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Is Third Wave Water too hard for my coffee equipment?Updated 2 months ago

No. All Third Wave Water mineral profiles create permanent hardness, which does not add to limescale formation to your coffee makers. However, it is recommended that you use only our profiles without chlorides in your espresso machine.

Some equipment manufacturers recommend a "total hardness" level that is less than that of our profiles. For example, La Marzocco recommends a total hardness of 100 in their machines. However, their water specifications worksheet measures total hardness in ppm of CaCO3, which is calcium carbonate, which causes limescale. They want to make sure that your water will not cause limescale to build up in their machines. 

Since all of our profiles prevent limescale and do not contain any calcium carbonate, limescale is not a concern. Meeting or exceeding their recommended hardness level will not impact your machine's health. If you would like to experiment with lower TDS versions of our profiles, we prefer adding one of our 2-liter sticks in 1 gallon of empty water to experience a "half-dose" of TWW.

Total Hardness:

When considering a water profile for your equipment, consider the following:

  1. Total hardness = permanent hardness + temporary hardness
  2. Temporary hardness is bad (causes limescale)
  3. Third Wave Water does not contain temporary hardness

Most hardness tests only measure CaCO3, which is normal because that is what most people are concerned about since CaCO3 it temporary hardness and causes limescale.

Temporary & Permanent Hardness:

Temporary hardness should be avoided because it separates from the water (when boiled or frozen) leaving deposits behind. Each of Third Wave Water profile's create permanent hardness only and do not contain calcium carbonate, which is the primary suspect for calcification or limescale. Our CEO, Taylor, made a short video explaining this principle. You can watch it by clicking this link.

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