Review: Coba Aguas Frescas – Jamaica, Guayaba, Mango, and Tamarindo

Mexican aguas frescas, defined as “refreshing fruit waters” or “water refreshments,” typically consist of water, fruits, and sugar to produce a tasty beverage. The folks at Coba have 4 different flavors that use organic agave nectar along with other base flavors. Let’s take a look at Coba Jamaica, Coba Guayaba, Coba Mango, and Coba Tamarindo.

Coba Aquas Frescas

Coba was founded by Jose Luis Domene and Arnulfo Ventura as a way to bring ready-to-drink aquas frescas to the marketplace, based on all natural recipes. The description on the back of the bottles provides the setting for the flavor experience:

In the tropical jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, nourished by the cooling waters of four natural lakes, lies the majestic remains of the ancient Mayan city of Coba. Revered for its agriculture and with a name meaning “waters stirred by wind,” Coba captures the purity, heritage, and spirit of one of the most ancient, beloved drinks of our culture, aguas frescos!

In each bottle of Coba we strive to capture that purity, heritage, and spirit in honor of our Meso-American forefathers as we bring the tradition of refreshing agues frescos to a modern, on the go world. Lightly sweetened with agave and made from the finest traditional ingredients, we invite you and your taste buds to come with us on our journey to the land of Coba.

So, that’s the spin. Let’s talk a little more about the product itself.

The packaging is quite attractive, coming in 16 oz glass bottles that resemble barrels, or vitroleros jars, traditionally used to make aguas frescos. A vibrant paper label wraps the bottle, featuring bright artwork and traditional style of the flavor features inside. Overall the look stands out as something more of a juice, not an high-production run soda.

On to the flavors…

Coba Jamaica
A redish/purple juice color, you unscrew the cap and are greeted by a strong hibiscus scent, which reminded me of another drink we’ve reviewed that uses that as a primary ingredient, OOBA Hibiscus.

Coba Jamaica Aquas Frescas

There aren’t a whole lot of ingredients inside: purified water, natural roselle (hibiscus), and organic agave nectar. What results is a sweet, yet slightly bitter drink, that does a nice job quenching thirst. I like the combination of flavors on my tongue. A 16 oz. bottle contains 140 calories, 0 mg sodium, and 36 g carbs (36 g sugars).

Coba Guayaba
One look at this flavor and you may see a slightly darker pineapple juice, with a tropical scent. Then you taste the guava and find that it’s smooth, but still “puckery.” The overall texture is thicker than other Coba flavors, and that reflects on the overall experience as well. This drink is a heavier tropical entry with a distinct flavor that stands out.

Coba Guayaba Aquas Frescas

Like Jamaica, there aren’t a lot of ingredients inside: purified water, natural guava puree, organic agave nectar, and natural flavor. When I think of Mexican drinks, this flavor seems like something that fits right in flavorwise! A 16 oz. bottle contains 220 calories, 0 mg sodium, and 56 g carbs (54 g sugars).

Coba Mango
Pop the top off Mango and it’s hard to mistake the flavor. You are overwhelmed with a clean, strong mango scent. The look is that of a bright orange juice, but the texture, like Guayaba, is quite thick. This feels like the definition of a “refreshing fruit water.” It’s strong, unmistakable, and pure in execution. Mango done right.

Coba Mango Aquas Frescas

In order to do the right thing, it only takes 4 ingredients: purified water, natural mango puree, organic agave nectar, and natural flavor. This flavor could do a nice job cutting the spiciness in food, or as a standalone refreshment. A 16 oz. bottle contains 230 calories, 0 mg sodium, and 60 g carbs (56 g sugars).

Coba Tamarindo
With a color that looks like dark apple juice, just what does tamarind taste like? It’s a staple of aquas frescas drinks and probably can best be described as a tad sweet while also a tad sour. The flavor experience is almost akin to that of a light tea. Not an overpowering taste, but one that is very welcomed and refreshing!

Coba Tamarindo Aquas Frescas

Ingredients: purified water, natural tamarind, organic agave nectar, and natural flavor. Very quenching juice experience, but light and complimentary. A drink you’ll return to again and again. A 16 oz. bottle contains 140 calories, 0 mg sodium, 130 mg potassium, and 36 g carbs (36 g sugars).

Overall, we’re quite impressed with the Coba lineup. Here in Chicago, we have a lot of authentic Mexican food & drink. The flavors presented match a lot of what we’ve been able to try locally. Great job, Coba. Highly recommended!

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Full Disclosure: These beverages were provided compliments of Coba
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