We collected water for a good while, storing it until we could finally find time to conduct our test. Life got busy, and before long, it was time for everyone to move out of our apartment.
We gathered as many of the Unit 8 roommates (we’ve had 12 over the years) as possible, and prepared our test. The brands we collected included:
- App State Campus Bottle Water (bottled in Deep Gap, NC)
- Deer Park
- Smart Water
- Nestle Pure Life
- Great Value (Walmart)
- Kirkland’s (Costco)
- Hawaiian Springs
- Just Water (boxed water)
- Pure & Pristine (TJ Maxx Glacier Water)
- Food Lion
- Sam’s Choice (Sam’s Club)
- 365 Electrolyte Water
- Cloninger Ford Water (Piedmont Springs)
- Boone Tap Water
We gathered round in our living room on whatever chairs we could find (since most of the furniture was already gone). I had attempted to find lemon sorbet or those wine-tasting crackers as a palette-cleanser, but was not successful. Instead, we ended up with Publix-brand orange sherbet, which actually worked very well.
Our methods were as follows:
- Cody’s wife, Morgan, filled up identical small plastic cups, labeled 1-17, with samples of each type of water and Boone tap water.
- Each type of water was at room temperature.
- The judges–Isaac Church, Cody McKinney, Trevor Gragg, Alex Payne, and Charles Ashley “CJ” Hinshaw, Jr.–each recorded our responses on a sheet without knowing the marks of the other judges.
- Before trying each water, we each took a small spoonful of orange sherbet to ensure that we removed all the previous tastes from our mouths and had a uniform starting point.
- We rated each water 1-10 on three different points: Purity, Taste, and Overall Satisfaction.
- I totaled the scores from all five participants and ranked each water based on the overall score from the five judges.
For those of you who don’t get the accounting joke, I’m sorry. Moving on…
Unfortunately, I was not able to record the comments from each judge, which were quite hilarious and insightful. It’s quite amazing how many times we guessed certain brands of water, especially the ones near the bottom of the list.
After some careful consideration, and lots of painstaking data entry, we came up with shockingly similar results for most of the waters. Our favorite was unanimous (and not really all that close), as were the least favorites. I’ll let you read the results chart, and then I’ll discuss the results.
I would like to give a shoutout to Charlie Day and Nick Bonilla, who were not able to be present for the testing. You were with us in spirit.