It should come as no surprise that the newest startup in the East Village section of New York City is even more ridiculous than those that precede it. The Big Apple is known for its food 'niche' stores -- The Hummus Place, The Dumpling Man, Rice to Riches, a spot dedicated solely to rice pudding. And Pickles. Oh, and Mayonaise. Who even LIKES mayo that much to warrant an entire business dedicated to its "Empire"?

So when we heard about the latest of these "boutique" stores, we were only too amused to hear what it specializes in: tap water. 

That's right, the stuff you get free when you turn the tap in the kitchen at home. The shop is cunningly called "Molecule," likely fooling us into thinking this enterprise has the backing of the scientific community. We're sceptical to say the least...

New York City's tap water has long been a source of civic pride and the city isn't even required to filter it. Sure, there is stuff added to the water, but that doesn't immediately mean it's bad for us. The EPA actually requires treated tap water to have a detectable level of chlorine to help prevent contamination.

Yes, chlorine can react with organic material in water to create low-level contaminants, but these are closely regulated by the EPA (who, try to remember, do have our best interests at heart). The real danger is eliminating its use.

This "cafe" uses a $25,000 filtration system that deploys ultraviolet rays, ozone treatments and reverse osmosis, in a seven-stage processing treatment to create what they call pure H20. Then they charge $2.50 a glass for what they call the "cleanest water you've ever had." You can also fill up your own bottles at the store, or have jugs of their "pharmaceutical-grade water" delivered to your door via tricycle. (Yes, seriously.)

The Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study on the mineral contents of different waters. Guess what?  The minerals in the tap water "may provide clinically important portions of the recommended dietary intake".

So what is 'Molecule' doing removing all this from our water?!

They actually seem to agree with us on that one: available to add into your water are shots of vitamins A, B, C, D and E. Also blasts called "energy," "immunity" and "skin, hair and nails." That last one uses horsetail extract. Tasty, huh?

To keep up with the Vitamin Water and Gatorade market, the store is also offering electrolyte and pH infusions. Great plan, please re-add everything you've just removed and then feel free to steal some money from our pocket!

If any of you have sampled this pricey scam, do let us know if it tastes as excellent as heavenly waters should do. Mr. Ruhf, the stores, owner, claims it's "fluffy" with a "smooth" finish. Hmmm...

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