It is 100 percent certain that water is a vital part of coffee. In fact, it is 98 percent of what makes up the beloved beverage. Some would even go as far as to say that water is 98.5 percent of what makes up the cup. Since the H2O is such a significant element to how the final product tastes, it is equally important to make sure that only the best quality water is used when brewing the beans. Water quality is correspondingly as important for coffee shops as it is for offices and foodservice providers.
Not only is great tasting water critical to the way coffee tastes, so is the water’s odor. Flavor is not based on taste alone, but also smell. If your water contains extensive amounts of sulfur, for example, your water (and coffee) will give off an egg-like odor masking your coffee’s delicious aromas, and ultimately affecting the overall taste of your coffee.
“Smell influences taste and taste influences smell. There are over 600 water disinfection byproducts in chlorinated tap water that influence both smell and taste,” says Roy Parker, Director of Marketing at Pentair Everpure.
Besides determining the coffee’s final tasting outcome, water plays a critical role in the proper function of equipment. Without the proper filtration for your type of water, poor water can actually ruin your $12,000 espresso machine. From here, it is a down hill spiral. You cannot put out beverages, which leads you to not making money, and instead having to put out money to hopefully fix your machine or purchase a new one. Even if poor water quality does not destroy your machine, you may have to make several service calls and this means extended down time of your equipment and a hefty repair bill. Water can cause a screeching halt to your machine and to your business.
There are multiple different ways to treat and filter water to ensure that it is at its best state to produce the best possible cup of coffee. However, it is important to note that everyone’s water is different. Well water is different than city water and Seattle’s water is different than New York City’s water. A coffee shop’s water on First Ave is different than a coffee shop’s water on Sixth Ave.
There are different sediments and elements that can contaminate water, so it is vital to get your water tested just to see what is lurking in it. By getting your water tested you can take the necessary steps to treat it properly. There are many different processes that may or may not be suitable for every location and layout, so working with a highly trained company will put you in the right direction.
Remember, what may work for your neighboring office or business, may not necessarily work for yours. You also may luck out and not need as much cost or effort to filter your water as your neighbors. Chris Goade, Vice President of Sales at DS Services gives us some insight of the possible different routes to take.
-Water softening: Process used is Ion Exchange and replaces hardness (calcium & magnesium) with sodium or potassium. Exchange process eliminates scaling but does not remove dissolved solid totals from water.
-Sediment filtration: It is used to remove suspended solids like dirt, rust, cysts, and other non-dissolved solids.
– Carbon Filtration: Will remove organic tastes and odors. Can be used to absorb other contaminants and chemicals, i.e. chlorine, chloramines, Volatile Organic Compounds, etc.
– Reverse Osmosis: Process used to remove dissolved solids and commonly used in bottled water processing. Membranes are used to separate water from solids in the water.
– Deionization: Just like the water softening ion exchange process. It is two steps that effectively remove all minerals from water. Commonly used in manufacturing of computer components and pharmaceuticals
– Ultra Filtration: This is a method of cross flow filtration (similar to reverse osmosis, but uses lower pressures), and it uses a membrane to separate small colloids and large molecules from water and other liquids. Like reverse osmosis, membranes are used to separate water from solids. This process falls between reverse osmosis and microfiltration in terms of the size of particles removed.
For Offices and Food Service Providers
3M Purification Inc. has a very comprehensive water filtration product offering that addresses the water quality needs of any foodservice application. Foodservice water quality needs differ depending on the application. Meaning, water equipment for espresso is vastly different than the equipment for ice.
“We offer products that are specifically designed to supply the best water quality for each foodservice application. We call this Recipe Quality Water,” says Frank Rossi, Global Marketing Manager at 3M Purification Inc.
“Our filtration products benefit offices and foodservice providers by improving beverage and ice quality by helping to protect equipment from the harmful effects of chloramines, chlorine, sediment, and hard scale, and by helping to deliver product consistency,” says Rossi.
This company offers NSF certified water filtration solutions that address some of the health effects that can be found in water supplies, such as cyst and bacteria. The filters not only supply great water, but they also protect the equipment. This, in return, will help lower maintenance costs and lengthen equipment life. The sanitary quick-change cartridge design can lower maintenance and labor cost, which is especially beneficial for offices.
Everpure offers some key products that aid foodservice providers and offices ranging from small capacities to large capacities for different size companies and businesses.
“MRS 600 HE-II System is the most water efficient RO system available in foodservice, with over 80 percent efficiency. This can save a restaurant up to 120,000 gallons per year in water waste,” says Parker.
Endurance systems are beneficial for high capacities up to 200,000 gallons per year. They provide tremendous particulate reductions at such a high capacity.
Another product that Everpure offers will aid an office or food service provider’s ice machine, which we know is a vital to great tasting ice for all beverages, like iced tea, within the office and providers.
“4SI and 7SI can help to reduce slime in ice machines,” says Parker. By reducing the slime, the user will be able to put ice in their filtered water and it will not change the taste of the water. If the user wants to drop a few ice cubes in their coffee, it will not change the overall taste of their coffee.
Global Customized Water, LLC
Global Customized Water, LLC offers a full line of water treatment technologies ranging from water softeners, reverse osmosis, carbon filters, sediment filters, re-formulation systems. Global specializes is producing water treatment systems that enhance coffee and tea flavor.
“Office and Foodservice have two distinctly different customer needs. Office service demands simple compact systems that can remove sediment and chlorine, and if at all possible reduce or preferably remove scale,” says David Beeman, R&D Specialist at Global Customized Water.
However, these compact systems are difficult to do because of space and cost restrictions.
“The holy grail for this type of customer is a filter that will do all three, sediment, chlorine and scale, last six months and be easy to replace,” says Beeman. This is where Global’s Green Soft filter and sediment carbon works best.
“The “Green Soft” filter lasts one year, reduces scale, and placed with a sediment carbon improves coffee flavor without adding salt or acid to control scale. The “Green Soft” filter uses a catalytic action that adds nothing to the water, binds the scale before it can plate out in a brewer or hot water tower, and allows the scale forming hardness to flow thru the system,” explains Beeman.
Foodservice operators usually have the option of using equipment specifically designed for these filters making the switch of filters relatively simple.
While water may seem like a nonchalant aspect of coffee, it is quite a vital element. It should never be ignored, but rather be treated with as much respect and care as the beans. Get your water treated, talk with specialists, and get the right treatment for your office or business.
[box title=”Cool Off With Iced Coffee” style=”bubbles” box_color=”#e10c09″]by Jessica Tanski
With the hot months just around the corner, escape the heat with a nice frosty mug of iced coffee! One of the most important aspects to an iced coffee is just that, the ice. It is what separates coffee from iced coffee.
You cannot just plop any old ice cubes in the bottom of the mug and assume that they will complement the coffee poured over top of them. The ice must be filtered and just as great tasting as its coffee counterpart.
Follett Corporation and Manitowoc Foodservice are two of the most prestigious companies in the industry that can offer your business great ice. They have equipment for all areas of the industry, from coffee shops to office coffee to foodservice and beyond.
Follett Corporation produces Chewblet® ice. This is a chewable nugget ice that is preferred by consumers two to one over the harder, cube-type ice, according to Mike Purcell, Product Marketing Manager at Follett.
“Our ice is known for “taking on the flavor” of the drink, because Chewblet ice is porous, because it is made of compressed flakes of ice. So we think our ice is the perfect complement to iced coffee as well as other iced beverages,” says Purcell.
Follett has developed unique, small footprint, drainless ice dispensing machines that solve the different problems when placing and servicing ice machines. This company has made it easy to have great ice at your fingertips, especially when it comes to serving consumers iced coffee. Their 7 Series machines fit under standard overhead cabinets, due to its 17½-inch stature, making flexible placement in coffeehouses, offices, and foodservices alike.
“77 percent of iced coffee drinkers say that drinking it makes them feel more productive at work. So besides creating a more comfortable, nurturing work experience, there is that practical benefit. The fact that our ice works with the drink to take on its flavor and provide a great finish with the chewable ice, is really what sets Follett Chewblet ice apart,” says Purcell.
Manitowoc offers cleaner ice machine food zones with the LuminIce device. This device runs quietly 24 hours a day keeping your ice machine cleaner. Due to its increasing cleanliness, this device helps to relieve the stress and pain of frequent cleanings. Reduced cleanings, in the long run, ultimately saves labor time, cost, and machine downtime during the cleaning process.
According to their website, “The LuminIce Growth Inhibitor creates “active air” by recirculating the air inside the ice machine food zone over a UV light. This “active air” passes over exposed food zone components to inhibit the growth of yeast, bacteria, and other common microorganisms.”
Foodservice operations can especially face challenging environments where it is difficult to prevent yeast, mold, and other contaminants. With the LuminIce device, testing has shown that ice machine foodzones are noticeably cleaner after only 2½ months of usage. The device also saves space due to the fact that it gets mounted right inside the Indigo Series ice machine.
By having a clean and sanitary ice machine, it ensures the continuation of great quality ice day in and day out establishing repeat customers, and this is made possible with the LuminIce from Manitowoc Foodservice.
You would only put in the best sugar, milk, and beans into your coffee, so do not fall short when preparing the perfect iced coffee. When sourcing the best ingredients, source the best quality ice possible. Add some cinnamon or nutmeg to add a little bit of spice to your iced coffee this summer![/box]