The key to a perfectly brewed gourmet cup of coffee just might come in a small white box.
Aquiem, branded as “coffee’s missing element,” is boxed water from a team of Baton Rouge entrepreneurs specifically formulated for expertly brewing coffee. The water is purified and then blended with all-natural essential minerals to enrich the flavor, consistency and even the aroma of coffee, they say.
While it can enhance any type of coffee, hot or iced tea, Aquiem is designed with gourmet coffee drinkers in mind.
Locals Jerri Manale, Mitzi Barber and Rob Vidacovich are partners in the creation and evolution of Aquiem, the brainchild of Manale’s husband Frank. More than five years ago, Frank began thinking about producing water specially for coffee.
“He knew that coffee is 98 percent water, and water is so different wherever you go,” Vidacovich says. “Gourmet coffee drinkers are spending tremendous amounts of money on specialized coffee beans and equipment, but then when they make coffee they’re using substandard water.”
Vidacovich says many coffee addicts use tap water, filtered water or bottled water, none of which meet the standards coffee experts deem the type of water that should be used, according to his research.
Manale, Barber and Vidacovich have since executed Frank’s plan, and after going through many iterations, have developed an identity for their product.
“This is the optimal recipe for water used to brew coffee,” Barber says. “It’s basic chemistry that when you mix these minerals it brings out the taste and aroma. It’s not going to have toxins or lead in it.”
The trio is targeting hotels, supermarkets and coffee shops to sell Aquiem, and performing demos all around Baton Rouge in which they brew coffee with and without Aquiem. Barber and Manale say consumers can always taste the difference.
“We do a side by side demo, and there is a huge difference,” Manale says. “I would say 100 percent of people who come through our demos can taste it.”
Currently, the water is blended in Florida, but Vidacovich says production will eventually move entirely to Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
It may seem odd to box the water, but the packaging is eco-friendly, recyclable and biodegradable. Vidacovich says he wanted to avoid using plastics with harmful toxins, like the plastic sometimes used for bottled water.
Barber says the group is looking at larger sizes and different packaging for Aquiem, to make use easier for consumers.
See when and where Aquiem can be purchased here.