Friday, November 12, 2010

What does "true essence" taste like?

Continuing my admittedly obsessive occasional series about the water served in hotel conference rooms, I now present this Norwegian one from a meeting today. This one had to travel 3500 miles. But unlike the decantered blueberry water or the plastic bottled water from the other side of the globe served at other hotels, this water is shipped thousands of miles in a glass bottle.

How about that bottle! We learn from the company website that the designers "utilized the depth of their experience from the cosmetic industry in understanding how to create a brand personality that differentiates itself through the entire experience, reflecting the true essence of the brand."

Cost: $2 per bottle for about 12 ounces, roughly the cost of 350 gallons of tap water in Boston.

After a taste test last year, our hospital switched from bottled water to tap water for meetings. We decided that the "true essence" of bottled water did not add to its taste.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's obsessive at all, given the importance of this scarce resource and the absurd energy expenditure. The Republican resurgence means such concerns will once again fade off the radar screen.

People, characteristically shortsightedly, fail to realize that the rapid evolution (in geological time) of a physical environment incompatible with human survival is our penultimate global concern.

Paul Levy said...

Wait, these bottles arrived during the Democratic control of Congress!

Susan Carr said...

Harvard Magazine recently did a story about architect Elizabeth Whittaker and her "collaborative, hands on" style of design and construction. The article mentions that her design for a health club in Woburn, Mass., features a curvilinear, translucent partition wall made of Voss glass water bottles. Whittaker's firm is www.mergearchitects.com; under "commercial," click on Healthy Fit for pictures of the glass wall. Harvard Mag claims the bottles "embody the club's mission of health and fitness." I'm not sure I agree, but I do find that part of the bottle wall's interest is in the multiple messages it conveys.

Sheila said...

Have you tried Saratoga water in a beautiful cobalt blue glass bottle? It is outstanding taste. Just thought you'd like to know.

BM said...

Well, some common sense. Good for you and BIDMC.

- AK said...

I'm w/ Paul. It's WATER, for heaven's sake!

Chris said...

A wonderful, thought-provoking post, Paul. Fast Company magazine did an in-depth article a year or so back. This discussion about our love of Fiji bottled water was similarly unsettling. Our consumption of water, shipped from the land, is so painfully ironic because we are depleting their fresh water supply. Thanks for going back to the tap!