Cocozia, the makers of 100% organic coconut water, contacted me recently and asked if I’d like to review their product. Little did they know that we’re coconut fanatics over here. We put coconut milk in our rice. In Thailand, I fell in love with a coconut ice cream that I still have dreams about. From fruit salad to actual salad, we love coconut in just about everything.
Therefore, it goes without saying that when it comes to coconut water, we’ve got pretty good background knowledge about it. Back when we lived in Malaysia, I used to stop at roadside vendors with mounds of young green coconuts piled beside their stalls and nestled in coolers. I’d stop the car, run out, and once they saw me coming they’d whip out their machete, hack one open on the spot and poke a straw into the top and shove a long metal spoon inside. On a hot tropical day, nothing could beat some ice cold coconut juice, followed by the joyous task of scraping out the bits of springy young coconut flesh off the walls of the inside of the coconut. I’d let each sliver of coconut flesh slink down my throat, congratulating myself on a well-played pit stop.
Here in the States, every few months or so I get an intense craving for some coconut water like we had back in good ol’ Malaysia. Usually what this means is that I end up at our nearest grocery store, perusing the copious options for coconut water that seem to fill every shelf not currently occupied by kombucha (whoever is working the kombucha lobby is doing a bang-up job getting the word out, by the way). I usually end up getting overwhelmed, plucking a brand arbitrarily from the shelves, and furtively drinking it in the car before my kids notice (if one of those little hands gets a hold of it before I do, it’s sayonara to coconut water for me).
Cocozia is a good option for us for a few reasons. It checks all the boxes — it’s unflavored coconut water, with no sugar added, and it’s organic. When I cracked open our case one morning before work (I usually lay out or test foods for my blog posts in the mornings, then execute recipes,write posts, photograph, etc. at night after the kids go to bed), the kids immediately clamored around me, begging for their own coconut water box. They usually don’t get drinks other than milk or water in the morning, but I relented. It had been a rough week, post-Thanksgiving. The kids sorely missed their extended family, who had just been in town, and we were all recovering from nasty colds we’d caught as a result of sleeping on top of 13 other people for 5 days. I let them each pick one and then realized that the best endorsement I could give Cocozia is through my kids. They loved the easy drinking straw, the fact that the box was “shiny” and that the taste of the coconut water was “just like in Malaysia,” according to my little guy. Of course, he was only 11 months old when we left Malaysia, so what does that guy know what coconut water should taste like. But still — the point is there. They loved it.
As for me, I think it’s hard for any packaged coconut water to mimic exactly a fresh young coconut, but the flavor of Cocozia comes pretty darn close. It tastes best when it’s chilled, but that’s probably generally true of coconut water. I’ve also found other brands of coconut water to kind of have a weird aftertaste, which Cocozia lacks. The flavor is subtle, with just a hint of coconut flavor. It seems like the verdict is mixed on the health benefits of drinking coconut water, but as for transporting me back to my time in the tropics, it’s a pretty nice way to take a cheap trip down memory lane.
Plus, I don’t need a guy with a machete to help me open one up.