Spring Water, Blind Taste Tests, and Open Minds

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SPRING WATER BY NANCY WEBER

The only true and scientific way you can be sure of your personal taste preferences is to taste them "blind." Otherwise it is near impossible to avoid bringing your preconceived opinions and perceptions to the table. About two miles from where we live, there is a water source that flows through the mountains so that it is pure and uncontaminated by wildlife. It runs freely, and seemingly endlessly, through a metal pipe. Old habits die hard and sometimes I catch myself short thinking I forgot to turn off the tap! Residents of our area can fill their water bottles at will with fresh and delicious spring water. I decided to do a blind taste test using the spring water versus our softened well water, both at the same temperature. Woody and I each tasted the water without knowing which was which and each of us chose our well water as our first choice. I once performed this blind taste test for my nephew Alexander when he was about 8 years old. He and a few friends he had met on his annual visit to us in NY tasted three different water samples. He was sure he would prefer Glaceau, the bottled boutique water his mother purchased back home in San Francisco. But all three boys and I all preferred the NY tap water (after I allowed it to sit overnight so that the chlorine would dissipate). What better lesson for a child or adult to find out, without prejudice, what we really and truly prefer.