How does water from different brands taste like?
The taste of water: why water is the number 1 pleasure drink for me
Water is not simply water. In the evidero interview, the water sommelier Jerk Martin Riese tells us what to look out for when buying water bottles and how different water can actually taste.
You describe yourself as a water sommelier. Is that a recognized profession? Is there any training for this?
Water sommelier is not a recognized profession and there is no training. I am a trained restaurant specialist and over the years I have specialized in the topic of water, i.e. learning by doing.
For many, water simply tastes like water. And for you?
For me, water has many different flavors. It can taste from salty, fruity, bitter to mineral, sour and sweet. Just try it out yourself: buy two to four different types of water in the supermarket. When buying, make sure that it is water with different mineral content. Then just try it with family or a few friends at the same time. Start with the water that has the lowest mineral content and finish with the water that has the strongest mineral content. You will see, it is fascinating what differences you can suddenly recognize and taste.
Which names on a water bottle are most important for the customer?
For me the most important thing is to see the mineral content on a bottle. From this I can see roughly how the water will taste. The higher the mineral content, the stronger and spicier the taste.
What is good water anyway?
I don't differentiate between good and bad water when it comes to mineral water. Everyone has a different taste, so you can't say that there is the best water. It looks very different with tap water. Here in Los Angeles, where I live, the tap water is mixed with chlorine, so it also has a chlorine taste, which I find extremely annoying. We're really lucky in Germany. German tap water is usually very neutral in taste.
It has always been my dream to create the perfect water, so I teamed up with the “Beverly Water Company”. We found a great little spring in northern California and I added the perfect mineral content to the water. The water is called: "Beverly Hills 9OH2O" and has a very soft, round, almost sweet taste, but is still very refreshing.
Is water still a staple food or is it more of a pleasure drink?
Both: Everyone has the right to clean drinking water. Therefore, I think that the tap water companies belong in the hands of the state. It looks very different with mineral water. I think it's great to try water that has an interesting history, like Tanzanian rainwater, Canadian glacier water or some water from the tropics. With small quantities produced, a water can be quite expensive. I do not use the word expensive on purpose, because I believe it is justified that premium water costs more than water from a discount store.
Why is there such a large water industry at all when everyone just has to turn on the tap to get water?
TASTE. Water is not simply water. If I want to have a nice evening and go to a great restaurant, I'm happy about a water selection that I don't have at home.
Where do you think the water trend will go in the next few years?
I hope that the diversity of the different waters will be preserved. I am afraid that small regional sources will have to give up because many people buy and drink the same soup from discounters.
Glass bottle or PET. Does that really matter?
Yes, that makes a huge difference! The glass bottle is the only bottle I drink water from. Ever leave a PET bottle in the sun in the car, then open it and drink the water? Classic plastic taste, so plastic adulterated the water. It's always about the taste for me and plastic isn't really the taste I prefer.
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