SCAE Water Chart


The new SCA Water Chart establishes a solid framework for
a unified and transparent discussion of water for coffee.
The centre of this discussion revolves around the two axes
alkalinity and total hardness. We have presented this booklet
in order to promote a spirited exchange of ideas about the
water we use for brewing within the speciality coffee community.


 The SCA Water Chart brings clarity to three fundamental questions:


What’s the chemical composition of my water and how do I measure it?


What am I aiming to change and what are the existing recommendations with regard to sensory and technical considerations?

Now that I’ve decided where I want to go, how do I choose a treatment to get me there?

When pondering these three questions, note that while “Measure” and “Treat” can be discussed on a purely rational base, the “Aim” is subjective. But also note that:

  • Without the Aim, Measure and Treat become meaningless.
  • Without the Measure and Treat the search for the Aim becomes obscure.
  • We will propose and recommend where to aim for the optimum balance in the cup.

The new SCA Water Chart is forward looking in two important ways. It presents us with:

  • a framework for an ongoing discussion about the suitability of different water treatments for the proper extraction of different coffees. In other words, this booklet creates the means to best achieve our Aim.
  • a space for expanding and refining our discussion of water for coffee, e.g. a more detailed and precise discussion of total hardness.

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