How is packaged coconut water made

Not fish // not meat

Even if you can't even imagine it at the moment, I'm sure - it will be warmer again soon! And yes - I'm out as a heat fan - hopefully it will not only get warmer, but really nice and summery hot 😀 And then it's back to sweat and cool off with the most delicious natural thirst quencher: coconut water!

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What exactly is coconut water?

Coconut water or coconut water is the liquid that is in a coconut. Strictly speaking, a coconut is not a nut at all, but the stone of a coconut fruit and the liquid called “coconut water” is actually the juice. In English you can also find the name "Coconut juice". The stone consists of three layers that form a cavity inside. On the outside there is the thick, hard shell, followed by a thin brown separating layer that again protects the pulp. We know the pulp as white coconut flesh, from which coconut milk, puree or dried coconut flakes or flour are made.

High amounts of coconut water are only found in young coconuts that are harvested around 6-7 months of age. The older a coconut, the less liquid it has inside. However, an older coconut contains more pulp. The water is used to build up the pulp (which in turn is needed so that a coconut palm can grow from it).

But coconut water is not only a wonderful thirst quencher for hot days, it also naturally replenishes our water and electrolyte balance after exercise, as it is an isotonic liquid.

What does "isotonic" mean?

“Isotonic” literally means “equal tonicity”. In this case it refers to the ratio of minerals and fluid in human blood or the measure of the difference in osmotic pressure between two solutions. Coconut water solution has the same osmotic pressure as human blood. In simple terms, this means that you can balance your mineral and fluid balance very well without disturbing the relationship.

Where do the coconuts come from?

Coconuts are exotic fruits that grow on coconut palms in tropical countries. So coconut palms only grow in warm climates. The coconut water tested here comes from coconuts from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil or Vietnam. For the most part, the origin of the coconuts is stated on the packaging, but there are also products that do not say anything about it. The origin of the coconuts does not say anything about the place where the coconut water was bottled, or vice versa. So the place of manufacture is not really defined. Is it the place where the coconut was harvested or where the coconut water is bottled?

What kind of coconuts are used to make coconut water?

Depending on the country, there are different types of coconut that actually taste different. What they all have in common is that they are harvested as young coconuts when they still have a large amount of coconut juice in them. The best known types are the green coconut (e.g. Brazil, Vietnam, Costa Rica, ...), Nam Hom (Thailand) and the golden yellow king coconut (Sri Lanka). The juice of the green coconut tastes much less sweet than that of the king coconut, for example.

How is coconut water made?

To get to the coconut water, the young coconut is drilled open. The coconut water is then collected and transported on for bottling. There are different ways of doing this. Either the coconut water is sterilized, i.e. heated up once to kill germs, or preservatives such as ascorbic acid or sugar are added to make it last longer. However, it also happens that the coconut water is frozen on site, then transported on and only thawed and bottled at the destination. The last possibility is that the whole coconut is transported and then lies here as a drinking coconut in the supermarket. The coconut always has to be cooled well and has a limited shelf life.

The "Taste Nirvana" case

Right now in the news is the "Taste Nirvana" case. With the coconut water from Taste Nirvana, the manufacturer promised that the product consists of 100% coconut water. The importer who sold this coconut water in Germany had the ingredients analyzed afterwards. The result is that it contains large amounts of sugar and artificial flavors. You really have to speak of fraud here, because in any case there is a law in Germany that ingredients that are added to a product must be shown. It is particularly cheeky to advertise with “100% natural coconut water” on the packaging. Large supermarkets such as Denn’s, EDEKA or even dm drugstores had Taste Nirvana coconut water in their portfolio and have now been delisted.

I also tested the products and could hardly believe that - especially the chocolate version - should only contain cocoa and coconut water. But I believed it and in the text I had already touted the cocoa-coconut water as an absolute recommendation (of course I have now revised it). What I mean by that? Well, especially with products that come from far away and checking the promised product properties means a lot of effort for the importer or mostly means that the importers rely on the manufacturer's information - there is a certain residual risk. In order to avoid this risk, importers and manufacturers who have coconut water produced have no choice but to convince themselves on site of what ultimately ends up in the Tetra Pak or the bottle. That in turn is of course more expensive to control a production in distant countries than to simply import products.

So what should you watch out for with coconut water?

How do you recognize good coconut water? A good coconut water should not contain any additives. In particular, sugar, colorings or flavors have no place in it. With organic products you can be sure that no harmful substances were used in the cultivation. It also ensures sustainability. Ideally, the coconut water does not come from concentrate. It goes without saying that a product that comes from so far has to be preserved. Gentle methods of preserving it include refrigeration, deep freezing, steam sterilization and pasteurization. If possible, the coconut water should be fairtrade.

Sustainable, gentle and fairly paid production is usually reflected in the price, but now the coconut water from Taste Nirvana was not cheap either. So you can't go by the price. And the story that could be read on the website also pretended to be an absolutely natural product. Unfortunately, it remains very difficult for the consumer to find out whether a product is actually as natural as advertised.

What did we test

The most important thing for us is of course the taste and in the end the decisive point for the evaluation. The smell also plays a role. Unfortunately, nobody will buy a super sustainable organic product that doesn't taste good either. Then we looked at where the coconuts come from, how the coconut water is preserved and whether additives were added. Unfortunately, there is not information on all items on every product. We also mention special packaging and whether the product is organic or not.
Last but not least, we group the products into the following price ranges:

  • cheap up to EUR 0.59 / 100 ml
  • medium between 0.60 and 0.80 euros / 100 ml
  • raised from 0.81 euros / 100 ml

The test candidates

I've spent the last year trying to find as many different coconut water products as possible. When I bought it, I made sure that it didn't contain any sugar, flavors or colors. I have tested organic and conventional products, with some products it can be assumed that they are the same manufacturers - if the nutritional information, list of ingredients and / or the organic label are the same. You will find a note next to these products. But now the test results are finally starting! 🙂

Test candidate overview:

Alnatura Coco Drink natural

This Alnatura product is an organic coconut water. The smell is fruity and a little like coconut. It has a pleasant coconut taste that is reminiscent of coconut milk. It's not too sweet, just a little watery. There are no additives in the coconut water. It is obtained from the young, green coconut.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Philippines
Price range: cheap
Rating: 3/5

To overview

Buy from Amazon

aquaverde Coconut pure

The aquaverde coconut water has a very neutral taste, you can hardly taste any coconut at all. It's not very cute and overall quite thin. The coconut water actually smells like almost nothing. Aquaverde Coconuss Pure is made from concentrate. Nothing is given about the origin of the coconuts.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: n / a
Price range: cheap
Rating: 2/5
Identical to: Dr. Antonio Martins Coco Juice pure organic, basic pure coconut water, REWE organic pure coconut water

To overview

Buy from Amazon

basic coconut water pure

See aquaverde Coconut pure.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka, Brazil, Philippines
Price range: cheap
Rating: 3/5
Identical to: Dr. Antonio Martins Coco Juice pure organic, dmBio pure coconut water, REWE bio pure coconut water

To overview

Cocowell

Cocowell uses young coconuts from Brazil. The coconut water smells fruity and a little like melon. The taste is pleasantly sweet, slightly fruity and very refreshing. However, ascorbic acid is added as a preservative.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Brazil
Price range: upscale
Rating: 4/5

To overview

dmBio natural coconut water

The dmBio product is identical to the aquaverde Coconut pure. In terms of taste, it is not very sweet, tastes little like coconut, with a tendency towards sour - but refreshing. The smell is neutral. One of the cheaper organic products.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Philippines
Price range: cheap
Rating: 3/5
Identical to: Dr. Antonio Martins Coco Juice pure organic, basic pure coconut water, REWE organic pure coconut water

UPDATE 07/2019: There is a new packaging, the coconut water from dmBio is now also available as a 0.75 l pack.

To overview

Dr. Antonio Martins Coco Juice pure organic

The organic coconut water from Dr. Antonio Martins is available in a Tetra Pak of 500 ml and in a PET bottle of 0.33 l. It smells fruity. In terms of taste, it is medium sweet and tastes slightly sour. The coconut water was frozen for preservation. In addition, it is mixed with ascorbic acid.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: n / a
Price range: medium
Rating: 3/5
Identical in construction to: aquaverde pure coconut, basic pure coconut water, REWE organic pure coconut water

To overview

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Dr. Antonio Martins Coconut Water pure organic

From Dr. Antonio Martins also has a coconut water called Coconut Water pure. This is said to be obtained from the green coconut. It doesn't taste too sweet, has a rather low coconut taste and is refreshing. In terms of smell, it is neutral. This coconut water was frozen for transport.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: n / a
Price range: medium
Rating: 4/5

To overview

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Dr. Antonio Martins Coco King Coconut Juice pure organic premium quality

This coconut water is also from Dr. Antonio Martins. However, it is made from the King Coconut. The King Coconut is a special type of coconut that has a characteristic taste and only grows on certain coconut palms. The coconut water tastes a little sweeter. I find the smell slightly pungent. This coconut water was also frozen.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka
Price range: medium
Rating: 3/5

To overview

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Dr. Goerg Premium organic coconut water

The premium organic coconut water from Dr. Goerg is made from the green coconut. It has the perfect sweetness and a subtle coconut taste. The coconut water tastes very refreshing and is not at all watery. It smells almost neutral and, if at all, slightly coconut-fruity.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Philippines
Price range: upscale
Rating: 5/5

To overview

Buy from REWE

Buy from Amazon

Foco Coconut Water

I discovered FOCO's Coconut Water by chance when I last went shopping on the Metro and, to be honest, didn't expect too much. It is extracted from the young, green coconut and heated to an ultra-high temperature for preservation. But then I was surprised by the taste: The sweetness is just at the limit, so it tastes really refreshing and light. It doesn't have an aftertaste or excessive coconut flavor - that's exactly how coconut water should taste. Unfortunately it is not an organic product, so one point is missing from the full number of points.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: Product from Vietnam
Price range: cheap
Rating: 4/5

To overview

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Genuine Coconut Organic Drinking Coconut

The Genuine Coconut comes in its natural packaging. A hole has already been drilled into the coconut that only needs to be pierced with a straw. Then you get the freshest and purest coconut water that is available in this region. The Nam Hom coconuts come from Thailand, they are then processed in Spain, because the organic label is of Spanish origin. The coconuts are chilled during transport. I think it's great that this type of drinking coconut is even certified organic. In terms of taste, this is probably the most natural coconut water: It tastes sweet and clearly like coconut. So much naturalness has its price. The investment is worth it, however.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Thailand
Price range: upscale
Rating: 5/5

To overview

Grace 100% Coconut Water

According to the declaration, the Coconut Water from Grace comes without added sugar and should not be made from concentrate. The coconut water is very clear and tastes really delicious! It tastes clearly sweet, but not too sweet and slightly like coconut. I was surprised that it has no aftertaste or aftertaste - like many other products. Well chilled, Grace's coconut water is definitely refreshing! The 1 liter pack is thus quickly drained 😉 It is one of the cheapest coconut waters in the test. The only downer is that it is not an organic product. Therefore 4 out of 5 points.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: n / a
Price range: cheap
Rating: 4/5

To overview

indi coco 100% organic coconut water

The coconut water from indi coco is obtained from the young coconut fruit. It tastes refreshing, not very sweet and very little like coconut. A very slight sour note can be seen. The smell is inconspicuous, possibly a bit fruity. A solid organic coconut water at a fair price!

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: n / a -> Organic label Philippines
Price range: medium
Rating: 4/5

To overview

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innocent Coconut Water

Innocent's Coconut Water tastes sweet, but not as sweet as Taste Nirvana. It clearly smells like coconut. The coconut water is pasteurized. It is not certified organic.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: Thailand
Price range: cheap
Rating: 3/5

UPDATE 07/2019: The innocent coconut water has got a new packaging!

To overview

Buy from REWE

Koro coconut water organic

The newest candidate in the coco water test comes in 1 liter packaging for those who are really thirsty. The Koro coconut water tastes slightly sweet, just enough like coconut, but not intrusive. It's very refreshing and doesn't have any unpleasant aftertaste. Overall, a very recommendable coconut water at a good price! For the coconut water heavy user, the product is also available in a pack of 12 at an even lower price per liter 😉
What I particularly like is the transparency that KoRo has with its products. All possible information can be viewed online. Therefore KoRo and its coconut water get 5 full points from me!

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka
Price range: cheap
Rating: 5/5

To overview

Available in the KoRo online shop

Kulau pure organic coconut water

The water comes from the young, green coconut. To preserve it, it was heated for a few seconds, i.e. pasteurized. Otherwise nothing is added.It doesn't taste too sweet and only slightly like coconut - that's why it's really refreshing! It is very similar to Dr. Antonio Martins, REWE Bio and aquaverde. Since this coconut water is also available in a 1 liter pack, it is definitely worth it if you drink coke water regularly.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Philippines
Price range: cheap
Rating: 4/5

To overview

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Lekker Love 100% natural coconut water

Finally a coconut water that comes in a glass bottle! The product from Lekker Love tastes very sweet and the consistency is almost like syrup. It is therefore not very refreshing. The smell almost reminds me of cheesecake. This coconut water is also not certified organic. Since I can taste a similarity to Taste Nirvana in this coconut water, and the sugar levels are also very high, I cannot rule out that sugar may have been added here as well. Just a guess!

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: Vietnam
Price range: medium
Rating: 2/5

To overview

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Morgenland organic coconut water

Ripe coconuts are used for the coconut water of the Orient. As a result, it also has the highest number of calories. It is not concentrated and is not frozen, but only sterilized at 140 ° degrees. The coconut water tastes slightly sweet, refreshing and almost like honey melon. The smell is also reminiscent of honeydew melon and smells fruity.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Indonesia
Price range: cheap
Rating: 4/5

To overview

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Pearl Royal 100% Coconut Water

The Pearl Royal coconut water caught my attention mainly because of the unusual packaging. The outside is made of biodegradable material made from coconut fibers, which initially surprised me positively. When I wanted to drink the coconut water, I was a little disappointed - in two ways. First you find a plastic straw in a plastic film, then you open the packaging with a string - to find out that there is a can inside. That's not how I imagined sustainability. In the end, you end up with a bunch of garbage.

Now for the taste. My first thought was that the coconut water couldn't be so sweet without added sugar - I was reminded of Taste Nirvana. According to the packaging, it should also contain 100% natural coconut water. The coconut water tastes really sweet, not really like coconut at all, but like cheesecake and not at all refreshing. It has an artificial taste. I suspect it's not 100% natural coconut water - but I can't prove it. The Pearl Royal Coconut Water is the most expensive bottled coconut water in the whole test - even though it is not an organic product. If you look at the overall result, the price is not justified. There are cheaper organic products that are tastier and produce less packaging waste.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: Thailand
Price range: upscale
Rating: 2/5

To overview

Buy from REWE

Buy from Amazon

REWE organic coconut water pure

See aquaverde Coconut Pure

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka
Price range: cheap
Rating:
Identical to: Dr. Antonio Martins Coco Juice pure organic, basic pure coconut water, aquaverde coconut

UPDATE 07/2019: There is a new packaging.

To overview

Solevita 100% Coconut Water (Lidl)

At Lidl, too, there is now coconut water. This is made from the green coconut. In terms of taste, it is very neutral and even tastes a bit bitter. It's not sweet at all and you hardly even taste coconut at all. The smell is fruity and slightly reminiscent of orange. This product is the cheapest in the whole test, but it is also not certified organic.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: n / a
Price range: cheap
Rating: 2/5

To overview

Taste Nirvana organic coconut water without pulp

The coconut water from Taste Nirvana is happily found in a glass bottle. It's very sweet and tastes almost like syrup. It smells very intense, spicy, buttery - almost like cake. The impression is not deceptive, because an analysis by the German importer has shown that plenty of sugar and artificial flavors have been added to this product. Pity! There are zero points for this consumer deception!

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Thailand
Price range: upscale
Rating: 0/5

To overview

Taste Nirvana Criollo organic cocoa

In terms of ingredients, this product is similar to the "normal" coconut water from Taste Nirvana. However, cocoa (criollo) has been added to this one. And that turns it into an extremely tasty cocoa drink. It's a shame that it's not just coconut water and cocoa (see above)! That would have been too good, because it tasted too good to be true (= 100% natural). There are zero-point-zero points for this.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Thailand
Price range: upscale
Rating: 0/5

To overview

Tropicai King Coconut Water Pure

The Tropicai King Coconut Water is obtained from the King Coconut. It tastes quite sweet with a sour-bitter aftertaste. If you take a closer look you can even see some melon. There is almost no odor perceptible. It's nice that this coconut water is also sold in a glass bottle, unfortunately the taste is only mediocre.

Bio: yes
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka
Price range: upscale
Rating: 2/5

To overview

Buy from REWE

Buy from Amazon

Vita Coco

The coconut water from Vita Coco was the first one I tried. It doesn't taste sweet, has little taste overall, a bit like coconut, but light and refreshing. The smell is neutral. Unfortunately, fructose and vitamin C are added to this product as preservatives. It is also pasteurized. Due to the additions, I unfortunately have to deduct one point.

Bio: No.
Origin of coconuts: Sri Lanka, Philippines
Price range: medium
Rating: 3/5

To overview

Buy from Amazon

Conclusion

Here it becomes very clear: If you want to drink unadulterated coconut water, you can't avoid buying fresh drinking coconut. Genuine Coco even offers them certified organic for the home. However, this is not cheap. If you can get used to the fact that the coconut water was frozen, the coconut water from Dr. Goerg recommended. It comes closest to the taste and degree of freshness of a fresh coconut. The coconut water from Morgenland and Dr. Antonio Martins. The Coconut Water Pure Organic is particularly recommended here. In conclusion, I would always prefer an organic product to a conventional one.

Article in: test, vegan, sugar-free