Your Cart is Empty

Which Water Profile Should I Pick?

Selecting the right Third Wave Water mineral profile is the key to making sure your coffee will taste as good as it can. There are currently six (6) different water profiles for specific uses ranging from every day coffees to more complicated uses like coffee cupping at coffee labs or farms and even cold brew. 

Let’s explore each water profile’s common uses as well as a few uncommon scenarios to help you find what water profile is best for you.

Six Water Profiles, So Many Uses: 

Here are the six different mineral profiles with their own unique patented recipe and use case:

...Or Take the Quick Survey here:

Classic Light Roast Profile

The Classic Light Roast Profile was created to meet the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCA was called the SCAA in 2016) standards for water for coffee. It contains a high concentration of Magnesium and is optimized for use with manual brew methods (pour over, French Press, etc.) and automatic drip coffee makers (Mr. Coffee, Keurig, etc.). 

dylan seimens 2017 championship


This is the 1st water profile we created in 2016 and meets SCAA water standards. It is also what Dylan Seimen used when he won the USCC Barista Championship in 2017 and 2019 and was Elika Liftee's winning recipe in 2021.

The ideal coffee roast level for Classic Profile is light to medium roast in order to enjoy the brighter floral flavors, which typically have higher acidity. 


classic light roast profile box

Medium Roast Profile

The Medium Roast Profile was created for medium roasted coffees, but what does this mean?.

Balance. The Medium Roast Profile has double the alkalinity of the Classic Light Roast to help these types of coffee find a better balance between acidity within the ph. Coffee is considered a weak acid, but still requires a healthy level of alkalinity to avoid astringent flavors and unwanted aftertastes.

This is our recommended water profile for cupping protocols. As shared in the latest white paper, the Medium Roast Profile provides a perfect balance for cupping anywhere in the world. From farm to cup, this is the magical water profile helping fuel the coffee industry to make sure we all get the best coffee possible.

medium roast profile box

Dark Roast Profile

Most coffees are identified on the scale of light to dark roasts. Most of the time you can visually inspect the coffee bean or ground coffee and see if it is a lighter color or a darker color. Very dark roasted coffees usually are accompanied with an oily sheen.

Dark Roasted coffees can also be ruined by using the wrong water profile. If your preference is for the darker, bold flavors of coffee then this water profile was engineered for you. The Dark Roast Profile contains a greater water “buffer” compared to the other profiles, which reduces the bitterness found in many dark roast coffees. 

This creates more room for the preferred flavor notes like baker’s chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Those types of flavor notes can sometimes seem mystical to most people who have never had them before, but trust us; you can find them and using the right water is a big step in the right direction to unlock the flavors you are looking for.

dark roast profile box

Espresso Machine Profile

The Espresso Machine Profile was created specifically for your espresso machine, but can be used for other brew methods as well. This is very important because espresso machines have unique issue of high pressures & higher temperatures, which can create scale or corrosion. Scale is the white lime-scale left behind from temporary hardness (and other negative chemical reactions) while corrosion is the process that begins breaking down the metal in your espresso machine boiler.

Tap water, spring water and other mineral blends contain chlorides, temporary hardness, and many other questionable ingredients that can cause scale and/or corrosion inside of your machine’s boiler. 

We started with permanent hardness minerals and added a secondary special key difference; there are NO chlorides. Never use chlorides in your espresso machine or you will quickly begin to cause corrosion on metal components in most espresso machines as well as the boiler.

"Never use chlorides in your espresso machine"

Our goal was to create a water profile that met the SCA water profile requirements, like the Classic Profile, but also make this water profile espresso machine friendly. We are proud to say we accomplished our goal so you can rest easy knowing your water profile is actually extending the life of your espresso machine, not reducing it.

espresso profile box

Cold Brew Profile

Cold brew coffees have been around since the 1600's in Kyoto. This special brew method creates a less acidic coffee with a great flavor profile that has seen a recent boom in coffee enthusiasts. Third Wave Water engineered this unique water profile help reduce the acidity of cold brewed coffee up to 300% to more easily acquire the long sought after tasting notes of rich carmel, nuts and dark chocolates.

Another use for this water profile is to help make coffee concentrates. Coffee concentrates which can be used to brew large batches of great tasting coffee quickly in remote locations like wedding events or more commonly cold brew lattes.

cold brew profile

Low Acid Profile

This profile makes it easier to enjoy your favorite coffees again by reducing the acidity up to 300%. With the Low Acid Profile, you can make any coffee a "low acid" coffee. It contains only permanent hardness minerals just like our other profiles to help prevent limescale buildup in your equipment as well.

low acid profile box



Select your water profile based on brew method or coffee roast level:

Here is a helpful chart that shows many common brew methods for each water profile to help you quickly make your selection:

Espresso Machine Pour Over Keurig  Nespresso Mr. Coffee Cold Brew
Classic Light Roast Profile
Medium Roast Profile
Dark Roast Profile
Espresso Machine Profile
Cold Brew Profile
Low Acid Profile


And here is a chart with each water profile and the common roast profiles: 

Light Roast Medium Roast Dark Roast Unsure SCA Standard?
Classic Light Roast Profile
Medium roast Profile
Dark Roast Profile
Espresso Machine Profile
Cold Brew Profile
Low Acid Profile

* - If you're unsure of your coffee's roast level but use an espresso machine, use the Espresso Machine Profile.


OR, send us an email at support@thirdwavewater.com and we will do our best to help you figure it out.

Happy Brewing!