Many of you would have noticed the recent outrage on social media about our water tasting that we offer at 3fe. What started out as a bit of fun has turned into what is probably the least pleasant experience I've had in the 6 years I've been running 3fe.
Our goal was to draw attention to the massive impact water has on brewing coffee and when it came to pricing I naively priced the menu at €3.50. To be honest my thinking was that I couldn't put it down for free because there was a danger we'd end up with an awkward workload at busy times, as it takes a lot of explaining and prep. I just put the first number down that popped into my head but with hindsight I now greatly regret that decision.
The menu has been up and running for almost two weeks and at this stage we've sold about 30 and probably given away twice that number as testers before launch. The vast majority of people who have tried it have been impressed by it and its been a really nice conversation piece for the people who visit the shop.
Yesterday however a number of prominent websites got hold of the story and what followed was a pretty relentless onslaught of condemnation. I spoke to the Independent and The Daily Edge who were kind enough to hear our side of the story but by that stage it was too late. I spent most of yesterday and last night reading some pretty vitriolic comments, against my better judgement.
So, how do we make this better? I still think that the water tasting is relevant and interesting although I do now understand how it may seem like we're gouging. I accept full responsibility for that but at this stage I need to somehow turn this from a negative into a positive.
With that in mind, all proceeds from the water tasting (including those already sold) will be donated in full to Wells for Zoe, an Irish charity enabling people in Africa to access clean water. We'll also match that total with our own donation. At the end of the year we'll re-assess the situation.
Finally I would like to apologise to those who took offence from the water tasting and I can assure you that it was never my intention to rip anyone off. I'm hopeful we can now take some good out of what has been quite an upsetting incident and achieving the goals we set out whilst raising funds for a worthy cause.