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Hard waters are waters rich in calcium and magnesium, often due to an overall higher mineral content. A rough approximation is ‘Hardness’ = (Calcium x 2.5) + (Magnesium x 4). Hard waters may be still or sparkling. Europeans typically prefer their waters hard, while American, Asian and Australasian consumers prefer their water softer. This is generally due to what we are familiar with. Purified waters, which represent the bulk of US mainstream brands, are softer. Harder waters tend to have a more ‘earthy’ flavour. One good example of a still hard water is Evian which, while popular with Europeans, is not to many new world consumers’ liking.
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