Water Taste: A water connoisseur—yes, there is such a thing—pays attention to the many flavours of water and offers tips on how to improve the flavour of your regular tap water.
Water was just water when I was growing up in North Carolina, unless it was flowing from a hot tap or I accidently drank some pool water. But later, when we went to see my family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I was really struck by how bad the water tasted. The water tasted sulphurous and foul to me, but was delicious to my mother, who had grown up drinking it. She would always respond that it was the best artesian water when we kids would complain about it.
Even though I now enjoy the flavour of Baton Rouge water as an adult, it still takes me some time to adjust to the taste of my coastal (to me) tap water when I visit Louisiana from New York City, where I currently reside. longer than 25 years. How can water taste so differently from diverse sources if water is just water? What about artesian wells, springs, hard water, and springs? What endows them with their unique flavours?
I chatted with water steward and expert Martin Reese about how water acquires its flavour and how to enjoy water that meets your preferences in order to go further into the world of water.
Water Taste: Understanding the Various Water Types
You must comprehend the foundations of various water sources in order to comprehend how water tastes. The most common varieties of drinking water and the elements that influence their flavour are listed below:
Public Tap Water
If the source of your tap water is your city or municipality, it may originate from a lake, reservoir, river, or groundwater source. The taste of tap water can vary greatly depending on the water source since naturally occurring minerals in the water contribute to its taste and hardness (yep, just like wine).
American tap water contains calcium, magnesium, and sodium in addition to other minerals and trace elements, according to the USDA’s FoodData Central. Chlorine is one of the several minerals added to tap water to make it safe to drink, and you may be able to taste it. According to Reese, adding too much chlorine to tap water can cause it to taste and smell “pool-like.” The flavour and purity of your water may also be impacted by pipe residue.
If you don’t use municipal water, you might use well water that comes from an aquifer or groundwater. Similar to municipal tap water, this water may have different minerals that affect its taste and hardness, but unless you use home treatment or filtration systems, it usually doesn’t get treated with chlorine or other additions.
Well water can taste a variety of ways; some people complain of metallic, earthy, or fishy tastes and odours, which can be caused by sulphur, iron, bacteria, or sediment. For well water to be free of pollutants, especially those with undesirable tastes, Reese advocates routine laboratory testing.
Mineral Water According to the FDA, mineral water must come from a natural source and have at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids to be considered such in the US. No minerals or trace elements may be added; it must also naturally contain a range of minerals.
When it comes to flavour, water’s terroir—the natural setting in which it is born—can be where things become fascinating. Reese claims that as mineral water flows through various strata of stone, it can pick up various minerals. Mineral water can absorb different minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium while travelling through different rock strata, which can take up to 2,000 years.
Reese observes that many meals and flavours can be paired with spring water and its diverse minerals as a water steward. In his words, “When you have the right water, it changes the taste of different foods.” It’s alluring. It’s excellent. Personal taste preferences are important when deciding which water brand to buy.
Reese emphasises that the environment in which water is consumed affects how it tastes. While on vacation, you might find a bottle of water to be just right, but when you go home from your trip and open the same brand’s bottle, the water is the worst you’ve ever tasted. Reese explains, “We are where we are, and the taste of something is an experience.Taste is considerably more than just a beverage’s flavour.
A waterfall’s water
Ideal waterfall water should originate from an underground natural source and flow to the surface. FDA guidelines state that it can also be harvested as it rises to the surface or tapped from underground. Water from waterfalls may include certain minerals, although it does not have the same level as mineral water. However, waterfall water’s flavour can vary and it can be consumed with meals just like conventional mineral water.
Bottled Purified Water
You can find filtered bottled water in the aisles of your neighbourhood grocery store alongside mineral and waterfall water. This has been filtered municipal water. Minerals are occasionally added for flavour and purported health benefits. They assert that while minerals may be present in filtered bottled water, the concentrations are often quite small.
Water that has been cooked into steam, condensed, and then collected is known as distilled water. Beneficial minerals are also eliminated through this procedure, which removes contaminants. Despite the fact that it is safe to consume distilled water, it could taste bland. It is advisable to keep distilled water separate and use it only for your neti pot or to iron your clothes.
Alkaline water is water that is less acidic than conventional water because it has a higher pH level. Alkaline water has been linked to a number of health benefits, including as enhancing digestion, preventing cancer, and “detoxifying” the body, however there is little reliable scientific evidence to back these claims.
Regarding flavour, some individuals believe that alkaline water has a milder flavour than ordinary water, while others may perceive it to be bitter. Depending on your own preferences and the exact minerals added to some alkaline water, you may or may not enjoy the flavour of this water.
How Does Filtering Affect Taste?
The good news is that filtered water might actually taste better than unfiltered water. Chlorine, lead, and other substances that alter the taste of your water can all be removed from it using filters such as pitcher filters, faucet filters, under-sink filters, and whole-house filtration systems.
For the majority of your water requirements, including drinking and preparing coffee and other beverages, Rise suggests using filtered tap water. He has a filtering system at home and travels with a pitcher filter. He prefers filtered tap water over all other types of water for daily consumption.
Should You Be Concerned About Your Water’s Taste?
It’s worth investigating if you detect a sudden change in the flavour of your tap water. Be mindful, though, because a lot of water pollutants are tasteless. So it’s important to keep up with local water quality warnings.
The local health department advises testing the water from each source if you have a well, and the water should also be tested anytime you make any changes or repairs to your well system. Depending on where it comes from, ground-level water can taste differently. For the greatest tasting, most straightforward hydration, Rise advises drinking filtered tap water. Test out several mineral varieties and waterfall water.
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