A spring is the culmination of a complex natural process that deserves our protection, all the more so since some aspects concerning them remain a mystery. Although the nature of rocks and the various possible combinations of layers define the characteristics of the water which emerges, two waters can taste different even if they have the same mineral balance. In my opinion, this can be explained by the presence of trace elements, since minerals from rocks are never totally pure.
I think that there is also a third element that plays a part in the taste of water. It comes from the depths of the earth, specifically from the mantle which lies under the earth’s crust and exhales noble gases and juvenile water – water which does not come from the water cycle. In volcanic areas the impact of this deep water certainly has an effect.
Water does not reveal all of its richness and subtlety straightaway! Water tasting requires all five senses: sight to assess clarity; touch to feel the texture; smell to capture aromas; hearing to be aware of the popping of the bubbles, and taste to appreciate its subtlety. Water arouses tactile sensations: variations in texture test the mucous membranes, inviting the definitions “biting”, “light” or “fizzy” for each water…
Minerals challenge the taste buds. The proportion of different minerals contained in a water give it its specific taste identity. Hence, a composition that is rich in calcium and magnesium will give a velvety and sometimes slightly salty taste to certain waters. Water gives rise to many sensations, fuelling the imagination, inspired by the environment which formed it; to taste it is to absorb its terroir. And this yields a nearly endless variety of qualities: a water that is dense, with a creamy mouth feel, a cottony flavour and a nose that recalls the taste of sulphur; another water will be pure, light, with a discreet plant scent, conjuring up a clear stream rushing over white pebbles in the heart of a forest of cypresses.Photography by Sandrine Alouf