Caffeinated water is one of those products that I can’t believe is not huge. It would seem to be the purest distillation of our 21st century obsessions with bottled water and caffeine. It’s perfectly placed at the intersection of hydration enthusiasm and coffee culture (and by extension: the energy drink explosion).
Maybe it’s marketing. Most caffeinated waters come in clear plastic bottles. And by definition, a clear plastic bottle is not a hot pink can with explosions and dirt bikes emblazoned all over it. If your can doesn’t look like that, then you can’t sponsor skateboard teams or extreme dirt track hill jumping dudes. If you don’t do that, then your product will not be big in the stupid teenager market. And there’s not a market an energy beverage wants to be in more than the stupid teenager market. As recent studies have shown, teenagers need extra energy for not studying and having horrible taste in music.
The newest entry into the realm of caffeinated bottled waters is Zoom Water, a startup out of Idaho. I found them through the Twitter. They totally have Twitter in Idaho! I kid. I know absolutely nothing about Idaho, except of course, for our societally shared knowledge of its potato production. (Note to self: see if Potato Water is a thing. If not, GOLD!)
This is my first sampling of caffeinated water. I am a lover the coffee bean, a recent tea leaf enthusiast, and a slavish devotee (read: fix-chasing addict) for the sweet chemical highs of the soda in all its perfect forms, but never have I got my juice from the Clear Dragon. People call caffeinated water that right? Well they should. Let’s make it a thing. (Sadly a quick check reveals that @ClearDragon is taken.)
I’m not in love with the bottle and by that I really mean the label. The bottle is fine. Sturdy plastic. Clear. Keeps the water in. Fine. I have soured on the red, white, and blue color combination. I blame Toby Keith. And Lee Greenwood. And America. But NOT American Gladiators!
And the O’s in Zoom look like, if my high school science hasn’t failed me, a cell undergoing the process of mitosis. But so what? They’re a startup, and they seem to be going for an affordable and straightforward product, so it works.
All I care about is taste. I was going in with the assumption that the water was going to taste like water plus a touch of weird. How could it not? Caffeine is bitter. But I am glad to report that the water is fine. It tastes like bottled water, and my carefully honed taste buds (ha!) could detect no weird. Well played Zoom Water, your beverage tastes good.
According to the label, one 17 ounce bottle has as much caffeine as an 8 ounce coffee or tea, or a 12 ounce soft drink. That’s a little nebulous as even those beverages can get a little rangy, but that usually means it’s somewhere in the ballpark of 50 milligrams. Now I passed that kind of dosage by years ago, but it did put a little pep in my step (aerobics class).
I like Zoom Water. It’s good and the people involved seem nice. I wish them luck. And stupid teenagers, this is perfect for you. Put a few in the old backpack and you could easily power through the 1700 bands that play at the Warped Tour. Though your energy will undoubtedly last longer than those bands’ popularity (snort). Teenagers suck.