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Would you use a water filter in Scotland?

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After almost 20 years in the London area I've just moved back to Scotland. Of course for the weather and to get my vote in. :-)

However, I have a more important question - would you use a water filter? The water is soft and the pH is right around 7. Don't smell or taste much chlorine. Down south the water was rock hard and I used a Brita Quell ST C300. My machine has to be fully plumbed in.

 

Anyone in a soft water area using a filter and if so why? Can't see the need but wanted to check with you guys.

 

Cheers!

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I don't. Also just moved back to Scotland after a while in London. A couple of local shops I asked did they used filters but didn't feel it was really necessary, and it certainly wasn't needed for plumbing a machine in at home

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thanks jeebsy. Are you seeing any scale build up or doing any descaling?

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I've only been back 6 weeks so too early to tell but have never seen a scaled kettle up here

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@funinacup might be able to give some better advice

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I use a Brita Filter jug purely for my own piece of mind but I don't think it's really necessary. I didn't always with my Classic and never had any scale problems. Never seen scale in any kettle in all my life here in Glasgow. I wish they'd tell iron manufacturers as the scale light on my iron won't go off!!


Sage Dual Boiler/ EK43 /Technivorm Moccamaster/Feldgrind / Aeropress / Clever Dripper /Bodum & Le Creuset Cafétières

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Never needed one. Lived in London for years and had to descale the kettle regularly. Never known anyone having to do it in Scotland.

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Among the many things I won't miss about London is getting a massive flake of scale in your mouth when drinking a cuppa.

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Thanks for the input. Water is definitely much nicer here of that there is no doubt. I'll skip using the brita filter and see how it goes.

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Only a couple of places in Scotland have hard water; the remainder have soft water.

However if you have a plumbed-in machine, it's good to have an in-line carbon filter to remove any chlorine, etc.

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I've lived in Ayrshire for 33 years and never knew what lime scale was. Then I stayed with a relative in Corby for a short while. Happened to peek in the kettle and was like WTF is that? Needless to say, I don't descale.

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thanks - still debating the inline carbon filter. Should be plumbed in by the end of next week. Any recommendations on a carbon filter system?

Was born and brought up in Ayrshire as well but now just up the road in South Lanarkshire.

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Sorry to revive such an old topic - but it's basically what I'm after.

 

I find quite often that my pourovers at home are pretty lacklustre compared to what I get in shops (shoutout IASH who's logo I see in this thread) and after speaking to a guy in Fortitude in Edinburgh last week, he suggested trying some bottled water as out water in Glasgow is actually too soft to draw out some of the more fruity elements of some coffees.

 

Anyone have an opinion on this? Is it more likely I'm just bad at dialing in?

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There are filters out there that add some "coffee friendly" levels of minerals back into soft water ( BWT bestmin as an inline filter comes to mind) and ideally you would want to know what you are starting with water wise to see if this would help. Failing that, you could always check what the coffee shops you like the coffee at are using water wise as they be doing something very different i.e. starting with RO water and adding mineral back in which could be difficult to replicate. As you don't mention what type of machine you have or even if an inline filter is what you are looking bear in mind that most jug filters may not add what you are looking for back in they are designed to remove hard elements to the water 

There are a number of threads on bottled water but for ease you could try Volvic or Waitrose Lockhills ( 2l bottles, the 5L tend to be Pembroke and not so good for coffee) as a starting point and see what your taste buds tell you.

Hope of help

John


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and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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Bestmax do a +mag cartridge (that's compatible with Britta Maxtra jugs).@Jeebsy or@Ppapa may have some local advice too.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I live in central Scotland and similar to the Glasgow area it is very soft. The problem I have with it is getting a balanced tasting cup. It tends to be overly acidic and thin. There is no problem getting fruity notes just balanced fruity notes. I find it needs some extra alkalinity.

I have experimented with lots of bottled waters over time. I currently use a mix of tap plus bottled. At the moment I mix roughly equal amounts tap\Glaceau and Chase spring. Sometimes I use less chase spring and more tap instead of a touch of Ashbeck or Armwaithraite  instead.

You have to experiment to find out what works for you as our tastes are all a bit different and there is a lot of latitude in blending water for pour over.

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Bestmax do a +mag cartridge (that's compatible with Britta Maxtra jugs).@Jeebsy or@Ppapa may have some local advice too.

That’s what I use. I am not going to buy water in plastic bottles and I’m not keen to plumb in a water filter.

I think Jeebsy said he just uses tap water. That was a long time ago though.
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PPapa said:


That’s what I use. I am not going to buy water in plastic bottles and I’m not keen to plumb in a water filter.

I think Jeebsy said he just uses tap water. That was a long time ago though.

Good to know. I'm with you on the bottled water, I try my best not to use much plastic as it is and I rent so don't really want to start plumbing stuff in. Will check this Bestmax filter.

 

RE; What coffee I make, I mostly do pourover these days, gave up on home espresso until I buy a house and can invest more space and equipment in to it.

 

 

Edit:Seeing that this filter is for plumbed in espresso machines. Back to the drawing board a bit then I guess.

 

EDIT 2: Nevermind, I see you get a britta based one. Will check it out.

Edited by sasij
Adding info

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Good to know. I'm with you on the bottled water, I try my best not to use much plastic as it is and I rent so don't really want to start plumbing stuff in. Will check this Bestmax filter.
 
RE; What coffee I make, I mostly do pourover these days, gave up on home espresso until I buy a house and can invest more space and equipment in to it.
 
 
Edit:Seeing that this filter is for plumbed in espresso machines. Back to the drawing board a bit then I guess.
 
EDIT 2: Nevermind, I see you get a britta based one. Will check it out.
Oops bestmax are BWT's plumbed in version. Here's their jug version.

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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There is no advantage coffee wise using a BWT jug filter imo. You have very little mineral content to begin with, doesn't make sense to reduce that.

I do use one for drinking and making tea as it tastes better and removes unwanted stuff like chlorine but for me it makes coffee worse.

I use plastic bottled water because it produces coffee I like to drink. If I was using a significant amount I'd look at a plumbed in solution. But typically I'm using less than 400ml per day bottled.

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Surely by using the Mg2+ filter linked that negates the loss of minerals though? The dude in fortitude did say to me if I was gonna try bottled water, good magnesium content was what to look for.

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2 hours ago, sasij said:

Surely by using the Mg2+ filter linked that negates the loss of minerals though? The dude in fortitude did say to me if I was gonna try bottled water, good magnesium content was what to look for.

Don't believe everything a dude in a coffee shop tells you!

You need either calcium and \ or magnesium to extract and a combination probably works best. Lots of magnesium doesn't necessarily taste good (try adding Epson salts).

The BWT filter works by ion exchange, exchanging calcium for magnesium as I understand it. You have precious little calcium to begin with to exchange. The jug is designed to reduce water hardness which you don't want to do.

Another alternative that I've not tried is to use a zero water jug filter to essentially strip everything away to 0 TDS then add a third wave sachet mix to it for supposed ideal water. You can buy these online.

In the end it's just easier to buy some bottled water.

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Posted (edited)

In my house I have a Best Taste X plumbed in, which goes to the coffee machine and also to a tap I use for water for filter. We also use them in the shop just now for both batch brew and the espresso machine. It doesn't add anything back, but helps to get rid of some impurities. I think our coffee in the shop is generally pretty decent.

There's a new filter on the scene, the Best Soft, which apparently gives better balance and also a little scale protection but it's 3x the price of the Best Taste so the decision on whether to switch to them is pretty tough.

The Best Max (I think) which adds stuff in apparently relies on dwell time, which can make it inconsistent - never really heard anyone advocating them for up here.

 

Edited by jeebsy
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13 hours ago, Step21 said:

In the end it's just easier to buy some bottled water.

I'd rather not be building up a collection of plastic if I don't need to, so this isn't really an option.

 

11 hours ago, jeebsy said:

In my house I have a Best Taste X plumbed in, which goes to the coffee machine and also to a tap I use for water for filter. We also use them in the shop just now for both batch brew and the espresso machine.

Good to know, the batch brew is always amazing whenever I get it.

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