By Mike Pomranz
Updated January 05, 2017
© Three Wave Water

Back in August, when I first heard of a company called Aquiem selling prepackaged water “specially designed for brewing coffee” at the current price of nearly $3 per boxed liter, my words were that it was “possibly” “insane.” Well, someone else apparently doesn’t think the idea of designing special water for coffee is crazy – though shipping full boxes of it to customers might be. Instead a company called Third Wave Water offers a simpler solution: capsules that promise to perfectly prepare your preexisting water for coffee brewing.

“The terroir of water is much like that of coffee,” Third Wave Water states on its website – an equally accurate and ironic point being that some would probably consider a capsule the adds “terroir” to water to be the opposite of the spirit of the word “terroir.” Still, that’s essentially what Third Wave Water claims its capsules do, “re-mineralizing” either distilled or reverse osmosis water “to blend in the perfect amount of calcium, magnesium and sodium.” “Your favorite third wave coffee will taste its best when brewed with Third Wave Water,” the brand promises.

Now, please understand, I am not saying water doesn’t affect the taste of coffee. Of course it does, the same way that if you brewed coffee with chicken soup, your coffee would taste a bit soupy. However, as long as you start with decent water (instead of, say, chicken soup), I am a bit skeptical that using a water specially designed for coffee will make that noticeable of an improvement.

Still, if you want to jump on the special coffee water trend, Third Wave Water would appear to be a more cost effective and environmentally-friendly choice compared to the aforementioned Aquiem. Third Wave Water is currently selling “pre-production samples” of their capsules for $10 for a pack of 10. With each capsule treating a gallon of water, that’s about 25 cents per liter – though a Kickstarter is planned for later this month, so maybe better deals are on the horizon.

And though some might mock these kinds of products, you can’t really mock Third Wave Water’s stated methodology. As the brand points out, the Specialty Coffee Association of America actually does have water standards and their product claims to get your distilled water within those standards.

It’s something to think about. Or you could also just think about saying to hell with all of it and hitting Dunkin’ Donuts.