Waiakea made its way around the world to Machachi, Ecuador for the FineWaters Tasting Competitions! Every year, FineWaters hosts this competition where premium bottled water companies from around the world compete head to head for a chance to win awards based on taste and design in the still and sparkling water space.
FineWaters is an online platform dedicated to educating consumers in the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry. Founded by Michael Mascha, FineWaters houses a community of premium water connoisseurs, enhancing the visibility of Fine Water and communicating the idea that water isn't just water; it doesn't have uniform characteristics, it's a natural unprocessed product with terroir reflecting the geology of and circumstances of its origins.
Taste & Design Awards 2018
The FineWaters Taste & Design Awards was hosted in Machachi, Ecuador on May 22-23, 2018. There, a panel of five judges consisted of professionals and experienced international water sommeliers and experts, assessed water companies based on taste and design in still and sparkling categories. You may think design is not as important as taste, but FineWaters disagrees, stating that bottle design represents the band and connects the consumer to the source on an emotional level-- the bottle shares a significant part of the story.
Waiakea took home a silver award in the PET design category! 🎉 Polyethylene Terephthalate, aka PET or PETE, is known as the clear plastic used to package water, soda, and other soft drink containers. When you, as a consumer, recycle PET, it's now known at RPET, or recycled PET-- this is what your Waiakea bottles are made of. Waiakea's RPET bottles are made from high-grade material, safe, and have tons of environmental advantages. In comparison to regular PET bottles, Waiakea's 100% RPET bottles use 85% less energy to manufacture, use 90% less water, and reduce carbon emissions over 90%. We focus on not only serving quality product, but one that is packaged sustainably and in a way that reflects our brand ethos. A ton of thought was put into the design of Waiakea's bottle; from the floral pattern, to the color and shape, everything was inspired by the Big Island, and most importantly, Mother Nature. We're stoked that our RPET bottles are not only recognized, but awarded by such a prestigious organization!
Food Pairing: What Does Waiakea Pair Well With?
Fine water deserves its own place on the fine dining table. It's a healthier alternative to wine and alcohol and a more suitable choice to accompany food then sugar-filled soft drinks. A Water & Food Paring event is hosted during the competition. This year, Chef Juan Carlos Ordoñez curated various dishes to pair with this year's water participants. From a smoked tuna carpaccio to a 35-hour braised short rib, judges paired select fine waters with dishes, similar to how wine is paired with select meats or cheeses. Judge Rita Palandrani's choice in the still water category was Waiakea! While we think that Waiakea goes well with everything, Rita Palandrani drank Waiakea alongside her dessert dish, a 65% chocolate mousse with orange spongecakes, 70% chocolate gelato with cacao leaves and passionfruit/cacao pulp gelée. YUM.
"The high percentage of cocoa and tannins in the mousse and gelato, the subtle acidic notes of the orange and passion fruit, the overall textural complexity, required a water that could bring out the richness of the dish. I started with Waiakea, a low minerality and alkaline volcanic water from Hawaii, low in sodium but high in silica -which provides a pleasant mouth-feel- adding a mild sweetness and not overwhelming the flavor profile." -Rita Palandrani
We're definitely honored that we were given the opportunity to participate in an event like this! It felt awesome to win a silver award for PET design, something we're passionate about. We also want to congratulate all the other companies that participated and brought awards home themselves. We're definitely looking forward to more competitions in the future!