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Old 10-06-2010, 03:10 AM   #1
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Is it OK to drink demineralized water?

We all know how capricious espresso machines are...

A friend of mine told me "I have no problems, I always use demineralized water".

This makes sense, but I have heard that such water is not healthy to consume

Is this true? Or perhaps the equivalent of 3 or 4 espresso-cups' worth doesn't make much of a difference?

Best regards,
Alex R.

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
We all know how capricious espresso machines are...

A friend of mine told me "I have no problems, I always use demineralized water".

This makes sense, but I have heard that such water is not healthy to consume

Is this true? Or perhaps the equivalent of 3 or 4 espresso-cups' worth doesn't make much of a difference?

Best regards,
Alex R.
When water is boiled, any chlorine chemical constituent in it will form a weak hydrochloric solution, and will over time, cause corrosion in any metal coffee machine parts. Calcium is another villaine. It causes scaling, so commercial coffee establishments would be using some form of calcium treatment. I suggest that if you are a home owner, that you buy a water filter jug, like from Walmart.

The de-mineralization of water could also be treated in reverse osmosis. There are devices, some of them expensive though, which remove harmful water deposits in water supplies, so if you are a commercial owner of a road going Gaggia costing five thousand quid of more, then with a CTU, (Chlorine Treatment Unit) or an ROU (Reverse Osmosis Unit), any espresso machine will not throw a hissy fit on you.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:10 AM   #3
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I don't think that demineralised water is all that great for regular consumption as drinking water. The process of demineralisation removes ALL of the minerals and some of those are essential for protecting us against the absorption of dangerous substances like lead and cadmium. I'd do some research on that Alex, before going down that track. However, having said that, it is your call.
As for your espresso machine. Well, we use tap water and then I regularly give it a run through with a scale cleaner to remove the buildup of minerals from the machine. here are heaps of them on the market and they are easy and clean to use.
:)
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:07 AM   #4
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Distilled water, which is what you're talking about, is pure water and there's nothing wrong or unhealthful about drinking it. Trace minerals contained in regular well or lake water (or where ever your tap water supply comes from) are so insignificant in quantity that your body would never miss them as a nutritional source, and are all contained in much larger amounts in food.

Distilled water, sold in 1 gallon jugs in the store even today, originally served two markets. First, irons, (as in ironing clothes) would eventually clog with calcium build up if distilled water where not used. Those were the days when people spent money on something, they treated it with care and expected it to last, unlike today's throwaway, "I'll just buy another one," society.

Calcium scale in certain small appliances can sometimes be easily neutralized with an occasional rinsing or cycling through (as in a coffee pot) with hot vinegar.

The second reason for distilled water was for baby formula. It prevented certain stomach ailments or distress in young, sensitive stomachs. Certain parts of the country has better water quality or higher mineral concentrations than other parts. Sulfur dioxide (stinky swamp gas) can be found in a lot of wells around the country, and can upset some baby's and children's digestion.

So, don't be afraid of using or drinking distilled water.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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It's the purest form of water - no additives. Drink it all day if you like. However, minerals in water do effect its taste. Distilled water won't taste as good as good spring water as the minerals make it taste better.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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Actually, distilled water tastes flat. Thats because all the oxygen has been boiled out of it during evaporation, and you need oxegenated water to help make an espresso taste really great.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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you've gotta take a point-of-view from restrospect~ a couple of drinks minus minerals, i'm figuring you'llmake your way through. wink. there's those checks-&-balances~ drink a mineral-enhanched h2o or that sorta beverage thereafter if 'ya begin 2 fret & that.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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I think distilled water got a bad rep from the fact that it is not fluoridated. I wouldn't hesitate to use it in any machine. Because where I live we're living on lead mines, and have century-or-more plumbing issues, I have water softeners to all water coming into the house AND a purifier on my faucet. Once Mom visited and I looked at her cup of tea. "MOM! Please tell me you didn't put untreated tap water in my tea kettle!" No, she'd just made herself a cup of tea in the microwave. Even though the water is treated as it comes into the house, it will still leave scales in the bottom of teakettles, and leave a weird, almost oil-spill looking thing on the tops of cups of coffee or tea.

None of this stuff will kill me (believe me, good wine and food will), but living in high mineral areas, in old houses, does make tea and coffee look weird, and my dyed-blond hair turn red!
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:03 AM   #9
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True demineralized water is very aggressive and if that is all you drink you will have problems. It can give you diarrhea and leach the minerals out of your body.

Water from an RO unit is not demineralized water. Its a lot cleaner than what went in but not demineralized water.

In modern plants for demineralized water the process is usually a sand filter, carbon filter then an RO unit then a process for removing the last positive and negative ions. The last plant I installed used a Electrodeionization (EDI) for the final process.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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The island of Aruba gets all its water from a desalinization plant. After processing the seawater to remove salt (and whatever else) they pass it over crushed coral to add minerals for flavor etc.
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