Metromint flavored waters: Zero calories, but how do they taste?

The good news is that Metromint waters have zero calories. The better news is they have zero sweeteners. The best news of all is that they have no preservatives.

In fact, Metromint waters, which come in four flavors (spearmint, peppermint, lemonmint, and orangemint) have very short ingredient lists. All are purified water and mint. One has lemon essence, the other has orange essence. And for a processed food item, that's as pretty an ingredient list as you are likely to ever see.

So we were eager to put the Metromint waters to the test. A taste test, to be precise. And that's where the waters were less clear, so to speak.

Spearmint water
Take a piece of spearmint gum. Chew it until it loses it's taste, but before it becomes cardboard. Spit it out and take a good swig from a glass of chilled water. That's what this tastes like. And no one wanted a second sip.

Peppermint water
The taste testers looked at each other and screamed dentist! almost simultaneously. Why? Because that is exactly what this tastes like: The cleanser the dental hygienist uses to clean your teeth. Most unpleasant.

Lemonmint water
Now, I am especially fond of lemons, so I was quite looking forward to this one. Alas, I shouldn't have been. Although it was the least offensive of all the waters, it had a mild lemon taste with a strong astringent kick. It was universally disliked.

And, what was worse, is the fact that there is no such word as "lemonmint." You would think that a company that can't even do something as simple as spell properly would not be able to do something as complicated as invent a new drink. Oh ... wait.

Orangemint water
One tester said this tasted exactly like what melted ice cubes left in a glass with the dregs of an Orange Crush soda would taste like: Watery with a sour under taste. This vies with spearmint as the worst of the waters.

And, of course, "orangemint" is not a word.

So would we drink them again?
The universal answer was "no." No one in this highly unscientific taste test liked the waters, no one would shell out money for them, and no one would drink them again.

But we would enjoy chilled glasses of ice water spiked with slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh peppermint on those sweltering hot days when we needed a refreshing thirst quencher. And the price would be a fraction of the cost.

Try for yourself
If you want to try them, you can get a four-pack sampler for $13. That is, if you don't think the price is high for flavored water.

Bottled water quite passé
All this might be moot, anyway, because the San Francisco Chronicle reports that a growing number of restaurants are serving tap water instead of bottled. Why? the general manager of Chez Panisse is quoted as saying the "whole goal of sustainability means using as little energy as we have to. Shipping bottles of water from Italy doesn't make sense." Now Metromint doesn't come from Italy, but it is shipped nationwide. Dreadful timing for them, isn't it?