Water Filters vs. Filtered Water

by Rich Finzer

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"Say it ain't so, Joe" is what baseball lovers the world over cried when Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio hung up his spikes and announced his retirement. His fans were heartbroken. But, "Joltin' Joe" wasn't finished by any means. As we're all well aware, Joe built a second career as the spokesman for an outfit that manufacturers drip coffee makers. You know the one.

I recently acquired a new "Mr. Java" coffee maker. My new model even came equipped with a special filter disc, which removes minerals and crud from the boiling water before it drips onto the ground coffee. And the little bugger works pretty well too. Problem is that the recommended replacement interval is once a month. At almost $16 for a six pack of replacement filters, that works out to an annual expense of nearly 35 clams once you add in the dreaded sales tax. But here's the worst part, the only thing you can use that filter for is filtering the boiling water in your coffee pot. And believe me when I say that "Mr. Java" is counting on that.

You see, much like that big razor company, which makes most of its profits selling replacement blades, "Mr. Java" makes most of their money selling replacement water filters and other coffee accessories. Think about it, the appliance itself will last for years and years. But if you follow the manufacturer's directions, you're replacing the water filter every 30 days. And from "Mr. Java's" perspective, this is like a license to print money, a never ending stream of additional revenue. But don't despair, because there's another way to skin this cat. Read on.

Make your coffee with water from your water filtration pitcher/faucet mounted filter unit. The activated charcoal in those devices removes the same crud the filter disc does, and you can also use that filtered water for drinking, cooking or refilling your water bottle(s). The pitcher/faucet mount doesn't care what you do with the water. But I'll bet a quarter that "Mr. Java" won't be quite so sanguine.

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