The world knows how Germans love quality, and water quality is no exception.
Germans have a love relationship with mineral water which has a history of many centuries. In Germany, mineral water is favored to such an extent that it even outranks coffee and beer.
Water consumption has become a kind of German tradition that comes in various variations.
Interestingly, Germans drink plain mineral water, medium sparkling, full sparkling mineral water, and “Heilwasser” (healing water with a particularly high content of minerals for healing and benefiting health effects).
German people drink about 142 liters of water, much more than in other countries. But it’s not only plain mineral water that the Germans love. More than three-quarters of the German population is a huge fan of sparkling water.
All in all, there are approximately 600 mineral water brands in Germany, an amount that truly speaks for itself.
This unique yet often overseen German drinking habit surprises many foreigners visiting the country.
Why does mineral water play such a special role in the life of Germans? And from where do they get their water?
In this article, you will find out everything about the Germans and their drinking water and will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Germany’s obsession with mineral water
Mineral water is probably the most thirst-quenching and healthiest drink in the world, and Germans absolutely love it. It contains a high content of essential minerals, provides numerous health benefits, and is naturally calorie-free.
Germans who insist on having mineral water mainly insist on it due to its pleasant flavor, carbonation, and nutritional compounds.
Many mineral water brands obtain it from springs that contain dissolved carbon and, thus, are naturally sparkling. Other water brands either remove or add more carbonation to enhance the taste.
Click to check my other articles on Germany. I also linked them all at the end of this article.
Why do Germans love sparkling water?
You can say that German people’s love for sparkling water has pretty much become a German tradition that won’t go anywhere any time soon.
Even in my family, from my mother’s side, everyone is a sparkling water drinker. I am the only one who drinks plain mineral water. But why are Germans so crazy about it?
Surprisingly, many people in Germany, including my mom, even have their own water carbonator at home.
I asked my family members why they like it so much, and everyone said: “It just tastes better than plain mineral water”.
When it comes to sparkling water consumption, Germany crushes every other country. Around 78% of Germany’s mineral water consumption is carbonated, which indicates how much Germans love their fizzy water.
Many Germans simply prefer carbonated water because it’s tastier, and they like that tickle on their tongue.
Others like it for its health benefits. Carbonated water is said to improve satiety, improve digestion, and aid in constipation.
There are 4 types of sparkling water: mineral, medium sparkling, full sparkling, and “Heilwasser” or “healing water”.
Healing water is known to have a particularly high mineral content and provides healing and preventative health effects.
The origins of Germany’s mineral water
The admiration of mineral water started with Germany’s western region – Europe’s largest volcanic area.
Over the past 100,000 years, nearly 500 active volcanoes in that region have emitted hot lava and ashes, creating cracks and crevices throughout the landscapes.
With time, more and more rainwater poured into those cracks washing off the stones on their way down and accumulating some thousand feet below the ground.
At long last, geological pressure forced some of this pristine and tasty water back to the surface where Germany’s early inhabitants collected it. As a result, a long admiration for mineral water began.
Moreover, the ancient Romans, who were famous for their spa culture, were also very fond of Germany’s thermal springs, which they called “Swiss waters” for some reason.
Politicians and soldiers would go to these salty thermal springs to bathe and relax while benefiting from their medicinal health benefits.
Over the course of many centuries, over 500 German towns and cities discovered local mineral water springs providing drinking and bathing opportunities to their population and travelers.
That’s why many German places include the word “Bad” (the German word for spa or bath) in their names like Bad Sulza and Bad Kösen near my home town Apolda.
Click to read: What do German people look like? (a German Explains)
Best German Water Brands
Mineral water has a huge fan following in Germany. Thus, you can find about 600 bottled water brands in Germany.
Gerolsteiner and Apollinaris are Germany’s best water brands. They are like Coca-Cola and Pepsi among mineral waters in Germany.
Here are the 6 best mineral water brands of German origin.
Gerolsteiner is definitely one of Germany’s leading mineral water brands, most famous for its Gerolsteiner Sprudel brand, a naturally carbonated mineral water.
Gerolsteiner is a winner among consumers because of its well-balanced taste and high magnesium and calcium mineral content.
According to the brand, only one liter of Sparkling and Medium covers one-third of your daily calcium requirement and one-quarter of your daily magnesium requirement.
Apollinaris has been quenching the thirst of Germany since 1852. The water comes from the Apollinaris spring located in the German Rhineland.
If you want to know what naturally sparkling mineral water tastes like, try Apollinaris. Referred to as the “Queen of table waters”,
Since 2006, Apollinaris is now owned by Coca-Cola and is Germany’s second-highest-selling sparkling mineral water brand.
Another of my favorites is Rosbacher Mineral water.
It’s highly appreciated for its pleasant taste as well as its natural compound of calcium and magnesium in a 2:1 ratio.
Rosbacher’s spring provides you with pristine mineral water obtained from 1000 feet below the ground.
If you’re someone who doesn’t really like the taste of plain water, Lichtenauer’s flavored tonic water might become your go-to.
Besides great-tasting mineral water, carbonated water, and soft drinks, Lichtenauer also offers nutritious tonic water in a refreshing lemon flavor.
Adelholzener mineral water is one of Germany’s classics.
Originating from the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany, Adelhozener is best known for its purity as well as a variety of fruity carbonated drinks.
6. Nevas Water
This German mineral water brand embodies luxury in a bottle. Nevas Water Cuvee is Germany’s first premium bottled water and sells for a proud sum of €22,50 per 750ml.
Nevas combines the water of two springs, which creates a very unique taste.
Nevas Water comes in a champagne-like bottle closed up with a cork and sums up its luxurious taste with a luxurious design.
Germany is also a fashion powerhouse. Click on my German Fashion Brands and German Perfume Brands to learn more.
Is tap water in Germany safe to drink?
German tap water is no doubt one of the cleanest water in the world and is safe to drink. It is one of the country’s most strictly controlled food/beverages.
However, you have to keep in mind that tap water quality depends on the pipes and fittings in your home.
Up until the 1970s, lead pipes were used in private homes.
So before you decide to drink water from the tap, inform yourself about the water pipes in your home, as lead gathers in the water while standing in the pipe all night.
If tap water is safe to drink, why do Germans don’t drink it?
While there are some Germans who actually drink tap water, the majority don’t.
Tap water in English sounds totally normal, but in German, it is called “Leitungswasser” meaning “Plumbing water” and that doesn’t sound appealing to Germans.
Tap water in Germany is either rated “good” or “very good” yet, it is such a common practice not to drink it.
The majority of Germans, including my family, simply believe that tap water doesn’t taste as good as bottled mineral water.
Moreover, many prefer mineral water due to its nutritional content and health benefits.
From where do the Germans get their water?
Germany is fairly rich in water. In general, there are no issues regarding water availability in Germany.
Yet, water resources may vary in different regions of Germany due to the different availability of groundwater, the existence of surface water, different volumes of precipitation, and the level of water demand overall.
Germans get their water from volcanic grounds, Alpine mountains, plenty of rainfall, and shrinking glaciers bestowed Germany with enough water reservoirs.
Surprisingly, some wells in Germany were already in use since the Romans settled in areas between the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers.
Germany’s most important source of drinking water is groundwater which accounts for up to 70%. Out of Germany’s water resources, only about a quarter is being used while 4% is used as drinking water.
Other public water supplies include spring water, bank-filtered water from wells close to rivers and lakes, and surface water.
Also, despite water not being scarce in Germany, a significant water deficit has been seen building up in many regions.
This is mainly because of too little rainfall, higher temperatures during summer, and low water levels in dams.
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This article is
written by Asma Schleicher and edited by Efe Genit. Asma is a creative writer with German and Pakistani roots. She is an analytical writer with a degree in business administration.
She mostly writes about cultural, travel, and fashion-related topics reflecting her real-life experiences. You can also check Asma’s profile on Upwork.