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The 2021 Specialty Coffee Holiday Season is Heating Up!

Starbucks is officially kicking off the holiday season with its new holiday lineup, including a brand new sugar cookie latte! For the first-time ever, the company will debut a non-dairy beverage in its holiday lineup, the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, which can be either cold or hot. Starbucks is also bringing back its well-known favorites like Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee, Chestnut Praline, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha and the Irish Cream Cold Brew. Dunkin’s new drinks include a Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte and a new White Mocha Hot Chocolate! The Dunkin Peppermint Mocha is also back on the menu this year. Caribou Coffee has three new holiday additions, the Ho Ho Mint Mocha, the Spicy Mocha and for egg nog lovers the Fa La Latte! Dutch Brothers also has three new Holiday additions, the Peppermint Bliss Cold Brew, Hazelnut Truffle Mocha and Glacier Peak Rebel! People don’t want to miss out on limited time seasonal offers and they all have one major ingredient in common, water! Espresso is 85-96% water and that water is extremely important to delivering not only a great shot of espresso but not damaging a very expensive espresso machine. Chlorine can alter the aroma and increases acidity. It also bonds with organics creating an earthy or moldy overtone to the flavor. TDS, (total dissolved solids), can cause poor extraction of the grounds, under extraction leads to weak and sour drinks and over extraction leads to bitterness so taking care to treat coffee and espresso beverage water is extremely important. Regardless of which one is your favorite, operators know and work diligently to make sure that all of these beverages begin with a great shot of espresso. Pentair continues to lead the Industry in taking care of coffee and espresso water quality by working directly with Specialty Coffee Operators and Espresso Equipment Manufactures. Both the Everpure and Optipure product lines deliver proven solutions to help  Operators engineer the water they need to deliver the espresso beverage that meets their specifications. For espresso, that means a softer water that also protects the equipment from both hard water scale and corrosion from chloride. For a superior quality extraction of coffee solids the Statistics & Standards Committee of the Specialty Coffee Association of America has determined the following standards for the water used to brew specialty coffee.

Characteristic Target Acceptable Range
Odor 1 Clean / Fresh, Odor free
Color 2 Clear color
Total Chlorine O mg/L
TDS 3 150 mg/L 75 – 250 mg/L
Calcium Hardness 4 grains or 68 mg/L 1 – 5 grains or 17 mg/L – 85 mg/L
Total Alkalinity 40 mg/L At or near 40 mg/L
pH 7.0 6.5 to 7.5
Sodium 10 mg/L At or near 10 mg/L
1 Odor is based on sensory olfactory determination
2 Color is based on sensory visual determination
3 TDS measured based on a 4-4-2 conversion

The Target is the most desirable point in the Acceptable Range, although falling within the range is considered meeting the standard. These variances are in place to take into consideration real world circumstances, and the target gives the optimum measurement of each characteristic to strive for. For an operator then, the place to begin is with a POE, point of entry standard Everpure water test, DEV7013-73. This test includes the water bottle and lab analysis of 30 contaminants and characteristics. The test usually takes from 7 to 10 days to analyze at the laboratory located in Chicago and the following is a sample of the delivered analysis;


In order to provide both a superior quality shot of espresso and protect the equipment from scaling and/or corrosion this water would be way out of specification. La Marzocco publishes the following water quality specification for the warranty of there espresso machines;

This water has hardness of 257 ppm and chlorides of over 308.8 ppm   so the recommendation would be an Optipure BWS reverse osmosis system to actually take the mineral and chloride out of the water and deliver water with the correct specification of both TDS, total disolved solids between 90ppm and 150ppm and chlorides of less than 3o ppm in order to protect the machine from corrosion.  The size of the unit is determined according to the amount of beverage water that will be needed at peak operating time within the facility.

Optipure BWS Systems include;

These systems can be sized to fit one piece of equipment or all of the coffee, espresso, beverage, that you are using to insure that the water you are using will protect your equipment from whatever changes occur within your water supply and provide the perfect water and ice for your beverages. Not sure of what you need to do to take care of  your water? Give us a call at 800-942-7873 or email us at

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