Coffee-focused water-additive maker Third Wave Water has landed a $100,000 investment deal through the popular ABC show “Shark Tank” after the founders negotiated with celebrity real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran in an episode that aired this past Sunday.
The investment and the high-profile public appearance represent remarkable steps for a company that just launched last year following casual conversations between co-founders Taylor Minor and Charles Nick about ways in which coffee brewers at home might have water quality approaching that found at cafés.
While any coffee shop worth its salt is likely using some form of water filtration and treatment system to both protect its brewing equipment and improve flavors in the finished product, Third Wave Water offers consumers a liquid solution designed to be mixed with distilled or reverse-osmosis purified water for an improved, if not optimized, mineral contents in line with Specialty Coffee Association standards, according to the company.
In the “Shark Tank” episode, Minor led the pitch focused on coffee quality, a subject he can speak about with some authority as a member of various SCA guilds and as the founder of Telemetry Coffee Roasters in TWW’s hometown of Cedarville, Ohio.
“Coffee is 98 percent water, so the kind of water you use matters,” said Minor. “Tap water is full of contaminants and minerals that can dramatically alter your cup of coffee. Most coffee shops use a water filtration system that takes care of that issue, but it isn’t practical for home use. Now you can get café style coffee right in your kitchen.”
After picking up on flavor and quality differences between TWW-treated coffee and untreated coffee, Corcoran initially asked Nick and Minor for 33 percent equity, and the owners counter-offered 25 percent equity with Corcoran getting a $1 royalty on every pack until her money is recouped.
To celebrate the achievement, TWW is offering a “Shark Tank Experience” gift pack, consisting of its core Classic Profile pack of 12 TWW capsules — each each capsule is mixed with one gallon of water — along with a 4-ounce bag of a Guatamalan Huehuetenango pacamara-variety coffee sourced and roasted by Arkansas-based Onyx Coffee Lab, whose head roaster Mark Michaelson happens to be the reigning US Roaster Champion.