Third Wave Water is Charles Nick's and Taylor Minor's recipe for the best brewed coffee you can make. The two former techies and current entrepreneurs are coffee aficionados constantly in search for the best cup of Joe they can find. Of course good coffee starts with a good grind, but they claim the water you brew it with is just as important. That's how they came up with Third Wave Water, their mineralization capsules for water.
Water, they say, has a big effect on coffee. Different water sources have different mineral contents which can detract from or enhance coffee's flavor. Their capsules – sold in packs of 12 for $15 – contain calcium, magnesium and sodium. This mineral mix, when added to distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water, brings out the best in any coffee grind. The capsules add about ten cents to the cost of each home-brewed cup.
Many public water supplies – and private wells for that matter – get treated with a variety of chemicals that make water taste funky. Anything you mix with that water will adopt some of that funkiness. That's why people buy spring or distilled water for cooking or install a reverse osmosis water filter. Distilled water and filtered water contain no minerals, just the hydrogen atom and its two companion oxygen atoms. While the water is pure, it lacks what the Third Wave guys call “terroir,” which is the effect minerals have in water (or coffee or wine). Their mineralization capsules or dehydrated water fix that.
They sold their first box of capsules in November, 2016. Since then, there's been a lot of fuss in the coffee world about the validity of their coffee. Some scoff at the idea, while people who tried the product rave. The Kickstarter crowd bought in when they funded the business in a few short days. Third Wave needs to do a fair amount of educating to sell their product. They probably want a Shark to give them some cash for marketing so they can communicate their message.
We drink a lot of coffee in our house. My wife is an avid “Dunkie Junkie” while I prefer home-brew. I buy good quality, organic Colombian coffee all the time. I brew it with distilled water and it's very good.
The reason I don't brew it out of the tap is our county water is so heavily chlorinated, it gives coffee (and anything else cooked with it) a “tinny” aftertaste. I use distilled water exclusively for coffee and cooking. We're looking into a whole house reverse osmosis system to save trips to the store for gallons of water (and money).
The distilled water makes good coffee. I feel as if it's smooth and flavorful. It's certainly better than tap brewed coffee, which I make when I run out of distilled water. I'll have to admit, when I first heard about Third Wave, I thought it was hokey. The idea of “instant water” smacked of a bad joke at best. Once I read up on the science of it, I lost some of my skepticism. As with anything you ingest, the proof is in the taste. I will try the mineralization capsules and, if there's a noticeable difference in taste, Third Wave has a new customer. I like my coffee enough to spend a few extra cents a cup for better brew – that's why I buy “the good stuff” in the first place!
The whole “terroir” discussion will surely invite commentary from Kevin O'Leary. Most expect some snarkines, but his knowledge of wine should make him an easy convert. Mark will be the most vocal non-believer. Lori, Barbara and Robert could go either way. Kevin's knowledge of the “science” behind the product will either convince the other Sharks or further put them off.
There is discussion around the product as the ABC press release states “the Sharks debate if the solution to make coffee taste even better is too much of a niche product.” This tells me there are Sharks on both sides of the debate. I don't think anyone but Kevin will do a deal, and if he thinks it's too niche, he's out.