Despite the city tap water’s already glistening reputation for being fresh and delicious, for two locals, it’s just not good enough.
Co-owners Adam Ruhf, 32, and Alexander Venet, 41, opened a quaint water cafe in the East Village this week to offer New Yorker’s what they say is better tasting, healthy, water in its “purest form."
The two entrepreneurs take tap water, filter out all the chemicals, bottle it in adorable 16-oz glass bottles, and sell it for $2.50.
“People say (New York’s water) is good because they’re comparing it to other states,” explained Venet. “It’s like saying one disease is better than another when they’re both bad. They’re both diseases.”
The 400-square-foot store at 259 East 10th Street offers the 16-oz. “To Go” size as well as a gallon or more for upwards of $3. All sizes can be supplemented with a vitamin for an additional dollar, or a blend of different herbs and minerals for an additional $2.
Apart from water, the store also sells aluminum water canteens, BPA-free water bottles, snack bars, and offers water delivery via a tricycle that can carry up to 240 gallons of “Molecule” water.
In the hour and a half that Metro visited “Molecule”, the 3-person run store had no customers. Ruhf and Venet agreed that business had slowed since their initial opening a week ago.
“It’s going to take a little while for people to understand what we’re doing,” said Venet, adding that they’ve sold one hundred 16-oz. bottles in the past six days, mostly to tourists and people from the neighborhood.
Still both are optimistic that New Yorkers will taste and appreciate the difference.
"I want everyone to drink it!" Venet told Metro. "From babies to the elderly. We need to get everyone on board."
Taste test: Which water is which?
Metro shelled out $2.50 for Molecule's filtered water, $1 for a bottle of Poland Springs and then poured ourselves a glass of good-old, regular tap. And — we could not tell the difference between the three.
Water A tasted crisp, with a hint of bitterness and a definite metallic after-taste. Guess: Molecule (Nope. Poland Spring)
Water B tasted murkier than Water A but had no gross aftertaste. Guess: tap (Nope! Molecule water, after a round in their $25,000 filtration machine)
Water C tasted crisp and refreshing. This one also tasted the best; I’d pay for this one. Guess: Poland Spring. Nope! Regular New York City tap water.