Sometimes a great idea is in fact not one inspiration, but rather the unexpected combination of two ideas leading to a novel solution. That was the process behind Nordaq Fresh, a successful Swedish water filtering system that’s become the must-have item for lovers of fine wine and food.
The first ingredient was a deep understanding of the science of water purification. The second was an appreciation for how water must taste if demanding restaurant guests are to make it their drink of choice.
The Nordaq Fresh system is an appliance designed for installation in restaurant kitchens, producing purified drinking water at just the right temperature – and it even includes specially designed bottles for added aesthetic appeal. Chefs and sommeliers in high-end eateries swear that Fresh water makes food and drink taste better.
Purifying water for human consumption is of course not a new idea – any number of filters are available that will remove just about everything that isn’t a pair of hydrogen atoms bound to a single one of oxygen. But if you want healthful water that also tastes good, you have to leave behind just the right amount of minerals and salts.
The Fresh system removes harmful and bad-tasting substances from ordinary tap water, but it maintains the correct levels of the compounds required for good taste and good health. Fresh water can be either carbonated or still, and is delivered at a perfect temperature of 4-5° Celsius.
“The quality of tap water varies dramatically around the world,” says Robert Hahmann, founder of Nordaq Fresh. “But we can take almost any source water and make it taste better than any bottled water on the market.”
Hahmann sees a gigantic market for Fresh water. Even in areas where the local water isn’t outright health-threatening, it often leaves an unpleasant aftertaste that interferes with the enjoyment of a fine meal.
And a system that produces drinking water on-site rather than trucking in crates of bottled water is an obvious environmental winner, a point that’s certainly not lost on demanding restaurateurs aiming to project an exclusive image. There are also improvements in workplace safety and space requirements since Fresh eliminates the need to handle heavy boxes of water bottles.
Andrea Cagliesi, owner of the Glenfiddich Warehouse restaurant in Stockholm’s Old Town has been serving Fresh water since 2008: “Stockholm’s tap water is good by international standards, but with the old plumbing in this part of the city it’s just not good enough to mix with a fine whiskey,” he says. “Our guests notice a big difference.”
Published in March 2009