Tastemaker

Can an iconic carafe actually change the way we people drink?

This month, Canada’s “Back to the Tap” movement scored a major victory when Toronto became the largest city in the world to ban the sale and distribution of bottled water on municipal property. Across the Atlantic, London was also trumpeting the tap-water cause, but there was no furious lobbying or solemn voting going on at city hall. Instead, London’s chosen instrument of change was taste (the aesthetic kind), epitomized by a tall, slender carafe called the “Tap Top.”

Tap Top is the winner of the London On Tap design competition, created by the Mayor of London and water utility, Thames Water, essentially to make drinking tap water cool. The carafe will be rendered in glass, manufactured in England and sold to trendy restaurants, bars and hotels throughout the capital this spring. Eventually, it may also be produced for public sale. Only time will tell if the initiative will have a ripple effect, but its guiding principle—create it and they will drink—is sound enough. After all, isn’t that what the bottled water industry has relied on all along?

To see Tap Top and the other short-listed designs, click here.