11 November, 2014
Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water — and Coupon Code!Comments : 2 Posted in : Beverage, Product Reviews on by : The Gourmez
I’ve never done a water taste test before. I’ve read a number of articles on them, being firmly in the camp that a pretty bottle does not make for better water, and that typically, our public municipal water is healthier than anything the less-regulated bottled-water industry can provide. Plus, I generally scoff when people claim their tap water tastes bad; it’s my experience that marketing has done a great job scaring people into not trusting what they already pay for with their taxes.
So why then, am I sampling a bottled water product? Particularly this one, Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water?
Well, it’s because of when I came down with strep throat two years ago and the doctor said my severe dehydration was actually the bigger concern than my 104° fever. As usual, drink Gatorade was his advice for the electrolytes. Of course, most of y’all already know that electrolytes do a great job of keeping us hydrated, but what you don’t know is that I loathe power drinks. They taste horrible. I don’t know how so many of you drink them.
So I tried Vitamin Water for the first time instead, because they were the only other easily accessible product with a healthy dose of electrolytes. But they still have calories, way more of them than I’m used to drinking in liquid form. I am primarily a water drinker, although both coffee (black) and wine vie for my affections. And as much as I loathe the taste of power drinks, I also loathe the taste of artificial sugar substitutes, so simply switching to a diet brand version of Vitamin Water doesn’t work—though I have recently discovered that their Zero bottles made with Stevia are close to inoffensive for me.
I’m drifting. This isn’t a post on my hatred of sugar substitutes. It’s a post that describes why I was interested in sampling Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water at all. Because it’s simply water…that’s naturally packed with electrolytes. Why? The water comes from Mauna Loa’s snowmelts and rain and it filters through the mountain’s porous volcanic rock as it flows downward into the Kea’au aquifer, picking up lots of bonus minerals that give Waiākea water its high levels of electrolytes naturally. Plus, the specific minerals it picks up are ones that I never get enough of in my regular diet: potassium and calcium in particular. That they are picked up naturally rather than added into the water afterward is a bonus to me, though I fear that may just be the marketing winning me over. Someday, I’ll write a short story all about our unceasing fascination with the term natural.
Oops, sorry. Drifting again. So how does Waiākea water taste? Going in, I admit to being skeptical that I’d taste any difference between it and my Brita-filtered, City of Hayward, tap water. They certainly didn’t look different.
In sniffing them both, I must admit the Waiākea water had something mildly sweet and floral about it. For the sake of keeping this tropical, let’s call it a hibiscus-blossom scent. Was it my imagination that called up images of pumice stone while drinking the Waiākea water? Mayhaps, but I did taste a stronger minerality and a teensy bit of salinity from it that I didn’t expect. In contrast, the Brita water tasted softer, but otherwise I’d have to just go with “water” in terms of description—and there’s nothing wrong with just water, but the Waiākea wiggled my foodie curiosity whiskers more.
Can I really tell much of a difference when tasting side by side? Nah. And that’s a good thing, because it means Waiākea water is a great alternative for me to the regular tap when I need a higher boost of electrolytes and want to avoid fruit flavors and fake sugars.
Of course, there are other bottled waters on the market that offer high electrolytes, though I don’t think any of them have the alkaline pH of 8.8 that Waiākea boasts of. And I’m pretty sure none of them have as good of a corporate policy in terms of giving back and protecting the environment that Waiākea does: (a) They have achieved CarbonNeutral® certification, (b) their bottles are 100% recycled, and (c) they donate 650 liters of water through PumpAid.org for every liter sold. I like supporting companies who give back to the planet that has helped them do well.
So where can you get it? It’s available at some Sprouts, New Leaf, and Whole Foods locations locally, and of course, they have a location finder on their website. But you can also buy it online by the case: $36 for 12 liters or $38 for 24 half-liters. That’s in line with most high-end bottled waters. Additionally, Waiākea provided me with a coupon code for anyone interested in making a purchase on the site, so you can get it for cheaper! You’ll get 20% off the order by typing in RGF20, and it should be good for 60 days from the time of this post. Click here to visit their store.
Obligatory disclaimer: I’ll get some money back from the company if you do use the code, and they provided the water for me to review. Whether that makes me a biased reviewer or not is up to you to decide.
Will I be purchasing Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water for my everyday use? Not likely. Brita filters and tap water are a lot cheaper, and bottled water continues to be an expense I don’t feel is justified. But I will be ordering a case to keep at home for use when I’m dehydrated. Thanks, Waiākea, for the sample and the new hydration option!
Reviewed 21 October 14.