It has been well established that the mineral composition of water used in brewing affects the characters and qualities of the finished brew. Hoping to help everyday coffee drinkers achieve great results without having to fully plumb the depths of water chemistry comes a new coffee-focused water treatment solution called Lotus Water.
With a selection of liquid mineral concentrates, precision droppers and a guidebook with simple recipes, Lotus Water enters a deepening pool of coffee-specific water solution providers targeting the home market, including Third Wave Water, Perfect Coffee Water, GC Water, Aquacode and more.
With the Lotus kit, users can tailor water one brew at a time or in larger quantities, in order to experiment with different approaches to a single bean or blend, or to nimbly switch waters when brewing different coffees.
That flexibility is key, according to United States-based Lotus Coffee Products Founder Nick Chapman, who told Daily Coffee News that there is no single right answer to the infinitely swirling topic of water quality.
“Due to subjectivity of taste, there is never going to be one specific recipe that is ‘best’ for a particular coffee,” Chapman told DCN. “However, I do believe that if you are dialing in a coffee and have a clear idea of how you would like it to taste, there is absolutely going to be a specific water recipe that you are looking for.”
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Chapman, whose background is in engineering and construction, started down the water rabbit hole when seeking to improve his own home coffee game. In the Lotus Water development stage, Chapman sent samples to various influential specialty coffee figures, including roaster, barista coach and YouTuber Lance Hedrick. Hendrick ultimately joined Chapman as a co-founder of Lotus Coffee Products while contributing to further product development and promotions.
“My mission with Lotus is to make brewing great coffee at home more accessible, and that is something that very much rang true with Lance,” Chapman said. “Lance’s ability to taste very minute differences in water recipes gave us insight that even small changes in water recipe can affect the flavor of your coffee and really opened my eyes to a greater number of possibilities.”
The Lotus Water package contains four glass vials of ingredients with four glass precision droppers and a glass mixing bottle. Ingredients include calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. An booklet provides recipes for water volumes of 450ml (15.2 fluid ounces), one gallon or five gallons.
While the company attempts to provide some clarification, in basic terms, on how specific ingredients might affect different brew characteristics, the system is also designed for experimentation between different coffees.
“We have found that there are some coffees that are very sensitive to the water recipe being used, and always using the same recipe can yield some unpleasant results,” said Chapman. “For example, Lance’s Light and Bright recipe was designed to accentuate sweetness and acidity. However, if you are brewing a naturally processed coffee with some fermented flavors or one that has an abnormally high amount of sweetness already, Light and Bright can do its job a little too well, and cause the coffee to taste a bit sharp and intense. If I were dialing in a coffee to accentuate sweetness, I might start with Light and Bright, but add some sodium and magnesium to tone things down if I experience too much intensity of flavor from the first brew.”
A Kickstarter campaign supporting Lotus Water concluded late last month after raising nearly $32,000. Kits pre-ordered through the campaign are slated to ship this coming July, after which time Lotus plans to begin direct-to-consumer sales.
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