Water is water, right? Wrong! – All you need to know about tap, mineral, seltzer and sparkling water!

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One of the most basic necessities of life is also a hot topic of an on-going debate that will likely last until the end of time! It is of course, water! Water comes in all tastes, types and mineral contents, with some avid water drinkers strictly sticking to the bottled stuff while others dismiss it as nothing but fancy tap water at a price. Here at NetCost Market, we want to give you the hard facts about tap, mineral, seltzer and sparkling water so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you!

Mineral Water vs Tap Water

Tap water often comes from lakes or rivers either on top of or under the ground. It ALWAYS needs to go through a water treatment plant in order to make it safe to drink. This process removes microorganisms, heavy metals and any organic debris that naturally occurs in the water and chlorine is often added to ensure there is absolutely no risk of infection, but this can give it that typical “swimming pool” taste that some people despise.

Mineral water, on the other hand, is often bottled at source to preserve its purity. It’s filtered, often using reverse osmosis and without the addition of chlorine, which means it retains its natural mineral taste. What’s more, certain brands from areas of land with different mineral compositions will taste slightly different, some heavier in magnesium, while chalky soil will produce a more calcium heavy composition. Under the FDA rules, mineral water must contain at least 250 million parts per million total dissolved solids from the source, which gives it a guaranteed benefit as a source of iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc which are all vital for the body.

Sparkling or Seltzer?

So, we all know that still means no bubbles, but what is the difference between sparkling and seltzer? Under FDA rules, to be labeled as sparkling, water MUST come from a source where carbonation occurs naturally. However, seltzer is still water that has simply had carbonation artificially added, so it’s possible to have mineral seltzer, which is naturally occurring still mineral water that has gone through an artificial carbonation process. Confusing right!? Well, the end result is that sparkling water often has a higher number of smaller bubbles that last longer once opened, while seltzer has larger, more intense bubbles that often dissipate at a quicker rate than sparkling.

The Verdict

Well, what can we make of all of this? It seems that mineral water is a healthier option as it’s guaranteed to contain a higher number of minerals, but this does certainly not mean that tap water is in anyway not a good regular drink as it’s perfectly safe and does contain naturally occurring minerals. It’s likely that it should come down to a preference of taste rather than health concerns. When looking at sparkling vs. seltzer, the quality of the bubbles in sparkling water is likely to be higher as they occur naturally as water is pushed up through the earth, reaching pressures unmatched by artificial processes that produce seltzer.

At NetCost Market

NetCost Market stocks an impressive array of still and sparkling mineral waters from around the world, meaning there is variety in taste and mineral content. Along with classics like San Pellegrino (Italy), Perrier (France) and Evian (France), we also stock:

  • Farrarella (Italy) – a great option as it includes 100% natural carbonation and is bottled at source in the heart of Roccamonifina in Italy, giving it a uniquely metallic mineral flavor.
  • Jermuk (Armenia) – bottled in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia, it has a characteristically pure mineral taste that has been renowned for centuries in the region.
  • Borjomi (Georgia) – naturally carbonated and originates from a spring that became famous throughout the Russia Empire in the 1820s. Its mineral composition is preserved through the use of government-approved wells.
  • Polyana Kvasova (Ukraine) – a natural mineral hydrocarbonate sodium boric medicinal-drinking water that hails from Polyana village in Transcarpathia.
  • Narzan (Russia) – glacier water that travels through the ground for 6 years, collecting mineral deposits before reaching the spring. Particularly strong in bicarbonates, Narzan has one of the highest mineral compositions in the market.

Head down to your local NetCost Market to browse our extensive range of natural mineral waters from around the world to find your perfect match!