Can You Make Coffee With Distilled Water?

Water can change the taste of your coffee. Read on to find the answer to “can you make coffee with distilled water?”

Can you make coffee with distilled water?

Everyone wants their coffee made in a specific way; this is why 79% of Americans brew their blend at home. The beans’ quality and the brewing method are not the only factors that affect the taste of your coffee. Water plays a vital role in it too. 

Even if you’ve perfectly roasted your coffee beans, the final taste will still depend on the water you used. Using distilled water for your coffee is not recommended because it only has 9ppm mineral content that makes it taste bland.

This article will discuss how water affects your coffee’s taste and what you can expect when you use distilled water for your cup of Joe.

A Different Taste Of Coffee

Coffee enthusiasts will immediately detect the contrast in taste and texture of coffees made of different water types. Water consists of minerals that bring out the various flavors of a coffee bean. 

Soft water has lower mineral content but is high in sodium, making the coffee taste flat. It’s also poor at extracting the flavor of coffee beans.

Hard water, where minerals like calcium and magnesium are too high, results in more caffeinated blends. It also has high levels of bicarbonate which makes the coffee more bitter. Both can be paired with specific beans to highlight your coffee.

You might also be interested in our steeped coffee guide.

Types Of Water For Your Coffee


Can you make coffee with distilled water?
Photo by Mike:

Springwater comes from groundwater and runs into a natural filter of rocks and sand. Actual spring water bottled at the source tastes refreshing and unique. It offers oxygen to remove toxins in the body and supports good digestion. 

It’s excellent for making coffee if the mineral content stays around 150ppm.


It’s usually tap or groundwater that runs into mechanical purifying systems that clean and remove chemicals, bacteria, and other impurities from the water for safer consumption. However, the processes involved also remove the healthy minerals. Reverse osmosis helps bring the minerals back into the water, but it is tedious.

Using purified water for your coffee makes it a little bland, even if you use the highest quality of coffee beans.


Tap water that runs through carbon and micron filters is called filtered water. It’s cleaned water that keeps most of its natural minerals, making it excellent for skin hydration, detoxification, and nutrient absorption. It’s what you’ll usually see in grocery stores.

Filtered water decreases the hardness of water and removes its negative taste, allowing the extraction of rich flavors for your coffee. 


This purified water removes impurities by boiling the water to vapor and condensing it, resulting in mineral-free liquid. This process takes out all the harmful microorganisms in the water. Unfortunately, it also removes beneficial minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and sodium. 

Because of removing minerals, distilled water doesn’t result in a good blend.

Can You Make Coffee With Distilled Water?

You can make coffee with any type of water. Although it’s better than tap water, distilled water isn’t the best choice for coffee making. 


Specialty Coffee Association of America proved that to get the most balanced, smooth, and flavorful cup of coffee, the water should contain 150ppm of natural minerals. These minerals are essential in retaining and protecting the coffee’s natural flavor. 

Distilled water can over-extract caffeine from grounded beans and increase its acidity level. Using distilled water can result in your coffee tasting bland or overly bitter.


Coffee made with distilled water has reduced health benefits because of the extracted minerals. As the distillation process goes on, the potential health benefits from natural minerals such as magnesium and calcium get lower. 

Calcium is good for your bones. Magnesium is good for muscles, heart, nerves, and energy production. These minerals are also suitable for lowering the risk of cancer and other diseases.


Distilled water is harmful to your Keurig and regular coffee maker. Although using distilled water can save you from cleaning and descaling your coffee machine caused by mineral buildup, it can also damage the insides of your equipment and shorten its lifespan. 

Distilled water damages your machine’s boiler wall, rubber washer, and other heating elements by stealing your machine’s ions. Aside from your coffee machine breaking down, it can also lead to an unpleasant taste in your coffee.

The Right Type Of Water For Your Coffee

Since distilled water is soft water, it’s great for making espresso, cold brew, or English tea. Among the four types of water, filtered water is the best one to make coffee. It’s clean and retains the minerals needed for making delicious coffee and having a healthy body. 

Did you know that you can remineralize distilled water? You can use this Mineral Supplement by Third Wave Water or make your Epsom salt and baking soda mixture. You can also experiment and use the pour-over method or combine tap and distilled water in making your coffee.

Do you want to know more about what water to use for your coffee? Check out Tap Or Bottled? The Best Water For Brewing Coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Making Coffee With Distilled Water

What Happens If You Make Coffee With Distilled Water?

Distilled water is not the best choice for making a cup of Joe. Although it’s better than tap water, distilled water makes your coffee taste bland and reduces many potential health benefits. However, you can use distilled water when brewing grounds for espresso.

Why Can’t You Use Distilled Water In A Coffee Maker?

Using distilled water will help you avoid descaling your machine. However, your coffee maker will also slowly break down as distilled water steals ions from it, making it more susceptible to repair and damage. It can also give an unpleasant taste to your coffee.

What Type of Water Is Best For Making Coffee?

Experts and most coffee lovers say filtered tap water is the best. But ultimately, it will depend on an individual’s preference and what’s available in the area.

Is It Harmful To Drink Distilled Water?

Distilled water is safe to drink, but it can make your coffee too bitter or bland. There will be fewer health benefits since minerals like magnesium, calcium, and sodium will be removed by distillation.