Found: The Best Coconut Water We’ll Be Sipping on All Summer Long

It’s mid-summer, and unfortunately, an end to the sweltering temps isn’t on the horizon. We’re all (desperately) in need of a thirst-quenching bevvy, and while cocktails, mocktails, and electrolyte-fueled liquids might be on your list, I’m searching far and wide for the best coconut water my stay-cool-this-summer budget can buy.

Have you ever thought about what the best coconut water to drink was? I haven’t either—that is, until a few weeks ago when I was standing in front of the drinks fridge. I was overcome with a thought: Was there any tangible difference between the bottles I was staring at? Feeling inspired, I took it upon myself to put this hydrating elixir to the test. It was time to determine the best coconut water once and for all.

Glasses of coconut water.

How to Pick the Best Coconut Water

With tons of brands to choose from, browsing the coconut water aisle can be overwhelming. To determine the best coconut water we (obviously) wanted our coconut water to taste a little coconut-y. We also didn’t want the flavor to be muddled. Instead, we aimed for a flavor that was pure enough to drink on its own while also doubling as a drink mixer. And no funky aftertastes here—we were after unadulterated, drinkable coconut water.

After our thorough taste testing, here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re perusing the coconut water aisle. 

Look for simple ingredients

Ideally, you want the ingredient list to read “100% coconut water” with nothing else included. This means that there are no additives or preservatives—just straight up coconut water from the coconut itself. Some brands have added sugar to bump up the sweetness or include artificial flavors or colors. Natural coconut water is delicious without anything added to it, so stick with simple ingredients for the best flavor.

No concentrate

To be frank, concentrated coconut water is just not as good as non-concentrated coconut water. The concentration process includes turning coconut water into a syrup before it’s imported. Once the syrup has arrived at its destination, water is added to it, then it’s packaged and sold. Most of the health benefits are stripped during this process, so be sure to look for “not from concentrate” on the nutrition label.  

Coconut water bottles.

Packaging matters

Coconut water comes in cans, bottles, and cartons called Tetra Paks. Coconut water will taste slightly different depending on the packaging, even across the same brands. While taste varies due to personal preference, some say the freshest coconut water comes from bottles, followed by cans, and then Tetra Pak. 

Thai coconuts reign supreme

Be on the lookout for coconut water made from Thai coconuts for a sweet, nutty coconut water flavor. Again, taste is a personal preference, but some of the most popular brands are from Thailand. Other coconuts are from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brazil, but Thai coconut delivers the best, purest flavor.

To name the best coconut water, I coordinated a team of taste testers to try and critique all the most buzzy brands. Keep scrolling for the best coconut water for every taste preference and need!

Coconut water options.

Best Overall: Harmless Harvest

  • Sugar content: 20g per serving, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Bottle

As for the best coconut water that testers would drink on its own? Harmless Harvest! The flavor was a nice balance between fruity and coconut-y, and tasters named this one the winner for its stand-alone flavor. Tasters noted this one had the most natural sweetness among the group. The flavor leans slightly fruity and sweet, which tasters enjoyed. We’ll be stocking up this summer for sure!

Best Organic: Real Coco

  • Sugar content: 7g, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Tetra Pak

This coconut water tastes like it’s straight from the source. It’s USDA organic, and there’s nothing artificial about it—all in all, it’s a pure-tasting coconut water that we loved. If organic products are important to you, Real Coco is your best bet!

Camille Styles target coconut water.

Best Value: Good and Gather Original Coconut Water

  • Sugar content: 10g per serving, 1g added sugar
  • Packaging: Tetra pack

We all know we can rely on Target for a good deal. Subtle and refreshing, this coconut water is a steal. Since it’s not too sweet and has a pretty neutral flavor, we recommend you toss this in your gym bag for pre or post-workout hydration, take it with you on a hike, or have it handy for your next yoga class.  

Most Refreshing: Taste Nirvana 

  • Sugar content: 10g, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Bottle and can

According to our rankings, Taste Nirvana was the least sweet, but still fresh and delicious. Many tasters called out that this one had a slightly savory undertone that would go well in certain mixed drinks. Since it’s not too sweet, it’s refreshing on its own. It would be a great fit if you’re looking for a subtle, not too coconut-y flavor. 

Best coconut water brands

Best Coconut Water for Hydration: Amy and Brian’s

  • Sugar content: 12g, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Can

This brand would hit the spot after a hard workout, making it our choice for the best hydrating coconut water. It’s slightly sweet with no added sugar, and we love that it’s a small family business as well. Keep them chilled in the fridge, then grab one before you head to the gym to stay hydrated and to help with recovery. 

Best Refrigerated: Trader Joe’s Single Origin Organic Coconut Water

  • Sugar content: 11g per serving, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Bottle

There are plenty of shelf-stable coconut waters out there, but you’ll find this one in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s. Slightly pink, not overly sweet, and completely refreshing, Trader Joe’s didn’t miss with this coconut water. Tasters say this has a very similar flavor profile to Harmless Harvest. We take that as a big win. 

The Sweetest Coconut Water: Goya 

  • Sugar content: 15g per serving
  • Packaging: Tetra pack and can

The sweetest of the bunch, this coconut water is fruity in flavor and very tropical. Think: more of a sweet drink than coconut water, but still enjoyable. Stick with Goya if you want a treat with dinner or a piña colada poolside. 

Glasses of the best coconut water.

Best For Smoothies: Vita Coco Pressed

  • Sugar content: 10g per serving, 1g added sugar
  • Packaging: Bottle

Tasters were surprised that this one was almost silky and coconut milk-like. Compared to the other selections, Vita Coco Pressed had a thicker mouthfeel than the others, likely due to the fact that it includes actual coconut. While some people thought this one was sweeter than the other Vita Coco options, the overall ranking still kept this one on the lower end of the sweetness scale. Tasters also thought this was the most coconut-y of the bunch. This is a go-to coconut water for smoothies, thanks to the subtle taste and creamy texture. 

Best for Fun Summer Cocktails: Iberia

  • Sugar content: 23g, 12g added sugar
  • Packaging: Bottle, can, and Tetra Pak

For the ultimate summer party drink, nothing beats Iberia. While the added sugar sets it on the sweeter side, this one had a pure coconut flavor that testers preferred over the Goya. We’ll be making cocktails and summer slushies with this coconut water when we’re craving a sweeter treat. This pick is among the few that contained added sugar, and tasters noted a slight vanilla flavor in this one that most of the group liked. It’s definitely on the sweeter side and would blend well in a cocktail.

The Best Neutral Flavor Coconut Water: C20

  • Sugar content: 8g per serving, 2g added sugar
  • Packaging: Can

Our crew named C2O the winner for the most neutral-flavored coconut water. Tasters said they’d use this one for healthier juices or smoothies because they could trust that the coconut water wouldn’t overpower the other ingredients. This coconut water had a very neutral, almost subtle flavor. Notes mentioned that this one felt the most like drinking plain water. C2O would also be the pick tasters would rely on for hydration during these hot summer days.

Best for Mocktails: Once Upon A Coconut

  • Sugar content: 16g, no added sugar
  • Packaging: Can

This coconut water is smooth, delicious and had us dreaming about summery mocktails. While a sweet coconut water can cut the alcohol in regular cocktails, this brand is light and not overpowering. It’s an ideal mocktail mixer! We’re talking perfect zero-proof margaritas, mojitos or even homemade lemonade.  We’ll be reaching for this coconut water around 3pm everyday this summer, when it’s time for a fun pick-me-up to get us through an afternoon slump. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top