What do Goji Berries Taste Like?

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We bet you’ve heard of goji berries as a superfood, but do you know what goji berries taste like? Let’s find out.

Goji berries are sweet yet tart, grape-tomato-like berries that taste delicious when topped over a hearty breakfast bowl or added to smoothies. Taste-wise, it’s closer to cranberry than the other varieties of berries.

Very few people like eating fresh goji berries because of their bitter flavor; that’s why dried goji berries are more popular than fresh ones.

This article explains the flavor and texture of goji berries. We also take a step ahead to let you know the difference in the taste of fresh vs. dried goji berries.

What Do Goji Berries Taste Like?

The taste of goji berries is a cross between sour cherries, cranberries, and grape tomatoes. These are nutritious and have a distinct flavor. When you pluck a fresh and ripe berry, you’ll find the taste quite unappealing. It may taste slightly bland with an intensely bitter aftertaste, almost like a pepper! But, once dried, they develop a sweeter flavor like that of cranberry, with a hint of herbal notes.

Many people find dried goji berries similar to raisins in texture. However, raisins are smaller and darker, while goji berries are plump, juicy, and bright red-orange.

The best way to describe these berries is to think of cranberries or sour cherries as they have a bit of tart flavor. However, keep in mind; that goji berries aren’t for the faint-hearted ones. If you’re into sweet fruits, you may find the taste of goji berries overwhelmingly bitter. The only way to make it palatable is to dry it as this helps the sugar become concentrated, and the berry loses its bitterness. The sweet flavor is reminiscent of cinnamon or vanilla flavor notes.

Overall, the taste of goji berries is dependent on the type you’re having. Let’s learn more about the difference in the flavor of dry and fresh versions of the goji berries:

Dried and Fresh Goji Berries- Flavor Differences

Fresh goji berries tend to taste bland at first, but later they develop an intense, bitter, and sour aftertaste. The berries’ high water content dilutes the tanginess. You’ll notice that the taste of goji berries is closer to that of tomatoes than berries. So, don’t be fooled by the fresh berries’ plump and juicy appearance; its bitter taste can be a bit too much! If you’re trying them for the first time, you may find the berries disappointing; but there are ways to make them palatable!

It’s only after the goji berries have dried do they taste sweeter! They also lose much of their bitterness and start to taste a lot more like cranberry or sour cherries! The taste is similar to cranberries; it’s a mix of sweet and tart, with herbal-like flavor notes.

You’ll find several dessert recipes calling for dried goji berries because of their high nutrition content and sweet flavor. They make for a delicious and healthy snack! You can also add dried goji berries to homemade treats like trail mix, breakfast smoothies, muffins, and breakfast bowls.

Texture-wise, dried goji berries are chewy yet slightly soft. If you want to turn the dried goji berries slightly plump and soft, you can try soaking them in water. It helps them develop a sweet, cherry-tomato-like flavor.

In short, the better choice of the two depends entirely on your eating preferences. Fresh berries are great to add to smoothies. However, we find the dried version slightly more palatable; although it still has traces of bitter flavor notes, it tastes sweeter and has a mildly tart aftertaste.

Are Goji Berries Sweet?

Yeah, some of the goji berries are sweet. The sweet flavor is highly dependent on its variety and level of ripeness. Dried goji berries taste sweeter than fresh ones.

The Sweet Lifeberry variety of the goji berries tastes incredibly juicy and sweet with a slight hint of tangy notes. They’re a perfect mid-day snack and help sweeten treats like smoothies, muffins, granola bars, and brownie bites! The most interesting fact about these “vitamin berries” is that they’re super nutritious and have low sugar content. 

You may find pre-packaged goji berries overly sweet, and having a candy-like flavor. This is usually in the case of berries that are harvested ahead of time and tossed in sugar to conceal their tanginess.

When Do Goji Berries Taste Horrible?

Like many other fruits and veggies, Goji berries have numerous varieties, each with a unique flavor. You may find a variety of boxthorn marketed as “goji berries” – these taste horrible, quite like unripe peppers. In reality, they should have an organic sweet flavor, similar to raisins. But if you find yours to be horrible-tasting, you probably have the wrong variety!

Even if you have the right kind of goji berry plant, you may still find an awful aftertaste. That’s because fresh goji berries taste utterly bitter; it’s only after they’ve dried do they taste like a mix of sweet and tart. 


Goji berries are a versatile and nutrient-rich fruit. You can add them to sweet and savory dishes or enjoy them as a mid-day snack! It’s an excellent idea to add goji berries to soups and smoothies to relish their distinct flavor while making them more palatable.

Dried goji berries are way better than fresh ones as they’re less bitter and closer to cranberry or cherry in terms of taste. You’ll find its texture similar to raisins, but only chewier.

The best way to understand its flavor is to order a small pack and try it yourself. Our favorite combo is mixing up dried goji berries with chocolate and coconut to make delectable, homemade energy bars!

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