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Michael Mascha

Professional Water Expert

Best Bottled Water & Bottled Water Brands

Featured On:

  • Fine Waters
Much bottled water is really bottled municipal tap water—in the United States, government and industry estimate that municipal water makes up twenty-five to forty percent of the bottled water sold. For example, wells across southern Maine pump water to be sold as Nestlé’s Poland Spring, which is sourced neither from Poland Spring nor any spring. It’s helpful to make a distinction between municipal or pumped water sources and natural sources of bottled water.

Bottled Water - The Next Wine:
Naturally bottled waters are very special waters and they express terroir. Bottled at the source, they may be naturally carbonated and are treated only minimally (if at all). Contact with geological formations imparts a unique mineral composition to the water; many of these compositions are reputed to have healthful properties. Some waters may have been formed only thirty days before bottling, whereas others are more than twenty thousand years old.

Many companies and individuals care deeply about the water they sell and its source. I talk to them every day, and they could certainly talk about their product all day. They are proud of delivering natural bottled water and obsessed with protecting its source. Some of these companies are new, but sometimes the waters have been used since Roman times, more than two thousand years ago.

Sources of Water:
At first glance, waters may not seem to have the individual characteristics that distinguish wines. But through comparison with the flavors in water, subtle but distinct differences in flavors become apparent. The source of the water plays an important role.

Rain (and other precipitation) is the origin of all water. But after rainwater falls, geological and meteorological factors influence the next step in the journey. The Water Connoisseur today has a wide choice of sources for bottled water: Spring, Artesian, Well, Rain, Glacier, Iceberg, and Deep Sea.

Bottled Water Etiquette:
Similar to wine there is a bottled water etiquette that deals with matching water and food, proper stemware, and drinking temperature.

The Best Waters:
In the same way as there is no best wine there is no best water! There are about 3000 brands of water in the world today of which are about 200 available in the US. The following waters express terroir of the source and the place created and represent their particular category very well.

The best bottled water is bottled at the source for the freshest taste. We recommend the right bottled water brands including Vichy Catalan, Bling H20, Berg, Equa and others always at the best price.

Best Bottled Water by Michael Mascha

The Best You Can Get

  • Aquadeco (spring water)

    Michael says: You will feel like having won an award with this one-of-a-kind glass bottle made in Slovenia by a glass maker with a 600 years pedigree. A perfect water for a very special event and you probably will take the bottle with you.

    The aquifer which supplies Aquadeco was created during the last ice age some 18,000 years ago. The retreating ice flow left a ice-contact deposit of sand with gravel. These distinctly different layers of soils helped to form an filtration matrix for water to flow through.

    Country of origin: Canada
    Region: Ontario
    Place name: Muskoka Springs
    Established: 2004
    Source: Spring water
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Very good
    Minerality: Low
    Hardness: Very hard
    Orientation: Hint of sweet

    Analysis:

    TDS 190
    Hardness 196
    pH 7.5
    Nitrate 1.6
    Calcium 48
    Magnesium 19
    Sodium 3.6
    Potassium 1.6
    Bicarbonate 170
    Sulfates 14
    Chlorides 0.7

    • Source: Spring in Ontario, Canada
    • One-of-a-kind glass bottle made in Slovenia
    • Low minerality
  • Berg (iceberg water)

    Michael says: Iceberg water is a very soft water with a super low mineral content and a great story to tell. Perfect for clear ice cubes with a lot of history or enjoyed in its unique bottle.

    The journey of the water starts over 15,000 years ago in the ancient glaciers of western Greenland where its source totally inaccessible to man. Not until massive pieces of ice break off into the ocean in the form of icebergs that they can be harvested. Pieces of Icebergs are melted and bottled under strict quality.

    Country of origin: Canada
    Region: Newfoundland
    Place name: North Atlantic
    Established: 2005
    Source: Iceberg
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Super low
    Hardness: Soft
    Orientation: Hint of sweet
    Vintage: 15,000 years

    Analysis:

    TDS 10
    Hardness 2
    pH 7.8
    Nitrate 0
    Calcium 0.2
    Magnesium 0.3
    Sodium 3


    • Source: Icebergs of North Atlantic near Newfoundland, Canada
    • Super low mineral content
    • Perfect for clear ice cubes
    • Unique bottle
  • Bling H2O (spring water)

    Michael says: Bling H2O brings low TDS water from the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to star-studded events like the MTV Video Music Awards and the Emmys.

    The company aims at the market for luxury water. Hollywood writer and producer Kevin G. Boyd noticed that waters carried by celebrities were becoming status symbols on set, but he sensed a gap in the market for water that would show off a special something extra. He created Bling H2O - sold in limited-edition bottles sealed with a cork and decorated by hand with Swarovski crystals - to stand out from the crowd.

    Bling H2O is pop-culture in a bottle. But it's not for everyone, just those that Bling.

    Country of origin: USA
    Region: Tennessee
    Place name: Vanleer
    Established: 2008
    Source: Spring
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Low
    Hardness: Hard
    Orientation: Neutral

    Analysis:

    TDS 140
    Hardness 125
    pH 7.3
    Nitrate <1
    Calcium 50
    Magnesium 0
    Sodium 0
    Potassium 0
    Bicarbonate 140
    Sulfates 0
    Chlorides 2


    • Source: Spring in Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, USA
    • Decorated by hand with Swarovski crystals
    • Limited-edition bottles sealed with a cork
    • Pop-culture in a bottle
  • Cape Grim (rain water)

    Michael says: A soft, very neutral-tasting water with a super low TDS and a very good story to tell. The glass bottle makes a captivating, upscale presentation.

    There are few places left in the world where air pollution is nearly nonexistent, but Cape Grim in northwest Tasmania is one of them. Clean air means unpolluted rain, which falls on the cold, remote, and rocky site of the Cape Grim Water Company for about 185 days each year. The company, which began selling water in 1999, has invested heavily in equipment to harvest this natural source of water.

    Country of origin: Australia
    Region: Tasmania
    Place name: Cape Grim
    Balance: Still and light
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Super low
    Orientation: Neutral
    Hardness: Soft
    Vintage: Young

    TDS: 5
    pH: 5.8 - 6.2
    Calcium: 0.3
    Chlorides: 3.6
    Bicarbonate: 1
    Magnesium: 0.6
    Nitrate: 0.03
    Potassium: 1
    Silica: 1
    Sodium: 2.1
    Sulphates: 2
    Hardness: 12


    • Source: Unpolluted rain from Tasmania, Australia
    • Glass bottle makes a captivating, upscale presentation
    • A soft, very neutral-tasting water with a super low TDS (mineral content)
  • Equa (spring water)

    Michael says: Equa is possibly the planet's lowest mineral content water from a natural source. Deep below an expanse of undisturbed Amazon rainforest, lays an aquifer composed entirely of solid rose quartz.

    Rainwater falls and soaks through the dense canopy; the natural filtration begins as the water seeps underground, through subterranean micro-fissures and beds of billion-year-old rose quartz. After flowing for decades within this glass-like aquifer, the water completes a remarkable journey, making its way to the Earth’s surface at the Equa spring.

    Country of origin: Brazil
    Region: State of Amazonas
    Place name: Presidente Figueriedo
    Source: Artesian
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Super low
    Hardness: Soft
    Orientation: Acidic
    Vintage: Decades

    Analysis:

    3 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)
    5.9 ph factor
    0 Calcium
    0 Chlorides
    0 Magnesium
    0 Nitrate
    0 Sodium
    0 Sulphates


    • Very low mineral content
    • Source: Spring deep below an expanse of undisturbed Amazon rainforest in Brazil
    • Naturally filtered

You will be happy with any of these

  • Finé (artesian water)

    Michael says: A stunning presentation, Finé’s bottle is modeled after traditional sake bottles. It is contemporary but not out of place in an epicurean setting. Finé is a slightly hard, low mineral content water with a possible sweet and soft perception due to the pH factor and the amount of silica. I love Finé with caviar, for both taste and presentation.

    Open a bottle of Finé today, and you will drink water formed more than a thousand years ago, before the water could encounter artificial contaminants. Rainwater takes on a unique mineral composition while filtering through thick volcanic rock on the way to the aquifer 2,100 feet (600 m) below the Fuji volcanic base.

    Country of origin: Japan
    Region: Izu Peninsula
    Place name: Shuzenji
    Established: 1998
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Low
    Orientation: Alkaline
    Hardness: Slightly hard
    Vintage: A thousand years

    TDS: 140
    pH: 7.8
    Calcium: 9.7
    Chlorides: 5.3
    Bicarbonate: 62
    Magnesium: 4.7
    Potassium: 1.7
    Silica: 81.5
    Sodium: 8.7
    Sulphates: 5.7


    • Source: Artesian water filtered through the Mt. Fuji volcanic rock base in Japan
    • Bottle is modeled after traditional sake bottles
    • Low mineral content water with a possible sweet and soft perception
    • Unique mineral composition
    • Water formed more than a thousand years ago
  • Iskilde (artesian water)

    Michael says: A discreet, elegant, and functional presentation in glass for any epicurean setting. Iskilde succeeds in transporting the sensation of drinking the water at the spring to the table.

    ”Iskilde” means ”cold spring” in Danish. The artesian spring was discovered in the Mossø Conservation area in a remote part of the Danish lake highlands in 2001. The aquifer is 150-180 ft below the surface and it is covered by alternating layers of quartz sand and hard clay, protecting the water. With a temperature of below 8 degrees, the spring is unusually cold.

    Country of origin: Denmark
    Region: Mossø Reservation
    Place name: Iskilde
    Established: 2005
    Source: Spring water
    Balance: Still
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Medium
    Hardness: Very hard
    Orientation: Hint of sweet

    Analysis:

    TDS 426
    Hardness 185
    pH 7.7
    Nitrate 0
    Calcium 63
    Magnesium 6.8
    Sodium 70.6
    Potassium 2.7
    Bicarbonate 246
    Sulfates 30
    Chlorides 94


    • Source: Artesian spring in Denmark
    • A discreet, elegant, and functional presentation in glass
  • Malmberg (artesian water)

    Michael says: Malmberg Original mineral water comes from an artesian spring of prehistoric water in Yngsjö, a small village on the coast of southeast Sweden. The age of our Malmberg Original mineral water has been determined to be 5245 +-75 years old, thereby making Malmberg Original the oldest Swedish mineral water in a bottle. The mineral water was discovered at a depth of about 200 meters, where it is under hydrostatic pressure. This means the water spontaneously rises through the drilled hole up to the surface of the earth by its own force.

    Country of Origin: Sweden
    Region: Skane County
    Place Name: Yngsjö

    Balance Still & Light
    Virginality Superiour
    Minerality Low
    Orientation Alkaline
    Hardness Very Hard
    Vintage ~5245 years

    220 TDS
    8.2 ph factor
    68 Calcium
    8 Chlorides
    220 Bicarbonate
    5 Magnesium
    0.5 Nitrate
    2 Potassium
    6 Sodium
    6 Sulphates
    190 Hardness

    • Source: Artesian
  • Veen (spring water)

    Michael says: VEEN comes in broad variety of carbonation levels from Velvet (still) to intensely sparkling Bold. VEEN Velvet is bottled in an award winning flint "Wave 66" bottle and all sparkling VEEN waters come in "Round 69" bottles.

    VEEN soft low minerality spring water originating from the Konisaajo spring area in Northern Finland. VEEN Water's free flowing spring was discovered in the 1950s in an area which is one of the least populated in Europe. The water filters through hills and sandy terrain. The water is bottled at its source and emerges from the spring at 3-4 degrees centigrade.

    Country of origin: Finland
    Region: Lapland
    Place name: Konisaajo
    Established: 2007
    Balance: Still and effervescent
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Super low
    Orientation: Acidic
    Hardness: Soft
    Vintage: Very young

    Analysis:

    TDS: 17.2
    pH: 6.6
    Calcium: 3
    Chlorides: 0.7
    Magnesium: 0.67
    Manganese: 0.001
    Nitrate: 0.15
    Potassium: 0.69
    Silica: 11
    Sodium: 1.9
    Sulphates: 3.9
    Hardness: 8.68

    • Source: Spring in Finland
    • Comes in broad variety of carbonation levels
    • VEEN Velvet is bottled in an award winning flint bottle
    • Super low mineral content
  • Vichy Catalan (naturally sparkling spring water)

    Michael says: The best-known mineral water from Spain, Vichy Catalan has very high mineral content, natural carbonation, and an almost neutral pH.

    Archaeological evidence suggests the area near Caldes de Malavella has had a human population since prehistoric times. The many local sources of effervescent, thermal
    water were likely a major attraction. Both springs draw from a single aquifer, though each water emerges with slightly different compositions.

    Vichy Catalan water was first bottled in 1889, and an influx of visitors led to the construction of a spa soon after. Water and carbon dioxide gas are harvested separately from the source, which is capped to control the output; after the water has cooled from 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60°C), the gas is added back in.

    Country of origin: Spain
    Region: Catalonia
    Place name: Caldes de Malavella
    Balance: Classic
    Virginality: Superior
    Minerality: Very high
    Orientation: Alkaline
    Hardness: Hard
    Naturally Carbonated

    Analysis:

    2900 TDS
    8.3 ph factor
    14 Calcium
    680 Chlorides
    2081 Bicarbonate
    6.4 Magnesium
    0.06 Nitrate
    44 Potassium
    1100 Sodium
    46 Sulphates
    61 Hardness


    • The best-known mineral water from Spain
    • Both springs draw from a single aquifer
    • Naturally carbonated

Related Articles

Buying the best bottled water isn't as easy as it sounds. When choosing bottled water brands, you want to consider the source of the water - is it from rain or it simply tap water purified? We recommend the best bottled drinking water and bottled spring water out of the 200 or so available in the United States.