Food Network Test Kitchen Taste Test: Plant-Based Waters

We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

The hydration bar has been raised. With a whole host of new plant-based drinks (even ones from trees!) flooding the marketplace, it’s never been more exciting to quench your thirst. We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

Harmless Harvest: 100% Raw Coconut Water

What they say: This coconut drink is organically grown in Thailand, where the brand employs locals to do the harvesting and processing. Pressure-treated and never heated, each bottle has its own unique flavor.

Stats: 56 calories and a hefty 514 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: This water is what we’ve always wanted in a fruit-spiked product. With both floral and pleasant vegetal notes (someone mentioned toasted pumpkin seeds), the super-refreshing drink was a hit with staffers.

ARTY™: Artichoke Water

What they say: ARTY Water is the world's first plant-based beverage made from fresh California artichokes, using the head, stem, leaf and flower of the plant. It’s packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and nutrients.

Stats: 40 calories and a modest 55 milligrams of potassium and 2 grams of fiber per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: Tasting more like minty iced tea (there’s spearmint added) than artichokes, this drink was a bit too sweet for some, perhaps from the inclusion of monk fruit concentrate. But it was overall a pleasant sip that could be great on a really hot summer day.

Happy Tree: Organic Raw Maple Water*

What they say: This raw and organic drink is made from maple trees in the United States, and the manufacturers note that Native Americans have been harvesting and benefiting from maple trees for centuries. It’s never heated and contains B vitamins and minerals.

Stats: 30 calories and 40 milligrams of potassium per single 10-ounce serving

What we thought: We sampled two different bottles, one with the consistency just slightly heavier and thicker than regular water and the other as thick as egg white (which was off-putting to our tasters). Though there was a subtle and pleasant maple flavor, our staffers struggled with the thick, silken texture.

*Note: Though not featured in this roundup, there are other maple waters that staffers really enjoy, including Vertical Water: 100% Pure Maple Water and the simply named Maple: Pure Maple Water.

WTRMLN WTR: Cold-Pressed Juiced Watermelon

What they say: There’s no water added to this fruity beverage, just the whole fruit (including the rind) and some lemon.

Stats: 60 calories and a whopping 740 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: Funnily enough, some staffers actually tasted cucumber at first. The rest tasted lemon up front. Everyone felt that one sip was reminiscent of summer (as promised). One staffer asked, “Couldn’t I just make this myself?” Probably.

Caliwater All Natural: Cactus Water

What they say: This water is enhanced by prickly pear cactus juice concentrate (a superfruit from the desert) and features naturally occurring electrolytes.

Stats: 32 calories and a meager 10 milligrams of potassium per single 11-ounce serving

What we thought: Some staffers were overpowered by the flavor of stevia, while others said it tasted like weak fruit juice from a powdered mix. Sadly, our least favorite, unless you’re looking for a barely-there sweet tea.

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