Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: February 09, 2021
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At its simple core, espresso is just coffee and water. When people make espressos, they generally tend to focus on the coffee that goes into the espresso and rightfully so. But, we’re here to tell you that the type of water you put into your espresso is just, if not, more important than the coffee itself.
While you could put just about any kind of water into your espresso machine, our research shows that bottled water is the best. In our review of the best bottled water for espresso machines, we’ve done our homework and reviewed over 35 different types of bottled water. This article includes ten of them, which we liked the most. Our Editor’s Choice, the Fiji Natural Artesian Water, stands out the most among them all. We were amazed by the smooth taste and texture of the espresso as well as by the package size of this bottled water. If you want to find something else, you might like nine other products here.
Now you might be thinking aloud, “aren’t all bottled water the same thing?” While it is water, each bottle of water has slight differences that can affect the taste of your espresso. But for this review, we’ll evaluate the type of bottled water it is, the amount of water in each bottle (volume), the package, and its estimated price. We’ve chosen these features based on the tens of hours of research we’ve conducted online and experts’ opinions. We’ve also tried each product ourselves. Continue reading, and you will find our detailed reviews of each bottle of water as well as a comprehensive buying guide to help you decide which bottle of water is best for your espresso machine.
"This premium-quality water is packed in glass bottles with astonishing design. The water provides excellent extraction of all espresso flavors and results in a smooth drink without any unwanted notes."
With its classic, smooth taste, the Fiji Natural Artesian Water is our Editor Choice for multiple reasons. This water has a silky smooth texture that comes from the electrolytes that help to enhance it. This smooth-tasting texture also applies to the espresso’s that come out of your machine when using Fiji water.
Fiji’s water is known for being filtered through volcanic rock, and that is just great for your machine. What results is an espresso that tastes smooth and slightly burnt, which some people may like while others may not. Nonetheless, you get a very flavorful cup of espresso.
The size of the bottle is also great if you’re looking to make a quick cup or two of espresso as you only get 330 mL of water per bottle, so a single bottle is ideal for several cups of your morning espresso. And coming in a package of 36 bottles, one package should last you about a month if you were to use a bottle per day on espresso. As one of the premium bottled water brands, you’re also getting some fantastic value as each fluid ounce comes out to about $0.09.
Another amazing option for espresso machines is our Customer’s Choice, the Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water. This bottle of water is the world’s first to claim that it is carbon neutral certified, and that is why many people love it.
With this bottle, you’re getting some incredibly fresh spring, alkaline water that comes in a variety of different bottle sizes, but we feel that you get the best value with the 1.5 L bottle. At a price of $0.06 per fluid ounce, you’re getting the best value out of any of their water sizes. The best thing about getting this size is that you can make as much espresso as you desire and still have enough left over to have a sip of water or two. It comes in a package of 12 bottles, so you’re getting 18 L of fresh water.
Let’s talk more about the water itself. This water comes all the way from Iceland and is filtered through volcanic rocks that give it a clean taste and low mineral content. Despite its low mineral content, which may not be ideal for some, it still is able to create a smooth espresso that is easy on your digestive tract.
One of America’s best and most acclaimed bottled water is the Mountain Valley Spring Water. It has twice been named the “best tasting water in the world,” a title that comes from an internationally-recognized event.
The Mountain Valley’s Spring Water is extracted from the Ouachita Mountains and is refreshingly clean tasting water. Thinking of the health benefits, it comes packaged in plastic bottles that are BPA-free. There are 750 mL in each, and the package of 12 bottles provides good value at $0.09 per fluid ounce.
The pH level of Mountain Valley’s Spring Water can reach 7.8, which sits just above the recommended maximum of 7.5 by SCAA. Despite this, the water that goes into your espresso machine will come tasting smooth and rich. The mineral concentration in this water will enable it to draw out all the flavors of the espresso beans, and with each bottle being 750 mL, you should have more than enough for yourself and a few of your friends.
Perhaps, one of the most notoriously known, premium water brands in the world, evian Natural Spring Water is a reliable and trusted type of spring water that you can use for your espresso machine. Originating from the French Alps, it comes in its familiar plastic, but recyclable, packaging and in a bottle that is 330 mL.
You’re bound to get much better value when buying it in a package of 24 bottles as you’ll only have to fork out $0.09 per fluid ounce. The thing that makes evian a powerhouse in the world of bottled water is the natural, well-balanced and almost silky smooth taste from the water.
It has a balanced mineral composition and a perfect pH level of 7.2. These two factors combined are great at drawing out the full and rich flavors of the espresso beans. The result is an espresso that is sweeter than most bottled water and maintains a smooth and creamy texture.
What we liked:
Perfect pH level for making espressos
Well-balanced mineral composition with electrolytes
Our journey around the world to find the best bottled water for espresso machines continues with Italian-made, Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water. This spring, alkaline water comes in BPA-free bottles that are made from recyclable plastic. It comes from the beautiful Tuscan-region in Italy, which is more prominently known for their wines. However, this bottle of water is one of its finest exports and comes at a fantastic price of $0.06 per fluid ounce.
It comes in a package of 12 bottles, and each bottle is 1 L, which is more than enough for a dozen cups of espresso. However, the bottles seem to be quite flimsy and can tend to leak on occasion.
The Tuscan springs give it a naturally smooth taste that has a special composition of minerals. These minerals help to extract all the oils and flavors of the espresso. As the home of espresso, Italians know all the secrets of making great coffee, and it starts with the water. Having been made in Italy since 1564, the Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water is an excellent choice to make your espresso.
Another great bottled spring water for espresso is the Volvic Natural Spring Water. This natural-tasting spring water comes all the way from the Auvergne region in France and is produced from the site of a dormant volcano.
There, the water comes out clean and fresh tasting and high in mineral content thanks to the volcanic rocks by which the water and snowmelt pass through to produce this spring water. What’s neat is that it actually filters through six different layers of volcanic rock! The resulting water is neutral in pH and has a nice blend of minerals and electrolytes, which helps to make ideal espresso.
It’s all about the value with the Volvic Natural Spring Water as it comes in bottles of 1.5 L, and each package contains 12 bottles. You’re getting wonderful value with the price per fluid ounce as it is roughly $0.06, although it can be a bit hard to carry. So, if you’re looking to make a big batch of espresso, you might want to go with this great-tasting spring water.
Having outstanding designs on their bottles, LIFEWTR Premium Purified Water is a marvelous choice for making espresso. One of the goals of this premium brand water company is to showcase and advance creativity through different designs on their water bottles, promoting equal access to arts.
Coming in tall bottles that have 1 L of water in them, LIFEWTR is also a fantastic value buy when you buy them in a package of 12 bottles. At $0.07 per fluid ounce, it’s a great price to drink and make your espresso.
When making espresso, you should know that this purified water is pH balanced with added electrolytes for taste. When made in your espresso machine, the result is a very pleasant tasting espresso, one that is not bold nor flat in taste. And with 1 L of water per bottle, that’s more than enough to make a few cups of espresso and to keep the bottle afterward as a cool keepsake.
Over the past 10 years, smartwater Vapor Distilled Premium Water has emerged as another fresh bottled water drinking source in an already crowded market. An interesting brand name and some sleek packaging make this another water brand to try.
These water bottles come in a package of 24, and each bottle contains roughly 600 mL of water. That averages out to $0.08 per fluid ounce, which is very much in line with all of the other affordable bottled water options. In terms of taste, smartwater definitely has a unique and distinguishable palate. According to their website, their water features a combination of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Combined with an infusion of electrolytes and you have water that tastes different and slightly salty.
Espresso machine owners have noted that when using smartwater to make their espressos, the result is a drink that tastes more on the bitter side rather than smooth. If you enjoy your espresso this way, then the smartwater is a good choice of bottled water for your machine.
What we liked:
Healthy combination of minerals and electrolytes
What could be better:
Produces a slightly bitter taste to espresso, which not everyone likes
Hands down the most amazing packaged bottled water is the Saratoga Natural Spring Water. This spring water comes in a beautiful blue bottle that can be reused again for other fluids, or you can use it as a candle or a flower vase.
Since each bottle is made of glass, it naturally is more expensive in price. It comes in at a steep $0.23 per fluid ounce, some 2-4 times higher compared to the price of other water bottles on our list. Nonetheless, the quality of design costs, and so does the quality of this water. It is fresh and clean-tasting spring water and has a pH level of 6.9, which is within the perfect coffee-making range. It has just enough minerals in the water to provide an ideal extraction of the espresso flavors. The result is an espresso that is smooth, delicious, and without any unwanted notes.
Like the Fiji bottle, the Saratoga Natural Spring Water comes in a smaller bottle (355 mL), and a single bottle should be more than enough for several cups of your morning fix of espresso.
The last of the best bottled water for espresso machines is the Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water. This bottle of water comes in a package of 24 bottles, and each bottle contains 500 mL of fresh Hawaiian Volcanic Water. They are made with an eco-friendly stance as they are BPA-free and 100% RPET bottle.
Originating from the westernmost part of the United States, this water is produced from snowmelt and rain on the active Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. Possibly because it is still an active volcano, the pH concentration in this water is rather high at 8.2 and is considered one of the most alkaline natural waters in the world. This high pH level, which is above the recommended pH level for making coffees, might make it a bit more difficult to extract all of the flavors from your coffee beans, and you’re more likely to end up with something that tastes a bit more bitter.
However, if that’s the way you prefer your cup of espresso in the morning, then this Hawaiian Volcanic Water is something unique to drink and use in your espresso machine. Another thing to watch out for, from the high pH level, is the issue of liming in your espresso machine. You might have to descale your machine more frequently if you opt to use this water.
What we liked:
Unique taste made from an active volcano
BPA-free and RPET package
What could be better:
Tastes more bitter and burnt
Possible liming issues in your espresso machine
Things to Consider
We’ve just taken you through ten wonderful bottled water options for espresso machines. Now, it is time to take a look at our buying guide. In this section, you’ll find more in-depth knowledge about many of the various factors that are important in these bottles of water and how they will work with your coffee beans to extract the best tasting espresso for you. Let’s check it out!
How to choose the best bottled water for espresso machines
When it comes to choosing the best bottled water for your espresso machine, you really have to take into consideration the type of bottled water, its pH level, mineral contents, how much water is in each bottle, and finally, the price of the bottle of water per fluid ounce. It’s important to keep them all in mind because they all play a role in the taste of your espresso, the longevity of your espresso machine, and your bottom line when it comes to figuring how much money you want to spend on bottled water for your espresso.
Bottled water type
In our review, we saw a few different types of bottled water, and that pertains to the actual type of water in that bottle.
One of the most common types of bottled water is spring water, and this kind of water is often retrieved from an underground source such as a spring or a well. This water is clean, pure and natural. It’s a good source of drinking water and great for your espresso machine because it is free of any toxins, allowing you to experience all of the espresso flavors.
Purified water is water that has been collected from groundwater or tap water and then run through a filtration process to remove impurities, such as contaminants and chemicals.
Lastly, as seen in the Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, the water comes from the island of Hawaii and is produced from the chemical activity from volcanoes.
When it comes to pH and the quality of bottled water, it’s essential to check how alkaline or acidic it is. It ranges on a scale of 0 to 14. Water is considered alkaline if it has a pH of 8 or above on this scale, whereas acidic water has a pH that is lower than 7.
What makes water alkaline is the presence of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to name a few. Pure water, on the other hand, has a pH of 7 and is considered neutral.
How does the pH level affect your espresso? Having water that is less acidic and more alkaline helps to produce the bold flavors that are natural in espressos. Much of this is attributed to the mineral content in alkaline water that helps to draw out the flavors from the coffee beans. As such, it is recommended that you use bottled water that is alkaline, as it will help to enhance the flavors.
As we just mentioned, the importance of minerals in alkaline water can positively affect the brewing process of espresso because it helps to extract all the flavors from the oil in your coffee beans in a way that regular tap water cannot do. Think of it as the minerals in alkaline water acting as a suction that pulls out everything from the beans.
Water that contains little to no minerals does not have the ability to extract these kinds of flavors from the espresso, and what happens is that the espresso ends up tasting a bit flat and lacking depth. And since espresso beverages are all about the perfect and natural taste, you’ll definitely want to use alkaline water to help draw out those notes in a way that produces a bold and delicious cup of espresso. Thereby, you might want to try the Evian Natural Spring Water, which is premium water with a well-balanced mineral composition with electrolytes.
Volume of the bottle
We all know that there are different bottles available on the market. And as the water volume varies, so will the amount of espresso you want to make. Whether you’re making espresso solely for yourself or with your partner or even for a small party, knowing the volume of each water bottle is essential to making espresso that is enough for you or for everyone.
If you’ve just woken up and are looking to make espresso, there’s a good chance you’re either wish to make it either for yourself and possibly, your partner. In this case, it would probably be a good idea to use a bottle of water that doesn’t have more than 500 mL to open a new one next time.
The Fiji Natural Artesian Water would be an outstanding choice as it has 330 mL in each bottle, and that should be enough for several portions.
However, if you are planning to use one bottle longer or even wish to take it with you after a cup of espresso, you might benefit from having more liquid volume. The Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water comes in a 1.5 L bottles, and you can even choose among other different bottle sizes.
While it is important to consider how much water volume is in each bottle, it’s also good to think about the packaging of the water bottle. By this we mean how many water bottles you get in a case or a package.
Having more bottles in a package may mean better value for you. On top of the cost savings, this option is also much more convenient for you as it avoids you having to make separate purchases each time you need a bottle of water or two.
However, sometimes having more may not necessarily be good. For instance, if you’re buying a new bottle of water you’ve never tried before and you purchase a bundle package of it only to find out later you don’t like the way it tastes in your espresso, you’re essentially stuck with however many bottles are left in that package. So, in situations like this, it may be better for you to test out different bottles and then purchase a package of the ones you do end up liking.
When it comes to making a final decision on buying anything, oftentimes, it can come down to the price. In this case, it’s no different. You might be familiar with buying a single bottle of water at stores for anywhere between $1-3. But, it’s incredibly inefficient for you to do so, and you’re probably better off buying your bottled water in bulk packages to help reduce the cost per bottle.
A convenient way to measure the cost, when it comes to bottled water, is to measure the price per fluid ounce (fl. oz.). You would do this because each bottle of water is not the same in terms of how much water volume is in them. Some are ~300 mL, while others can be over one liter. Measuring the price by fluid ounce gives you a much more accurate indicator of value. Among ten products we reviewed, we found that the Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water, Volvic Natural Spring Water, and the Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water all yielded amazing price per fluid ounce at $0.06. The highest we found was the Saratoga Natural Spring Water at $0.23 per fluid ounce. It’s a lot higher because of the glass bottle it comes in as opposed to the plastic bottles the other ones come in.
You are more than free to use any kind of water you want in your espresso machine, and that includes tap water. However, just know, that by using tap water, there will be a significant difference in the taste of your espresso. We should also point out that tap water is unfiltered and can contain some harmful contaminants in them, depending on where in the world you are. Aside from altering the taste of your espresso, it can also ruin and wear down your espresso machine quicker. Just know, that if you want to use tap water, it’s best to filter it first before putting it in your espresso machine.
If you have really sensitive taste buds, you’ll be able to easily notice a difference in the taste of the bottled water brands. That difference relates to the level of minerals that are in the water. Some water brands like the Fiji Natural Artesian Water are known to have a bit more of a silky and smooth texture to it. Other brands like the LIFEWTR Premium Purified Water is said to taste a bit bitter or acidic because of the added electrolytes to them. Thus, it really does depend on the type of bottled water you put into your espresso machine, as it most likely will affect the taste of your espresso. Generally, most people prefer bottles of water that contains alkaline over electrolytes as it does a better job of drawing out all of the complex oils and flavors from the coffee beans and doesn’t leave the coffee tasting bitter. But, if you prefer your espresso more acidic, then go with bottles of water that contain electrolytes.
If you stick to bottled water, there is a higher chance that your espresso machine will run much better than if it took unfiltered water, and thus, you will have to clean it much less. This is because when you use your tap water, it is usually harder, which leads to a buildup of limescale. This scale buildup then affects the espresso machine, and you might end up ruining it. Using bottled water that has a good mineral content will prolong the life of your espresso machine because there is minimal scale buildup. This is a way better for your machine because you won’t have to run a descaler through your machine nearly as often.
We’ve taken a look at ten fantastic bottled water options for your espresso machine. In our review, we found three that really stood amongst the rest for different reasons.
The Fiji Natural Artesian Water, our Editor’s Choice, is far and away, the most fantastic bottled water you can use for your espresso machine. We particularly love its clean and smooth taste and the way it affects the espresso, making it silky and delicious.
Lastly, there is the Mountain Valley Spring Water that has a convenient package. Thanks to the mineral content of the water, it will extract every note from the coffee to provide you with an exceptional cup of espresso.
There you have it! The best bottled water for espresso machines presented to you by us. We hope you enjoy shopping for the bottled water that suits your espresso tastes!