Taste Test: The Best Coconut Water, from Boxed to Bottled

We test six coconut water brands to find out which is the freshest, most drinkable, and best for cooking applications.

Picture this: It’s a sweltering hot day, and you’re sitting at home with an electric fan in your face, feeling like you’re about to melt into a puddle. From the distance you hear the sound of the cariton’s squeaky wheels rolling down the street. You run outside with an empty pitcher in hand, excitement filling you as you hear the rhythmic smashing of the buko juice vendor’s bolo against hard coconut husks and catch a whiff of the sweet, fresh buko juice.

Nothing beats fresh coconut water (buko juice), but wandering vendors can be hard to come by, and nobody wants to go all the way to the palengke just to buy some. So what’s the best packaged buko juice to stock in your fridge for those hot days?

To find the best commercially available buko juice, we tested six coconut water brands based on sweetness and flavor. Did your favorite buko juice make it into our list?

How We Test

We hit up our closest grocery store and a couple of mall kiosks and took home six coconut water brands. Then, we sat down and tried them all. We placed the winning brands into the following categories:

  • Buko-est
  • Thirst Quenchers
  • Best for Cooking

For this round of testing, we focused on coconut drinks. Not coconut milk or cream! We’ll cover those in a different review.



Though harder to find and more perishable than boxed brands, fresh coconut water sold in kiosks like Fruitas and Buko Juan have the best tasting and freshest flavor. There are very few differences between the two so whichever brand you can get your hands on will definitely satisfy your buko craving.


Fruitas buko juice had a beautiful translucent white color. Despite its mildly sweet scent, it didn’t taste too sweet at all. Fruitas boasts using 100% pure coconut juice, and you can definitely taste it. One of our team members called it “very buko!”

Fruitas buko juice had a clean, consistent, natural coconut flavor. We kept coming back to it even after tasting all the brands!

FlavorNatural + clean
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