Then I read that the newer "Premium" version of the Bestmax filter uses Mg(Magnesium) ions instead of Na which further enhances the water taste and subsequent coffee extraction.
Online, BWT are very brief about what exactly sets this filter apart from the rest. I find that generally, water filter manufacturers are terse in explaining the exact workings and most text has words like rich, full taste, particle-free and pleasant.
I assume manufacturers keep the text vague for two reasons: first, the competition is not to be made any wiser and second, consumers may be taken aback by technical specifics. Anything beyond the absolute necessary, like mention of Calcium ('scales up your machine'), Sodium ('harmless') and Magnesium ('rich') would leave the impression that there's something chemical about the device and one does not want that, even though the best of coffee brews is of course teeming with delicious molecules with complicated names if you get to know them better.
Anyway I decided to get one and try it out.
At first it seemed quite difficult to find a dealer of this "Premium" version. The Dutch BWT office referred me to a store in Amsterdam but when I visited the shop, the sales lady knew precious little about coffee equipment or water treatment.
Her colleague who is the local expert in this field was in their other shop across the street and when I emailed him with my questions I got no reply so I tried finding the filter from the Dutch BWT office.
They did not have these special products in stock themselves as they are distributed from the Belgian office but they referred me to Danny van der Kuijlen, their national representative for coffee professionals. He told me that Van Pommeren, the store in Utrecht specializing in kitchenware, espresso machines and their own roasted coffee brand, has enough of the "Premium" filters in stock so I headed there, got one and installed it at home.
|Bestmax Premium ready to unpack|
|Some info from their website|
|Unpacked ready to install|
|A little more tech data|
|Ready to go make coffee!|
Over the coming days I plan to do some measurements with the pH and ppm meters as well as with hardness droplet test methods and add those findings here.
The espresso (see below) came out delicious but that may have been equally fine with the water I had before the swap. They are lovely Colombian beans that I roasted almost a week ago.
BWT is developing a Reverse Osmosis system which might be the next best thing. The water will be filtered to first be so pure as to be impossible to extract coffee with and in the next steps the minerals needed for the optimal coffee extraction will be added in the right proportions. Some specialty coffee places like Stooker in Amsterdam have a large version of this procedure, but BWT will produce a compact version, about the size of a pc box.
Before I will try that, the current filter will be able to supply about 3,500 liters of water to make coffee with. More than enough and lots of time to wonder if it makes a difference.
At least it will not scale up my machine.