Posted in Kafevend Blog
The modern convenience of plastic has made accessing clean
and safe drinking water anywhere we are a reality. The health benefits attached
to this water, though, are benefits that have been pursued throughout history.
In the UK for instance, you have only to look at a map to spot place names with
connections to this health pursuit- places like Droitwich Spa, Royal Tunbridge
Wells or Bath Spa.
They point towards the popularity of 'special' water long
before we came on the scene.
Archaeological finds of weapons and offerings at several
European hot spring sites suggest that our reverence for water and its
potential healing properties goes back to the prehistoric era. Moving on
through the ages, chalybeate water, which we know contains iron deposits, has
been used since medieval times as a cure for certain illnesses. During the
Tudor period, a man named William Slingsby, who had visited the eponymous Spa
in Belgium, decided to seek out water with similar properties back at home. He
discovered a well containing iron and sulphur rich water near the twin hamlets
of High and Low Harrogate and in time the larger unified town of Harrogate grew
and was transformed into what is widely considered the first spa resort town in
England where people could go to take medicinal waters. However, it was during
the nineteenth century that spa towns became fashionable, popular among wealthy Victorians, who traveled there to both take the waters and bathe in
them for their health giving properties.
With the majority of the U.K. population enjoying clean water
on tap by the early twentieth century,
the desire for mineral water was effectively curbed. Nevertheless,
bottled mineral water made a comeback through the 1980s with the innovative
advertising of Perrier. The company created a chic, trendy product that hooked
the yuppies first and then the rest of us. The bottled water market hasn't
looked back since and today we have an abundance of mineral waters to choose
from, with still and carbonated varieties from all over the British Isles and
beyond. In fact, you can even buy water melted from icebergs!