ABSTRACT: The effect of water hardness on the taste of alkaline electrolyzed water (AEW) was examined by sensory evaluation. Sensory test 1 of commercial bottled mineral water to which calcium and/or magnesium salts had been added was performed by panelists who evaluated the effect of hardness on the taste of water using a scoring method (hedonic scaling test) and a 1-pair comparison method. The water, in which the calcium concentration and the magnesium concentration was 20 mg/L and 2 mg/L, respectively, was found to taste better than any water containing other concentrations of calcium and magnesium. Sensory test 2 of bottled mineral waters having hardnesses of 30 mg/L to 290 mg/L, of activated carbon filtration water having a hardness of 50 mg/L, and of AEWs was performed by panelists using a scoring method (hedonic scaling test) and a pair test, and their preferences for the taste of AEWs was surveyed. The taste of AEW made by electrolyzing activated carbon filtration water did not differ from that of the water before it was electrolyzed. The same was true of AEW made by electrolyzing bottled mineral water having a hardness of 80 mg/L. However, 3 kinds of AEWs made by electrolyzing bottled mineral waters having hardnesses of 30 mg/L, 170 mg/L, and 290 mg/L were found to taste less pleasant than each bottled mineral water before being electrolyzed. The results of sensory tests 1 and 2 show that good-tasting AEW could be produced by an alkaline water electrolyzed from most tap water of Japan because its hardness varies from approximately 50 mg/L to 80 mg/L.