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I know I'm prone to gadgets and especially those that have a halfway crazy approach. In this case it is a question of a drinking bottle that wants to sell water to the drinker as a drink with taste. Sounds exciting? That's what I thought when I was in Bitsundso podcast heard about it - that's why I got it Starter set from air up ordered for just under 30 euros.
The "technical" background with air up is as follows: You can fake a taste for the sense of smell or taste by putting a smell into your mouth and at the same time simply offering water as a drink. This means that if I drink and take in air with the drink that smells like cucumber, then I think I am drinking cucumber water - even though it is plain tap water. So much for the background to how air up works with the human body. The guys from air up have summarized this in a 2-minute video:
There have already been other approaches in which a drinking cup has been provided with a fruit scent, but these have failed with consumers because the initial odor quickly dissipates.
The air up team has chosen a clever approach here, because you can attach small "pods" - as they call the odor carriers - to the drinking bottle and change them if necessary. So you can not only easily swap the fake flavors, but also renew them when the smell has disappeared and the water only tastes like water.
The second thing the team resolved is how to get the smell in your mouth while drinking. This was solved with a special drinking bottle and a straw that is "not very tight" and sucks in air through the inserted air up pod when it is sucked. This enriches the air in the pod with aroma and then enters the mouth as bubbles through the drinking straw.
This is where my first criticism comes, because the air intake doesn't always work. I drank my first bottle of air up water and only had the smell through my nose and thought, so that's it: you can taste water and smell lime? That was a little disappointing.
It was only after I had rebuilt the whole construction when refilling that it suddenly started to bubble while drinking and I got the smell in my mouth, as it should be.
In the meantime I have found out how to actively solve this problem without relying on chance:
This means that the air can only pass through the pod, clearing the path through the pod. If you put the lid with the straw back into the filled bottle, there should be the typical bubbling when drinking, which means that you have the taste in your mouth.
The big question in the whole thing is of course how good the water tastes when it has run through the air up bottle while drinking.
I have to say that it works quite well because I definitely felt like I tasted something in my mouth. My children also liked it, but unfortunately the taste wasn't too intense for them to continue using it. So the kids stay with the heavily diluted juice spritzer.
Personally, I would compare the strength of the taste with that of mineral water that has been given a little bit of something. You shouldn't expect miracles from air up, but if you are satisfied with a slight flavor, you should give air up a try. I don't drink 3 liters a day as a result, but I already empty one or the other bottle that I probably wouldn't have drunk otherwise.
So for me it works pretty well with the fake taste and I've also liked all of the flavors so far. I haven't tried orange-passion fruit and cucumber yet, but they also sound very tasty. With the winter edition, I would probably have more problems. If I want speculoos, I prefer it as a biscuit! ;-)
As already mentioned, it costs normal starter set with the bottle and 5 different pods approx. 30 euros. The "Winter Edition" starter set (no longer available) with 10 fragrance pods costs around 40 euros. Each pod can flavor up to five liters of water, although it tastes a little more intense at the beginning than at the end. However, I only notice one direct difference when I've just changed the pod. Since the aroma has not disappeared even after 5 liters, I use the pods for 10 liters and over two to three weeks.
If you want to buy the pods, they cost around 10 euros for 6 pods. This can then be used to flavor 30 liters of water. A liter then costs 33 cents. If you use it for more water than the specified liters - which you can really do - then the price will of course decrease accordingly.
Of course, when it comes to flavoring the water, you have to rely on the manufacturer's offer, because these scented pods must match the drinking bottle and there is no alternative provider.
The flavors that you can currently buy the fragrance pods in are:
The fragrance pods can be ordered either from Amazon or directly from the manufacturer's website. However, since I do not pay shipping costs at Amazon due to Amazon Prime, I save the 4,95 euros that air up charges in its shop if the order value is below 40 euros. However, there are not all tastes or smells on Amazon, only the following:
No, the air up team attaches great importance to the fact that only natural aromas are used in their fragrance pods. For this reason, according to their statement, there will be no Cola, Fanta or RedBull taste.
I don't quite agree on how to classify air up's garbage problem. Each pod is in a resealable zipper bag with a metal coating on the inside. The pod itself is then shrink-wrapped in plastic so that it does not lose its aroma. It seems like a lot of plastic trash to me when I compare it to how much trash it makes when I just drink water.
The air up team, however, sees the system as "sustainable" as it compares how much waste you would produce if you were to drink the same amount of water from 0,5 liter plastic bottles. That is of course much more. But from my point of view, this comparison lags a bit ...
I would be delighted if air up would find a solution here to further limit the amount of waste that is generated. Of course, this is difficult, because capturing scents naturally requires airtight packaging solutions, but maybe you could "re-scent" scented pods with a bottle with aroma or find a similar solution in order to use the pods for longer or repeatedly.
Definitely for everyone who would like to drink more pure water, but cannot get used to the taste of water. Basically there should be a lot of people, but I have read that air up simply "fails" with some people because they find the taste experience not intense enough. If you read the reviews on Amazon, however, I could also imagine that the people who didn't taste anything, maybe also had the problem with the suction straw, which also led to the fact that there was no aroma in the drink at first.
I've been using the bottle for a few weeks now and I'm now sure that I will use it permanently. However, I use the pods for significantly longer than just five liters - on the one hand, because they still give off aroma after 5 liters and on the other hand because I want to reduce the garbage that is created by the pods.
I basically like the idea of air up and maybe I'll try to get my children off juices and spritzers again with it, but I currently have a hard time assessing whether that will be successful.
The bottom line is that I will definitely continue to use air up and will definitely buy a few more pods. I am happy to support the project and throw in a little money to support further development. Basically, there are people at work with a brain and the will to make the world a better place (see air up team). That should be promoted ... and maybe one day there will be air up 2.0 with fragrance pods made of compostable material with compostable packaging. I'm curious!
If you are interested in the air up system, I would give you that Starter set on Amazon recommend. This includes the bottle with the matching drinking straw and 5 fragrance pods to try out.
On the one hand, you can find your favorite taste and see whether the technique of drinking water with flavored air works for you at all. For example, if you can't taste anything, the whole system doesn't make any sense. But everyone has to try for themselves how he or her likes the air up. At this point I would just like to remind you: something has to bubble in your mouth when you drink, otherwise it won't work. If it doesn't, please follow the instructions above. ;-)
So that you can get a more detailed impression of the air up bottle and the starter set, I have a bunch of photos for you here.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de