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.

Taste & Design Awards 2021

Water is not just water, so much so, that there’s an annual event dedicated to Taste & Design where Fine Waters from across the world compete in the respective categories of minerality and design, in the hope to secure an accolade as one of the most prestigious waters of the world. 

The recent awards held in Bled, Slovenia, brought journalists and water connoisseurs together as the jury judged each competing water.

The event aimed at giving water value and highlighting the individual characteristics of each source, brings great gravitas to an industry that’s seeing more and more restaurants taking part in celebrating water. 

As the world focuses on climate change goals heading towards 2030 and beyond, our industry plays a vital role in giving water value, that we may find our time engaged in conversations about how best to make water relative to everybody, that they would see the importance and value of this resource.

@finewaters

The title winners at this years awards saw the likes of Thunderbird, La Sasse, Gaisberg, Vimerio, Amazon Air Water, Bambito, Beloka, Socosani, Nevas, Svalbardi, ROI, Cana Royal & Lofoten – all unique and exceptional in their presence.

( Check out www.finewaters.com for the winning results )

As you can imagine, tasting water for particular nuances isn’t an easy task, but it certainly is a fun one. It reminds me of the saying “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” 

Location, Location, Location! Bled, Slovenia is the most majestic location to hold such an event that also sees the Bled Water Festival taking part each year where the organisation seeks to find new and sustainable ways of preserving water for the environment and improving the quality in every field of life. The festival held over 2 days sees international representatives and state bodies meeting to discuss current topics on the conversation of water as well as present innovative and sustainable solutions for the preservation of the aquatic environment and water sources. 

The above might sound like a mouthful of water but in a world where everything seems so over processed, over exploited, undervalued and where kindness is hard to find, I would like to express huge gratitude to every individual who is focused in some way, in getting the world to recognise the need to change the way we feel about water. Kudos to you! You’re the winners here, every one of you, the brands, the organisers, the water sommeliers, hydrologists, water technologists, connoisseurs and even the everyday water drinker who has made the change from oblivious to an informed water conscious drinker. I salute you!

Yours in hydration

Minister of Fine Water Affairs – Candice Jansen

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands #watersommelier 

Adding Charcoal to water to remove impurities

Japan is known for a few things, most popular being Mount Fuji, Tea Ceremonies ( BTW, SA has a Tea Sommelier, in case you didn’t know this already), Calligraphy, Origami and Binchōtan – active charcoal, used by the Japanese for over 500 years in absorbing impurities in water.

Yes, apparently adding charcoal to water to remove impurities is a thing, but then again, it’s not – and here’s why…

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 The Japanese method of using Binchōtan involves rapidly heating up the charcoal by boiling this in a pot for approx 10 minutes and then adding the charcoal stick to the water you intend to drink, letting it stand for 8 hours, which in this time, removes all the imputes including chlorine – giving you better tasting water.

I must admit, the idea sounds really cool but really impractical. Who has 8 hours to wait for water?!? And who guarantees the quality of that water when its “ready to drink”? It claims to also reduce acidity in water and enriches the water with added minerals of Calcium and Magnesium – beginning to overdo it, in my opinion.

Another very good point to make is….

Water is very different to what it was 500 years ago. Tap water in particular has adopted a very different form in the last 5 years alone. We now have plastic particles, pharmaceutical traces and piles of other elements that can’t be seen – chlorine is the least of our problems.

 I do love the idea of a natural solution to filtering water, I love the idea that people think of these things – so credit is due here, for thinking out of the box, but natural means getting back to basics, and basics means protecting our water sources from contamination in the first place, and this is where our focus needs to be. We need to start caring for our water!

When it comes to drinking tap, if you choose to filter your water, choose to invest in a filtration system that is scientifically backed by evidence that proves it actually does what it’s supposed to do, and very important to note: filtration systems should remove harmful contaminates but leave the mineral composition ( TDS ) unchanged.

Yours in hydration

Minister of Fine Water Affairs – Candice Jansen

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands #watersommelier 

Naturally Crafted, Naturally Carbonated.

Apart from the fact that you would die without water, here are the magical elements that make natural water special.

The taste profile of water is naturally crafted by Mother Nature, it is not influenced by mankind. Water is not like wine or beer where different grapes and hints of berries or hops are blended to create a unique flavoring. The taste of water is completely uninfluenced by anything else other than the geographical make-up surrounding the area which water is sourced.

 

Candice Jansen

So, when I am asked what to expect when tasting water, my answer is simple, you aren’t going to experience deliberate alternations in flavours, you are going to experience exactly what Mother Nature prepared for you – smooth, creamy, silky, soft, crisp, heavy and even salty.  Water is not wine or beer, we are WATER.

Water can be naturally carbonated. I mean, c’mon! Naturally carbonated water sounds like something out of Avatar but it’s even hotter than that. There is a popular drinking water found in Spain that emerges from the ground at 60 degrees Celsius, that enters our atmosphere as a sparkling water. Natural carbonation all the way! Why would you settle for anything less than water with its own sparkle?

Out of interest, naturally carbonated waters often occur in regions where there is volcanic activity. Carbonic acid from the source originates deep within the earth. Cooled magma of volcanic mass releases carbonic acid, which then permeates the natural mineral water.

Water has a story which is fascinating from source to source. Not brand stories but water stories. They are not about how the water is bottled or what the bottle is designed to look like, but the story is focused on the source. Gaisberg water from Austria tells a tale of a mountain of power, recognised by the ancestors as a valued source of spirituality in mythical times and the taste described as a memory of pleasant summer rain. ( I just fell in love all over again! )

The water experience is surrendering yourself to the beauty and allure of water, waiting with bated breath at the fascinating tales and tastes of mysterious sources, and then imprinting YOUR moment into memory.

Water is so many lovely things.

Yours in hydration

Minister of Fine Water Affairs – Candice Jansen

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

7 Star hotels offer the highest level of luxury

Technically there’s no such thing as 7 Star hotel, this concept was created by a journalist who attended a prestigious hotel opening in Dubai and felt 5 stars didn’t do its decadence justice, but then again, a water sommelier wasn’t a thing until we made it one, so let’s roll with the 7 stars and talk supreme luxury.

7 Star hotels offer the highest level of luxury available in the world and have acclaimed this title to differentiate themselves further and are considered the excessive and sumptuous level of luxury. 

The question is “How many more stars do you need to add to your brand, to be distinguishable and differentiated as a hotel or restaurant, when water is still served with little to no care or consideration?”

7 Star hotels are associated with the likes of Rolls-Royce Phantoms, 24 hour butler service, gold plated iPad’s, helicopter transfers and caviar facials yet they’re still serving those green bottles of sparkling water which we shall not name here – you know the one!

To be frank, I don’t care how many stars you’ve given yourself, until I’ve given you a star of excellence for your fine water offering and water service etiquette, you’re not the finest dining establishment in the world – you just aren’t. Says who? Says me, try and tell me differently.

Is fine water for the rich and famous? No, but water is the most valuable resource on this planet, not 24K gold, and water is also the most well known and featured resource in everybody’s lives, so yes, water is famous, and I think for these reasons alone, water deserves the very finest presentation and deliverance at a fine dining table. Guests are paying for an experience and what experience are you hoping to have when the same water is served over and over again, where everything changes, except the water?

2020 saw the COVID pandemic, but the last Centuary has seen the “one-water-one-restaurant” pandemic. A pandemic that has infected the world and has limited us to thinking water is just water and serving the same brand of water in every restaurant, with every meal, across every star rated establishment, at every celebration is the only option we have – may this pandemic leave with a bang!

Sumptuous luxury is a culmination of impressive high quality service offerings, entailing grand experiences of Fine Water.

Yours in hydration

Minister of Fine Water Affairs – Candice Jansen

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

The impact of a water menu.

If you ever thought water was just water – think again. There are so many elements to water in a restaurant setting. Here, are but a few…

One – Water has a footprint and millions of litres are lost each day to patrons who order water but do not drink it – taking a sip doesn’t count! In some countries, water is prohibited from being served unless it was requested – what a wonderful way to ensure water is not being wasted unnecessarily.

As we can all imagine, there is no surer way to irritate a patron than by restricting their basic human right and not offering free tap water with their meal – but what a great opportunity to rethink water consumption in this space! Valuing water in a dining environment is the perfect platform to impact people without having to actually sit next to them.

The impact of a water menu?

Water menus allow guests the choice to order water (whatever water they choose ) without the obligation of ordering something they won’t actually consume – so no wasting takes place. Water that’s poured at your table without you asking for it, is a waste of a natural resource – if you aren’t going to drink it.

A water menu drives education and gives water value. A typical water menu should include fine waters as well as free tap water as a feature for guests. Not everybody wants to pay for water but everybody does want choice. For those wanting to chose natural waters with taste, a water menu gives you plenty variety, and for those that just want tap, that’s available too.

Two – Water has a cost for restaurateurs – tap water isn’t free, and most restaurants have resorted to using fancy filtration systems that add to this cost of running a restaurant, to justify their asking price. In some countries, there is no obligation to provide water for free, and in others, restaurants are happy to offer you a glass on the house, and then – there’s the restaurants that are regulated to do so whether they like it or not. If water really is so expensive, surely tap water can be built into the menu price along with everything else, so we are never faced with paying for tap water?

In South Africa – where there is a liquor license, there is a legal responsibility to serve free tap water. Interesting huh? According to the country’s Liquor Act, 2003 – free water, even if it’s from a tap, must be provided by on-consumption liquor outlets. To be frank – this makes me very happy. Water doesn’t always have to come at a high cost, especially when it applies to everyday hydration and tap water should not be made to be the enemy.

Three – We’re all doing it, we’re going green. Many restaurants are sourcing local and shockingly – even serving tap water in glass bottles and charging for these. This is the craziest notion. While I understand the need to charge for water, I don’t believe this applies to tap water, and while I also understand that tap water costs money, refer to point TWO and build this into your cost, rather than irritating people.

Four – We are never going to escape bottled water, and in entirety, I wouldn’t want to, but we can certainly make sensible and sustainable choices where applicable. I personally, won’t drink tap water if I don’t have too. Especially when away from home. I just don’t know what’s in there! My tap water at home is filtered to remove harmful contaminants and leave the good for health minerals behind, so I’m covered in this regard, but dining out is another story.

Furthermore with regards to the water menu – water menus are not designed to be pretentious or to commoditise water. Water tastings are a tool we use as water sommeliers to give water value, and to start conversations – such as these. We need to drive water education through water offerings, we need to engage with the public to grow their understanding of water, and a water menu speaks directly to this. Also, there are so many incredible waters out there, to the likes of Radius 99, that you have to try at least once in this lifetime. Its source was discovered by accident, sourced from the Taunus Hills of Germany, truly hand crafted, bottled by hand, and designed to share the experience of a brand that was originally bottled out of somebody’s garage, today known as a popular low minerality water with a hint of sweetness and an extraordinary story of passion in a brand. 

While I appreciate the offering of free tap water at a restaurant, this has nothing on a gorgeous bottle of fine water, sourced from a natural source and designed for the fine dining table.

Yours in hydration

Minister of Fine Water Affairs – Candice Jansen

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Rainwater

Rainwater has been harvested for centauries and is typically associated with island nations that use this as a part of their everyday hydration.

In recent years, companies have begun bottling rain water from unpolluted parts of the world.

Rain waters are considered young waters, since rain lands at the exact place it will be sourced, this is instantaneous. Rain water will not have a vintage, much like a water that has to travel for years before it reaches its final destination.

Rain waters are delicate. They provide a very low measure of minerality but offer warm memories of summer days, where the rain fell while the sun  was still shining and the smell of the grass comes to life.

Of course we can all experience the taste of rain water by standing outside with our mouths wide open, as we did when we were kids, but now that we’re grown, we’re probably looking to experience this a lot differently.

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” – This is a beautiful quote by Bob Marley, adopted by King Island Cloud Juice in Tasmania, who harvests rainwater for the fine dining table. Founded in 1977, this beautiful brand has been bottling rainwater for special moments, 9750 raindrops to be exact, in every bottle of Cloud Juice.

A less appetizing use for rainwater is water harvested from your rooftop for use around your home. Stored in water tanks and filtered/disinfected for home use, it a great way to ensure you’re not affected by interrupted water supply or exorbitant costs related to municipal water.

There are some considerations you need to make when using rainwater that’s harvested this way, filtration is one of them.

While boiling water and adding chlorine kills most harmful contaminates, it also leaves a bitter chalky taste to the water which isn’t very pleasant.

Filtering water to remove these unfavorable taste elements and harmful contaminants is certainly the way to do it.

The World Bank has warned that demand will exceed supply by 17% by 2030 – it’s a good time to start harvesting your own water now if you haven’t already considered this.

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There are only 24 restaurants around the world with a water menu - pretty niche huh?

With this kind of number, we know the need and desire for a water menu are there, but those responsible for splashing out on this experience aren’t always the bold type – more of the tried and tested type. 

From experience, not all those that carry the power to influence or to effect change are willing to do so. Positions of power vs those who wear futuristic-amazing-guest-experience-goggles are two different things. 

Three Bays

With this kind of number, we know the need and desire for a water menu are there, but those responsible for splashing out on this experience aren’t always the bold type – more of the tried and tested type. 

From experience, not all those that carry the power to influence or to effect change are willing to do so. Positions of power vs those who wear futuristic-amazing-guest-experience-goggles are two different things. 

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Premium water is not Fine Water.

Fine water is not premium water, Fine water is elite water.

I can feel my facial expression change when she says “premium water” as she describes the ordinary glass bottle they plan to use when bottling their new water brand, using water from a very ordinary source and marketing it as premium. The wrinkles I have on my face are smile lines, and this lady isn’t responsible for these with her “premium water”.

I’ve learnt that my advice isn’t always music to ones ears, most are expecting the water sommelier to fall off her chair in excitement, at the story of their premium water, and then I gently have to remind them that I am an advocate for water, not for brands. Premium and fine water are two very different things and falling off my chair is reserved for a very elite few

Capelli La Vita

A premium water often has a few size options, more than one, and are guaranteed to have a 5L counterpart somewhere in the background. A premium water brand also has to market itself as premium, because how else are they going to sell their ugly plastic bottle? If it’s in a plastic bottle, it’s a premium product.

Fine Water is a title reserved for the elite, the very best in their category of water. They are companies that bottle water for themselves, they don’t use a generic source that bottles for several brands. Their water is so incredible, they keep it for themselves. Fine Water bottles are designed to be elegant, classy and luxurious. In fact, they are left on the table during a dinner because they are that beautiful to look at.

Fine Waters may be natural waters, but they are far more than just this. Fine Waters have stories, emotional love tales of discovery, tastes that were discovered by accident, bottles that were created to be art and experiences that make you fall off your chair.

Now you know : )

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Sustainability: Please use common sense.

Everybody’s talking about sourcing local, to reduce their environmental footprint but are they also using common sense?

Do you understand what sustainability is? It is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future generations to do the same.

Here are some of the common “sustainability” misconceptions, busted!

Argument: “We’re reducing our carbon footprint by creating our own bottled water business so we don’t have to source from anybody else, we can supply the local region and make larger profit margins”

Is it common sense to reinvent the wheel when the wheel already exists? Please don’t start up your own bottled water business when there are already hundreds of bottled water companies that could use your support. You’re just adding more bottles to the environment than what we need, when you could just have helped your neighbour, and in doing your own thing, you’re creating more of an environmental load than just keeping things to a minimum. If you’re wanting to offer your customers “premium water” with your “premium wine”, source premium water from the people who have been doing this for years. Sourcing locally is not necessary if you are sourcing smartly.

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Argument: “I only buy bottled water in glass or aluminium because there is far too much plastic in our oceans”

Fishing nets – not plastic straws, bottles, or microbeads – make up nearly half of the world’s plastic ocean pollution. Fishing gear is used to catch fish, yes? So, for as long as you’re eating fish and supporting the industry that pollutes our oceans, your plight in “saving the ocean” is non-existent. You can keep buying canned water all you like, you’re still littering if you’re not eating plant based.

Argument: “We want to provide bottled water to our customers and we’re a sustainable business, so we don’t want imported water.”

Sustainability is more about WHAT you eat or drink and less about where it’s from. Bottled water has the smallest water and energy footprint of any packaged beverage.

As a water sommelier, let it be known that I am not pro bottled water alone, I am an advocate for water across every sector, which includes speaking for the people who live everyday lives with NO safe drinking water. (I can hear your thoughts… water is life, blah blah blah) Water IS life, and can you for one moment put yourself in that space where you don’t know where you are going to source water from today, the resource your body desperately needs to stay alive? There are billions of people with this problem. Why don’t we as businesses focus on giving our clients the very best, no matter where we choose to source it from, and rather spend our energy, backed by our money, and actually give back? Set your cash aside and build a water well or access to a water source for communities that need it and worry less about doing what everybody else is doing.

Your reputation is not at stake if you’re serving imported bottled water for the taste, the olives are also imported, your cars too. Do something that meaningfully sustains your activities.

Common sense is the ability to think clearly without being clouded by the pressure of others and the impression you may make on somebody else, common sense means doing the right thing, the right way, every time, because its logical to do so.

I would love to see more companies focused on truly making a difference in this world, using water, whether bottled or tap, local or imported to their benefit, and to the benefit of others.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Great Beer?
It’s in the water.

90% water, add malted barley, hops, and yeast, and BOOM, an all-natural ancient remedy of crafted beer.

If the water tastes good, we assume the beer will also taste good. While this may be true at times, the composition of your water will substantially change the taste of your final product.

I was thrilled to see that there are craft beer companies that already understand the value of natural water in their products but do these companies also understand that managing wastewater requires their efforts for future sustainability?

Making beer is quite a water-intensive exercise, utilizing 7 times the volume of water to make a single serving of this golden ale. Water is the most overlooked beer ingredient used in the process, and given that it is a majority shareholder in the business of beer, it certainly deserves a conversation, from taste to conservation.

Sustainability requires everybody’s participation, not a quote off Google, posted on Twitter stating that “billions of people don’t have drinking water” when you’re doing nothing about it. Sustainability requires action!

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Water has a huge impact on the taste of beer and in 1,2,3, water will determine the flavour of the beer, the pH level will impact the bitterness component and using water that isn’t natural is a recipe for disaster. Natural water does not contain chlorine which negatively affects the taste of beer and some describe this as “off”.

The sound of “municipal water sources” makes the hair on my head stand up. Many famous beer brands have carefully positioned their plants to make use of the natural water nearby. If you’re not in this position, then perhaps you need to consider sourcing water from a natural source one way or another, the taste of your beer depends on it. Plus, who wants to drink beer mixed with traces of pharmaceuticals and chlorine? Natural water is worth the investment!

In order to raise awareness of what’s in our water, we also need to ask breweries what’s in theirs. Water is not just water, remember that the next time you order your favourite Pale ale or stout. To the incredible crafters of natural water beers, I am so proud of you, you should be proud too. Marketing your brand as a premium natural water craft beer is a huge feather in your cap , share this information with your guests, you’ll be glad you did.

When it comes to conserving water, we need to ensure we recycle water accordingly; every drop counts in our efforts to save water for future generations. That may sound cliché, but the actions we take today determines the outcome tomorrow, and water scarcity is a real issue!

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Water Service in restaurants

There are very few things that I consider to be substantially important and incredible service is one of these. I can’t tell you the number of times, 5 stars or not, that I have visited a place and the service was average or substandard, and we only have ourselves to blame.

 Have you ever seen the popular meme, “Don’t be a Karen”? These memes talk about a middle-aged woman with an asymmetrical bob asking to speak to the manager, who happens to be as entitled as she is ignorant. She’s a woman who’s upset with everything from the moment she walks into a restaurant and isn’t happy until she’s spoken to the manager or received something for free.

 We have become so complaisant with service to the point that we no longer complain to the manager when service is bad. We simply leave on a bitter note, never to return, and this proves to be a vicious cycle for the hospitality industry. The idea of service is to have people return.

 How is one to know that service is substandard if nobody ever says anything? We don’t have to be Karen about it, but Karen does make a few good points. We cannot expect more when we accept less. We need to be more vocal, coming from a place of love, about the experiences we have at restaurants, for our benefit and for theirs.

 Water, as you well know, has become last on the list when it comes to dining, where buying water comes down to the need to supply a hydration beverage at the cheapest price and this is the first error restaurants make. They don’t value water and sadly, you get what you pay for. Then comes the appalling service that accompanies that water. Part of me doesn’t blame restaurants for not giving water value at the table, because the water they are serving has nothing to write home about. As a water sommelier, I understand this differently though. I know, hands down, that buying water, based on quality, bottle design, and experience, takes water to a new level and creates an environment for water to be valued, and to form part of the overall service experience, leaving no element of service unattended too.

NEVAS WATER

Water Service in restaurants is pretty much non-existent. Service, as I know it, applies to all aspects of dining. Whether at a coffee café or a casual restaurant, right up to a fine dining establishment, service applies to the entire experience, not just selected categories of food or wine.

Do you know that there are only 24 restaurants across the world, that offer a water menu along with water service to some degree, and all of these restaurants know full well, that water is an experience not to be missed, do you know this too?

The demand for different tasting waters has grown exponentially over the last 2 years and as more people become aware that water is not just water, so the demand grows even more. Like the band, Incubus lyrics go “ It’s so much better when everyone is in, are you in?”

 There are so many reasons to have a water menu and unrivalled water service to accompany this, that attends to stemware, pouring, temperature, presentation, and more. Water menus are niche, they’re informative and fun, they give water value. Not on price but on experience.  Water Menus have also become a huge revenue centre for restaurants, guests are now buying water for the taste, no longer simply for thirst. Having a few options on your menu is really going to have people coming back for more, and we all know that more people equals more moola.

Here’s the exciting bit …. Next week we go live with water service training for hospitality professionals in South Africa. The first of its kind. You are now able, as a restaurant, hotel, or cafe, to book your water service workshop with Candice Jansen – professional water sommelier.

The Water Service workshop is designed for the professional, for F&B Managers, Heads of Service, Waiters, and Butlers, to become a part of the global movement of excelling at water service, surpassing global standards, and essentially lifting the service level of South African restaurants. Watch this space. Website link to follow. Sip Sip Hooray!

In the meantime, if you really cannot wait, please give me a shout at www.candicejansen.com

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

How to handle life when life hands you lemons

 Who would have thought that as a water sommelier, lemons would have taken the spotlight this week? With various news publications posting articles on how you’re drinking water wrong, I was faced with a lot of sour faces, as lemons seem to be a very zesty topic of discussion.

 I believe the concept of adding lemon to water became popular when the evidence of health benefits became apparent, from brighter skin to improved kidney function, and maybe people didn’t have very great tasting water back then, which required a disguise. Let’s face it, not all waters are created equal. I know plenty of people who add lemon to water to make the taste more pleasant, instead of finding better water that makes them happy.

Vichy Catalan

Today I frequented my regular spot in Johannesburg with a friend who ordered water because that seems to be the thing that one does around a water sommelier, and without further ado, along arrived the lemon wedge. I’m certain I ordered water, not watered down lemon?!?

 Nonetheless, I shook the lemon out of the glass and poured myself a decent amount of water. I figured the ever so slight lemon residue on the glass wouldn’t make a difference, but it did, it made all the difference, in a not-so-subtle way.


 Lemon packs a punch, but lemon also doesn’t know how to take a hint very well when it’s given one, the linger of lemon simply overwhelmed my water experience.

I don’t think we can call lemon water, water, just as you don’t call Coca-Cola, water. Let’s recategorize this as a watered-down lemon beverage.

 When I talk about the experience of tasting water, it’s for that exact purpose, to taste the water. It is simply impossible to taste water any other way other than straight up, hold the lemon.

 With the incredible waters we can experience today, there is certainly no need to hide behind the bright yellow bulb of a lemon. Water is quite capable of creating its own tang, and if you are a fan of a twisty lemon beverage, then Vichy Catalan offers an incredible lemon drink which caters for all of those who need a kick to their water. I‘m all for personal choice, and if lemon is going to turn your frown upside down, I’m happy to support you all the way.

For the rest of us, who can’t wait to splash out on different tasting water that is not enriched with lemon, plants, or sunlight (wait for it, the full report is coming ) I encourage you to truly give water your attention this week, and if you’re making the switch from lemon to lemon-less, I applaud your efforts, when life gives you lemons, return them to sender.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Pairing wine is an art, pairing water to wine is a water sommelier!

I am often asked what water has to do with wine and why the two are relevant to each other, why the wine list needs more water and why water needs a menu.

Three Bays Mineral Water

Here’s the lowdown.

Water has a TDS level that affects the taste of water, apart from its terroir. Much like wine, water gets its subtle nuances from the location at which it’s sourced.

Fine Water makes all the difference when you’re dining out. The wine list is extensive but the water menu is non existent, and if there is water mentioned anywhere, it is still or sparkling with no brand choice.

I would like to remind those that are the gatekeepers of their water service that water is not a dictatorship but rather democracy. Guests should have a choice when it comes to water, not simply your choice.

Wines are designed to be an experience, they create an ambiance in a room, the aromas are pleasurable, the bottle feels substantial, the incredible tones of plum and blackberries are evident from the moment it touches your lips. Wine was made to be memorable!

Fine Water is not here to replace wine, it’s here to accompany the wine. The nuance of water gently allows the wine to express itself in ways that you haven’t had the opportunity to experience just yet if you haven’t paired the two.

A water menu is a must. There are different sources, stories, and TDS levels to pair to different wines and as a water sommelier, I am excited to pair these for you. No matter the wine, there’s a Fine Water companion. There is so much excitement in a water menu and you’ll learn this the moment your fingertips turn over the glossy pages in view of water bottles designed with dining in mind, there to offer you an array of sources, tastes, mouthfeels, and origins. Water will never again be the same!

Should you need more convincing, please contact me at hello@candicejansen.com to book a wine and water pairing!

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Love is the fragrance in the air, and it smells like coffee.

Anyone who has ever lived in Johannesburg will know that the winter here is relentless.

RE-LENT-LESS!

We have glorious sunny days accompanied by negative degrees, where watering your windscreen will result in an iceberg on your bonnet – it’s seriously no fun. (I do hope my counterparts living in Svalbard are not reading this, they may laugh at my inability to survive the winter when they live in minus 9 degrees, on a good day!)

What is fun in the winter though is coffee!

Perlage Water

Ah – two things I cannot live without. Coffee. Water.

Now, I hear your complaints about how drinking water in the winter sounds horrendously unpleasant, however, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that coffee tastes better with water. Water inside and water on the side.

Here’s my winter advice before we go any further… Water before coffee.

Here’s why…. Did the dinosaurs drink coffee before water? Did your coffee bean mysteriously appear from a magic coffee beanstalk or was this grown using water? Did God create the deep before he created your Soya latte? I think I’ve made my point. Water is essential and this is the very first hydration sip you should be taking this winter.

 As a millennial, I am not familiar with what “normal” coffee is. I have to laugh at my mother in law who frequently orders normal coffee when we’re out and about. Both the waiter/waitress and I are always unsure what precisely that means. We are the generation of Latte’s, Soya Caps, double espresso’s, almond macchiatos, and creamy flat whites. There is nothing normal about coffee.

Want to know one of the biggest reasons coffee shop coffee often tastes better than home-brewed coffee? I’ll give you a hint: this one doesn’t have anything to do with the coffee.

Coffee is 99% water. Great water opens the pathway to great coffee. It has nuance, complexity, and richness.

Water quality is more important than most people realize.

I would encourage experimenting this winter with your coffee ( not your first cup of course ), splash out! Frequent different coffee spots, ask what water they’re using, and order natural water on the side to keep you hydrated as you learn.  My preference is always Perlage with my coffees.

 Off you go Waterlings. Make me proud.

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Did somebody say Sorbet?

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sugar-sweetened water with flavouring, and since 2021 is the year that 2020 failed to deliver, giving sorbet something special makes so much sense and very well deserved.

NEVAS WATER

Fine Water Sorbet – Sip Sip hooray!

I can imagine the excitement at an event where they serve Blood Orange and Mint fused sorbet using NEVAS water. I have been singing the song that water is not just water, for so long that when this striking sorbet came along, it gave me new inspiration and affirmation for those on the fence, that water cannot just be water if it can create something so spectacular in sorbet!

Not all frozen desserts are created equal – some are finer than others.

Most restaurants will use sorbet as a palette cleanser during multi-course meals because its intense fruit flavour is extra refreshing, plus its incredibly easy to make. I would insist on this at your favourite restaurant! Not only is sorbet stunning to stare at but now using NEVAS, it’s a sensation overload.

A little bit of history to take you back a few thousand years… it is believed that sorbets originated in ancient Persia. There are a number of origin myths, that attribute to the origins of sorbet to historical figures like Nero, Marco Polo and the Italian duchess, Catherine de Medici.

I love how the dishes we know today can come from eras so long ago and that still, we are able to reinvent these to create master pieces of culinary art – Fine Water never fails to impress.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

Water Based Chocolates

Today is a chocolate kind of day – who am I kidding, most days are!

“I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds me.” And chocolate is the right kind of trouble I wouldn’t mind having today.

Peter Svenningsen

For the longest time, Chocolatiers have made it their job to create jewels from an array of spices, berries, fruits and nuts, combining them with rich and pure ingredients, turning chocolate making into more than just art.
After all, what would the world be if it weren’t for more luscious treats?

Danish Chocolatier, Peter Svenningsen, is all about the chocolate he uses, specializing in making non-dairy water ganache chocolates, which he pairs with natural ingredients – Another not-so surprising story that the world can do with less dairy and more water!

Water is an imperative base ingredient for many chocolates and finding the right balance and compliment between emulating these ingredients makes all the difference. Ganches are now ultra-glossy, smooth and light on the palate, allowing emphasis to be on the chocolate experience.

Ganache traditionally made as a glaze or icing made from chocolate and cream, has now been surpassed by water.

Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate but everything is finer if chocolate is made using fine water.

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.” Sandra Boynton

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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?

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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.

 

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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

 

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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.

 
 

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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.

#capellilavita #savourlavita #savourwithcandice #waterbrands

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