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Singapore Water Sommelier Sam Wu Taught Me that I am Drinking Water Wrong All My Life 🤔


Today (Feb 2021), I attended a water seminar by Sam Wu, Singapore's only water sommelier which changed my way of drinking water forever. I had to change because I was drinking water wrong since I was born 😮


Sam Wu, the man who changed my way of drinking water forever.

Wait...., did you say water sommelier? Ain't there only wine sommeliers?

Sam Wu is the only qualified water sommelier in Singapore certified by Doemens Academy of Munich, Germany. Sam earned his Water Sommelier Certificate in 2018. Since then, Sam has become a good drinking water evangelist.


There are basically two types of drinking water - Natural Mineral Water, and these - Purified Water.


Purified water which includes tap water in Singapore is the most common drinking water - I've been drinking these since I was born.

Purified water produced by filtration or desalination is safe and cheap. They quench thirst but lacks or is devoid of essential minerals and nutrients. (Singapore tap water has minuscule traces.)

Purified water is basically H2O - all are uniform and the same i.e. more or less kosong (empty).

However, our body needs minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc - purified drinking water has almost none of these. If we don't get these minerals from our water, we need to get them from the food we eat. (Image credit: Wikipedia)


The thing is, if we miss out on minerals in our drinking water our entire lives, and don't have enough of it from our food, there are health implications. For example, long term calcium deficiency lead to lower bone mass and susceptibility to fractures - a common issue plaguing seniors in Singapore. (I am an over ripe 60+ year old 😄 )


Then, there is Natural Mineral Water from natural sources like springs and they have minerals which humans need.

These come from natural mineral water sources which are secured (protected) and their water is bottled unprocessed. Natural mineral water come from aquifers, artesian wells, and underground reservoirs. They do not need purification to be potable.

Natural mineral water is expensive compared to purified drinking water. Shipping costs from their countries of origin faraway make natural mineral water even more costly in Singapore - water is bulky, heavy and their container is fragile (especially those made of glass).


Purified drinking water are basically all the same, but natural mineral water vary in minerality depending on their source. As they come from different springs etc, they have different combinations and intensity of minerals.

Minerality is measured in TDS or Total Dissolved Solids in milligrams per litre, which range from low (less than 50 mg per litre) to very high (over 1,500 mg per litre).


How to know?

Just read the label. All drinking water sold are legally required to state their composition.

In this case, this natural mineral water has very high TDS 2133 with 576 mg of calcium per litre. Men need 800 mg of calcium per day, women need 1,200 mg.


All natural mineral water tastes different depending on the mineral composition and intensity. Some people like one taste profile or another just like wine appreciation. Hence, mineral water has been marketed as a cultural gastronomic experience. So, there are water sommeliers just like there are wine sommeliers.

My favourite natural mineral water at the moment is this Vichy Catalan (very high TDS 3000) from Spain but it is relatively expensive. So, it remains as a cultural gastronomic experience for me and I get my daily minerals elsewhere. I was hooked since my first taste of Vichy Catalan at Pura Brasa Spanish restaurant @ Tanjong Pagar 👈 click


Appreciating luxury natural mineral water is a well established lifestyle trend. It is not uncommon for luxury natural mineral water to cost the same as fine wine. Sam is holding a bottle of ROI from Slovenia with very high TDS 7,400.


I only just realised that natural mineral water is a need, so I don't know much. At the moment, the relatively affordable natural mineral water I know for daily hydration is Coumayeur from Italy. It has 576 mg of calcium per litre (I need 800 mg a day).

The Water Sommelier

Address: 20 Cecil Street PLUS 08-03, 049705

Nearest MRT: 5 minutes walk from Raffles or Telok Ayer station

Tel: 96153273

Hours: 10am - 6pm (Sat & Sun off)

I once visited a water purification plant in Pulau Bintan  👈 click

Written by Tony Boey on 6 Feb 2021


  1. Wish they have a water sommelier here in Oz at every top restaurant!

  2. David Chua Woon Teck9 September 2023 at 18:10

    I was reading somewhere on this, the mineral inside the water is not enough also… u need to boost by food and supplement

  3. Those in glass ones taste alot better than PET plastic ones.


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