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Why does water from different places taste different?

Updated: Feb 17

I’ve noticed that no matter where I go, the taste of the water always differs - regardless of whether I’m going to my grandma’s house or all the way to another country. Even in my own city, there is a stark difference in the taste of the water we have at home, and the bottled water we find in stores.

A few weeks ago, I came across this meme, and it got me curious. Why does water from different places taste different? So, I did some research, and here I am, sharing my findings with all of you.

The taste of water is majorly influenced by the minerals and other compounds present in it. These compounds, although present in minuscule quantities, subtly contribute to its taste.

Different minerals have different impacts on their taste - Calcium makes water milky and smooth, magnesium adds bitterness, and sodium makes it salty. Iron often makes water taste metallic, while too much chlorine reminds you of a swimming pool.

Some of the most common types of water are:

Spring water: Spring water is collected from naturally occurring springs in the ground. It usually contains a lot of naturally occurring minerals like calcium and magnesium which enhance its taste.

Well water: Well water is sourced from underground tanks deep in the soil. It can often have a chalky taste due to the different layers of limestone underground.

Tap water: Tap water is brought directly to your home from a municipal water source. It might pick up metallic tastes from the water pipes. It may also contain trace amounts of fluoride added to protect the tooth enamel.

Distilled water: This is collected by condensing the steam of boiled water and is free of minerals, bacteria, or any other chemicals. It is exactly what you would call ‘pure hydrogen and oxygen’. Since it’s been stripped of all chemicals and minerals which can affect its taste, distilled water tastes boring and flat.

So, which kind of water tastes the best, you may ask - Well, although a large number of people prefer spring water the most, everyone has different taste buds. So, what may be delicious to you, might be utterly disgusting to someone else. So, in conclusion, water actually does taste different, and you are not going crazy (or maybe that’s just me).


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