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Online Sales & Marketing, Kendon Shaw and Head Roaster and Green Buyer, Dennis Peseau

Can I do anything else to optimize my coffee if I’m using reverse osmosis water and a Keurig?

For those who don’t know, reverse osmosis is a process which removes dissolved solids (contaminants and minerals) from liquid, like water, by pushing it through a semipermeable membrane. The problem with using reverse osmosis water (or distilled) to make coffee, is that it is missing good minerals too, like metallic ions, which draw out the aromatic flavors of the beans. Without the ions, the coffee will taste flat. (Some RO systems may allow for adding minerals back in, which can be good.)

Pro Tip: Water quality is an integral part of a good cup of coffee and we recommend using filtered or spring water, whenever possible.

When using a Keurig or other pod coffee maker:
  1. Make sure the water can reach 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimal extraction temperature. Run a cycle of water before brewing. This will heat your cup and the machine plus boost the water temperature a few degrees.
  2. Use filtered or bottled water, if possible
  3. The small, medium and large buttons on a Keurig change the water level, which will change your coffee to water ratio. Make sure you pack in enough coffee to reach between the optimal 1:15 and 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio
  4. If the ratio is good, but the coffee is pulling thin, manually adjust the grind


Can you explain the differences between coffee roasts?

Coffee roasts get their names from visual cues. At the start of the roasting process, coffee beans are pale green to yellow-ish. After roasting, they vary from light brown to a very dark brown. The light roast, medium roast and dark roast labels are associated with their post-roast color.

Roasting influences the flavor and sensation of the coffee. A light roast will be lighter in body with a higher acidity present. With a light roast, you will experience mostly the inherent qualities of the coffee and its origin. As the roast gets darker, the body of the coffee increases, lessening the perceived acidity. The quality of the coffee will appear smoother and the characteristics from the roast itself will be introduced on top of the coffee’s origin. In short, the lighter the roast, the more you’ll taste the bean characteristics and the darker the roast the more you’ll taste the roast characteristics.

At Victrola, we are interested in sharing the story of the coffee. We want every cup to offer the best sensory experience possible, thus we do our best to match the roast to the origin and give you something to talk about and savor.

We’d love to hear about your coffee quandaries. Please write in to info@victrolacoffee.com, or DM us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and we’ll answer either on the show or via e-mail. We’ll send you a free t-shirt if we answer your question on the show!

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