Side-by-side test today of Waitrose essential, Brecon Carreg (from Waitrose), Clearview and Volvic. The test was using the cupping method described by Prufrock in their blog.
Evaluation was based on sensory info alone, no refracting I’m afraid as this wasn’t really related to what I was trying to find out. I also realise that cupping is not really designed to to evaluate water so please take the results with a pinch of salt
Volvic didn’t really do much for me at all, it really lacks body, smoothness and you end up with a cup that lacks in so many ways.
Clearview was a slight improvement over Volvic, it really lacked body but was more balanced in flavour than Volvic.
Brecon Carreg had more body and creaminess to it but there was a slight drying chalky vibe to it. It was a very dull cup with no real flavours shining through.
Waitrose Essential had a great balance of body vs acidty. Nice and creamy, all the expected fruit notes were there really tasty and easily best of the bunch!
Following the test I brewed a quick Kalita cup with the Waitrose and it made the best brewed cup I’ve had in a while at home, it shared many of the attributes of the cupping but much cleaner, probably a little over extracted at 1.45 TDS (20.81% EY) but that’s almost certainly my fault. More tests using the Chemex are required tomorrow. I’ve got a few other waters that need to be tested as well.
So looking at the water specs it kind of makes sense.
Alkalinity of 32mg/L (SCAA Ideal is 40)
Calcium Hardness of 63.9mg/L (SCAA ideal is 68)
TDS of 110 (SCAA ideal 150)
Na of 12mg/L (SCAA ideal 10 or less) More Na can result taste by adding a slight enhancement in sweetness.
Maxwell recommends a 2:1 ratio of Calcium Hardness to Alkalinity measured as CaCO3 in mg/L. This water has a ratio of 1.998:1.
If it had a little more TDS and a very slight increase in Alkalinity then it would be bang on!?