Drinking Water Policy

reference image for a clay water bottle with cork stopper
reference image

We have spent years trying to find the most ideal, most responsible, water solution for our guests.

Our brief to selves was to find both water and container for water, that have the most positive atomic qualities, and that take the most responsible possible approach to resource management.

That means natural spring water as far as possible, that is regularly tested by a verifiable source. It must be close to home, not bought in from Italy. 

In Cape Town we found that in the Newlands Spring water – Table Mountain Spring water, around the corner, tested daily by South African Breweries for use in their beers, and delicious. 

For water vessels we wanted something that is reusable and biodegradable and made with love. That rules out plastic. Glass could work, but glass manufacturing and labor practices are not friends in South Africa. Stainless steel is fantastic, but labor issues in this sector too, also high energy consuming and steel mining tends to be anti-community development. Hemp vessels are a good fit, but we have to import them and the price is unrealistic. 

Finally, clay. In clay we found what we think is our solution, for now. Locally mined clay, used to mould water bottles in Macassar, a marginalized neighborhood, at the Proudly Macassar pottery project. The manufacturing happens locally, and supports Proudly Macassar’s social enterprise and job creation initiative. 

The clay water bottles use cork stoppers. The cork from any wine bottle will seal the unit, meaning that if the user loses the original stopper, it’s easy and zero or low cost to replace. 

These clay bottles, from November 2019, will be used in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Our Nairobi and Kigali water solutions are being developed according to local water systems, using the same overall approach below.

Reusable glass honey jars

APPROACH

  • We do not dispense plastic water bottles to guests. We will, from time to time, where it is the best solution at the time, provide sealed returnable glass mineral water bottles.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottles and fill up with our spring water. That is the most ideal situation, where Coffeebeans simply provides water.
  • In Cape Town we serve spring water from the Newlands spring, the same water that the South African Breweries uses for their beers. The water is tested daily. 
  • In Johannesburg we serve spring water from various Gauteng mineral water springs, purchased in 5l containers, and dispensed into guests own vessel or our returnable glass vessels.
  • For long form programmes, and multiday bookings, we provide re-usable water bottles to guests. These bottles are filled with spring water.
  • For guests doing a short form tours, we provide returnable glass water vessels, filled with spring water. These are locally manufactured, and are mainly sourced from our consumption of honey in glass jars.
  • Guests who prefer sealed plastic or glass water bottles will need to provide their own.