Despite the fact that German tap water goes through more rigorous checks and testing for quality than bottled water, Germans seem to be obsessed with buying their water.
If you are someone who has spent your life grabbing a glass and filling it to the brim with cold water from the tap and taking a big gulp, then in Germany you could land yourself in hot water, because nearly everyone here drinks bottled water.
If you are a guest at a restaurant, asking for a glass of tap water with your meal is pretty outrageous, as in DON’T EVER DO THIS. However you will find that this is not limited to dining, it also extends to being a guest at someone’s home. Nearly every household will be able to offer you chilled bottled water, both still and fizzy, to not have these on hand would be similar to going to a house in the UK and them having no tea!
Culturally in Germany, bottled water used to be a way of displaying wealth and over the years has simply become culturally ingrained, so what this means as a citizen of Germany is that every week, I have to schlep 12x 1.5-litre bottles (18kg) of water through a supermarket, out to the car, then from the car up to my 5th-floor apartment, despite having a ready supply of perfectly healthy, fresh drinking water in my kitchen.
I have to admit though, I am now on board with the whole drinking bottled water thing – not still water, that will always be odd for me, but I have become addicted to fizzy water (Wasser mit Sprudel) . Flat water doesn’t do it for me anymore and I blame Germany.
Fizzy water used to taste gross, probably because you are waiting for that hit of sugar that you associate with a fizzy drink, but don’t get, it was bottled disappointment. Now though, it is my nectar, on a hot summers day an ice cold fizzy water is like heaven on your palate… All that plastic though, is not heaven for the environment, hence the German Pfand system – read more about that in my Pfand blog.