- The Product
- The Source
- The Origin Story
- Taste & Testimonials
Svalbarði is a gourmet dining product in the fine waters category. We are members of the international Fine Water Society, helping to build consumer understanding that "water is not just water" and that it has unique characteristics derived from varied natural sources. Svalbarði has a light as air taste and velvety smooth texture in the mouth. It pairs particularly well with light and delicate foods such as fish and sushi. And due to its near total lack of minerals serves as an excellent palate cleanser that will not leave an aftertaste between courses.
The medieval sagas tell of Scandinavian explorers pushing the boundaries of the known world. Heading north they reported seeing "Svalbarði" or "Cold Coasts" covered in ice. Even for a people who settled in Greenland, these lands were too harsh and were left alone until they passed into rumour and legend.
Today Svalbard is one of Europe's last great wildernesses, inhabited by more polar bears than people. Located between 74° and 81° north latitude, these islands sit halfway between the top of Europe and the North Pole. Roughly the size of Sri Lanka, they are 60% covered by glaciers. Climate records going back more than a century have made it one of the world's most important centres of global warming research.
Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water began with a dream to see the Arctic. Of Norwegian heritage, founder Jamal Qureshi's family lived in mainland Norway from 2009 to 2014. In 2013, he found himself alone for a month and decided to fulfill a wish to tour the far north. Traveling light, he visited towns as far as the Russian border, eventually Hiking to Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point of continental Europe. Looking north into the Barents Sea, he knew he had one more place to go.
Days later, he flew into the Arctic outpost of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. That first visit captivated him. Hiking across a glacier, he asked if the meltwater was safe to drink. Growing up camping in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, he remembered being told even apparently clean water could harbour bacteria and pollutants. But this was clean at the source, with a delightful taste. As a personal gift for his wife, he gathered a little and brought it home to make a cup of her favourite herbal tea. That set in motion the chain of events which created Svalbarði.
A year later, with an experienced Arctic captain and a close friend, he spent a week sailing the northwest coast of Svalbard. They searched iceberg-filled fjords for the right types of ice. Pulling up alongside icebergs in a small dinghy, a metre-long glaciologists' core drill was used to extract samples. Returning to Longyearbyen, 88 kilos of samples were airfreighted to a laboratory on the mainland where extensive tests were performed. The results were sent to the Norwegian food authorities where the official in charge was stunned at the high quality. He immediately gave approval to press forward.
Today, one person's dream to see Svalbard has become a passion to share and preserve it. Jamal Qureshi and his family of 5 moved to Svalbard in 2016. Most people will never be able to visit, but Svalbarði allows you to taste a piece of the ice at the top of the world, which in turn helps us to save our fragile arctic home.
Water sommelier Martin Riese guided the hosts at Buzzfeed through a tasting of multiple fine water brands. Svalbarði was the closer and the verdict was "that water was the cleanest of all time for me."
Water sommelier and F&B director at Petit Ermitage hotel in Los Angeles. This was his first time tasting Svalbarði back in 2017. His judgement was "I think it's a great water. I really love the taste. It's very very smooth."
German tea and water sommelier was able to try Svalbarði for the first time at the April 2019 international Fine Water Summit in Stockholm. His take was "you experience a very light, almost light as a feather taste. It gives you a clean, unique fresh taste."
Japanese water sommelier Ruriko Suzuki also tried Svalbarði for the first time at the 2019 Fine Water Summit. She was joined by Fine Water Academy co-director Michael Mascha and her take was that Svalbarði is "Very light. Very neutral. Sweet."
The Austrian owner of finewaters.com and co-director of the Fine Water Academy. "This is a perfect alternative to wine in a fine dining experience. You don't want to drink something ordinary if you want to celebrate. I think that [Svalbarði] would be the perfect water."
Founder of the WineChannelTV digital network and Wine and Water Sommelier at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Her take on Svalbarði blends her wine and water expertise. "Given its lightness, Svalbarði blends ideally with a soft, suave wine with a moderate alcoholic level."