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Is it OK to Use Distilled Water to Make Coffee?

If you’ve recently bought a new coffee maker, you might be wondering what the best kind of water is to use to make coffee. You may be considering using distilled water. But is it OK to use distilled water to make coffee?

Distilled water is not a great choice for coffee as lack of minerals can negatively affect the flavor. But for some coffee maker brands like Keurig, it can also speed up the corrosion of the internal parts.

But there’s a lot more to know about different kinds of water and how they affect the flavor of your coffee. Plus, this isn’t just a question for new coffee maker owners.

Maybe you’ve had your coffee maker for a long time, but you just want to see if you can somehow improve the taste, especially if you can taste the plastic in your coffee.

It’s kind of surprising how many kinds of water are out there. There is distilled water, filtered water, spring water, and purified water.

So, what’s the best water to use, and how does it affect the taste of coffee? We’ll answer these questions and more.

Just keep reading!

What is the best water to make coffee?

The best water to make coffee would be reverse osmosis water which is just filtered tap water. Distilled water has all the minerals, and thus the flavor, removed, whereas spring water may have too heavy of a mineral taste.

There are lots of water choices out there. Just go to any grocery store and you’ll see shelves filled with distilled water, filtered water, and purified water.

So what’s the difference and which one is best for making coffee?

Distilled water

Distilled water is water that has been boiled into vapor and then collected in a separate container. Impurities get left behind in the unevaporated water.

This removes harmful microbes as well as harmless, and beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Filtered water

Filtered water comes from the municipal tap water and is run through carbon filters to remove the chlorine.


Comes from natural underground sources and rises naturally to the surface. It is run through a natural filter of rocks and sand.

Purified water

Purified water is filtered water that goes through a few extra steps. The steps may include reverse osmosis, distillation, or deionization.

So, which water is best for coffee?

Well, because coffee is mostly water, and distillation removes all of the minerals that make water taste good. If your water doesn’t taste good, then your coffee won’t taste good, either.

For the best-tasting coffee, spring or filtered water is best. If the water from your tap isn’t tasty, then bottled filtered water is the best bet.

Is it OK to use distilled water in a Keurig?

You should not use distilled water in a Keurig. The lack of minerals will result in poor flavor, but the lack of minerals can also interfere with the water sensor’s ability to detect water in the water reservoir.

Some people recommend using distilled water because it prevents mineral build-up. However, distilled water can reduce the lifespan of your machine.

Distilled water speeds up corrosion of heating elements, boiler walls, rubber washers, and other vital components. (source)

And it doesn’t taste very good.

Distillation removes all of the minerals that make water taste good. This means your coffee won’t taste very good.

Also, it’s not recommended by Keurig to use distilled water. It’s actually recommended to use bottled water. Bottled water just tastes better and has the needed minerals to make it taste good.

Furthermore, the newer Keurig machines won’t work properly if you are using distilled water. They have sensors that detect mineral content. Because the minerals have been stripped out of distilled water, you’ll get an error message when trying to use your machine.

If you are noticing that your Keurig coffee doesn’t taste as good as it used to, and you haven’t changed the kind of water you use, head over to this recent article.

In this article, I talk about all the things that can make your Keurig coffee taste bad. Water is important, but so is the quality of the coffee you’re using.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Proper maintenance, like descaling your machine, is also very important when it comes to the flavor of your coffee. If you’re interested in understanding more about how a Keurig (or other pod coffee makers) works, head over to this recent article.

Here I talk about not just Keurigs, but other pod machines, and the differences between the two and why one brand, in particular, stands out over all the others.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What’s the best water to use in a Keurig?

The best water to use in a Keurig is filtered water, either purchased in a bottle or run through your home filtration system. Avoid spring and distilled water.

Using unfiltered tap water can ruin your machine. Mostly because of hard water’s calcium content.

Hard water is water that is high in mineral content. It tastes better but can lead to lead to mineral deposits and clogging of your machine.

Chances are that your water is probably classified as “hard water,” if you live in the United States. More than 85% of American homes have hard water. (source)

So, if you have hard water, and you don’t filter it, you’ll need to descale your machine on a fairly regular basis.

Because distilled water can lead to corrosion of vital machine parts, filtered water is the best water to use in your Keurig.

Filtered water tastes better and won’t shorten the lifespan of your coffee maker like distilled water or hard water will.

Do you like your coffee really hot?

If so, you’d probably be surprised to know that Keurig’s don’t make the hottest cup of coffee. To find out which machine makes the hottest cup of coffee, just read this recent article on my blog.

I get into recommended temperatures, the proper range for both drinking and brewing, what temps Starbucks uses, and even the dreaded “McDonald’s hot”!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is it safe to use tap water for coffee?

Tap water that tastes good is an excellent choice for making French press coffee but unfiltered tap water should not be used in a Keurig as it can lead to excess scale build-up. And, if you have hard water, the extra minerals, like calcium and magnesium, could make your coffee taste slightly bitter.

But if you have well water or you just like the taste of water from your tap, use it when using a regular coffee maker or French press!

These extra minerals can reduce the coffee’s flavor. Soft water, however, shouldn’t affect the taste of your brew.

Not only does it save money, but it helps the environment because you’re not buying so many bottles of water.

Another way to help the environment is to consider using a french press to brew your coffee.

You can use your tap water and you don’t have to purchase filters. To read more about the awesomeness that is a French press, read this recent article on my blog.

Here I talk about whether French Presses are worth the physical effort and how to brew a perfect cup of coffee. But they are also the cheapest when it comes to coffee makers too!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How does water affect coffee taste?

Water affects coffee by its mineral content and heat. Lukewarm water, distilled water with no minerals, or tap water with high levels of calcium can all produce an inferior cup of coffee.

You’ve probably noticed that taste is a recurring theme when talking about water. Water is what makes up the majority of the final brewed product.

Along with choosing the right coffee itself, water is very important when it comes to the taste of the final product.

Water that’s not hot enough

This may not bring out the full flavor of the coffee. Distilled water, which tastes pretty flat on its own, will result in flat-tasting coffee.

Water high in calcium and magnesium

This kind of water could not only ruin your Keurig, but it could make your coffee taste slightly bitter.

Soft water

Tap water run through a water softener shouldn’t drastically affect the flavor of your brew. So it’s a good, inexpensive option if you have a system in your home.

Bottled filtered water

Bottled filtered water is not as hard as tap water and generally tastes pretty good. These can be labeled as drinking water or purified water. 

Personally, I use tap water as we have a water softener system in our house and my Keurig has a water filter in it.

But if I was buying water, I’d buy spring water.

The bottom line is that if your water tastes good, your coffee will, too. Particularly if you use good quality coffee.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I talked about all of the different kinds of water out there. I talked about the best water to make coffee and whether it’s OK to use distilled water in a Keurig.

I talked about whether it is safe to use tap water for coffee and how water affects the taste of your coffee. The better tasting your water, the better tasting your coffee will be.

Most importantly, I answered the question of whether it’s OK to use distilled water to make coffee.

What is your favorite kind of coffee? 

Want to see all the best coffee makers and accessories and all price ranges?

I take all the guesswork and legwork out of it on my recommended coffee products page.

Just click that link to go my page on my site where I give you the best of the best. All price ranges, and no junk – only 4-star and higher on Amazon. Plus I also look at how many 1 and 2 star reviews they get to make sure nothing junky slides by.


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Jeff Campbell