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I Found The Only Coconut Water That Actually Tastes Good

Culture

It’s coconut water for people who hate coconut water

Friends don’t let friends miss out on all the cool, under-the-radar things they know about, like where to buy ultra-fashionable clothes at decidedly non-runway prices or which little-known beauty brand is low-key making the best highlighter around. And because we consider our readers to be like friends, we decided to gather together all our best tips in a new series: Don’t Sleep on This. Check in every week to see what things we can’t wait to share with you.

I have a complicated relationship with coconut water. On the one hand, I know it's good for me—the hydration you can get from the water of a coconut can even put H2O to shame. On the other, I absolutely despise the taste and smell of it.

But people are always trying to convince me it's good. "Do you also know that if you drink coconut water after a night out, you will not have a hangover the next day?" one college friend asked. I didn't know, but, rest assured, I soon found myself chugging Zico, which at the time was the most readily available coconut water in stores, with my fingers pinching my nose before going to bed. And, while she was right—it's truly amazing how it can save you the next day (even if you only remember to drink it the morning following the night out, by the way)—I quickly abandoned that practice. The smell and taste were too intolerable to me, prompting a gagging response not unlike the one I get when my mom forces me to down a shot of vodka filled halfway with cayenne pepper when I feel like I am getting a cold (no bacteria—or person, for that matter—can survive that combination).

In the past few years, the coconut water scene has changed drastically. The Zicos have been relegated to the back shelves, and brands like Harmless Harvest, as well as in-house concoctions at juice shops, are leading the way on this new coconut tree-flanked path that favors organic, natural, and sustainable practices. Looking to get their fill of the potassium and electrolytes that prevent dehydration (which is not only good for hangover prevention, but also for replenishing post-workout) without the huge amounts of sugar of, say, a Gatorade, consumers have become more discerning about what they're imbibing. Still, not even the most prettily packaged coconut water had made a convert (or even an occasional drinker) out of me.

Then, along came CoAqua, the self-proclaimed "world's super-premium coconut water." And by super-premium, they mean super-delicious. At first glance, aside from the aesthetically pleasing glass packaging, it looks like any bottled coconut water. But the difference is apparent upon a closer look at the label; for one, it advises to drink the water "chilled." For two, it is the best tasting coconut water I have ever had. It is sweet, like a liquified version of a freshly cracked coconut, and has no smell. After I finished my first one, I immediately reached for the second one. It is coconut water that you want to drink regardless of its health benefits—it just tastes good, fresh and sweet.

If, when you hear "sweet," you instantly assume it's a sugar rush in a bottle, or full of artificial sweeteners, know that CoAqua is 100 percent pure and natural. The reason for its sweetness is that, unlike most coconut water brands on the market, CoAqua uses young coconuts, that are six-to-seven months into the maturation cycle and whose natural sugar content is at its peak. For reference, a young green coconut holds the sugar in the water, which is why its flesh is notoriously bland; an older coconut's natural sugar have already transferred from the water to the coconut flesh, which is why its water can be off-putting, but the flesh desirable.

At first glance, CoAqua founder Grier Govorko, doesn't seem like one to find an all-natural coconut water brand. Having previously worked as a photographer and designer (he was the senior production designer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the '90s), he discovered the taste of young coconuts while traveling all over Southeast Asia. Not wanting to cross to a different continent (he splits his time mainly between New Zealand and L.A.) to get a decent glass of coconut water, and unfazed by the fact that no one else was harvesting young coconuts for their mass-produced coconut waters, he eventually found Ben Tré in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, "a labyrinth of waterways and literally billions of coconuts," and CoAqua was born. When I tell him that I've never liked coconut water before this, he shrugs: "You're not the first person to tell me that." 

But while Govorko founded CoAqua to make a coconut water that everyone can enjoy, he wanted to make sure that he wasn't adding to the landfills with single-use plastic bottles, because, as CoAqua's website states, that's "a bummer." As such, CoAqua is bottled in recyclable glass, which is not only sustainable but also keeps the water tasting fresh and delicious.

Maybe I wasn't such a tough nut to crack after all. Or maybe, CoAqua is just that good.

CoAqua, Super Premium 100% Coconut Water, $48 for 12, available at CoAqua.

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.

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