Coffee Works Express CEO Fabio Cordovado reflects on a 12-year partnership with BRITA and the value of water filtration for coffee.
So much work goes into making our coffee the best it can be, but in the end, 98 per cent of what goes in the cup is water. That’s why water filtration is so important to our coffee industry, and why Coffee Works Express (CWE) has partnered with BRITA since August 2009.
When BRITA’s water filtration solutions were proposed to CWE, we were using a combination of drop in carbon filters and ion resin exchange filters, so BRITA offering all these in one seemed like a good fit.
But some café owners fail to understand the importance of filtration from in-cup quality right through to machine longevity.
Unfiltered water can contain any number of compounds and contaminants that are picked up on the way to the café.
Minerals like calcium and magnesium are absorbed into water across the water cycle. Chlorine is added to keep water germ free and is harmless to drink, but can ruin your coffee’s flavour and aroma. Different sediments like rust can be picked up as water runs through old pipe on the way to the coffee machine.
Filtering these things out of the water enables the barista to bring out the full aroma and flavour of their coffee. At the same time, you don’t want completely empty your water. You need a filter that will retain just enough carbon and magnesium in the water to extract those precious compounds from your espresso shot.
Besides defining the taste of coffee, water filtration is critical to prolonging the integrity and functionality of the espresso machine.
While you want a bit of calcium and magnesium for the coffee extraction, too much of it will cause some to be left behind in the boiler causing scale to accumulate. The key to a healthy coffee machine is prevention, not letting problems build up in the first place.
At CWE, we work with machines from a variety of distributors, including Slayer, Wega, Astoria, Franke, and Isomac, and often each machine will have different requirements based on the materials used. For instance, copper and stainless-steel boilers require different filters, and BRITA allows us to cater to their needs.
The cafés we work with love using BRITA, firstly because it is world respected as a reputable brand. They also enjoy the simplicity of swapping out cartridges, often doing this themselves to save costs.
But when it comes to our customer’s water filtration, CWE is still involved every step of the way in helping cafés with the initial installation to regular replacement intervals.
The water quality – and amount of work your filter does – differs from state to state and city to city, so it’s important a café or their supplier be familiar with the local area’s water quality and requirements.
Thanks to its extensive reach all around Australia, BRITA has been able to construct a water map of Australia, illustrating the water hardness – number of compounds found in the water – of much of the country.
Cities like Brisbane, Adelaide, or Perth, have harder water levels than those in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart. Water hardness tends to rise as you move more regionally as well, so a filter may need to be replaced at a faster rate.
BRITA’s detailed water map has been beneficial to CWE, as we often send equipment to remote areas, where we don’t have first-hand experience or understanding of the water quality.
It means we have the correct information to safely and confidently service customers outside of major cities.
You do not work with a company for 12 years unless you have complete faith in the product and service they provide. Not only does CWE supply and install BRITA filtration, we have become experts in its water dispensing units, servicing many institutions, hotels, and restaurants across Australia.
When it comes to water filtration, the needs of the coffee market are forever evolving, and CWE will continue to work with BRITA to provide the best solution.