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February 5, 2012

Binchotan Water Bottle


Excerpts from yesterday's Wall Street Journal review

It may seem counterintuitive to purify your drinking water with a stick of charcoal, but the Japanese have been doing it for centuries. Binchotan — a carbon made from tree branches — is renowned for its ability to soften water and absorb impurities, including chlorine.

Technically, no fancy gear is required — just steep a stick in water overnight — but since there's nothing worse than getting "charcoal nose" when you're chugging water, Eau Good was designed to hold an included piece of binchotan in place. The solution is ingenious: Squeeze the bottle (it's made of BPA-free flexible plastic) until the stick settles into a dimple. To release, squeeze again.

The manufacturer recommends refreshing the charcoal after three months by boiling it for 10 minutes (purists would suggest refreshing binchotan every few weeks). After six months, you can put the stick in your refrigerator or sneakers to absorb odors, or crumble it into potting soil to fertilize and balance pH. (Unlike plastic water filters, most of which are also charcoal based, these sticks are completely biodegradable.) We binchotanized some New York tap water, and the difference in taste was dramatic.

Bottle: $20; replacement sticks (work with any container): $3.70. 

Both here.

February 5, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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Just bought something similar for the wife at BJ's wholesale club. It was 3 plastic bottles (in light shades of blue and green) with 3 built in charcoal filters. Supposedly each filter is good for 300 refills, and we got all 3 bottles with filters for around $25.

To be clear, the filter part screws into the lid area, so you are actually filtering water whenever you drink out of it, and you just take off the top and refill it with any available tap water.

We're now saving a lot of money compared to her using individual water bottles for sports and outdoor fun.

Posted by: EEJ | Feb 7, 2012 9:55:56 AM

Er, that last sentence should have ended with, "with tap water and some glass jugs."

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Feb 5, 2012 5:19:32 PM

Harrods of London uses NYC tap water as the "gold standard" for their extensive tea tasting by their buyers. The water supply for NYC comes from the finest Catskills rivers - among the cleanest and lowest in dissolved solids of any freestone river anywhere on the planet.

Binchotan is readily available in Japanese markets for a few dollars for a small bag. I'd imagine that several hundreds of gallons of this stuff (good luck getting the stuff saturated so that it stays submerged).

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Feb 5, 2012 5:17:16 PM

I'v never been fond of water bottles, Being a tap water kind of guy, someone carrying a bottle of water, especially the imported trendy kind usually brings up the judgmental in me.

This one I really like. There is no BS in that design. What you see is what you get.
I just may have to give up on the one plastic gallon milk bottle I have been known to use.

Posted by: Ray | Feb 5, 2012 3:59:45 PM

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