A water decanter, often called a water carafe, is a container used to carry and serve water. A water decanter equipped with a filter can also improve the taste and purity of water. Water decanters are generally the same as wine decanters and serve a similar purpose. Choosing the best decanter for your specific needs depends on the decanter's shape, design, color, material and whether it can accommodate a filter.
The first and most visually striking part of a water decanter is its shape. Starting with a wide mouth, a decanter typically narrows to a thin neck for aerating and then widens back out into a basin at the bottom for holding the liquid. Though most decanters have similar dimensions, artisans and designers interpret this basic shape differently. The best decanter will have a shape that appeals to you.
Some water decanters feature a highly decorative design, while others are smooth and plain. The design may be bumpy, rigid, or include an artistic relief or logo, especially if the water decanter is made for use in a restaurant. Some people believe a design like this enhances the decanter and makes it more expressive, while others believe it takes away from the overall shape and function of the decanter.
Water decanters, like most beverage decanters, are usually clear and transparent. This allows you to see the liquid inside, which many believe makes it more appetizing and appealing. Depending on the materials used to make a particular water decanter, the vessel may be a different color and may not be transparent.
Decanters are most often made of glass, one of the safer materials to use for a decanter. Other materials used include plastic, which is cheaper but still safe and durable, and metal. Metal is not considered as safe, because it has the possibility of leaching poisonous material into the water. If you decide to use a metal decanter, use is sparingly and do not keep water in the decanter for prolonged amounts of time, because this increases the chance of leaching.
Using a filter with a water decanter satisfies one of the primary functions of a decanter: blocking sediment and improving taste. By passing water through a filter at the top of the decanter, the filter is able to catch sediment and keep it out of the drinking water. Some decanters' shape prevents them from being able to use a filter.