This Innovative Cold Brew Is Changing The Caffeine Game — & It’s 50% Right Now

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My love for caffeine knows no bounds, so if there’s a coffee option out there, I’ve tried it. Whether it’s cold brew, pour-over, or home-brewed espresso, I’ve consumed it. But my heart belongs to cold brew: It’s consistently the easiest to make, especially with so many concentrates and flavors available. So when Explorer’s cold brew concentrates crossed my radar, I was excited to try them.

After having consumed a massive (but on-brand) amount of their cold brew concentrates, I can wholeheartedly recommend Explorer’s offerings. They taste rich and smooth, and they’re easy to add to milk or non-dairy milk for seriously delicious drinks. But, if you’re not a coffee aficionado, let’s wind it back for a second. What is a cold brew concentrate?

Cold Brew Concentrate vs. Cold Brew

What makes cold brew concentrate different from cold brew? Cold brew concentrate is exactly what it sounds like, a concentrated version of cold brew. It’s more concentrated than a cold brew coffee you’d buy at a coffee shop and is designed to be diluted, either with milk or water. For this reason, cold brew concentrate is super customizable. By adding the amount of dilution you want (I like to add oat or almond milk), you can alter both the taste and caffeine concentration of each sip of your drink.

Explorer Coffee’s cold brew concentrate comes in four different caffeine levels, ranging from a decaf concentrate to an extra-caffeinated concentrate.

Explorer Cold Brew takes this one step further: Not only can you buy their cold brew concentrate in their classic concentration, but it comes in a starter pack that features four different caffeine levels, ranging from a decaf concentrate to an extra-caffeinated concentrate. Not only is this a great way to test out their caffeine levels and find out which one suits you best, but I loved the starter pack since I could use the standard concentration for my morning coffee, and switch to the lower caffeine or decaf version for my second cup of the day. It also could not have been easier to make. You mix the 2-ounce bottle in a one to four ratio with your milk or water. I diluted the 2 ounces of the concentrate to an 8-ounce glass of almond milk, and added some ice.

The taste of Explorer’s cold brew is rich and slightly sweet: They actually add French Chicory to many of the blends of their concentrate. For die hard coffee fans, you’ll recognize the light sweetness often associated with New Orleans’ style coffee. I definitely noticed the subtle sweetness, especially when I compared the flavor to some store-bought cold brew brands and homemade espresso drinks.

Though there is that familiar southern taste to their concentrates, the beans in Explorer’s coffees actually come from high-altitude farms in Ethiopia, a country that many refer to as the birthplace of coffee. Explorer works with farming collectives (essentially farmer’s unions) in order to ensure they get the highest quality beans, ethically grown and harvested. In an industry with as long and complicated an ethical history as the coffee industry, this is something I was super excited to read more about.

Explorer’s signature offering is their 32-ounce cold brew concentrate, which comes in all four of their caffeine levels. It can make up to 20 cups of coffee, and I found myself consistently grabbing for it throughout the week. While you can get it on its own, it also comes in a bundle with their Madagascar vanilla, a sweetener that adds a vanilla flavor to your classic cold brew.

While I am often wary of coffee sweeteners, I actually loved their vanilla “elixir,” which was subtle and not overpowering but definitely upgraded my drinking experience. And, for vanilla latte stans, this is a great bundle to buy as you can add the vanilla to any coffee drink for additional flavor. In addition to their vanilla elixir, they also make a salted caramel, and a candy cane flavored elixir that you can swap into your bundle if those flavors are more to your liking.

What Is Chai Concentrate?

I was also super excited to try out Explorer’s chai concentrates, which simplify the experience of making drinks like dirty chai and classic chai lattes. In similar packaging to the cold brew starter pack, this set of four 2-ounce concentrates comes with a range of flavors, including their golden turmeric, classic masala, dirty masala, and sunset chamomile. Each concentrate is designed to be diluted similarly to the cold brew concentrates, but with a one to three ratio of concentrate to milk or water. So once again, you can customize your drinking experience and even create your own recipes by combining them.

Admittedly I’m partial to the dirty masala chai flavor, which blends cold brew and coffee with spices and black tea, in order to create a highly caffeinated chai concentrate. But the classic chai concentrate made for a delicious and slightly sweet chai latte, and I’m a big fan of any drink or recipe that involves turmeric and chamomile.

For those coffee novices who are intimidated by multiple caffeine levels and options, Explorer actually has a taste quiz you can take to refine what you’re looking for. It’ll ask you about your taste preferences, preferred types of drinks, the amount of caffeine you want or need, and other questions to suggest a drink perfect for you.

Find Your Perfect Coffee Pairing Quiz

I took the quiz and filled in a few of my preferences: I prefer caffeinated over low-caffeine or no-caffeine drinks, I like flavors but am not loyal to any specific one, and I drink a lot of coffee every week. Explorer recommended I try their “Everything Except No Caf” pack of cold brew, which features a large pack of their caffeinated 2-ounce concentrates, perfect for my needs. They also recommended their rotating seasonal elixir, which is currently Crushed Candy Cane for the winter.

The results of my quiz perfectly match my coffee needs — and I love that I can subscribe to the frequency that works for me. Explorer Cold Brew

How does Explorer’s subscription service work?

By far the feature I look for most when trying out new coffee brands is a subscription option. Not only are subscriptions great for saving money, but when you drink coffee at the volume I do, having more sent to you regularly can come in handy. The best part of Explorer’s subscription service is that you can choose between one of four different cadences, and have additional coffee sent to you every two, four, six, or eight weeks. This makes the whole experience easy to cater to your lifestyle and schedule, whether you drink a shocking amount of coffee like myself, or you drink it more casually. And right now, you can get 50% off your first subscription order when you use the code NEWYEARSUB at check out.

Would I recommend Explorer Cold Brew?

After having consumed a lot of Explorer’s cold brew concentrates, I would definitely recommend it. In particular, their starter packs are great for testing out a coffee subscription and finding a level of caffeine and type of coffee that makes you excited to wake up and drink it every morning. But, you don’t have to take my word for it: The reviews are glowing. So if you’re looking to step up your caffeine game, and start consuming great coffee from a company who cares about every part of the brewing process, Explorer Cold Brew is a standout choice. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my next cup of Explorer beckons.

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