We Tried 4 Popular Coconut Water Brands So You Don't Have To

It's no surprise that we love coconut products. We've used the oil in everything from beauty to baking — hey, we even spent a week putting it in ALL of our recipes (coffee included). But now we want to talk water specifically. This mainstreamed byproduct of the tropical fruit has taken on a trend storm of its own. It's even been touted as a super form of hydration with "magical" benefits.
And while we can't swear by any of the benefits, we can tackle the taste (or lack thereof). Because one thing's for certain, a cold glass of this stuff that actually tastes like coconuts can be insanely refreshing. But one sip from a carton that is thin and tasteless? Well that's enough to put us off the trend altogether. So in order to weed out the coco-water winners from the weak, we taste tested four popular brands (i.e. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods' 365, Naked, and Vita Coco). Click on to see which carton packs the biggest tropical punch.
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Trader Joe's Pure Coconut Water, $2.99

Size
33.8 fl. oz.

Taste
Like water that has been flavored with a hint of coconut extract (not concentrated at all).

Texture/Consistency
Smooth but thin, very watery.

Ideal For
Those looking for a cheap coconut water product that doesn't taste overwhelmingly coconut-y.

Would Buy Again?
No — even though the most affordable option, the flavor was majorly lacking any sort of coconut punch.
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Naked Pure Coconut Water, $5.39

Size
33.8 fl. oz.

Taste
Exactly like the meat of a coconut (i.e. coconut flakes) — very concentrated flavor.

Texture/Consistency
Smooth and almost creamy — not overly watery or thin at all.

Ideal For
Those who don't mind spending a little extra on a water that truly tastes like it came straight from a coconut.

Would Buy Again?
Yes — although pricier than the other options, it'd be great concentrated coconut add in for smoothies (a little would certainly go a long way).
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Whole Foods 365 Pulp-Free Coconut Water, $3.29

Size
33.8 fl. oz.

Taste
A solid mix between the TJ's more watery consistency but with the Naked's stronger coconut flavor — very fresh and tropical.

Texture/Consistency
Very light and smooth.

Ideal For
Those who want to actually drink their coconut water, either straight from the carton or over ice — this stuff is refreshing!

Would Buy Again?
Absolutely — this option was an ideal mix of concentrated coconut flavor but with a lighter water-like consistency.
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Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water, $3.99

Size
33.8 fl. oz.

Taste
The most neutral flavor out of all the options — not super watery OR super coconut-y.

Texture/Consistency
Also by far the thickest consistency and still very smooth.

Ideal For
Those looking to drink a mid-priced coconut water option that isn't overwhelmingly coconut-y but still has a nice consistency.

Would Buy Again?
Probably — although I'd prefer a stronger coconut finish, the consistency was nice and the overall taste was still refreshing.
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Final Takeaway
Good coconut water doesn't come cheap — if you're paying more, you're paying for a more concentrated product. The flavors in the pricier options (e.g. Naked) are stronger and more pure, while the cheaper ones (e.g. TJ's) taste more like funky water than anything. However, there are brands that can meet you halfway! Vita Coco and WF's 365 products were nice mixes between a concentrated flavor with a water-like texture, or a more watered down flavor with a concentrated texture (i.e. more viscous).

So what it really comes down to is what you specifically look for in a coconut water. Do you want a carton that's just plain good for sipping solo? Or are you looking for packed coconut flavor as an add in to smoothies and shakes? There's an option for everyone — so get to sipping and let us know your favorite brands and uses below.
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