We Put 3 Popular Coconut Milk Brands To The (Taste) Test

Will the coconut craze ever end? It's hard to say, but, at the moment, the end is not in sight. We've already incorporated the oil into a week's worth of recipes and taste-tested four of the most popular waters on the market. And now? We're moving on to milk. Similarly to almond, coconut milk has become a trendy addition to the dairy-free beverage scene. Maybe it's because coconuts are synonymous with tropical vibes. Or, maybe people can't just get enough of the fruit.
But when it really comes down to it, why do we actually love it? Does coconut milk even really taste like coconuts? We set out to taste test a few of the most popular and widely available beverage brands out there — and as it turns out, there were only three that we could easily get our hands on: Trader Joe's, So Delicious, and Pacific. A lot of the other brand offerings are coconut milk blends (i.e. with almond or cashew, etc.). So we stuck with the trio of 32 fl. oz, unsweetened, milks and got to sipping.
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Click through to find out what each carton really tastes like.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Pacific Organic Unsweetened Coconut Beverage

Size
32 fl. oz.

Price
$3.69
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Pacific Organic Unsweetened Coconut Beverage

Smell/Taste
Overwhelming (almost sunscreen-like) coconut scent with an underwhelming flavor — tasted more like chalky water.

Texture/Consistency
Very watery consistency with a chalky and pulpy texture, not like milk at all.

Ideal For
Those who want a coconut milk that is more similar to the quality of a coconut water.

Would Buy Again?
No. This coconut beverage, although it smelled coconutty, did not actually taste anything like, nor have the texture of what we imagined it would as far as milk products go.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Size
32 fl. oz.

Price
$2.99
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Smell/Taste
Very neutral scent along with flavor — neither smelled nor tasted anything like coconuts, and fell similarly into Pacific's chalky water realm.

Texture/Consistency
Much thicker and milk-like in texture and consistency than Pacific's, but smooth instead of pulpy.

Ideal For
Those wanting a creamier dairy-free milk consistency, but without any extra coconut flavor.

Would Buy Again?
Maybe — although we enjoyed the texture and consistency of this particular product, the flavor was lacking in the coconut department.
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Trader Joe's Unsweetened Coconut Beverage

Size
32 fl. oz.

Price
$1.99
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Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Buxton.
Trader Joe's Unsweetened Coconut Beverage

Smell/Taste
The strongest coconut smell thus far with a surprisingly coconutty taste to boot.

Texture/Consistency
A thinner consistency than So Delicious, but still had a very smooth and milk-like texture.

Ideal For
Those who love and are looking for added coconut flavor.

Would Buy Again?
Yes — finally, a coconut beverage that actually tastes like coconuts (plus, the cheapest of the three)!
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Final Takeaway
Not all coconut products actually taste like coconuts — or what we imagine coconuts should and do taste like (i.e. tropical islands or sunscreen). So, if you are looking to delve into the world of dairy-free milk alternatives for taste alone, then not all of the options out there may make the cut.

But at the end of the day, not everyone is looking to coconut milk for flavor alone. Some may prefer to judge based on consistency — or perhaps others are looking for an option that has an even more neutral taste than almond or cashew milk. Wherever your preference lies, there's certainly an option out there to suit it.
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n/a.
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