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Soft waters are waters usually lower in mineral content, especially minerals calcium and magnesium. A rough approximation is ‘Hardness’ = (Calcium x 2.5) + (Magnesium x 4). Soft waters may be still or sparkling. Europeans typically prefer their waters hard, while American, Asian and Australasian consumers prefer their waters 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. New Zealand waters tend to be softer waters.
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