Top Pick Of The Week

August 9, 2011


c2o Coconut WaterDon’t think that coconut water in bottles is better than that in cans. Some of our favorite brands are canned. Image courtesy C2O Coconut Water.

WHAT IT IS: Liquid from the interior of immature (green) coconuts.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The terms “coconut water” and “coconut juice” are used interchangeably for a watery liquid that is about 46 calories a cup (varies by brand; flavored waters are higher). Much higher-calorie products are coconut nectar, a sap from the tree (analogous to maple syrup); coconut milk, pressed from the dried meat of the mature coconut; and coconut cream, a thicker version of coconut milk (less moisture).
WHY WE LOVE IT: Another option for a refreshing drink that’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
WHERE TO BUY IT: At retailers nationwide.

Coconut Water Brands Reviewed

  • Amy & Brian Naturals*
  • Arizona Beverage Company†
  • C2O Coconut Water*
  • CocoHydro (Powder)‡
  • CocoWater*
  • Goya Coconut Water
  • Harmless Harvest * ‡ **
  • Naked Coconut Water†
  • Nature Factor Organic Coconut Water† ‡
  • O.N.E. Active & O.N.E. Coconut Water†
  • Phenom Water
  • Taste Nirvana
  • Vita Coco* † **
  • Zico†

*Favorite †Kosher ‡Organic 

**Not Made From Concentrate



Page 5: Coconut Water Brands


What We Tasted & How We Liked It

We have three pages of coconut water reviews, spanning 14 brands and a variety of flavors in addition to “original,” or plain coconut water.

The reviews begin below, and there’s a summary of brands in the left column, indicating our favorites as well as which brands are kosher, organic and/or not made from concentrate.

But before we get into the brands, here’s our testing methodology:

  • All coconut waters were chilled for a minimum of twelve hours before sampling.
  • No more than two coconut waters were tasted at any one time, with at least a three-minute “rest” period and the ingestion of at least four ounces of water between the tastings.
  • All coconut waters were shaken thoroughly before opening.
  • Coconut waters were sampled immediately after their containers were opened (coconut water, it seems, doesn’t keep that well, as a number of sources recommended consuming a container within one day after opening).

Some coconut waters have pulp added. A friend asked if that wouldn’t give the coconut water an unpleasant texture, as the coconut she’s used to isn’t especially tender.

What she’s used to is mature coconut pulp. The pulp of young, green coconuts—those used for coconut water—is very tender and has almost a jelly-like consistency (like aloe vera juice, which we love). There’s nothing to chew.

Overall Findings

  • There’s A Big Difference. Some coconut waters were too sweet, some too bland. And some, as Goldilocks would say, are just right.
  • Flavored Coconut Water. Because coconut water doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own, the addition of any flavorings, such as fruit puree or fruit juice, tended to overwhelm the delicate coconut water taste. I really enjoyed several of the flavored coconut waters, but the majority no longer tasted like coconut water. I doubt that this would be a problem for most people.
  • Real Vs. “Natural” Flavor. Without exception, I found the products with real juice or real fruit purée to be far superior to those with “natural flavor.”
  • Sports Drink Coconut Water. If your only experience with sports drinks has been with the best-selling, nationally-known brands, some of the coconut water sports drinks might be quite a surprise. I don’t habitually consume Gatorade and its ilk and don’t like them at all. But some of the coconut water sports drinks were light and pleasant, and not of an alarming DayGlo color. Is the fortification of coconut water sports drinks with vitamins, minerals, green tea extract, caffeine, etc. a good idea? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

See the entire list of what we tasted in the left column.

The brand reviews begin below, in alphabetical order. Favorites, kosher- and organic-certified brands are so indicated, as are brands that are not from concentrate.



This is Page 4 of a seven-page article. Click on the black links to visit related pages:


Amy & Brian Naturals

  • Coconut Source: Thailand.
  • Coconut Juice (Unsweetened). Ingredients: young coconut juice. Per 8 ounces: 76 calories, 10 g sugars, 42 mg sodium, no potassium measurement given. Almost no aroma. Almost clear. A slight sweetness that fades quickly.
  • Coconut Juice with Lime (A Favorite). Ingredients: young coconut juice, lime juice. Per 8 ounces: 86 calories, 10 g sugars, 40 mg sodium, no potassium measurement given. Faint lime aroma. Liquid is slightly opaque. Tastes like lime juice; no real coconut flavor, but still excellent.
  • Coconut Juice with Pulp. Ingredients: young coconut juice, young coconut pulp. Per 8 ounces: 76 calories, 10 g sugars, 42 mg sodium, no potassium measurement given. No scent. Slightly opaque liquid with bits of coconut pulp floating in it. Some sweetness that doesn’t linger. The pieces of pulp are very tender.
Look for the yellow can: The Coconut Juice With Lime is a favorite.

Arizona Beverage Company

  • Coconut Source: Indonesia.
  • Kosher Certification: OU.
  • CocoZona (Original). Ingredients: coconut water from concentrate. Per 8 ounces: 38.5 calories, 8.8 g sugars, 121 mg sodium, 407 mg potassium. No scent, liquid has a slightly yellow cast. Mostly neutral taste.
  • Rescue Water (Blueberry Coconut). Ingredients: filtered water, coconut water from concentrate, crystalline fructose and too many others to list here, including B vitamins, green tea extract, Vitamin C and a stevia leaf sweetener. Per 8 ounces: 25 calories, 4 g sugars, 62 mg sodium, 222 mg potassium. Slight blueberry aroma, pale yellow liquid. Gentle, pleasant blueberry flavor.
CocoZona ties with Coco Water for best-looking bottle. Photo courtesy Arizona Beverage Company.

C2O Coconut Water

  • Coconut Source: Thailand.
  • C2O Coconut Water (A Favorite). Ingredients: coconut water. Per 8 ounces: 50 calories, 12 g sugars, 75 mg sodium, 300 mg potassium. Almost clear, with just a slight cloudiness. Almost no aroma. As unflavored coconut waters go, this is a bit sweeter than many, with a slight nutty taste. A favorite.
C2O coconut water is a sweeter style, and a favorite. Photo courtesy C2O Coconut Water.

CocoHydro (Powdered)

  • Coconut Source: Java (Indonesia).

  • Kosher Certification: Earth Kosher
  • Preparation: Because CocoHydro is a powder, the serving size is listed as 22 grams. Per 22 grams, all varieties of CocoHydro contain 5 calories, 1 g sugars, and 7 mg sodium (no potassium measurement is given). For each variety, I added the powder to 8 ounces of tap water, mixed well, then chilled each glass for 4 hours, stirring just before tasting. All varieties contained small pieces of pulp at the bottom of the glass.
  • Instant Coconut Water. Ingredients: evaporated coconut water (coconut water, dextrose), sea salt. No aroma. Slightly cloudy liquid. A very mild sweetness.
  • Instant Coconut Water (Pineapple). Ingredients: evaporated coconut water (coconut water, dextrose), sea salt, natural flavor, vegetable-based natural coloring. No aroma. Bright yellow opaque liquid. Slight pineapple-ish flavor, but it doesn’t taste like the real fruit.
  CocoHydro Powdered Coconut Water
Powdered coconut water is easy to carry around. All you need is a glass and some water. Photo courtesy CocoHydro.
  • Instant Coconut Water (Pomegranate Raspberry). Ingredients: evaporated coconut water (coconut water, dextrose), sea salt, natural flavor, vegetable-based natural coloring. Bright pink-purple opaque liquid. Slight fruit flavor but doesn’t taste real.



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