Barista Championships in Rimini, Italy.

Mr Hendon and Mr Colonna-Dashwood are now planning to write a book on the science behind making the perfect coffee.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.