Test Drive: The Best Coconut Water

Full Plate // Crystal Yang // 10/16/12
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Our favorite coconut water from Harmless Harvest, Melissa's Sweet Young Coconuts, Taste Nirvana and O.N.E.
Our favorite coconut water from Harmless Harvest, Melissa's Sweet Young Coconuts, Taste Nirvana and O.N.E.

By now, you’ve heard all the rage about the great health benefits coconut water has to offer, from providing more potassium than a banana to being nature’s natural energy drink. But not all coconut waters are made the same, and some leave you with a bad taste in your mouth—literally. We taste tested 14 different brands to find our favorites:

1. Harmless Harvest World’s Best Coconut Water
There’s something to be said for a 100 percent raw and organic product. Harmless Harvest has a uniquely sweet taste that's fresh and natural. Derived from young coconuts from Thailand, the coconut water is extracted from coconut that is picked and bottled all in the same day. It tastes even better than drinking out of a real coconut! Currently, Harmeless Harvest bottles are made from 100 percent recyclable and BPA free plastic bottle, with plans to make a switch to 1005 post-consumer recycled, BPA-Free PET bottles, or used plastic that is recycled for a second life.

2. Taste Nirvana with Pulp
Taste Nirvana comes with or without pulp, but we suggest you go chunky—but the bits of pulp is as close to eating an actual coconut as you can get without having to figure out how to open the actual husk! This coconut water is bottled in glass, which is completely recyclable and gives the product a two-year shelf life. The Nirvana plant is based in Thailand runs totally on steam power driven by a fast growing, farmed tree for a smaller carbon footprint.

3. O.N.E. Coconut Water
One of the earlier coconut water companies to hit the US market back in 2005, O.N.E. Coconut Water comes from the more mild flavored coconuts from Brazil. Out of all boxed coconut water, O.N.E. was a standout. While most boxed coconut water tastes like the packaging that it comes in, O.N.E. maintains its pure and fresh taste, ranking it at the top of boxed products that we tried. O.N.E. comes in four flavors: plain, mango, pink guava and pineapple.

4. Melissa’s Sweet Young Coconuts
Nothing beats the experience of drinking out of a fresh coconut so if you have the tools, time and patience, Melissa’s is the closest you can get without physically climbing a tree in Thailand and cutting down a coconut yourself. Shelf life is two weeks when refrigerated and instructions on how to enjoy it as both a refreshing beverage and snack are available on the Melissa's website.

Think we need to re-sip your favorite brand? Leave a comment below!

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