We take the coco challenge. 

Potassium-rich, super-hydrating, nutty, fresh and naturally sweet, coconut water has long been lauded as “Mother Nature’s sports drink,” leading beverage manufacturers to bottle it up and stack it onto supermarket shelves. But can they really deliver the miraculous taste you get fresh from the source, or should we just stick to the roadside options, faithfully decanted into plastic bags? We blind tested some of Thailand’s top grab-and-go 7-Eleven and supermarket brands—here’s what we think. 

 


 

Icoco Yuck!

Sweetness: 
Natural taste: 
Just from smelling it, this contender offers no hint of coconut at all. It doesn’t get any better with the taste either—a sweet liquid that almost just tastes like sugar water. Does this even contain any real coconut water?
Verdict: Coconut-free.
Price: B35
www.fb.com/ICoconut

 

Foco Life

Sweetness: 
Natural taste: 
This is, by far, the sweetest out of the lot, with the most artificial coconut taste and scent—it reminds us of the coconut-flavored jelly we ate growing up.
Verdict: Coconut jelly in a bottle.
Price: B25
www.focolifeplus.com

 

Coco Max Runner Up!

Sweetness: 
Natural taste: 
This one tastes very close to real coconut water—it’s quite sweet, but with a mildly sour aftertaste. The coconut scent, however, isn’t so strong (a bit artificial even), but that’s not such a bad thing as it’s still super refreshing.
Verdict: Down-able.
Price: B25
www.cocomax.com

 

Malee Coco Winner!

Sweetness: 
Natural taste:  
A soft, aromatic smell of coconut radiates from the bottle, revealing a taste that’s a little sweet yet leaves a hint of sourness in the mouth. This is by far the freshest and most natural of them all.
Verdict: Almost the real thing.
Price: B25
www.malee.co.th

 

UFC Refresh

Sweetness: 
Natural taste: 
Sitting on the milder side, this lightly sweet and clean tasting contender doesn’t have much of a coconut scent, but instead it does come with a turbid white color and a strong packaging smell.
Verdict: Mildly funky.
Price: B29
www.ufcrefreshcoco.com

 

If

Sweetness: 
Natural taste:  
There’s zero trace of fresh coconut in this bottle, but instead a strong husky smell of smoked coconut—almost like you’re drinking a lit candle. Its slightly yellowish color and high levels of sweetness did not impress.
Verdict: Smoky gone wrong.
Price: B25
www.iffamily.com
 
 

Koko Magic

Sweetness: 
Natural taste: 
This mild tasting coconut water is subtly sweet with a faintly tangy aftertaste— add in its slightly milky color and it could almost be the real thing cracked open fresh from the tree.
Verdict: So fresh and so clean.
Price: B49
www.kokomagic.com