Can You Use Distilled Water For Coffee?

Check out our article on how distilled water for coffee works together and find out if this combo is a hit or a miss.

Boiled water poured over
Distilled water can enhance the flavor of your coffee

When it comes to making the perfect cup of coffee, even the smallest details can totally change the flavor of your brew. Whether it’s the freshness of the beans or the water you use, getting the balance right is important for creating that perfect espresso or warming cup of coffee.

Some people don’t think about the best water for brewing coffee, whether it’s bottled water or filtered tap water, or if it’s boiled or brewed – does it really make a difference? Let’s take a deep dive into coffee and distilled water and find out if this is the factor that’s making your brew bitter.

What Is Distilled Water?

Distilled water for coffee
The boiling process purifies the water, making it distilled

Distilled water is derived from the steam that boiling water produces. The boiling process removes sediment, minerals, metals, nutrients, and impurities, leaving the water 98% purer form. Distilled water has the lowest mineral content and contaminants. This process also separates water molecules from microscopic organisms that can cause disease.

Distillation is one of the common methods of purifying water. It began as early as 200 A.D. to make seawater drinkable and collect the valuable by-product of salt. The process was difficult, time-consuming, and expensive until a newer method emerged during World War II. Since then, distilled water has been used for virtually every purpose under the sun. It has even been used for making coffee.

Effects Of Using Distilled Water On A Coffeemaker

Effects of using distilled water on a coffeemaker
There can be negative effects of using distilled water in your coffeemaker

The only advantage to using distilled water in a coffeemaker is that it may reduce the necessity for cleaning as often because the water lacks the minerals that build up inside a machine. Using hard water like tap water in your coffee machine means you’ll need to carry out a descaling every so often to remove mineral buildup. This can be a pain, so it might be appealing to use distilled water instead. While it sounds like a great idea, it may not be worth it.

There are far more serious adverse effects that can damage a coffeemaker. This is especially true for machines like Keurig. A few of the problems include:

  • Distilled water accelerates the corrosion of heating elements and other parts
  • The absence of minerals may prevent the water sensor from detecting water in the container
  • Distilled water may decrease the lifespan of your machine

Damage to your expensive coffeemaker isn’t the only negative issue. It may also alter the wonderful flavor of your favorite java.

Flavor Effects Of Using Distilled Water

Flavor effects of using distilled water
It leaves your coffee tasting weak, less flavorful, and less robust

While it seems that nothing could enhance the incredible flavor of your best coffee choice more than pure mineral-free water, it isn’t true. The chemistry of brewing coffee requires calcium and magnesium to bring out the incredible coffee flavors you love.

Because distilled water has removed calcium and magnesium, it impacts flavor significantly. That’s the last thing you want to wake up too early in the morning. To clarify, some effects of using distilled water on coffee flavor are:

  • It leaves your coffee tasting weak, less flavorful, and less robust
  • It increases the acidity of your coffee
  • It may give your coffee a harsh, bitter taste

Flavor matters, and protecting your coffeemaker is crucial. You can use distilled water to make coffee, but you must decide if it is worth the sacrifice. Can you use tap water to make coffee? Read our guide to find out!

FAQs About Distilled Water for Coffee

What If My Tap Water Is Too Dangerous For Consumption?

If tap water is unsuitable for making coffee, try using purified or filtered water instead of distilled. That way, you retain better overall flavor and cause less damage to your coffeemaker since purified water hasn’t eliminated all its minerals and nutrients.

Can I Use Distilled Water For My Pour-Over?

You can use distilled water for your pour-over but still face the same issues. The distilled water will still draw minerals from whatever container you use to heat the water. The coffee flavor may not be as altered, but it won’t be the same either.


  • Renz Lyndon Paguio

    His love for java originated from sidewalk vendors offering cheap 3-in-1 instant coffees poured in styrofoam cups. If he’s not in a studio or in an event venue, you’ll find RL crafting his own cold brew or sharing his experiences to fellow coffeephiles.