I'm sure at some point or another, everyone's probably noticed some subtle differences in how their water tastes. Though the difference is probably not significant enough to affect the water people buy, it definitely leaves us with some favorites. I've never really been loyal to a specific brand of water since my parents usually buy whatever's the cheapest like most people do. However, this has given me the opportunity to try a variety of different water brands. And after sixteen years of compiling my opinions on them, the time has come to issue my verdict on which water is the best.
Yes, I am probably exaggerating when I say Dasani tastes like Satan's farts. However, compared to the other bottled water I've tried, it's definitely one of the worst. According to their website, they use reverse osmosis filtration and then adds minerals to create "fresh, clean, and premium tasting water that is pure and delicious."
I highly disagree.
Dasani water feels almost corrosive in how acidic it tastes. It leaves my mouth dry and even more thirsty than I originally was. It also brings back memories of coming back from hours of walking in hot and humid summer weather only to drink a boiling bottle of water that's been left in the car for too long. It's not pleasant, not refreshing nor is it thirst-quenching. It's just water you'd drink if you were about to die of dehydration. And even then, they'd probably be no difference between that and a bottle of hydrochloric acid.
Similar in character to Dasani, Aquafina is also purified through reverse osmosis. However, their water seems to go through an especially rigorous filtering and purification process. This purification process includes reverse osmosis and other filtering and purification methods. It removes things like "chlorides, salts and other substances that can affect a water's taste."
It definitely seems like they removed everything out of Aquafina. The water leaves my mouth feeling dry like it went straight down my throat instead of touching my tongue. It's quite sharp and acidic again in addition to being bland. The only way its significantly different from Dasani is that it tastes less like plastic or chemicals. Again, nothing remarkable.
Kroger's generic water is always pretty cheap which is quite commendable. It tastes similar to both Dasani and Aquafina with that same dry, acidic profile. Additionally, it seems to taste old or like the water bottle pretty quickly after a few hours of shaking it around. However, I expect that given the price. Surprisingly, Kroger water can sometimes quench my thirst or leave me feeling satisfied after I drink it. Perhaps that's psychological though. I associate Kroger water with memories of coolers at lunchtime on school field trips.
Kirkland's water is almost the exact same as Kroger's. It not very refreshing and it still has an uncomfortably sharp tang. However, it only begins to taste like the plastic bottle after a few days compared to a few hours with Kroger. To me, Kirkland water reminds me of myself in eighth grade trudging through the hallways. It does what it's supposed to do, but deep down, it's still dead inside.
8. Smart WaterGiphy
Smart Water is basically Dasani water sold at a higher price because of its nice marketing and pretty bottle. They advertise their product as being vapor distilled and "pure as the first drop of rain." Basically, heat is used to boil water which is then cooled and condensed back to a purified state like the water cycle.
Smart Water is the first one of these waters to have a specific taste more complex than acidic and dry. They add in electrolytes including ionized minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium which "creates a taste that is distinctly fresh, crisp and pure."
At times, I can taste the electrolytes which sometimes can effectively quench thirst. However, just because they refresh me doesn't mean I like the taste. Smart Water is still on the acidic side though it definitely isn't dry. I can see how it's "fresh" and "crisp" but I feel like they overcompensated and created something sharp instead. It's not my favorite water, and my opinion of it seems to change depending on how thirsty I am along with the temperature of the water. (It actually tastes pretty good when it's cold.) But at least the bottles look nice and pretty.
7. Nestle Pure LifeGiphy
Upon reading their website, I was quite surprised to find out that Nestle Pure Life water was purified even though I probably should've guessed from the name. Their water always tasted quite full and soft like there were minerals in it from a spring. According to Nestle, they source their water from wells or municipal supplies and treat it with a 12-step process including reverse osmosis like the other brands of water mentioned previously.
However, something must be different in the minerals they add back into the water. Nestle Pure Life tastes comparably smooth and round compared the uncomfortable sharpness of other purified waters. Nonetheless, it still has a slight bit of sharpness, but it's a tasteful amount of it some people might even prefer for a crisp or refreshing quality. My experiences with Nestle Pure Life have varied with it sometimes being my favorite while at other times tasting seemingly as bad as Aquafina. Still, it's a pretty solid choice for some nice bottled water.
At first, I was amazed by Publix spring water. The packaging was pretty nice, and it tasted great for cheap. It was probably the closest I've come to stick to a specific brand of water because I liked its taste and affordability.
Publix spring water is more mellow than the other waters mentioned, and it tastes sweeter as well. However, it's still balanced out with an enjoyable crispness that gives it a slight edge or pop. It overall makes for a pretty enjoyable drinking experience where I can actually focus on its taste as I'm drinking it. I would say that there aren't electrolytes in there like Smart Water to "quench" thirst. However, its taste from the minerals inside leaves me refreshed and satisfied anyways even though it's a bit on the soft side for water.
The only complaints I have is that I eventually got bored of their water. It wasn't something captivating or something I wanted to return back to after a while. Additionally, I encountered the problem of my water tasting different or like the bottle after a few hours of carrying it around and shaking it. Plus, the caps on their bottle were way too small making it really hard to effectively screw them shut and prevent spills.
5. Crystal GeyserGiphy
I honestly have more experience with Publix spring water than Crystal Geyser which I usually remember back in my elementary school days. Thus, this part of the scale may be quite ambiguous. However, the reason I put Crystal Geyser as higher than Publix was that it seems to have more minerals in it which add to its taste and refreshing quality.
Whereas Publix water has more contrasts with its very smooth water balanced out by a sharpness, Crystal Geyser is quite in the middle of the road. Its water is still enjoyably smooth and round but it's crisp and refreshing in a way where I can't make a distinction between the two profiles. Thus, it's good for people who are looking for all aspects of water. I would say this brand is quite effective at quenching thirst. However, this might be because I drank it cold every day at lunch in my elementary school cafeteria.
I only remember drinking Evian in hotel rooms on vacations. However, it has an interesting taste that's stuck with me for a while now. Evian apparently is spring water that comes from the French Alps and picks up a unique blend of minerals on the way down. It tastes very full and mellow but is also a little cool and crisp without being too sharp. This water distinctly tastes very alkaline to me. Though alkalinity is supposed to be a good thirst quencher, the Evian water feels a little too basic or too crammed with minerals meant to make it taste good. Still, it's a very nice quality water that tastes great and is also refreshing. I'd buy it more if it was more available around my local grocery stores and if it was cheaper.
Fiji water is usually on the expensive side, not to mention it doesn't come in those convenient water bottle packs. Thus, many people have evaluated its worth based on cost and convenience. Though it doesn't really score high in any of those categories, there's no doubt Fiji water still tastes pretty good. Apparently, they collect their water from an artesian aquifer deep underground where it's "untouched by man until you unscrew the cap." They also emphasize that Fiji water is from tropical rain that filters through layers of volcanic rock, where it gathers natural minerals and electrolytes. Though this might be a giant marketing ploy, it honestly works. The backstory is really cool and probably makes me pretty biased towards the water before I even drink it in a strange placebo effect.
Fiji water is very mellow, soft and smooth. What's interesting is that Fiji water creates a refreshing quality with naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals. Unlike other brands of water, they don't have an acidity or sharpness that makes their water refreshing. Thus, they can quench thirst without compromising or sacrificing the original taste of the water. The only complaint I would have is that their water lacks crispness, but I find the fact that it's refreshing good enough since I tend to lean towards more sweeter, softer water.
2. Deer ParkGiphy
Deer Park is spring water that's gotten surprisingly good to me in the last few years. I don't know how it crept up on me, but eventually, I noticed that it tasted really nice. It's full-bodied, soft and somewhat sweet. However, it's also crisp or hydrating sometimes. I'm guessing that the discrepancy in taste might be the different springs they source their water from though I'm not sure. Though I like the former taste better, it's all pretty enjoyable to me and makes for a great cost-effective everyday bottled water that's currently one of my favorites. Plus, their bottles actually have reasonably sized caps that don't leak or explode water. (I'm looking at you, Publix and Kirkland.)
Sometimes, I wish I could easily buy this at my local grocery store, but at the same time, I recognize that its nativity to Florida is what gives it some of its charm. Zephyrhills is probably one of Florida's best-kept secrets I always end up drinking on road trips to their beaches. Man, this water is so good! It's extremely mellow, sweet and smooth with a hint of salt or something that gives it a slight kick or character. Whatever it is, it has a phenomenal taste my crappy water tasting vocabulary can't even begin to describe. Next time in Florida, give this a try. And if you are in Florida, consider yourself lucky.