February 17th, 2021 | Water and Taste


A well-prepared cup of coffee can certainly be called a total work of art. More than 800 aromas slumber in this tasty and stimulating brew. For many people, it is only with this brew that their own morning and daily routine feels right. Only the correct preparation of coffee can awaken at least some of these aromas. Barista Andrea Cremone and Matteo Caruso from Naples also know this: For coffee to be truly successful, everything must be right. Bean and roasting degree, brewing pressure and temperature. The same applies to the dwell and contact time of the water with the freshly ground coffee grounds. Above all, the water and the minerals it contains have a decisive influence on how a coffee tastes. The mission of the two baristas: to make people aware of the slowness, the value, but also the sustainability of a good cup of filter coffee.


The quick espresso at the bar – on the way to work, during a lunch break, on the walk home, or just in between. Strong, volatile, efficient. It belongs to Italy like the winding alleys, the magnificent city palaces and the cosmopolitan port of Genoa. It was from here that Christopher Columbus once set out to discover a new world. And Andrea Cremone and Matteo Caruso, patchwork brothers and proud owners of two Specialty Coffee Shops in Genoa and a coffee plantation in Honduras, are likely to be driven by a similar curiosity and thirst for adventure as the great son of their home city. In their two bars, which they have winkingly christened Tazze Pazze – in English “Crazy Cups” – they explore new dimensions beyond the familiar. And find new worlds of taste and enjoyment of coffee. Totally convinced that coffee has so much more to offer than most people have understood so far. “For us, coffee was a discovery, not a decision. We are fascinated by the versatility of the product, but also by its processing. Tazze Pazze is a great love. We have fallen in love with a fantastic product, its preparation, the selection of its ingredients, everything concerning the running of our bars and our work as baristas,” enthuses Andrea Cremone, who is considered one of the best baristas in Europe and who himself trains other baristas.


For Andrea Cremone, the key to good coffee lies in the quality of its raw materials. Without a doubt, the choice of bean is the decisive factor. His brother Matteo and he buy the beans from their own plantation in Honduras, where they grow different types of coffee and thus offer their customers new taste experiences. “Our offer changes every year and, to be honest, the quality is getting better and better. The taste of a coffee must tell us something: it can’t just be bitter or sour. If you open yourself to the taste of coffee, you might come across cups in which you can taste fruity, spicy or flowery accents. We are constantly on the lookout for a product that transcends the past. We always want new cups of coffee,” emphasizes Matteo Caruso.


On the other hand, the taste of good coffee sloshes around in the water. As scientists, and even chemists, the two do not see each other, avoiding comparisons in order not to offend genuine representatives of this guild. However, their curiosity, their desire to discover, has made the two brothers into tinkerers, perfectionists who love to experiment, who create coffee as if they were obsessed with it, again and again, to delight the palate. They give priority to water, especially its minerals. Andrea Cremone: “Water opens a big door for us, which immediately opens the way to the final taste of a cup of coffee.


Magnesium contained in water gives coffee a harmonious taste. Calcium can help to neutralise the acidity of a coffee a little and round it off. If one were to take a completely mineral-free water as a basis, the coffee would taste too flat, because minerals serve as flavour carriers. A water that is too hard, and therefore particularly rich in minerals, would again give the coffee a very bitter taste. It is therefore important to balance the water for coffee in terms of its ingredients. It should not be too hard or too soft.

In addition to its ingredients, the temperature of the water is also crucial for coffee. Basically, baristas sum up: the higher the temperature, the higher the risk of extracting bitter taste nuances. 95°C should not be exceeded during extraction. Optimum coffee water is therefore medium-hard, lies between 8 and 12 °dH, finds its ideal pH value between 6.5 and 7.5 and comes into contact with coffee powder best at a temperature between 88 and 95°C. Excessive water hardness can impair the success of the crema. The glass of water served with coffee or espresso is also best without carbon dioxide and has a balanced mineral content. To prevent it from dominating the taste experience too much and distracting from the coffee, it should harmonise with the coffee water. Andrea Cremone also believes that a glass of water makes a cup of coffee or espresso even more digestible: “This is undoubtedly a very useful tradition to clean the mouth before tasting the espresso, i.e. to ‘reset’ the palate and thus enjoy the espresso in the best possible way.”


At Tazze Pazze, tap water is usually added to the espresso on the bar. The concept of the ever new cup of coffee is a success. The bars in Genoa’s old town are buzzing. Tourists, but also many locals love the coffee specialties served here. Maybe also because here an extra portion of love is extracted with every cup, when different things intertwine, when minerals in hot water meet aromatic coffee powder and Andrea says about his brother Matteo: “We grew up together behind the counter, studied coffee together, experimented a lot together and recorded everything we learned in black and white. This being together is our absolute strength – although we are so different, we obviously complement each other very, very well”.


Together with coffee experts, LUQEL has developed the perfect water recipe for the preparation of coffee, which aims for the right degree of hardness and the right composition of mineral ions. This really helps to ensure a perfect crema and allow the flavours to unfurl to the full.




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