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Don’t forget the water! Brewing the best cup of coffee takes more than high quality beans.

Every morning, people throughout Atlanta and around the world participate in a common ritual – that first cup of fresh hot coffee. For java lovers, a delicious cup of coffee is an integral part of their daily routine. A great-tasting cup of Joe can warm up a nasty winter morning or make the gridlocked traffic on the Connector or Georgia 400 more bearable. But what exactly is it that makes the best cup of coffee? The first requisite to brewing the best cup of coffee is obvious: quality roasted coffee beans. The freshness, type of bean, and consistency of the grounds are all important factors in getting the best brew. But the second most important ingredient is also the most often overlooked: water. Most people never consider the fact that 98% of the warm, rich, dark liquid they pour into their favorite mug is water. “It is absolutely essential to use the right water quality in the brewing process,” says Ted Lingle, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. “Any off-flavors or aromas present in water are usually perceptible or even stronger tasting in brewed coffee.” Treated municipal tap water, which many Atlantans use to make their coffee, contains chlorine, minerals, residues from old pipes, and other particulates and impurities. The turbidity and overall quality of water can vary greatly from one area (or even building) to the next, which can have a major impact on the taste of your coffee. Using the right water in brewing can mean the difference between so-so Joe and the best cup of coffee. Chlorine is coffee’s worst enemy. Chlorine can adversely affect the natural oils in coffee and alter the taste of the brewed beverage by masking certain nuances of the roasted beans. It can also give your coffee a chemical taste. High mineral content can make coffee taste bitter or acidic. Iron, for example, can give your coffee a greenish tint and a noticeable off-flavor. High mineral content can also wreak havoc on your coffeemaker, causing scaling and residue buildup that can clog internal mechanisms and substantially shorten the life of your appliance. The pH level (a measure of acidic or basic strength) and total alkalinity (a measure of the ability to neutralize acids) of the water can also have an impact on the taste of your coffee. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, high pH or total alkalinity measurements result in a bland or sometimes bitter cup of Joe. Low pH levels will prevent the extraction of key flavors during the brewing process. Dark roasts are especially susceptible to adverse tastes resulting from pH and total alkalinity levels being too high or too low. “Many people don’t consider water quality when brewing their coffee,” says Jamie Carroll, founder and president of Fontis Water. “Our customers prefer the taste of our spring water sourced from a cold, deep-rock spring in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to the water that comes out of their taps. We try to remind them that using natural spring water in their coffee always makes for a better brew,” he adds. Fontis Water contains absolutely no chlorine or iron, which are two of the standards for ideal brewing water. The spring water is also very close to a neutral pH, and has very low total alkalinity levels. In addition to providing natural bottled spring water for home and office water delivery, Fontis Water offers coffee services with free coffee machine rental. The machines work in conjunction with the company’s three and five-gallon spring water containers and are a convenient way of assuring the quality of the water used to brew the best cup of coffee. To learn more about Fontis Water’s spring water and coffee services for families and businesses, you can contact the company at (678) 494-1981. For more information on the Specialty Coffee Association of America, visit their Web site at http://www.scaa.org.