New York City’s infamous tap water is flowing down a new path. Molecule, located in the East Village, made its debut on July 14 as the first water café in the city.
Inspired by a water store in California, Molecule serves tap water that is filtered through a $20,000 patent-pending eight-stage filter, which produces water of extraordinary purity. Customers can also add vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, alkalinity and plant-based supplements to create a custom bottle of water.
Established by owner Adam Ruhf and co-owner Alex Venet, Molecule’s vision is to not only provide the city with healthy and reliable water, but also to limit the waste product of bottled water.
“Bottled water is a very carbon and waste-intensive system, and tap water contains things we might not want to drink,” Ruhf said. “Our water is healthy for people and the planet,”
Molecule, also known as The Water Café, has been open for less than two months but has already received impressive reactions. Patrons from all over the city are bringing suitcases filled with containers to refill with the in-demand pure water, which costs $3 per gallon. Other popular choices include the Energy Blend, priced at $2 per serving, Vitamin B Complex, which costs $1 per serving, and Alkalinity, which costs $1 for one gallon.
Ruhf said his favorite combination is the Anti-Inflammatory, which contains tumeric,
boswellia, white willow bark and holy basil, but encourages customers to create their own combinations.
Steinhardt sophomore Torrence Browne, who is from Long Island, does not believe there is anything wrong with New York City’s tap water, and thinks this new water initiative seems too expensive.
“I’ve read about this café and want to go once to check it out,” Browne said. “I probably won’t go regularly, because I don’t want to spend so much money on fancy water. I was born in New York City and live in Long Island, and I know that New York has perfectly great tap water. I don’t really see the point in paying for overly priced water.”
Ruhf admits that New York’s water is comparatively good but proudly professes the company’s philosophy to “take what is available and make it better.” He claims that what the café offers is “even better, something free of the inevitable contaminants that end up in virtually all drinking water.”
SCPS sophomore Grace Park is interested in the idea of having a clean and trustworthy experience.
“I think you can’t do much with water, but the whole concept is new, and I think I want to try it out with my friends just for fun,” Park said.
Ruhf, a Gallatin alumnus, agrees.
“In a few months, we will be able to deliver clean, eco-friendly water all over the city, and I think NYU would be one great place to launch this extension of our business,” Ruhf said.
Molecule is located on 259 E. 10 St. For more information, visit themoleculeproject.com
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 11 print edition. Michelle Lim is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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