Does Coffee Tastes Better in NYC?

by daniel on 2010/02/03

As some of you may know, I’m traveling on business in New York City for the week.  NYC has got to be one of the foodie capitals of the world.  With the all the cosmopolitan flavours, the high density of people from all backgrounds, and the amount of cash (still) flowing here…it all adds up to the ability to find great eats at all price levels.

One envious colleague knows about my coffee fetish, and was wondered out loud whether even the coffee tastes better in NYC.  At first, I thought it was a silly comment, but you know what?  IT DOES!  Even your average cup from a street vendor tastes pretty good.

Sure there are artisanal roasting of superior beans here and yes, there are great barristas that care about their craft.  But do you know what I think makes the biggest difference???

The WATER.  Yep, the tap water here tastes great!  This goes against most people’s idea of the state of tap water in this bustling metropolis, but it is true.

I always thought the tap water tasted good, but never really put too much thought into it.  But, while at dinner with a friend that’s a local, she mentioned that NYC’s tap water consistently rates extremely highly as the healthiest and best tasting in the nation.

A bit of research shows that the municipal water system is fed by 19 reservoirs and three lakes in upstate New York.  Most of the supply is protected and filtered by the natural processes of the upstate ecosystems.  In blind taste tastes, NYC’s water frequently rates right at the very top.

So, it makes sense.  If, the main part of a cup of coffee is water, then BETTER WATER = BETTER COFFEE

For those of us that don’t have the luxury of having best tasting tap water, or have municipal water systems that add a lot of chemicals for treatment, the best thing you can do for the taste of your coffee is to run the water through something like a Brita filter.

The fact that NYC’s water may not be kosher is another story…  :-)

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