Filtration: The Perfect Cup

March 2, 2016
Filtration systems create recipe-quality water for coffee brewing

About the author: Dave Allen is product manager, hot beverage, for Xylem Applied Water Systems. Allen can be reached at 949.608.3930.

In recent years, coffee has become one of the most popular drinks on the market, with the average American consuming 3.1 cups of coffee each day. The focus of the perfect cup of coffee is often on the bean itself, when in reality, water quality greatly affects both the experience and taste. It is important to understand the vital role water plays in coffee brewing. 

In fact, water is the most-used resource in producing and brewing coffee. From washing and processing the beans to cleaning the cup and utensils, water is involved in nearly every step of the process. According to KaTom Restaurant Supply Inc. of Kodak, Tenn., clean water is significant in the coffee-making process because it makes up 98% of a brewed cup of coffee. 

Understanding water use, the benefits of consistently filtered water and how to reduce consumption and costs is imperative for beverage industry experts and coffee product manufacturers. 

Ensuring a Great Cup of Coffee

An important step in ensuring the perfect cup of coffee is selecting a filtration system that is both cost- and water-efficient. Likewise, taste is always a top priority. To best provide quality coffee and also cut costs, many coffee producers are seeking a single solution for quality filtered water. 

Selecting a beverage dispensing supplier with deep application knowledge can enable beverage companies to get robust solutions to meet all their needs: reliability, quality, efficiency, long lifecycle and consistency. 

Flojet, a Xylem brand, encourages hot beverage manufacturers to take a holistic approach to beverage pumps and accessories for coffee operations, underscoring that water quality is as important to the consumer as it is to the operator. Beverage dispensers for espresso machines, steamers and additional hot beverage offerings need a clean, reliable water supply, as well as quality internal boost and process pumps, to create consistent coffee beverages. 

A quality filtration system will prevent breakdowns and counteract poor water quality and taste by treating water before it enters the machine to deliver recipe-quality water. For example, Flojet’s filtration system uses integrated membrane pre-activated carbon technology to improve water taste and protect dispensing equipment. Carbon block filters aid in the treatment process by removing chlorine and chloramine odors and tastes from municipal water.  

Improving Water Quality

Closer government scrutiny of drinking water has led to the introduction of additional water regulations to control the level of contaminants in drinking water. It is important that coffee producers understand these regulations so they purchase products that meet the requirements. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards to minimize the levels of contaminants in drinking water. These regulations require water utilities to follow monitoring schedules and use best practices to measure contaminants in water. 

The SDWA standards include making sure water is treated by qualified operators and ensuring the integrity of distribution systems (including minimizing leaks and maintaining appropriate water pressure), which are part of the SDWA’s multiple barrier approach. 

In January 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act took effect. It calls for all pumps, pipe and fittings in beverage production to follow the new lead-free standards. Innovative product designs and quality considerations, including the use of materials that comply with safe drinking water standards that do not compromise taste or color, are important factors for consistent beverage dispensing.  

These federal regulation changes are causing hot beverage manufacturers to pay greater attention to their product selection to ensure cleaner water and safer filtration systems. 

In recent years, portability has become key to coffee production. In portable operations, however, vital pump components can be damaged if water levels are depleted. Many new products, like the Flojet Bottled Water 5000 Series, are designed for ease of use in recipe-quality pump operations. These products can be customized into complete solutions for hot beverage applications such as coffee, espresso and tea systems. 

“By updating products to be portable, customers will not only have an industry-leading portable potable water system, but ultimately enhance the taste of hot beverages,” said Peter Wright, market segment director for Xylem. 

The Bottled Water 5000 Series shuts down when water is depleted to save energy and mitigate damage to the pump. Once water is restored to the system, it automatically restarts, improving efficiency and keeping downtime to a minimum. 

The Final Product 

Hot beverage dispenser providers are increasingly offering innovative and customizable system solutions for water boosting and filtration across all hot beverage applications. 

It is essential that the equipment operates optimally and gives suppliers and operators the flexibility they desire in a beverage dispensing system, while also providing efficiency, quality and reliability.

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About the Author

Dave Allen

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