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I recently bought the Brita Fjord Cool jug from Amazon for around £22, after reading a rather disconcerting article about tap water. The jug is marketed as removing impurities from your tap water to make it taste better, which it certainly does as the water taste crisp and clear.
It has a capacity of 1.5 litres of filtered water, I think this is sufficient as it lasts quite a long time, however if you use a lot of water it might be better opting for a larger capacity jug. It also has a slim design which makes it easier to fit in the fridge door, where it slots in quite nicely. It is quite large however so depending on the size of your fridge you might have to move things around to make room for it.
The flip top makes it easy to fill, it's just like filling a kettle and there is also a spout cover to keep the filtered water clean. There is also a soft grip handle to make it easier to hold which is particularly useful as it can get a bit slippery especially if it's wet.
The filter is easy and quick to set up and there is an indicator to tell you when to change the filter.
The jug comes with one MAXTRA filter and the filters last a reasonable amount of time. You can get replacement filters for around £14 for a pack of 4 filters.
The aim of this product is to make water cleaner and taste better and I can definitely tell the difference. The filtered water tastes crisp and there is such a difference compared to tap water. I also noticed the difference in tea and especially coffee as it makes the flavour seem a lot stronger. It does a great job for the price.
We live in a very hard water area, the limescale build up in the kettle is horrendous! So, when I saw this on offer from Amazon at under £10 I did feel I had absolutely nothing to lose in trying it out.
It takes 2.6litres, but only 1.5 of those will be filtered. Like all Brita filters it is designed to sit perfectly next to the milk in the door of your fridge. While at the much cheaper end of the Brita range I still fell that it looks good, and more importantly performs really well.
While the initial cost of the filter is only around £10 the replacement cartridges do work out reasonably expensive, a 4 pack sells for nearly £20 in a lot of places but if you shop around you can normally find them on offer on Amazon etc for between £10 and £13.
While at the cheaper end the Fjord does still offer the electronic cartridge refill indicator which let's you know when you are running low with the filter and finally when it's empty and you really need to change it!
The Fjord models comes in 2 colours, the plain White and the excitingly named 'midnight blue', though actually only the lid is either colour to rest if the unit is clear plastic on both. I found the blue model seems to cost more, and frankly I was not willing to pay over £5 more for a blue lid for something which spends 95% of it's life hidden away in the fridge.
I love to have nice fresh cool water and one of the great ways to get it is by having a water filter. This Brita water filter is great as it fits nicely into the fridge and so you can always guarantee cold water as opposed to just getting it out of the tap at room temperature. According to an article I read, "Within the UK, we are used to having a constant supply of fresh water from our taps, suitable for drinking and food preparation. BRITA water filters optimise water quality by reducing carbonate hardness and impurities from the water, producing cleaner, clearer, great tasting filtered water which allows the natural aroma and flavour of beverages and foodstuffs to fully develop. Using BRITA water filters can also prolong the life of your domestic appliance by reducing limescale build up."
I do drink water from the tap but I much prefer it from the filter as you can tell its a lot crisper and you can really see that it is clearer. This jug has a 1.5 litre filtered water capacity so it does hold quite a bit. I tend to fill it up again every time I use it to make sure it does not run out. It is easy to fill up. You basically just lift the lid and then fill it from the tap. The water takes a couple of minutes to work its way through the filter so you do have to make sure that you do not over fill it thinking you do not have enough water in there and remember that it takes times for the water to come through.
The handle is attached to the whole side of the water filter and has a nice soft grip handle which makes picking it up quite easy. When there is the full 1.5 litres in there it does get quite heavy but this handle is strong and sturdy enough for you not to worry about picking it up or spilling it.
I really like the little spout on this water jug as it pours very well. With some water filters they never seem to pour well and you end up with water everywhere but your glass but this water filter has a thin spout and also a flip top lid which opens when you tip up the jug and then closes when you put the jug level again. I like the fact that the whole top of the jug is covered when you have it in the fridge so no bits can get into it.
The jug obviously has a water filter and I probably change mine about one every three to four months, I think that is the recommended time but you can start to tell when the water doesn't look as clear as it first did when the filter is brand new. The jug takes MAXTRA cartridges and can be purchased from Brita or stores like Wilkinson, Argos etc. The jug cost us about £20 and has been a good buy.
Having grown up in a relatively rural town in South Africa and having lived in rural Spain, and drank the tap water with no problems, I find the necessity of owning a water filter jug a tad pretentious; on the other hand I find it difficult to taste the difference between expensive and average wines, so perhaps my views are based around not having a particularly good palette and not been able to taste the difference. Normally though I would not purchase such a frivolous luxury, so it is difficult for me to advise anyone to do so unless necessary - however if you are going to buy a water filter jug I recommend this one.
The reason I bought it was, after having become hooked on good filter coffee at University, I needed something to negate the effect of the hard water where I live on the coffee's taste - brewed with my old coffee machine that did not come with an in-built filter.
The Jug -
The first thing to say is that it does what it says on the tin - it holds water; in fact it holds 1.5l of filtered water in the main body, and another 1.1l in the filtering reservoir. The reservoir is filled from the tap, through a hatch that is opened by pressing down on a extension of it, with you thumb, that is located (cleverly) where your thumb sits naturally when holding the handle. Once the water has poured through the reservoir and filter, and into the main body of the jug, it is easily poured out through the spout; cleverly the spout has a cap over it, which opens automatically as water is poured through and closes again afterwards - helping keep the water fresh. Alongside this the reservoir is not connected to the spout, so you can pour half way through the filtering process and only get water that has made it through the filter / has been filtered. Aesthetically it is quite pleasing as well, and comes with nice design features like non-slip rubber on the base and handle. Possibly the best design feature of the jug is that it fits nicely into the door tray of my quite small fridge, unlike a bulky Optima jug I tried before.
Cartridge Exchange Indicator -
This is an electronic gadget, inlaid into the top of the jug, that essentially tells you when you should change cartridges; which in theory is very useful for someone like me, who wouldn't be able to taste the difference. Whilst it sounds clever at first you soon realise that it's function is moot, unless you are the average Brita user; this is because it is not a sensor as much as it is a very basic clock, counting down in % from when you start it until when it has been programmed to think that (through average household use - filtering 2 litres a day) the cartridge will need changing. I however am not the average user, as I only use the amount of water each morning that I need for a mug of coffee, so it is actually just a slightly annoyance to have it flashing away at me when, by my calculations, I have another 15 Litres of use left. I understand that there are more expensive jugs with actual sensors, which may be very useful - but this isn't either a sensor or useful.
The Maxtra Cartridge
Though this is a review about the jug, rather than the cartridge, it would be remiss not to talk about the Maxtra Cartridge, given that it is a component of the jug and key in the filtering process - without it you would have just bought an expensive and weird (if the cartridge isn't in place) jug.
Brita tells me that the Cartridge is better than the competition because of it's four stage filtration - 1. Intensive Pre-Filtration, 2. Ion Exchange Filtration, 3. Activated Carbon Filtration, 4. Intensive Final Filtration (Brita, http://www.brita.net/uk/maxtrafiltration.html?L=1) - and, though I don't understand / or care, I do believe that it is true. I cannot taste the difference between filtered water and British tap water, but I can taste when filter coffee isn't right; Optima Water Filters failed to improve the taste, but Brita's Maxtra Cartridges really do get rid of the hard water taste that ruined my coffee.
Something I like about Brita is that they encourage you to recycle their cartridges; which you can do by posting them to BRITA Recycling, Freepost TK1917, Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 5BR (or at least that used to be the address - it is what it says in my Instruction manual) or by calling BRITA customer care on 0844 742 4800 to find out where their nearest recycling point is.
Ease of use I have already covered with regards to using the jug; you can only pour filtered water, the hatch over the reservoir is easy to open and ergonomically designed, and there is non-slip rubber in the right places. Though it is not of importance to me, others might be interested to know that it isn't the quickest of filters - probably taking 3-5minutes (I have never timed it) to filter the entire contents of the reservoir; however if you are desperate for a glass of filtered water you can pour mid-filtering, and only get filtered water, so the time it takes to filter the entire 1.1l is really neither here nor there. With regards to the installation of the cartridges, this to is simple (and well covered in the jugs manual, and on the side of the cartridge packets) - simply twist the old one off, submerge the new one in water and shake until the bubbles stop, twist it on, and do two or three runs of 1.1litres (using the same water for each run if you are an environmentalist). Simple.
Overall a good product that does what it says.
Except for the addition of an actual sensor to tell you when to change your cartridge, I can not understand why anyone would purchase a more expensive model; he filters work (and are the same on all Jugs - I presume), it is aesthetically quite pleasing, and it fits in the fridge. Cost wise it varies between £10 - £20, and comes with various number of free cartridges depending on where you buy it , and additionally when I last checked Tesco did the best deal on stand alone cartridges - selling a 6-pack for £22.
I bought this filter a few months ago because I live in an area with very hard water, and was fed up having to replace kettles every couple of months.
So far, it's been excellent.
- Very straightfoward: just wash it out, submerge the filter cartridge in water, slot it in place and filter a few jugs of water - no problems at all
- Looks decent enough for a water filter!
- Just the right size for fitting into a fridge door
- It's a bit too tall to fit under my kitchen tap (but that's more because it's a very shallow basin) so I have to fill it with a jug - might be an idea to check this out before you buy (it's about 30 cm tall)
- Reasonable - 2.6 l doesn't go far when you're making a few cups of coffee, but any bigger and it'd be too big for a fridge
- Filters water pretty quickly, but unfortunately you can't get very much in the pre-filter section at the top, so you've got to fill it a couple of times to get the actual filter jug full - takes a few minutes in all
- To be honest, I've not noticed much difference in taste but the layer of scale on top of hot drinks has virtually disappeared and my kettle's in much better shape than it was
- Cartridges last a few weeks (there's an indicator showing when you need to replace them) which isn't too bad for the price, especially if you live in a hard-water area - it'll save in kettle de-scaling!
Well everyone I know has got one of these fillers, after trying the difference between normal tap water and the filtered water, I just had to go and buy one, well as you can tell by my review,.
The product comes with detailed instructions which included handy diagrams to show you how to put the filter cartridges into the jug. The jug can hold 1.5 litres of water, which I think is an ample amount to be using within the day. It comes supplied with a Brita Maxtra cartridge and you can buy then separate for around £10, so when I bought this product I got myself a few extra cartridges, so I did not have to go back and forth to the shop. I got this filter a while back and still have not had to buy any more filters yet.
The jug is very sturdy and made of clear plastic, and is easy to see how much water there is left in the jug. The lid is a metallic Grey color and looks great with the colors I have in my kitchen. The other feature I like about this jug is the non slip material on the bottom, as I have seen other filters without this, this was a selling point to me that pushed me to buy this type of water filter.
The Brita Fjord also features a small LCD Indicator to tell you when you need to replace the cartridge. You replace your filter cartridge once every four weeks as recommended in the instructions. The filtered water is smooth, crisp and I feel tastes far much better than bottled spring water that you can buy in excess of a pound in the shops or the garage.
My Brita Fjord has quickly become an integral part of my life, and I can definitely tell the difference if I go to someone's house and have a drink from non filtered water. This product is excellent quality and comes with a 2 year guarantee.
I drink a lot of water throughout the day and for the last few years I've been making do with a plastic jug purchased from Ikea to keep water cool in the fridge. However, when looking for things to add to our wedding gift list I made the decision to join the upper classes by requesting a Brita water filter.
Our wedding day came and went and luckily for me, one of our guests had purchased a Brita filter and some cartridges. I've been using the water filter for a couple of months now and I can honestly say... I can taste no difference whatsoever.
I was expecting the the water from the filter to be pure and noticeably nicer than the stuff that comes out of the tap, but sadly that's not the case. Perhaps my taste buds aren't as good as other people's but to me it just tastes exactly the same.
The jug itself is a bit a problem to refill as well... after being in the fridge for a couple of days, the lid sticks to the base meaning that opening it to put some more water in can be a bit of a challenge! More than once I've ended up spilling it everywhere. I've since seen a new model that has a hole in the top of the lid... I wonder how long it took them to think of that improvement!?
My last moan will be about the cartridges - they're over-priced at around £10 for 2 and only last four weeks before they need replacing which means you'd be spending £60 per year to get water that just tastes like it did when it first came out of the tap!
I honestly never thought I needed a water filter in my life, let alone that I'd grow to find it indispensible but in the case of my Brita Fjord Cool filter jug, that's exactly what's happened. I bought it on a whim as it was reduced to £10 in Woolworths and I decided to treat myself to something I considered at the time to be frivolous yet practical. There were a few Brita filter jugs on offer at the same price and I chose the Fjord Cool model simply because it looked a bit sleeker and sexier than the others available.
As soon as I got home, I quickly decided to test out my new 'gadget.' On this occasion, I did read the instructions which included handy diagrams to show you how to insert the filter cartridge into the jug. This filter jug incidentally takes the Brita Maxtra cartridges. It comes supplied with one but I bought an additional box of three replacement cartridges which set me back around £10.
I've already mentioned that the picture on the box was what attracted me to this filter jug but on closer inspection, it's even better than I had anticipated. The jug itself is made of sturdy clear plastic which means you can easily see how much water is left at any time. The filter part is a dark charcoal grey and the lid is a sleek metallic grey which should compliment most kitchens. The handle is solid and comfortable to hold even when the jug is full and there's a nifty little cap over the pouring spout which is forced open as you pour but otherwise stays shut to keep your water in tip top condition. Another feature I'm particularly fond of is the non slip rubber on the bottom of the jug. Whilst the jug is solid and unlikely to be easily knocked when it's full, I'm a very clumsy person and little features like this mean I don't have to replace broken items in my flat nearly half as often as I would do were it not there!
The Brita Fjord also features a small LCD in the lid of the jug which is appropriately known as the electronic Cartridge Exchange Indicator. You set this each time you insert a new filter by pressing the small start button on top of the lid and this reminds you to replace your filter cartridge once every four weeks as recommended by Brita. Again, it might not seem a necessity for everyone but if you have the memory of a sieve like I do then this is a nifty little extra. For obvious reasons, this does mean that the lid of the jug isn't dishwasher safe but the rest of the jug still is.
The jug is large and can hold 1.5 litres of filtered water (bearing in mind a large bottle of soft drink is 2 litres) and also has the facility to accommodate an additional 1.1 litres in the reservoir at the top of the jug. If you fill the jug entirely then once you start pouring the water out, the water stored in the reservoir above will start to filter through, giving you the convenience of less trips to the tap. The jug is also designed in such a way as to be slimline enough to fit into your fridge door. In fact, the shelving in my fridge door is quite limited and getting a large carton of milk in there can sometimes be a struggle but the Brita Fjord fits in perfectly.
So, design wise, I hope I've established this is a nifty piece of equipment. In fact, based solely on its aesthetic qualities and the other inbuilt features, I'd say it was already worth twice the £10 price tag I paid for it. But of course it doesn't stop there. After all, this is a filter jug and so the proof really should be in the pudding or the cordial if I'm more precise.
Just for the purposes of comparison, the water where I live is not particularly appealing. As it comes out of the tap it tends to look very cloudy and unappealing. I generally need to run the cold tap for at least two minutes to ensure the cycle of warm, cold, warm and finally cold has completed. Even then, I often used to find that a scum appeared on top of a glass of water which wasn't very appealing. In an attempt to overcome this problem, I often boiled more water than necessary when making a coffee and put the excess in an old pop bottle in the fridge for when I needed it. Not very convenient I'm sure you'll agree and certainly not very good for the environment.
But since purchasing the Brita Fjord, my water drinking habits have changed entirely. I simply pour the water straight from the tap without worrying about running it first and pop the jug straight into my fridge door, the Brita Maxtra cartridge does all the hard work for me. For those that are interested in the technicalities, the Brita website at Brita.net explains the science behind their filters. In short, it says that:
Maxtra offers an advanced filtration technology that works in four steps:
* Intensive Pre-Filtration
* Ion Exchange Filtration
* Activated Carbon Filtration
* Intensive Final Filtration
To be honest with you, I'm not particularly interested in how it works, I'm just pleased to say that it does. The resulting water is clear, as it should be and lacks the froth and scum of the water that comes straight from my tap. It tastes purer and more palatable and makes a refreshing change to the awful water I've become accustomed to since moving into my current home. I've also used the filtered water to make my coffee and have to say I've noticed an improvement in that too with it tasting less bitter than previously. I don't drink tea but I'm tempted to do a test just to try and mimic the images on the back of the box which shows the difference between a cup of tea made with filtered water and one made with normal tap water.
My Brita Fjord has quickly become an indispensible item in my kitchen and I'm beginning to wonder how I survived all these years without it. Whilst I was lucky enough to buy it on offer, I'd happily have paid twice if not three times as much for it if I'd have known then what I do know. The filter jug is excellent quality and I'm sure it will last me for some time but it comes with the added benefit of a 2 year guarantee from Brita for peace of mind (which reminds me, I must send off my registration card!) Whether you're looking to buy your first filter jug or simply upgrade from an older model then I can't recommend the Brita Fjord highly enough.
According to Amazon the part number for the Fjord in the USA is 35539. It's only available on Amazon through marketplace sellers and costs $15.90. In the UK, the Brita Fjord has a different part number just to cause confusion which is 100007 and they have the white version in stock for £16.35.