Why Water?

Why Water?

Water is the most abundant commodity on the planet. There are billions of gallons deep underground and billions more filling the oceans. Throughout the world there are many unique wells, springs, aquifers, and catch basins. Water from each of these sources have a different taste, aesthetic value and story behind it. Some are more unique. Some taste better. Some are healthier for you. Some you should probably stay away from. And some are just LUXURY.

This is where we come in.

ACQUA BOUTIQUE is the premier importer and distributor of the finest, most unique luxury bottled waters from around the world. We only select the best of the best. This ensures we have a small yet high quality portfolio of luxury waters that you won’t find at your local supermarket or grocery store. In fact, the producers of these waters become apoplectic at the thought of you getting these anywhere other than the finest restaurants, most upscale hotels, and trendiest places.

You can rest assured that the number of high quality waters we review and select is based on the right balance of taste, aesthetics, quality, and background. Sure, they are pricey. Some of them are really pricey. After all, this isn’t just any water – it is luxury water. And believe us when we say there really is a difference – water isn’t all the same.

‘Bottled Water’ Sources

Rain (and other precipitation) is the origin of all water. But after rainwater falls, geological and meteorological factors influence the next step in the journey. When winter snowfall in the Alps melts in springtime, it flows into rivers, springs at the base of the mountain then bubble forth with this relatively young water. But in other parts of the world, the ground may quickly absorb falling rainwater, and the water may not reach the surface again for another ten thousand years.

Water that circulates in a deep spring, well, or artesian well is generally more protected from human and animal waste than surface water or water from a shallow aquifer. But deep-circulating water often has a higher mineral content because it interacts with rocks for longer periods. Still, shallow-circulating water or even surface water may be of fine quality - environmental conditions make all the difference. From pristine and protected surroundings, shallow water and even rainwater are clean, safe, and delightful to drink. Since the ultimate source of water is always rain, let’s look a little more closely at types of water that are on offer:

1- Purified Water

This water has undergone several processes such as deionization, reverse osmosis or distillation. Distillation is one of mankind's earliest forms of water treatment, and it is still a popular treatment solution throughout the world today. In ancient times, the Greeks used this process on their ships to convert sea water into drinking water. Today, distilled water is still used to convert sea water to drinking water on ships and in other parts of the world, and to treat water in other areas that is fouled by natural and unnatural contaminants. Distillation is perhaps the one water treatment technology that most completely reduces the widest range of drinking water contaminants.

2- Deep Sea Water

Icebergs near Greenland melted thousands of years ago, and the water produced was of a different temperature and salinity than the surrounding seawater.

This difference kept the water separate as it sank to the ocean floor; it now circles Earth every several thousand years. The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), at Keahole Point, Hawaii, provides access to this deep seawater through a pipeline reaching 3,000 feet (914 m) into the ocean. Entrepreneurs have begun bottling the desalinated water.

3- Iceberg Water

Twelve to fifteen thousand years ago, snow untouched by industrial pollution was compacted to form large glacial walls.

Today, icebergs are melted and bottled after they’ve been broken into pieces.

4- Glacier Water

About twenty thousand years ago, Earth was one-third covered by glaciers, the remains of which are now being tapped as a source for bottled water. Alaskan tidewater-calving glaciers are melted for bottling, and elsewhere the water is harvested just before it would run into the ocean.

The sources’ steep terrain is often inhospitable to humans or animals, and access is restricted by environmental regulations. Glacier water is old water, sometimes formed more than seventeen thousand years ago. Typically, it has an extremely low mineral content and is similar in taste and other qualities to rainwater.

5- Rain Water

Rainwater has historically been used to irrigate crops and supply drinking water; typically, it is harvested on rooftops and stored for later use.

Recently, companies began bottling rainwater falling in remote, unpolluted parts of the world. Several of these waters come from Tasmania, where air pollution is extremely negligible.

Bottled rainwater is young water, with an extra-low mineral content. In most cases, it is nitrate free, though bottlers usually filter the water.

6- Well Water

Non-artesian wells need mechanical pumps to bring water from the aquifer to the surface.

Well water usually contains high and wide range of TDS and mineral composition and its quality vastly depends on geological and meteorological factors.

7- Artesian Water

When an artesian aquifer is tapped, pressure in the aquifer will force the water up the well without the use of a mechanical aid. The aquifer is surrounded by impermeable rock and typically made of sandstone or other porous rocks or sediment.

The pressure built up in a sloped aquifer will push water to the surface and may create a permanent fountain. Artesian water matches spring water’s range of characteristics. Vendors often promote a brand’s "artesian" quality as a distinguishing factor.

8- Spring Water

More bottled waters claim springs as their origin than any other type of source. Spring waters vary widely in their mineral composition and TDS level, both of which are influenced by the geology of the local area. Some springs naturally carbonate the water. The best tasting spring water comes from a protected, free-flowing spring and is treated as little as possible during the bottling process.

The actual definition of spring water is controversial. Geologists characterize it as water flowing through the surface of the earth with no help from machines.

Unlike mineral water, which is tightly defined by law, spring water has no legal definition and manufacturers may -- and do -- use water from sources other than natural springs.

Dependent upon the constancy of the water source (rainfall or snowmelt that infiltrates the earth), a spring may be ephemeral intermittent) or perennial (continuous).

A stream carrying the outflow of a spring to a nearby primary stream is called a spring branch or run. The cool water of a spring and its branch may harbor species such as certain trout that are otherwise ill-suited for a warmer local climate.

Water emanating from karst topography is another type of spring, often called a resurgence as much of the water may come from one or more sinkholes at a higher altitude. Karst springs generally are not subjected to as great a degree of ground filtering as spring water which may have continuously passed through soils or a porous aquifer.
 

 
Important information on water composition

Virginality™ (nitrate)

Virginality indicates how protected a water is from its surroundings. It is determined by the water’s level of nitrate, an inorganic compound made up of one nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms. Nitrate is easily carried through soil by water.

The substance can reach into the ground below the root zone through heavy rainfall or irrigation, and it may subsequently find its way into groundwater. In its natural state, water has less than 1 mg/l of nitrate; higher levels typically reveal a compromised / contaminant water. This contamination may come from fertilizer, animal waste products, decaying plant matter, septic tanks, or sewage treatment systems. Only testing can determine nitrate levels in water, as nitrate has no taste, odor, or color.

The ability of blood to carry oxygen throughout the body may be impaired by very high nitrate contamination in drinking water; this may case methemoglobinemia (also known as blue baby syndrome). Cancer, disruption of thyroid function, birth defects, and miscarriages are other health risks posed by high levels of nitrate.

The World Health Organization recommends that exposure to nitrate should not exceed 10 mg/l . In the United States, drinking water may not contain more than 10 mg/l of nitrate, a level determined by a study in 1951 of infants suffering from blue baby syndrome. The following table shows the levels of Virginality of bottled water:

 

Superior

0 - 1mg/l

 

Very Good

1 - 3mg/l

 

Good

3 - 7mg/l

 

Potable

7 - 10 mg/l

 

Non Potable

10 -50 mg/l

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Distillation, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange can each remove nitrate from water; several manufacturers offer equipment to apply these techniques to home drinking water. Nitrate is not removed by standard water softeners or filters, including carbon adsorption filters, and boiling water actually increases the concentration of nitrate.

 

Minerality™ (TDS)

Mineral Water’s taste is determined by the minerals it contains. The amount of minerals dissolved in water is indicated as total dissolved solids, measured in milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm), which are equal.

A water’s TDS is normally made up mainly of carbonates, bicarbonates, chlorides, sulfates, phosphates, nitrates, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and a few other minerals. Gases, colloids, or sediment is not included in the TDS measurement.

Think of low TDS waters as comparable to white wines, with a clean, neutral taste and less weight; high TDS waters are more like red wines, with a heavier, more substantial feel. Very high TDS waters feel distinctly heavy and may have an aftertaste, much like a big, bold red wine. Most mineral water you drink, though, probably has a medium TDS measurement and is more like a heavy white or a light red wine.

Minerality levels:

 

Super Low

0 - 50mg/l

 

Low

50- 250 mg/l

 

Medium

250- 800mg/l

 

High

800 - 1.500mg/l

 

Very High

1.500mg/l & over

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orientation™ (pH)

pH Factor of Water:

The pH (for "potential hydrogen") measures a substance’s level of acidity or alkalinity. On this scale, 1.0 to 6.9 is acidic, 7.0 is neutral, and 7.1 to 14.0 is alkaline (also referred to as basic).

Acidic:

Sour tastes (such as that of vinegar) come from acids, whereas alkaline substances tend to taste bitter and may seem to have a slippery feel.

Alkaline:

Low alkaline waters (pH 7.1–7.5) may be perceived as sweet—this doesn’t mean that the water tastes sugary but simply that it tastes neither bitter nor sour. Since pH is a logarithmic scale, the difference of 1

degree indicates a tenfold increase or decrease in acidity or alkalinity. Water with a pH of 5, for example is ten times more acidic than that with a pH of 6.

The following table describes water Orientation, or the taste of water based on the pH factor:

Acidic

pH 5 - 6.7

Neutral

pH 6.7 - 7.3

Hint of Sweet

pH   7.3 - 7.8

Alkaline

pH 7.8 - 10

 

Hardness (Ca & Mg)

Calcium & Magnesium:

Calcium and magnesium levels combine to determine the mineral water’s “hardness” (for the exact formula, see the table below). Bottled water is naturally soft, thanks to low levels of calcium and magnesium. Higher levels are often found in municipal water, which is often “softened”—particularly in the United States—to be used at home.

The taste of water is impacted heavily by softening.

Hard Water:

Hard tap water makes cleaning more difficult and more dependent on soaps and synthetic detergents. Scaling in boilers and teakettles comes from hard water. But hard water does not pose any danger to your health: According to the U.S. National Research Council, the magnesium and calcium in hard water can actually contribute to your daily dietary requirements.

Soft Water:

Water is softened with an ion-exchange water softener, which adds sodium (salt) to the water. About 8 mg/l of sodium are added for every grain of hardness (17.1 mg/l) taken out. Water softening accustoms most Americans to slightly salty water. The Department of the Interior and the international Water Quality Association offer the following classifications:

Soft

0 - 17.1 mg/l

Slightly Hard

17.1 - 60mg/l

Moderately Hard

60 -120mg/l

Hard

120 -180mg/l

Very Hard

180mg/l & over

Hardness can be calculated with this formula (calcium and magnesium should be measured in milligrams per liter): HARDNESS = (calcium x 2.5) + (magnesium x 4).

 

Vintage (age)

Carbon Dating Bottled Water:

Wine needs time to smooth out its tannin structure, but the quality of mineral water is not determined by its age. Vintage does influence water, however. Very young waters like bottled rain waters don’t have much time to absorb minerals, so they tend to have low TDS levels and hence light, clean tastes.

The age of a water is less important than the local geology. The age of bottled waters should be noted, though, as an enjoyable part of their back-stories, which add to the epicurean pleasure.

 

 

 ACQUA BOUTIQUE – Luxury Waters from Around the Globe.

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