​Does better water cost more money?

By Bob Fear

​Does better water cost more money?

Do you need to spend a lot of money to get the best tasting water? A water sommelier in London is selling bottles of water that cost up to £120. So does expensive water taste better than tap water?

We all want water that tastes good. Many of us don’t like the taste of our tap water, either because it’s hard, it’s scaly, it smells off or because we can taste the chlorine added by our local water treatment plant. Bottled water can be a better tasting alternative. But this costs money. Some people are willing to spend more money for better tasting water. But how much? And will the most expensive bottled water taste the best?

Milin Patel qualified as a water sommelier after taking an online course run by the Fine Water Academy. He now runs Fine Liquids, a shop in London that sells expensive bottles of water and where you can also take a water tasting course. More than 100 different brands of water are for sale, ranging in cost from £2.50 to £120.

What does a £120 bottle of water taste like?

APSU is sourced from glacier water in Patagonia. The company uses hi-tech mobile scanning equipment to detect remote streams before they disappear into the Pacific Ocean. They then bottle this free-flowing glacier water which has previously been inaccessible. A bottle of this will set you back £120 from Fine Liquids. Milin says you should taste this water at exactly 4 degrees Celcius to best experience its light and fresh taste.

If expensive water like APSU starts a conversation, then the cost is worth it, says Milin. “With these higher-priced waters, when you tell people about them, they stop and listen. People buy bottles like these for things like dinner parties and telling guests about the water starts a beautiful dialogue.”

What other types of expensive bottled water are there?

●Roi water, from Slovenia, costs £25 a bottle and has the highest mineral content of any bottled water in the world. Its levels of magnesium, calcium, sulfates and bicarbonates lead its taste to be described as ‘distinctive, rich and voluminous’.

●Aur’a Natural Gold Water, from Romania, costs £4 a bottle and is said to be the secret to the long happy lives led by the locals in the heart of the Carpathian mountains. Naturally enriched with colloidal gold and silver, Milin says this water has a good weight and a natural sweetness.

●Crag, from the UK Peak District, costs £2.50 a bottle and is described by Milin as offering a ‘soft, creamy mouthful’. Fellow water sommelier Doran Binder discovered the natural source of spring water running underneath the pub he bought near Macclesfield in Cheshire.

Why should we buy expensive bottled water?

According to Milin, it’s all about the taste. He says he’s on a mission to “show others how to appreciate it. There are so many different factors that make a water unique – different temperatures and levels of minerals change its taste.” He explains that the flavours of different water are down to the varying levels of calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate that create a different taste and feel in the mouth. “Trying the different types of water will help you work out your personal preference. For example, a water with high silica levels has a very velvety mouth feel. Water with high levels of magnesium will have a slightly sweet, metallic taste.”

Milin believes that we should learn to appreciate different types of water in the way that we appreciate different types of wine. “We should all drink tap water, or filtered tap water, for hydration,” he says, “and drink glass-bottled water like a fine wine, or a sweet treat.”

Can I get better tasting water for less money?

There is a cheaper alternative to buying lots of costly bottled water, where you can still get water that tastes better than the stuff that comes straight out of your tap. As Milin points out, filtered water is always an option for the everyday. Filter jugs are the cheapest option, but not so convenient. They take up lots of space in your fridge while you wait for the water to chill, and you obviously need to keep refilling them every time you use them. So how about chilled, filtered water on tap?

The Virgin Pure countertop dispenser triple-filters your tap water from the mains. While UV purification ensures your water stays bacteria-free (unlike filter jugs), the Virgin Pure system also dispenses your water at whatever temperature you prefer - from chilled to boiling, just at the touch of a button. And while all the contaminants that affect the taste and quality of your tap water are removed, all of the essential minerals that naturally occur in water are left in - such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. All of this means that having Virgin Pure is just like having mineral water on tap - at just 59p a day.

Sources: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/luxury-water-london-fine-liquids-b2024034.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10551309/This-Morning-viewers-furious-water-sommelier-discusses-bottle-costs-130.html

https://fine-liquids.com

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