Rebecca Dickson, Reporter
Water- the life sustaining substance commonly found bottled in students’ backpacks. From plastic to fancy glass bottles, differences in acidity, price and taste, students have opportunities to choose from thousands of bottled waters for their late-night study sessions. Although seen as a luxury item, bottles of water purchased off store shelves are popular.
According to Today, Americans spend close to $20 billion on bottled water each year. With this high cost, students may wonder if bottled waters have any significant difference in taste. The tastes of Core Hydration, Acqua Panna Toscana Italia, Imported Iceland Spring Water, Eternal Naturally Alkaline Spring Water, Fiji Natural Artesian Spring Water and +Essentia Hydration Perfection have unique differences in taste, quality and price.
+Essentia Hydration Perfection (Safeway 88 cents/pint)
+Essentia is one of the worst waters one could choose to drink. The bottle itself is made out of cheap plastic, which bends to the slightest pressure.
This cheap plastic should be seen as a warning to the drinker- the water itself tastes like a mixture of cheap plastic and some other unidentifiable material. This is largely due to its pH. With a pH of 9.5 or higher, the pH is higher than that of some laundry detergents.
The water leaves a horrible taste in the drinker’s’ mouth, but also doesn’t hydrate the individual. Like some other alkaline waters, the throat seems oddly dry after drinking. This links up to a phrase found on +Essentia’s company website: “Essentia’s distinctly clean and smooth taste will leave you wanting more.” This is true. Although the water is distinctly disgusting, the dry throat effect will cause customers to continue drinking the putrid water.
The water, once entering the stomach, leaves drinkers with an upset stomach and coated teeth.
While other bottles try and make the bottle stand out, +Essentia takes another route. Without its label, the bottle is unrecognizable and could be filled with seawater for all the drinker would know. The only distinctions found with this bottle is the black sports cap. Although one can respect its utility, it’s hard to get off the bottle one handed. This can make customers resort to the customer using their teeth to take the lid off the bottle.
Although drinkable when necessary, +Essentia’s water is the worst bottled water one could taste, and should be avoidable at all costs.
Although it tastes like trash, drinkers won’t drop dead after drinking the water.
Core Hydration (Safeway, $1.51/pint)
Core Hydration is a bottled water owned by the record producer Dr. Luke. It’s a bottled water that claims a “perfect pH” of about 7.4, and uses the process of reverse osmosis (a water purification technique) to clean the water.
Admired as a great bottled water by many musicians and star athletes, the bottle is often featured on social media and is becoming more popular among millennials.
The bottle itself is structured well. Although easy to crush, the bottle bounces back. The lid is as wide as the bottle but has a smaller opening. The lid, therefore, can be used as an improvised cup. It has a shape which makes it easy to carry; the bottle curves to the structure of the hand.
The water itself is slightly better than tap water. It’s slightly more bitter than regular tap, and has no scent. Core Hydration can be compared to Crystal Water.
Although the taste is somewhat more pleasing than tap water, the water seems overpriced. Uniquely, Core Hydration tends to be more filling than other bottled waters.
Overall, Core Hydration is a great choice for bottled water, but clean, filtered tap water would be much cheaper.
Acqua Panna Toscana Italia (Safeway $1.05/pint)
Nestle’s Acqua Panna Toscana Italia water claims a pH of 8.2, according to Nestle, making it slightly alkaline. Although the health benefits of alkaline water are somewhat debated, some studies have shown it helps with acid reflux and other health issues.
The bottle itself is quite impressive. Featuring a glass container with a paper label, the bottle is too heavy for practical use outside of use at fancy dinners and in restaurants. The lid secures itself well on the bottle. However, the lid looks and feels cheap.
The only noticeable difference between Acqua Panna Toscana Italia and filtered tap water is the semi-sweet taste Acqua Panna Toscana Italia brings to the table.
Overall, the most impactful quality is the bottle. The water is clean but isn’t worth the price.
Imported Iceland Spring Water (Safeway, 99 cents/pint)
Imported Iceland Spring Water has a pH of 8.88 according to the company website, making it also alkaline, although the bottle doesn’t mention anything about alkaline water, it does state that “Icelanders live longer than any other nationality; we believe the secret to their long life is their water,” which can be hard to believe.
The bottle seems cheaply made; it seems almost like it was meant to be placed in a gas station minimart. The texture placed on the top and bottom of the bottle adds to this effect, as it seems as if Kolvidur is purposely trying (and failing) to make the water a luxury item.
The water itself is quite bitter and metallic in taste. This is most likely due to the high pH and the filtering of the water through basalt rock.
The water seems like it’s lower quality than most generic bottles of water. Because of the strong bitter taste, students may be better off drinking filtered tap water or another generic bottle of water. Imported Iceland Spring Water is not worth the price- it’s not worth the environmental damage the bottle causes.
Fiji Natural Artesian Spring Water (Safeway, $1.01/pint)
Fiji is one of the best luxury waters available to students on the go. With a pH of 7.7, the water is barely alkaline, as the pure, ideal pH of water is 7.0. The taste is surprisingly sweet, yet not too strong.
Although the quality of the bottle itself is average and the label leaves a sticky, blurry appearance on the bottle, the lid is secure, allowing for little to no possible spillage, regardless of how many times a student may drop the bottle.
The bottle is brick shaped, allowing for product visibility and a distinction from other bottles of water. While other bottles may be better off being sold in large quantities of 12-24 bottles, Fiji breaks that mold- the unique shape calls for smaller packaging of six to eight bottles, or even sold individually.
The water quality is exceptional. With a slightly sweet taste, the water leaves an impression on drinkers, which is not forgotten easily. The water is pure and refreshing.
Overall, this water is similar to a bottle of water, which can be bought in an airport. Although overpriced, the water is great.
Eternal Naturally Alkaline Spring Water (78 cents/pint)
Eternal Naturally Alkaline Spring water has a pH of 7.8-8.2. Although slightly alkaline, the bitterness of the water isn’t overpowering. The bottle is slightly squishy, but it isn’t dented. As the bottle has a flat back and a curved body, students may grab the bottle easily and simply.
The unique shape allows for a bubbled design on the sides. This design would normally look cheap on other styles of bottles; however, on this bottle, it makes the bottle stand out on store shelves. The bottle’s label is only on the flat back, making it hard to read through the clear water.
The water is slightly bitter, and leaves a somewhat weird taste in the mouths of those who drink it. Although it hydrates the body, the water leaves an odd dry feeling in the throat.
Although it’s quality water and the bottle is fancy, the water is quite unremarkable.
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