Startup Cafe Sells Tap Water For a Cool $2.50 (Plus Tax)

After running standard New York tap water through a $25,000 filter, the folks behind the Molecule Water Café say you can really taste the difference.

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One of the great things about New York City is its ever-growing variety of ethnic and niche culinary options: a meatball shop here, a schnitzel bar there. But for years, the Big Apple’s been egregiously behind the times with its lack of a tap water café.

Good thing the entrepreneurs behind the Molecule Water Cafe in Manhattan’s East Village are around to change that. Instead of overpriced cappuccinos and iced lattes, you can now enjoy a nice cool glass of New York City tap water for just $2.50, plus tax. Of course, this isn’t just plain old New York water. It’s been filtered through a $25,000 apparatus that uses ultraviolet rays, ozone treatments and reverse osmosis to produce what the owners call “pure H2O,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

After the water has undergone this seven-stage treatment process, the change in taste is subtle, “but if you have a sensitive palate you can totally tell,” co-owner Adam Ruhf told the Journal, describing Molecule’s water as “smooth” and “fluffy.” While the Big Apple has long prided itself on clean, high-quality drinking water, Ruhf says that the water is actually loaded with chemicals and chlorine.

(MORE: How Healthy is Your Tap Water?)

Molecule’s customers can enjoy up to 50 oz. of the filtered water for $1, if they bring their own container, or $2.50 for a 16-ounce glass bottle. To some this may seem pricey, considering the fact that already-acceptable New York City tap water flows readily out of public drinking fountains, playground sprinklers, the occasional fire hydrant and, you know, taps. Others argue that the treatment process doesn’t just eliminate chemicals, it also eliminates beneficial minerals. But Ruhf stands by his product. Customers can even add vitamins or mixes of roots and herbs to their water, as well as pH and electrolyte infusions. Yum.

The shop, tucked away on a trendy block of East 10th Street, features the filtration apparatus as its primary decor. Aaron Gallentine, an employee at nearby eatery Dumpling Man, said he was at first skeptical about a business primarily serving water. Though maybe, just maybe, Molecule has set up shop in the right place at the right time.

“It’s so completely random, and the East Village is so completely random,” he told the Journal. “I think this may be the only place this could possibly work.”

MORE: Sparkling Water on Tap: Even French Water Fountains Are Classy

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Forget about how 'good' our water here in NYC is supposed to be.  My building was built in 1886 and I don't think the landlord has changed any pipes yet!  Anyone who's ever lived in an old building has turned on the tap and gotten brown, rusty, or cloudy water at one point....there is NO WAY that is 'good.'

And 50oz. for $1 is WAY BETTER than any bottled water from the supermarket...this article title  is a little misleading. If they let me fill my jug for $1, I'll give it a try.


People in New York have way too much money.


Geesh! What will these trendy hipsters come up with next? First you use an overpriced filtration system,(They do not have to cost anywhere near that much to do the same job) to rid the water of chemicals and minerals. Then you turn around and pour stuff into it to improve the taste, and return the minerals you paid so much to remove. Combine this with an O2 bar, (oxygen bars actually make a bit of sense in a city) total triple organic veggie burgers, and aromatherapy(to counter all that O2) all in the same venue, and you may have a going concern for the terminally trendy. "A fool and his money are soon parted." Pretentious idiots!


This is definitely a 1st world problem that I have been having. My water was not fluffy enough and I am happy to see that someone else saw the need for this.  Now, I can rest easy and know that my exquisite palate can now be pleased by Molecular Water Cafe.  All you poors can joke about this, but you clearly do not have as refined taste as I do.


Sometimes NYers are complete idiots. Case in point ^^^^^^^^^

Nys Cof
Nys Cof


NYC spends about $24 million annually

adding tasteless, odorless, health-harming fluoride chemicals into New Yorkers

bodies via the water supply in a failed effort, not to purify the water but to

reduce tooth decay in people who drink tap water and sodas made with that tap


NYC Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr. introduced legislation (Int 0463-2011)

“prohibiting the addition of fluoride to the water supply.” People need to call

Speaker Quinn and Health Committee Chair Arroyo to allow a public hearing on

this bill.

Vallone writes on his website, “There is a growing body of evidence that

fluoride does more harm than good.”.

Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable amp; Growing.

More than 4,038 professionals (including 331 dentists and 518 MD’s) urge that

fluoridation be stopped citing scientific evidence that ingesting fluoride is

ineffective at reducing tooth decay and has serious health risks. See statement:

Reasons to stop fluoridation in NYC are here: