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Author Topic: Don't make coffee with hot water
Mitochondrial Steve
Deck the Malls


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I vaguely remember hearing this one - once from a family member and once from a cooking show. I don't recall what, if anything, the effect is supposed to be if you do not use cold water.

Being the rebel I am, I bit the bullet and made a pot of coffee with hot water... and noticed no difference (the coffee wasn't even hotter than when using cold water) nor any ill effects.

Has anyone else heard this one or know its origins?

ETA: Just for clarification, it concerns automatic coffee makers, though I guess it could apply to percolator as well.

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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I would guess it has something to do with the quality of water in your hot water tank.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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That's what I would think too - I've been taught never to use hot water for cooking or drinking because of possible contamination from the water heater.
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kendor
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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This site seems to be advising to use hot tap water but allowing it to cool first.

I couldn't though. I've seen the inside of a used water heater before. Blechh!

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Bozone
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Yeah, but the deposits in the water heater are minerals that came from the cold water.
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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
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I have heard if you have deposits that build up in your pipes, it can be knocked loose by the hot water before the cold water. I've seen it happen to some extent. I work in a building that is over 100 years old with some older piping. When I go to wash my hands, I turn the hot water on and it's more discolored at first than the cold water. After a few seconds, the hot runs clear as well.

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Rhiandmoi
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I thought the reason not to use the hot water was because more gook is dissolved in hot water by the nature of hot water being able to hold more in solution. So cold water is *cleaner*, but not because it hasn't gone through the water heater. Anyways, I have heard that if you like coffee you should use filtered or bottled water to make it because then it won't have any funky chemical taste from the chlorine or whatever they use to purify the water. For tea, I have heard that you should use twice boiled water.

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
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In drip style coffee makers I don't think it matters much one way or another. In percolators, the longer it takes the coffee to boil, the more it soaks through the grounds, and therefor the stronger the coffee.

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Kathy B
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According to the the US CDC, there is a possibility that you may be exposed to lead in tap water.
quote:
[L]ead still can be found in some metal water taps, interior water pipes, or pipes connecting a house to the main water pipe in the street. Lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of older fixtures or from the solder that connects pipes. When water sits in leaded pipes for several hours, lead can leach into the water supply.
[snip]
[If you find out that there is lead in your tap water, while you are taking other steps to get rid of the problem] drink or cook only with water that comes out of the tap cold. Water that comes out of the tap warm or hot can contain much higher levels of lead. Boiling this water will NOT reduce the amount of lead in your water. [snip]
[B]athing and showering should be safe for you and your children, even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level. Human skin does not absorb lead in water.



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Laura......The one with the rage
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I thought i'd gone mad when i read this thread until i realised that you're not talking about instant coffee. It's much more common practice to use instant straight from the jar here. Just add boiling water!
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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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I've heard to use cold water, but not due to contamination. My understanding, from a book on cofee I received several years ago, is that it has to do with how much oxygen is dissolved in the water, colder water having more O2. The reasoning is that more O2 brings out the flavor in the coffee. I assume this works more to the advantage of those boutique-type beans, not to Folgers, et al.

Now, I will not attest to the theory that more O2 actually DOES bring out more flavor, I'm simply passing along what I read.

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John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's coffee, people. It doesn't have to taste good, it just has to work.

Tea, now...

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Mystara
I Saw Three Shipments


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I was always told not to use hot water in automatic coffee makers because the way the heating system is designed the hot water could cause pump and valve problems as it all is pushed through from the cold water side.

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Xia
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I don't usually use hot water in cooking because in my kitchen faucet, the hot water comes out opaque (white), bleh...
If you let it sit for a minute, however, it will turn clear.

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Mystara
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Xia:
I don't usually use hot water in cooking because in my kitchen faucet, the hot water comes out opaque (white), bleh...
If you let it sit for a minute, however, it will turn clear.

Don't ask how I know this, but it's caused from air being trapped in the pipes that lead from your hot water heater to your faucet. As the water goes by those air pockets it pulls it out little by little making tiny little bubles in your water that give it a hazy appearance.

The air pockets are usually caused by not having enought water pressure to fill the pipes completely when the water runs through causeing bubbles to settle into the joints. The water itself should be as safe as any other chemically treated city water [Wink]

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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
It's coffee, people. It doesn't have to taste good, it just has to work.

I know I don't drink it for the flavor--

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Pseudo_Croat
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quote:
Originally posted by John Stephens:
It's coffee, people. It doesn't have to taste good, it just has to work.

You don't care about how your coffee tastes? Heretic. [Big Grin]

- Pseudo "java junkie" Croat

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callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Moi and Rhombus:
For tea, I have heard that you should use twice boiled water.

I saw a documentary where it said that the Queen does not want her tea water boiled at all, but rather has it poured to steep when the water is just about to boil; "on the cusp of boiling" was the phrase I believe.

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Nolly
Fin City


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
According to the the US CDC, there is a possibility that you may be exposed to lead in tap water.

This is what I've always heard. I rarely use hot water for cooking -unless I'm in a big hurry

Nol' NSFBK lead poisoning-I'm hungry! 'ly

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