This post has been sponsored by BRITA.
Do you know what I used to miss the most about working in an office? I know this might sound weird, but I really missed the filtered water from the watercooler. The water that came out of it just tasted so much nicer than my tap water at home. I had my little Sigg bottle which I’d faithfully take to work every day and fill up once I arrived and got started for the day, and return many times to refill. It’s recommended you drink at least 2 litres (or roughly 8 glasses) of water a day and I never, ever had trouble doing this during the working day! In fact, my bottle held 500ml and on average I would fill it up 6 times a day, and then one final time for the walk home….so I was having about 3.5 litres a day! My water consumption during the working week meant that I didn’t worry so much if I didn’t have a lot of water at home during the weekends….because the tap water didn’t taste that nice. It had a faint chlorine taste and sometimes, if I put it in a clean clear pint glass, you could see bits floating in it!! The limescale in our kettle was a bit terrifying as well!
Before I moved to the UK I didn’t really appreciate what hard water was. The drinking water in the cities I lived in in Australia was pretty good, and the only water issue I was concerned with was not wasting it! In a massive metropolis like London, the water is never going to taste like it does at the foothills of Mt Wellington (!) but I wasn’t prepared for how different the taste actually was. Basically, hard water is water with a high mineral content (mostly calcium and magnesium but there are others) and the hardness can be measured/tested in various ways - a common measurement is ppm, which is the parts per million of the calcium carbonate equivalent. BTW I'm so not a science brain and this is the simplest way I could explain it! Maybe I need Hard Water for Dummies?!
According to the British DWI, most areas of the UK, with the exception of Wales, Cornwall, Devon and parts of the North West and Scotland, are hard water areas. There's even a tea you can buy in the supermarket especially for hard water! Most areas of England measure above 200ppm. To give you an idea of comparison, my hometown’s water ppm is between 5.8 and 34.4, with Melbourne being very similar. So I wasn't imagining the difference in taste :)
This is not to say that hard water is unsafe to drink, in the same way fruit and vegetables grown with pesticides are not unsafe to eat. But is it ideal? Perhaps not. And it’s not just a question of whether you’re in a hard water area either, sometimes plumbing and chemicals used to treat water impurities (like fluoride) can contribute to the taste and effects of your tap water too. There are no shortage of reports that espouse the benefits of drinking and using filtered water instead of tap water, from ingesting less impurities to food tasting better to less mineral build up in your electrical appliances. My husband Tom has long been a home water filter fan, and we had some jugs for a while but I found them very cumbersome and would always forget to fill them up! When we moved to our new home in the country last year we had grand plans to do up the kitchen….and still do…..but one of the things we agreed we would do was get a filter tap when we got eventually round to the home renos.
So when I was asked by BRITA if I would like to try out one of their new three-way dispenser filter taps for the Skinny Latte kitchen, I couldn’t have been more delighted! Filtered water and a new look for my old kitchen at the same time!
It was installed by a BRITA approved plumber and it was a very simple job; they also called afterwards to make sure we were happy with the service and everything was performing as expected (top marks for that!).
How the three way dispenser works is that we have separate levers for hot, cold and filtered water – and all the water is dispensed from the one central tap. It’s very easy to use. You can use “normal” water from the hot and cold levers for washing up or for watering the plants, etc and use the filter lever as and when you want it. The hot and cold water is not filtered and the filtered water is cold water that goes through the special BRITA filter that is now installed under our sink. BRITA recommend replacing the filters every 3 months or every 500 litres (which is a lot more convenient than the jugs!). We even got a little buzzer that counts down the days so it will set off an alarm when we need to get a new filter! You may be able to get a bit more use per filter depending on the quality of the water in your area. So far, 51 days and counting (thank you cartridge exchange buzzer!), we’re going well!
To say this tap has transformed our lives is a bit of an understatement! I really wanted to use it for a good length of time before writing about it to discern just how much of a difference (or not) it had made but I noticed the difference in the taste of the tap water immediately. The chlorine taste is gone and it just tastes pure and clean. Prior to getting the tap and now working at home I was really forcing myself to drink 3 pints (1.7 litres) a day which was never a pleasure (!) and I never felt like it was enough. Now I'm back to drinking about 6 pints (3.4 litres) a day with no problems at all. In fact, I’ve had 3 pints while writing this! :P …….. loo break ……....
I also love to bake bread (no surprises there) and a lot of the recipes I use call for filtered water. Not thinking it would make much of a difference, I always used to use tap water but since acquiring the filter tap I’ve used filtered water in my breadmaker loaves and sourdough and I have found the bread has improved in both texture and taste. The crumb seems lighter and the bread would normally go stale very quickly but now I’ve found it is still soft a few days after I make it rather than being only fit for breadcrumbs! I also use the filtered water for tea and coffee, and any time I need boiling water to make stock or gravy. I haven’t yet graduated to cooking pasta in the filtered water (just because you need such a lot of it!) but have for rice, quinoa and other grains. Overall, everything just tastes nicer. And drinking water is definitely not a chore any more!
When you think about it, our bodies are the best filters we have. They have the ability to process and flush out a plethora of toxins. And what’s the best way for our bodies to do that? With water :) I am a big believer in putting the best you can into your body and “the best” doesn’t mean expensive, just pure, clean and as close to nature as possible. I think sadly in this day and age the purity of our environment has been sacrificed for modern conveniences and if we can help redress that balance, starting in our own homes, then all well and good!
As I mentioned, we were planning to get a filter tap for our kitchen anyway so were very grateful to BRITA for providing us with this one to get started. If you are renovating your kitchen sometime soon I really would recommend getting one. It has made our kitchen so much nicer – in fact, some of the other modifications we were considering (new tiles, etc) might not now be necessary as the tap has given it all such a lift. I never would have thought the sink would be a stand-out feature of the kitchen, but there you go!
The Kelda model we chose retails for £330 on the BRITA web site, plus a small delivery charge. The replacement filters are £36.60. They have lots of other styles of taps available, some of which are on special offer at the moment. You can also book installation through them as well. Obviously this is a considerable amount of money and everyone has to weigh up the benefits versus the costs for themselves. I personally think it’s more than worth it if you drink a lot of water and live in an area where the tap water doesn’t taste fantastic. We have used it so much since we had it installed, I don’t really know how we got by without it!
Do you have a filter tap, or would you consider getting one? How do you make sure you get your 2 litres a day?