What on Earth is Third Wave Water?

October 24, 2017

You’ve probably heard all of the hype around Dayton startup Third Wave Water’s success with recently landing a deal on Shark Tank, but do you really know what Third Wave Water is?

To put to rest some of the confusion, we thought we’d share this article that recently appeared on The Wright Cup’s website:

…there was one common variable.  The water.

Have you ever thought about the water that you use to brew your coffee?  Considering that water makes up about 98% of a cup of coffee, it’s a little surprising that most of us don’t give water a second thought.

Some of us head to the faucet, some grab a bottle of spring water, and others pour from a filtration system.  Each of these options has different mineral contents, and can result in surprisingly different cups of coffee.

This was the topic of conversation one afternoon between our own Charles Nick and our good friend Taylor Minor of Telemetry Roasters.  They chatted over lunch about their customer’s inability to duplicate the coffee shop experience at home.

Their customers could use the best, most precisely ground beans, heat their water to perfection, and meticulously brew their coffee, but there was one common variable.  The water.

As the story goes, Charles told Taylor that he wished he could provide a concentrated version of Taylor’s coffee water to the customers of The Wright Cup.  That discussion set them on a journey that led to the creation of Third Wave Water, and amazingly, to the stage of Shark Tank.

Charles Nick and Taylor Minor present Third Wave Water on Shark Tank
What is Third Wave Water, and why do I care?

Funny enough, Third Wave Water isn’t actually water.  It is a packet of minerals that can “re-mineralize” distilled water to meet the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) “Water For Brewing Standards”.  Yup, that’s a thing.

Per the SCA, brewing coffee with water that meets their standards will allow for “superior quality extraction of coffee solids”.  Simply put: it let’s you get the most out of your coffee beans.

Many coffee shops use filtration systems to get their water as close to perfection as possible.  Third Wave Water gives you a simple and reasonable way of duplicating this at home… or just about anywhere on planet earth, for that matter.

It depends, but if you’re using tap water that is full of minerals, the difference will be extremely noticeable.  Jake and Mike at Orange Cactus Coffee did a blind taste test, and judged Third Wave Water to be better than their spring water.  This is especially noteworthy, given the cost of spring water.

An interesting comparison was ran by Joseph Robertson of Coffee Lovers TV and Jessie Nelson of Conduit Coffee.  They compared local Seattle tap water, which is considered quite good, with filtered water, VOSS, and Third Wave Water.  Once again, Third Wave Water landed on top.

Now, this may leave you wondering if it’s only coffee geeks that can tell the difference.  That’s a valid concern, but consider this: while the diverse group of Shark Tank judges will argue on almost every point, they were unanimous in saying that Third Wave Water definitely made the better cup of coffee.

How do you make Third Wave Water?

You simply add a single packet of Third Wave Water to a gallon of distilled water or a gallon water from a reverse osmosis system.  Shaken, not stirred. Voilà!

Okay, we get it.  You like Third Wave Water.  Anything else?

There is one minor note of caution:  only use distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis system with Third Wave Water.  If you use water with existing minerals, you will end up with more minerals than you want.


Third Wave Water is a reasonable, effective way of improving your cup of coffee. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!