I know this is a tea blog, but I am so interested in water that I’ve begun to focus on it more. It turns out, every water is different – it only takes one side-by-side to notice the differences. I haven’t seen any water reviews online, so I thought I might give them a shot, as someone who’s been working with water for a few years.
Today’s water is:
Origin: Sweet Water Spring, Saratoga Springs, NY OR Pristine Mountain Springs, Stockbridge, VT
Bottle: 750 ml Glass
|Hardness||37 mg/L as CaCO3|
|Alkalinity||34 mg/L as CaCO3|
|Hardness to Alkalinity Ratio||1.08|
|Electrical Conductivity at 25ºC||140 μS/cm|
|Water quality report error||5.5%|
|Electrical Conductivity at 25ºC||142 μS/cm|
First off – the presentation of Saratoga is gorgeous. The elegant, transparent blue glass bottle hides the contents: you know there’s water in there, but you want to get it out of the bottle to really get a look at it. This presentation is reminiscent of wine bottles, where the product is hidden from view, but not invisible.
The smell of the water is odorless. You might think all water is like that, but it’s not the case. For light mineral waters, odorless is often the expected goal, especially in glass.
The mouthfeel of Saratoga is rather fluffy. This suggests that there is a lot of dissolved gas/air in it. At first, it’s rather sweet and cloud-like, but quickly multiple things become apparent. The water has a bit much CO2, giving it a stale taste, similar to when you leave a glass of water out too long. This can be considered a feature of this water, however I don’t totally love that quality. Amidst this slightly flat taste, the mineral profile asserts itself. For a medium-light water, there’s plenty of taste here. A generally sweet calcium presence balances out a fairly dense bicarbonate-sulfate earthiness aftertaste. The high chloride brings a bit of brightness and smoothness – the water is very smooth. I wouldn’t say it tastes clean, though – the excess co2 is really obvious in both the front and back of the mouth, and combined with the minerality it comes across rather bold. There is a slight milk/cream feel to the water, but much less than harder water. It’s not very dry, there’s rather a general sweetness and density to the water, despite its fluffiness.
For tea, this is a good water – it makes smooth tea with enough complexity, and the TDS is in a good range for all sorts of tea.
I would appreciate if it said which of the two sources were in the bottle. When I drink Saratoga, I’d rather it be from Saratoga rather than some “backup spring” in Vermont. I wonder if they blend them together, or if some bottles are Vermont water and some are New York. If anyone knows, send me a DM!