If you are looking for a versatile, easy-to-make coffee that you don’t even have to brew then you need some liquid coffee concentrate in your life.
But, more specifically you need coffee from Explorer.
Explorer Cold Brew was founded in 2020, so it’s still fairly new in the coffee scheme of things.
Offering liquid coffee and chai concentrates as well as flavor elixirs, Explorer has quickly become a favorite way for me to make quick and easy coffee at home.
Add in the fact that I can also choose my caffeine levels too, it’s honestly like having my own coffee shop right at home.
Explorer is just so unlike other brands I’ve had, and I am so excited to dive into all the details that make this liquid coffee concentrate my favorite on the market right now.
So, when it comes to liquid coffee concentrate, why does Explorer do it better?
For me, it boils down to two big things: options and taste.
First, the variety and options offered by Explorer are nothing I’ve ever seen before.
You can select from four different caffeine levels:
- The Daydreamer: No Caffeine
- The Seeker: Low Caffeine
- The Classic: Reg Caffeine
- The Maverick: Extra Caffeine
I love this so much, especially the no caffeine option which is a decaf cold brew concentrate. It’s great for a late afternoon coffee or even a mixed drink.
Second, Explorer’s liquid coffee concentrate just tastes good, better than many others I’ve tried before.
And, I think that’s because of how the coffee is made and the different coffee beans used depending on the caffeine levels. You aren’t just getting the same base coffee as you do with many other liquid coffee concentrates. Each one is slightly different.
So, now let’s get into what I’ve actually tasted from Explorer.
I started with the Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Travel 4-Pack Gift Box when I first discovered Explorer (pictured here).
This is the perfect way to start with Explorer as it allows you to sample all the liquid coffee concentrates they offer.
A bonus to this little 4-pack if you are a traveler, is that these little 2oz bottles are perfectly sized to meet airport security requirements. So you can take your coffee on the plane with you…just ask for ice + water when you are up in the air!
After sampling the different liquid coffee concentrates, I purchased larger sizes of the regular caffeine and no caffeine options because those are what I most wanted.
The no caffeine option has a great coffee taste without the caffeine.
Both the no caffeine and low caffeine liquid coffee concentrate use the Swiss Water Method of decaffeination.
Unlike traditional decaf coffee roasting methods which use chemicals to remove the caffeine from the coffee, the Swiss Water Method uses only water to wash away almost all of the caffeine (technically speaking 99.9% of the caffeine is removed).
So you are still left with an amazing coffee taste, just almost no caffeine.
I typically don’t drink coffee after 3:00 pm, so the no caffeine option has been perfect on evenings when I want that coffee taste without any caffeine.
I really can’t recommend the no caffeine cold brew enough!
The regular caffeine and extra caffeine liquid coffee concentrate options use a single-origin Arabica coffee bean out of Ethiopia.
The added caffeine in the extra caffeine option comes directly from unroasted, green coffee beans and is added back into the liquid concentrate during the brewing process.
Another interesting flavor profile Explorer throws into the mix is the addition of premium French Chicory during the brewing process.
Chicory is only added to the no caffeine, half caffeine, and extra caffeine options (in the ingredients list you will see it listed as ‘natural flavor’). The founder of Explorer, Carson, has ties to Louisiana, where chicory is commonly added to coffee so it’s a bit of a nod to his home.
But I think that added chicory is what makes these three liquid coffee concentrates stand out from other liquid coffee concentrate brands out there.
Chicory is a blue flower that has many uses as the entire plant is edible. Leafy and root parts of the chicory are cultivated for culinary purposes.
And, the roots of a chicory plant specifically can be baked, roasted, and ground into a coffee-ground consistency.
This ground chicory can then be used as a substitute for coffee, but more common nowadays is that the grounds are used as an additive to coffee as Explorer does.
I also tried some of the flavor syrups and a Dirty Chai Concentrate from Explorer.
The Dirty Chai Concentrate (aka The Alchemist) is yummy and perfect if you like to order a dirty chai at a coffee shop (which I love!).
This chai concentrate option contains 90mg of caffeine per 2oz serving as it has both black tea and coffee in addition to the chai spices.
I LOVE the combination of coffee and black tea so this hit all the right flavor notes for me (to understand my love of that combo, read about the Tanzania Peaberry from Crucible Coffee Roasters).
There is also a Honey Chai Concentrate (aka The Magician) that does not contain coffee, only black tea, and registers 45mg of caffeine per 2oz serving.
And, The Idealist a Chamomile Spice Chai Concentrate contains no caffeine.
Chai can be an acquired taste, but if you like chai you will love these chai concentrates!
The chai concentrates work a little differently from the coffee concentrates in that you use 4oz of the chai concentrate mixed with 4oz of hot or cold milk. Water won’t taste as good as that’s not typically how a chai drink is made in the first place.
The flavor syrups are an excellent add-on option and perfect in regular coffee too. You don’t have to use them only with your cold brew concentrate.
I’ve used both of these pictured plenty of times with fresh-brewed drip coffee as well.
I’ve tried both the Himalayan Sea Salt Caramel and the Madagascar Vanilla flavor syrups.
Both are delicious, but if you are trying to decide between the two, I’d go with the Himalayan Sea Salt Caramel it’s the better of the two in my opinion.
Explorer will often have specialty syrups throughout the year too (like over the holidays they had a peppermint-inspired one). So, keep an eye out for unique and fun flavors too!
Explorer has excellent coffee recipes on their website, but here are a few simple ways you can use your liquid coffee concentrate to make a variety of beverages.
- Iced Coffee – Combine cold brew with cold water and ice.
- Hot Coffee – Mix cold brew with hot water.
- Iced Cold Brew Latte – Mix cold brew with cold milk and ice.
- Hot Cold Brew Latte – Mix the cold brew concentrate with hot/steamed milk.
- Cold Brew Cocktails – Combine the cold brew with a spirit, sugar, and other mixers.
- Cold Brew Soda – Mix the cold brew coffee concentrate with sugar (to your liking), 6-8 oz soda water, and ice.
For Explorer, the ratio of liquid coffee concentrate to water or milk is always 1-2 oz of Explorer with 6-8 oz of water or milk (hot or cold), so be sure to keep that ratio in mind when looking at these quick recipe guides.
Liquid coffee concentrate is honestly really cool and can be used in a number of ways.
And, traveling with liquid coffee concentrate bottles is so easy (especially with the small 2oz bottles Explorer offers) and the perfect way to have your favorite coffee away from home.
If you’ve never tried this type of coffee before, you are missing out and you have to give Explorer Cold Brew a try.
They have a subscription program that is great and offers a discount, plus shipping is free on orders over $30.
Follow Explorer on Instagram (@explorercoldbrew) and keep an eye out for flash sales and discount codes which they offer from time to time too (I’m signed up for their email list!).