Our Fine Water tells tales of adventure and intrigue, promising to have you sitting at the edge of your seat for the entire duration of the journey

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About Candice Jansen

Certified Water Sommelier& water enthusiast

Living in the heart of Johannesburg, I spend my days transporting water around in the boot of my Volvo XC60 with my sunroof closed because I often forget I have one. Until it rains of course, I know sun roofs are meant for warm weather, mine is reserved for rainy days. I love watching rain drops fall to the ground, nourishing life as we know it.

The change of the decade has seen me at my best – being thirty something with the skill set to pair water with almost everything is by far the most amazing adventure yet.

Most people strive to get to that “happy’ place in life, my happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey I embark on every day to savour the moments we have now. Now is all we have.

Great wine, Fine Water.

Water and wine can seem on the opposite end of the spectrum, except, they’re not.

Wine has terroir and water has terroir.

Both water and wine can be acidic. Just as wines from hot climates have a lower acidity and wines from cooler climates have higher levels of acidity, water does the very same. With water, we call this the Orientation. Different pH levels affect the acidity or alkalinity of water, and this applies to taste profiles only.

Nevas Water

The biggest fad of the 20th century is that somebody convinced somebody else, that a balanced pH water was the better “health” choice.

pH levels affect that taste of water but not much else. Despite claims, there is no medical evidence that higher level pH water is best. “It’s all about the marketing!” Water will always have a natural variation depending on its mineral content.

Wine and water both have vintage or age. Vintage in water applies to how much time water takes to reach its final destination, whereas wine gets better with age.

Water can have a vintage of a hundred years to hundreds of thousands of years. The vintage of water is important to note because it adds such richness to the back story of water, just as aged wines are of higher quality.

Water and wine both share a love for a popping cork. NEVAS water as a matter of interest has been blended from 2 artesian springs to create a unique cuvee that offers all the pleasures of water, with a popping cork.

It’s evident that there are a lot of similarities between water and wine, but what happens when these two are purposely paired together?  Wines become layered further with flavour and concentrated to make heavier wines feel deeper and softer wines feel more delicate. Fine Water never compromises the aromas of wine but rather encourages the rich tones to dance on your taste buds as opposed to being flushed away by chlorinated water which leaves nothing but chalk and bitterness behind.

Fine Water embraces wine, as if the two have known each other for a lifetime. Perhaps it’s time for wine to embrace water?

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What does your water glass say about you?

After a warm welcome, glasses are the next best opportunity to make a great impression, and how you serve water is an invitation to say so much! Short glasses translate into “sip and say goodbye” whereas long stem, deep bowl glasses say “stay a while”.

The glassware world is almost as complex as the drinks served inside them. Although it’s not the most important component, using the appropriate wares shows that care and attention to detail went into your drink.

Candice Jansen

Glassware makes a fine statement and water served in stemware with clean straight lines gives the perception of luxury.

A white Bordeaux glass is typically used for water in an epicurean setting, as it has a slightly smaller bowl and is taller than most. The tallness allows you to swirl the water, aerating it, much like wine. It also just looks sleek and inviting. Looks really do matter!

Does having a fancy glass really make that much of a difference? The answer is always yes. The length of the stem and the shape of the bowl are vital parts to your drinking experience.
While a typical tumbler has always been a popular choice for water, these all share the same characteristics and are often used by completely different organisation settings from school functions right through to the fine dining table. There is nothing “fine dining” about using glasses that represent the same flat, round bottom drinking experience at you’re your PTA meeting and then having them served to you on date night.

When it comes to glassware, the sexier vessels always get the glory – and rightfully so.

Water deserves epicurean attention and etiquette describes stemware, to raise the appreciation of water as well as water service at a restaurant.

Your guests may not notice that you served water in a wine glass at first, but trust me, they will notice when you don’t.

 

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A water tasting

“I did a water tasting with a water sommelier!”

During a water tasting, there’s subdued excitement at first.

“It just tastes like water.” she says, so confidently.

This is true for the most part because this is just the beginning.

A water tasting starts with low to high TDS still waters followed by sparkling ones.  The build-up through TDS levels is where the magic lies.

Candice Jansen

As I begin to tell the tale of Lofoten and how the water is renewed by glacial snowmelt, snow and rain all year round from the surrounding mountains, guests soon realise they have embarked on the most epic adventure, rather than just a tasting of waters.

On the next pour, we meet Iskilde, a medium minerality water from Denmark, that when “shaken, not stirred” changes from crystal clear to milky, showing off its high oxygen content – like only Iskilde knows how.

Loren Eiseley was right, If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. My guests are memorized at this point.

We then sip our way towards Three Bays. The unicorn of mineral waters. Three Bays has a humble origin story that begins in the backyard of the Mornington Peninsula, Australia.

When my guests realise that Three Bays is the very same water from the Netflix documentary “Down to earth” with Zac Efron, they are star gazed!

Three bays is known for its high mineral content, having 23 out of the 24 minerals required for good health, never mind the fact that it tastes so good too!

The chatter in the room is captivating, everybody clings onto their glasses to shake the last drop out before the next water arrives, and before you know it, there’s Perlage.

“It’s like a Berocca in a glass!” That’s exactly right. Perlage with its gentle effervescent fizz is much like a champagne, the bubbles last and last which means the fun never has to end. The blue bottle also gives the guests something to admire for a short time, buying a moment to myself in amongst the energy and laughter in the room, to prepare for the eruption of Socosani.

Socosani, in its sparkling version, offers a high minerality mouthfeel. While we’re all coming to terms that this ‘water tasting’ is a legit thing, I share stories of the Peruvian valley, known for active volcanoes, Arequipa having the most dangerous of these. Where does Socosani come from? You guessed it! Arequipa. I also share my love for all things vintage and explain that this water takes a 150 year journey through the earth before it reaches its destination. Socosani really does come from an oasis, considering that Peru is more desert than anything else. Now that things have heated up, we are off to meet a Spanish beauty named Vichy, Vichy Catalan.

Vichy Catalan, with a TDS over 2900mg/l is a very popular water in Spain and a very fancy water to the rest of us. This naturally carbonated mineral water emerges from the ground at 60 degrees Celsius. I joke that it doesn’t get hotter than this. “I am in my element” says a lady sitting in the back who didn’t seem to have a voice, until now. I smile, because there is a water for everybody and seeing her face come to life, made my morning. “It’s about getting people to fall in love with water again”

I must admit, by the end of the water tasting we are watered down, our glasses are empty but our imaginations are filled with endless questions about the sources, the tastes and how on earth I become a water sommelier.

After hydrating for most of the morning, we take some time to chat, connect, make friends and charge our glasses filled with crisp cold bubbled over champagne, to the fact that water indeed has taste!

Looking to book a water tasting for a private event? Enquiries can be directed to candice@originfloe.com

 

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Perlage

At one glance, perlage does seem foreign, making it ambiguous to pronounce. Most people pronounce it as per-lahdzh. Technically, it is a French word, but the Italians mostly use it to refer to a sparkling wine’s head or bubbles.

In this instance, Perlage speaks to sparkling mineral water from Poland, effervescent to be exact. Tiny bubbles made to feel like champagne, with all the bells and whistles of water.

  “Perlage, let the magic in”

Perlage is worldly recognised for its superior taste, winning awards left right and centre. Not to mention the deep blue glass bottle that has attracted many fans of its design and extraordinary colour. 

Upon opening a bottle of Perlage, you are embraced by the gentle fizz that clings to your palate like it was meant to last a life time. Estimated at 400 years before the water is bottled for your enjoyment, this water is held sacred by Mother Nature, reserved for the discerned water connoisseur.

Perlage, with their idea to combine the highest quality water with well-selected wines and excellent food, have achieved just that, and with the skillset of a water sommelier, this combination is impressive.

Some of the most exquisite dishes are crafted with Fine Water in mind.

Pairing Suggestion : Steak tartare from Lublin lamb with leaven bread.

 

Perlage offers 3 different size options:

700ml Glass Bottle

300ml Glass Bottle

330 ml Can

Available at OriginFloe

Enquiries can be directed to candice@originfloe.com

                               

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Primal Artesian Water

“Think! Think and wonder. Wonder and think. How much water can 55 elephants drink? – Dr Seuss.

We’re not elephants but we are mammals that consume an average of 58 000 litres of water during our lifetime – conservatively. That’s a lot of water. Surely, at that volume and given its importance, we should carefully consider what’s in our water before drinking it.
There are so many brands of bottled water on the shelves these days, with a new brand coming out every couple of months, it’s tough to keep up. Most of you will be lured into the lie of purified water being good for you, or how the new eco packaging is a friendly choice for the environment, but at what cost to you, and does the environment actually benefit?

The most important question to ask yourself when it comes to water is “where does my water come from?”
The answer to that question will make buying bottled water very simple.

If the answer looks something like this, you’ve been duped, tricked, hoodwinked, mislead, fooled and outwitted. Get the drift?

Candice Jansen

                                   ”PREPARED WATER”

Here ‘s the honest truth – prepared water, no matter what packaging it comes in, is deemed unnecessary for the environment. Their environmental claims about saving the planet through more eco conscious packaging means nothing if the water you’re putting in there is water from a municipal source, the same water we have at home in our taps? Why should we pay for something we can get at home for free? ( Almost free, Municipal T’s & C’s Apply ) THINK, says Dr Seuss.

Prepared water is defined as bottled water that has undergone treatments acceptable for bottled waters and may originate from any type of water ( scary! ) including municipal sources. Prepared water is not naturally potable, it has to be treated to ensure its potability. Wouldn’t you rather be drinking water that doesn’t require so much effort to prove itself? Such as a natural water. THINK AND WONDER, Says Dr Seuss.

Prepared water should never be an option for purchase, stick to your tap at home if you’re going to go this route anyway and save your moola.

Tap water will do, but we call it tap water for a reason – because it belongs to the tap! Imagine if companies sold us “bottled tap water” instead of “prepared water”, wouldn’t that be a laughing matter? WONDER AND THINK Says Dr Seuss.

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant” Dr Seuss. Prepared water is not 100%!

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Perrier

Oh Perrier –  it’s more than a matter of taste.

I am often reminded to appreciate the things we take for granted. This week I listened to a podcast by Will Self & Martin Rise on the Ultimate Beverage and their discussion about mineral waters.

I couldn’t help but feel like the room I was in had changed in ambiance, that all of a sudden there was a French chicness bubbling around & a mystical invitation to the natural sparkle of Perrier.

I looked around frantically for a glimpse of its emerald complexion so that I could sit and stare at it, while I was transported through the history of Perrier and how its curvaceous bottle is now a popular choice in mineral waters. I was captivated by its unassuming presence.  

I tossed my Mac book aside and headed to the kitchen for a wine glass and the nearest couch so I could delve further into the world of Perrier, dubbed the champagne of mineral waters.

Capelli La Vita

Established in 1863, this mineral water is best known for its naturally occurring carbonation. The spring from where Perrier is sourced is naturally carbonated and both the water and Co2 are captured independently. 

The craze for bottled water began when Perrier intensified their advertising in 1977, so successful that people now ask for Perrier when in fact, they are simply asking for sparkling water, just as they once asked for a Kleenex when they meant a tissue.

The bold bubbles of a Perrier offer a crisp and bright taste profile, encapsulated with French vigour. While Perrier now comes in many flavours, I am still swept off my feet by the original, authentic bang of Perrier.

Next time you see this full-bodied French beauty, be sure to grab a few bottles, who ever said you can’t buy love.

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Ninety-nine wines but waters not one?

There are some seriously impressive wine menus out there but little to no fuss about water.


Still & Sparkling are not options, they are restrictions.

Who came up with this crazy idea of limitless wine but limited water? I’d like to have a word with them please. Seriously, phone me!

Wine is one thing but water is ninety-nine others. Literally there are 99 things I could tell you about pairing water to wines & food.

Candice Jansen

One,

Fine Water accompanies wine, it enhances the nuances of wine and creates an equally enjoyable experience to both elements.

Two,

Fine Water helps those succulent grapes pack a more pleasurable punch by allowing the tones to linger longer rather than washing them away.

Fine Water was made for a moment such as this!
Water pairings are limitless and the choice of drinking water for taste is infinite.

Next time you find yourself with no choice in water but plenty in wines, ask for the nearest exit.

 
 

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Ice Etiquette & Whiskey

We’ve all been there, where we made the unconscious choice of adding ice blocks to our water, unaware that we were committing the biggest water faux pas.

The water in your bottle and the water from the ice tray are not going to be from the same source. The ice cubes are more than likely going to be tap water while your bottle water would have come an even further journey to your table.

Tap water isn’t the problem, it’s just that tap water doesn’t belong with natural bottled water.
The right way to do things would be to properly chill water before its consumed to avoid the ice all together.

Unless you’ve found a fantastic restaurant that has incredible water service in place to handle “ice like it’s hot!” I am personally looking forward to experiencing an establishment as classy as this.

Candice Jansen

Whiskey all you want

Neat, on the rocks, or with a dash of mineral water.

While you might think drinking cask strength whiskey makes you look smooth and authentic, you’re probably missing out on the flavours that make whiskey-drinking worth it.
Although most whiskeys are already diluted, further dilution with a few drops of Fine Water makes all the difference. The molecules that give whiskey its flavour and aroma may be more likely to rise to the surface of the drink if it’s diluted with water. Even better is the choice of Fine Water to mix whiskey with.

Raymond Chandler said that “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others” and just as there is no “best” water, there are just some waters that are better than others – Fine Water.

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Svalbardi

If I knew then, what I know now.

If my future-self came back in time to say that someday, I would be tasting water for a living, I would be rolling on the grass in sheer entertainment at that very notion.

Then, Twenty-Twenty happened, and here I am telling the world that water has taste.

If only I knew then, what I know now. I would have taken water a lot more seriously.

All Fine Waters are premium waters, but not all premium waters are Fine Waters.

The art of tasting water has been around for longer than we can appreciate, and today, our options are endless.

The ultimate objective of a water tasting is to learn how to appreciate this amazing beverage, drinking it with the aim to perceive its characteristics, emotionally connecting with the source and giving water the appreciation it deserves. No two waters are the same.

If you’ve imagined drinking iceberg water as an improbability, erase that thought.

Candice Jansen

Hello Svalbardi!

Source: Icebergs.

Location: Norway.

Mouthfeel: Light.

Taste: Crisp followed by a slight sweetness.

Their mission: Saving the Arctic.

Svalbardi is bottled in the arctic outpost of Longyearbyen and is super low in minerality. The reflective glass bottle and handcrafted cork are designed for exclusivity and rare experience. Svalbardi is out of this world on the “too cool for school spectrum” and their mission as a family is to save their melting Svalbard home. www.svalbardi.com

Food pairing suggestion:

Svalbardi & Oysters with shiraz mignonette. Here’s why…

Super low minerality waters, pair well with foods that are less potent on the palate but equally pleasurable. Light and springy. With the above pairing you’ll encounter the charm of both elements, Fine Water & Oysters, without distracting from either.

Who would have ever thought, water could taste and look this good.

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Meet TDS

Total Dissolved Solids. You’ll hear these words a lot in the company of a Water Sommelier.
There is probably so much you hadn’t realized when it came to water, like how water has taste. Yes, t a s t e!

Water, much like wine, has terroir.
Say it with me (“tehr·waar”). The terroir of water is the geographical condition at the source that affects the taste of water. Water is made up of minerals, this mineral composition is known as TDS. Next time you find yourself buying bottled water, have a look out for this in the fine print, it’s there. You’re welcome.

Talking about minerals, no two water sources have the same mineral fingerprint. They each possess their own identity in mineral makeup and can offer incredible taste experiences.

TDS levels range from super low to very high. Consider rainwater, rainwater never touches the ground so there is little to no time to absorb minerals thus producing a low mineral water with a crisp and fresh taste. Higher TDS waters have a far more pronounced taste due to the higher mineral content and feel more substantial. Vintage plays an important role when it comes to water. We all know that the water cycle starts and ends with precipitation, collection, evaporation and condensation. Water that has a vintage of thousands of years means that the collection process takes this long before water reaches its final destination. During this process, water is filtered through the earth through layers of rock, embedding water with all the minerals we get to experience in each sip of Fine Water we take.

 

 

Fine Water is water from natural source that has terroir and a story to tell. Imagine traveling through the foundations of the earth and getting to the other side without having anything to say? We think not. Water has incredible stories to share and their taste experiences are something to be desired.

Loving and appreciating water means completely forgetting the idea that the only function of water is for hydration. Fine Water is a refined beverage with interesting and appealing properties. Not only to quench ones thirst but also to appreciate its aromas and flavours.

When it comes to tasting water, there are a few do’s and don’ts that I’d like you to know.

  • One, use an elegant glass, water deserves epicurean attention and stemware is a vital tool in elevating water.
  • Two, mixing two water sources together makes no sense. Natural water served with purified ice blocks? This will completely change the profile of your water and its best to make your own ice cubes at home using your favourite fine water.
  • Three, adding citrus or any other components to water, unless you’re deliberately mixing a G&T, isn’t recommended.
    “If the taste of water is to be perceived and enjoyed, then the lemon wedge will just lead you astray.”

 

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands