The Coconut Water Taste Test: We Tried 8 Brands and Ranked Them

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Coconut water became popular a couple years ago, and as a result, different brands started popping up left and right. Standing in the grocery aisle and looking at the options available can be a little daunting. How do you decide which one is right for you?

We tried eight well-known brands of pulp-free, plain coconut water and ranked them from least to most favorite. Want to see our top pick?

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

How We Selected the 8 Brands

There is a growing number of coconut water brands, so we needed to narrow the playing field. We wanted to choose brands you could find at common grocery stores across the country, and that were pure coconut water with no pulp; no added flavorings were allowed.

I ended up choosing a few of the most popular brands – like Zico and Vita Coco – and some of the smaller, emerging brands you find at places like Whole Foods – including Taste Nirvana.

How We Set up the Blind Taste Test

I assigned each brand a letter, poured them into individual clear glasses, and lined them up on the kitchen table. I bought a few reusable Dixie cups and set out a bunch so everyone could pour their own coconut water.

I asked everyone in the office to write down their notes of each brand, and tell which brand was their most favorite and least favorite.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

The Taste Test Results

Here are the results, from our least favorite to most favorite coconut water:

8. O.N.E. Pure Coconut Water, 33.8 fl oz/$3.99

This one includes coconut water and natural flavors; from the Philippines.

Taste Tester Notes

  • Sweet, interesting.
  • Feels like I’m breathing a coconut.
  • Tasted like sun tan lotion.
  • Worst.
  • Tastes like the smell of sunscreen.
  • Tastes artificial, bad.
  • Tastes like the beach.
  • Tasted like I licked someone laying on the beach.
  • Tastes like coconut flakes, which weirdly doesn’t work for coconut water.

7. Blue Monkey Pure Coconut Water, 33.8 fl oz/$4.99

100% organic coconut water; from the Philippines.

Taste Tester Notes

  • Like Zico, metallic.
  • Watery, ew.
  • I don’t like this one, bad aftertaste.
  • Salty, in a bad way.
  • Ew.

100% organic coconut juice; from Thailand.

This coconut water stood out from the rest because it was pink. That’s right, pink! Apparently that happens to natural coconut water from time to time. It didn’t have additional flavoring. This was the most expensive coconut water we purchased for the taste test.

Taste Test Notes

  • Yuck.
  • Strong flavor, bold.
  • This one had a husk-like taste to it.
  • Strongly dislike this.
  • Smell is bad, don’t like that it’s pink.
  • Tastes sort of savory, like there’s something mixed in. Also, why is it pink?

Coconut water; Thailand.

Taste Test Notes

  • Bland.
  • Bland, but I kinda like that?
  • I think this tastes like water that someone had thrown a coconut into.
  • This one tastes like water.
  • A little sour, not in a good way.
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Organic coconut water and natural flavors; from South Pacific.

Taste Tester Notes

  • Yuck.
  • Bland, but refreshing.
  • Nice and light, tastes real to me.
  • Blech.
  • Oh, I don’t like this one; no, no, no.
  • This one tastes the most authentic.
  • 3. Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water, 33.8 fl oz/$3.99

    Coconut water, less than 1% fruit sugar, vitamin C; produced in Indonesia.

    Taste Tester Quotes

  • This one is sweet.
  • Super refreshing.
  • Doesn’t really taste like anything, but isn’t bad.
  • Nope.
  • 2. Whole Foods 365 Coconut Water, 33.8 fl oz/$3.29

    100% coconut juice; from Thailand.

    Taste Tester Quotes

    • Sort of nice; sweet, but clean.
    • The best in my opinion. Tastes like I literally stuck a straw into a coconut.
    • Sweet, but not in a bad way. Very drinkable.

    Natural coconut water; from Thailand.

    Taste Tester Quotes

    • I love this one, the rest are bad.
    • Sweet, strong.
    • Absolutely not. Sweet and cloying.
    • I liked the way this one smelled, and I think I liked it best, but it tasted more like a drink, and less like coconut water.
    • Kinda tastes like popcorn? Buttery in a weird way.
    • Tasted like it had artificial flavoring.
    • Most drinkable coconut water I’ve ever had.

    Do you have a favorite coconut water among the brands we tried? Any brand that we missed and we have to try? Let us know in the comments!

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