Tag Archives: water

We’re Brewing with Water: Filtered Water and the Perfect Cup of Joe

Does filtering water before brewing coffee or tea really improve the taste and quality? You bet it does.

A connoiser will tell you that everything, from the temperature of the water to the method of roasting the coffee beans or tea leaves, will affect the finished pot of coffee or tea.

But even seemingly minor alterations like the quality of the water you use for brewing can have a major impact on brewed beverages. Chemicals commonly used to disinfect water–chlorine is one–can make your cup of Ethipian Harrar taste like you used pool water for coffee creamer.

If you live in a house with old iron or coffee pipes, you might experience a sharp, metallic aftertaste in your cup of Earl Grey.

And sulfur-an otherwise relatively harmless bacteria-can leave your cup of Joe tasting like a cup of Joe's dirty sock juice.

But while you'd probably notice these objectionable tastes in your drinking water, you might never notice them in your brewed beverage. Why? For one, the cream and sugar you add to your coffee might mask the taste of water contaminants. For two, you're probably getting your drinking water from your refrigerator's filtered water dispenser-but brewing you coffee or tea with water straight from the tap.  

But if you're not a connoiser and your palette's not all that refined, can you really tell a difference between a beverage brewed with tap water and a beverage brewed with filtered water? Try this experiment: brew two pots of coffee-one with filtered water, one with tap-and see which tastes better. You'll find that purer water makes a noticeable difference in your beverage's taste-so much so that you might just trade that pricey coffee subscription for a trip to your grocery store coffee aisle. 

What the Frack is Fracking?

 Admit it. The first time you heard the term "fracking" you immediately pictured Yosemite Sam: 

Sounds like Yosemite Sam knew all along that fracking was bad!

In the natural gas business, fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing.

What the rootin' tootin' heck is hydraulic fracturing? 

 In short, it's a way to get fuel out of rock by drilling deep into the earth and releasing natural gas by EXPLODING THE ROCKS IN THE SHALE LAYER. 

Boom
BOOM!

Are you picturing a full-on Michael Bay Transformers explosion? Oh. Well, it's not quite that awesome. There's no dynamite involved-just a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals pumped underground with enough force to shatter shale rock. The process actually looks like this:

Shale_50833618_shale_extraction_diagram_464(image via the BBC)

 

So what's the big frackin' deal?

 Earthquakes. No, this is not a fangirl/film geek Michael Bay reference–turns out the fracking process can create small tremors. Man. Made. Earthquakes. Eleven in Ohio alone last year. Yeah, Ohio. (Not really an earthquake state.)

Methane Leaks. The process of extracting gas from shale also causes a good deal of methane leakage.  Methane leakage is problematic because a) stinky, b) major planet-warming greenhouse gas, and c) WATER! ON! FIRE!

 

Air Pollution. Those chemicals used in the fracking process? Turns out they're not so healthy to breathe… ok we're kidding they're totally poisonous. People who live near fracking sites are more likely to suffer from eye and skin irritation, headaches and nervous system damage, asthma, kidney and liver problems, and oh yeah-leukemia. 

Groundwater Contamination. How about a splash of benzine in your glass of water? No? Radioactive ice cubes? No?  Here in North Carolina (home of your favorite water filter company), our natural gas reserves are pretty frackin' close to our groundwater. That layer of rock between our water and our natural gas–it's not actually watertight. Which means those toxic fracking chemicals pumped deep underground could migrate upward and contaminate our water. The water we use for drinking, bathing, cooking, and growing food.

Say it with me: FREAKIN FRACKIN RACKAFRACKIN RASSAFRASSIN HAMMER HEADED HALIBUTS.

Waste. Today, nearly one billion people don't have access to clean water, while fracking injects trillions (repeat–trillions) of gallons of (now poisonous) fresh water in. To. The. Ground. 

Makes you want to go Megatron on somebody, right?

The Good News. Is there any? You bet your Shia LaBeouff there is. All across the country communities have banned fracking in response to grassroots groups committed to clean water.  A little education and a lot of passion go along way! Says activist Sandra Steingrabbler, "[My kids] are made of water. They are made of the food that is grown in the county that I live in. And they are made of air. We inhale a pint of atmosphere with every breath we take… And when you poison these things, you poison us."

 

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Water for Panem: Hunger Games and the Hunt for Good Water

OK we'll admit it. We are obsessed. Have you seen the movie? Read the books? Are you Catching Fire too? Yep, we're talking about The Hunger Games.

If you're like us, with Panem ever on your radar, you've noticed Hunger Games merchandise just about Bottled water money everywhere. You can spend your hard-earned tesserae on a Hunger Games board game, Effie Trinket nail polish, a Hunger Games Snuggie (seriously), and even…wait for it…

Hunger Games water. 

Really.

h20 Spring Water has partnered with The Hunger Games to be the film's official water. While we see the tie-in (finding water was Katniss' first objective in the Arena, after all) doesn't this sound like something they'd drink in the Capitol? You know, while so many others go without clean water?

Luckily for us, we don't live in the Districts and our tap water is just as safe as bottled water. Though we admit that even Haymitch would approve of h2O's eco-friendly packaging, we'd rather fill one of these stainless steel Arena-Proof water bottles with filtered water from our tap.

You don't have to travel the the twelve districts to find good water–it's right in your home, where you're safe from trackerjackers, Cato's weapons, and President Snow.

So join the revolution and overthrow the bottle! 

Firewater

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Water Filters: A Boiled Down History


Supernova


14,00,000,000 B.C.E.    The first molecules of water form in space after an early star explodes in a supernova (try filming that, Michael Bay.)

 

 

4,000,000,000 B.C.E.    Liquid water on planet Earth–IN YOUR FACE, NEPTUNE AND MARS!

2000 B.C.E.    Egyptians boil water and use crude sand and charcoal filters like, you know, Egyptians.

Hippocrates

 

 

400 B.C.E.       Hippocrates designs a sleeve-like cloth filter. He uses his "water cure" to treat many diseases but sadly does not cure his baldness. 

 

 

 

500-1500 A.D.        Beer is the staple beverage of Europeans because the fermentation process naturally purifies water and they need more excuses to day-drink. 

1627    Sir Francis Bacon attempts seawater filtration. The resulting product is salty and undrinkable, much like seawater.   

1660s    Anton van Leeuwenhoek uses a microsope to discover tiny, living organisms in the water–cholerae, salmonella, and maybe these little guys. (On a side note OH MY GOSH DELICIOUS SHRIMPJUICE!)


Jonsnow

 

1800    John Snow (not that one) discovers chlorine as a disinfectant. Happily, people stop dying of cholera and typhoid.* 

 

 

1804    Paisley, Scotland installs the first municipal water filter plant. SLAINTE!

1972    The Clean Water Act becomes law (USA! USA!)

2012    Concerns about pesticide chemicals, industrial sludge, chlorine byproducts, and lead continue to motivate consumers to use water filters in their homes. Lots of people read the Fridge Filters Blog and get happy and smarter.

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*Sadly, waterborne illnesses are still a major concern in many parts of the developing world. Please visit http://thewaterproject.org/ to learn more