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Best cold brew concentrate

Which cold brew concentrate is best?

The smooth, rich taste of cold-brewed coffee provides a delicious coffee flavor with less of the bitterness of a traditional brew. Extracting coffee from ground beans with cold water is a gentler process that leaves some of the stronger flavors behind, which highlights the beans' more delicate undertones. Cold brewing coffee takes time, but cold brew concentrate means you can have this java experience whenever you like.

If you prefer a smooth, complex cup of cold brew, Javy Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate is a great choice.

What to know before you buy a cold brew concentrate

Concentrate strength

Cold brew coffee makers can get you started on the 12-hour cold brew process, but when you need something in a hurry, it’s best to pick the concentrate that makes the strength you prefer. Concentrate strength varies from mild to bold.. Even if you can adjust each cup’s strength based on your concentrate to water ratio, you’ll stretch your coffee further if you choose the strength you like as a base.

Sweetened vs. unsweetened

  • Sweetened: This is a great option if you don’t want to mess with your coffee at all — just add water and hit the road. However, some sweetened concentrates are too sweet or not sweet enough. It’s a challenge to find that “just right” Goldilocks spot when you’re not the one adding the sweetness..
  • Unsweetened: This lets you customize your morning brew exactly how you like it. You do need to add your own sugar, but that’s a small price to pay for the perfect cup.

What to look for in a quality cold brew concentrate

Pure coffee

Of the two main types of coffee beans, Robusta and Arabica, Arabica are considered the superior choice. They have less caffeine, but a smoother taste with naturally sweet flavor notes of sugar, fruit and chocolate. Using 100% Arabica beans make an even smoother cup of cold brew.

Free from additives

Additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives are unnecessary in a product that most people consume well within its shelf life. Select concentrates that don’t muddy their flavor with these things.


It’s hard to imagine adding gluten or soy to a cold brew concentrate, but some have these sneaky allergens. If you have dietary restrictions, check the labels to make sure they are free from not only gluten and soy but also:

  • Corn 
  • Wheat
  • Dairy

Fair or direct trade

Fair trade coffee is coffee that is purchased with a long-term agreement between buyer and seller on a price that does not fluctuate, even if the harvest is poor. This is a good start, but these agreements are sometimes made with a co-op that represents coffee farmers but does not always have their  interests in mind. The best cold brew concentrates are direct trade. In these arrangements. Companies deal directly with farmers, removing the person in the middle to increase a farmer’s profit on their crop.

How much you can expect to spend on cold brew concentrate

The price of cold brew concentrate is all over the road, mainly due to the type of bean and the size of the package. Expect to spend $10-$25.

Cold brew concentrate FAQ

Can you drink straight cold brew coffee concentrate?

A. Yes, it is possible to drink the concentrate without diluting it. It won’t be as bitter as brewed espresso, but still pairs well with dessert or as a quick afternoon pick-me-up.

How long does cold brew concentrate stay fresh in the fridge?

A. Unlike freshly brewed coffee that starts to taste old and stale after just a few hours, cold brew concentrate can stay fresh and delicious in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

However, it’s important to only mix as much coffee as you can drink in one sitting. When cut with water, the shelf life plummets to just two to three days.

Is there anything else you can do with cold brew concentrate?

A. Cold brew coffee concentrate can be diluted as directed on the bottle for either a hot or cold coffee drink, but that’s not all you can do.

  • Add to chocolate cake recipe instead of water for deeper chocolate flavor.
  • Use in an espresso martini.
  • Flavor buttercream frosting or macaron filling.
  • Add a swirl to homemade ice cream.
  • Craft delicious mocha truffles.

Essentially, if you are a baker who loves to make coffee-flavored treats, cold brew concentrate is a great shortcut.

What’s the best cold brew concentrate to buy?

Top cold brew concentrate

Javy Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

What you need to know: This sustainably sourced cold brew concentrate gives back to the environment with every cup.

What you’ll love: This 100% Arabica bean coffee has a 6-month shelf life. Each bottle has up to 30 servings. It’s available in three other flavors, plus decaf, and it is gluten- and sugar-free.

What you should consider: If you prefer a stronger cup of coffee, you’ll use this up faster. The flavor is delicate and the strength mild.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cold brew concentrate for the money

Califia Farms Unsweetened Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

What you need to know: This is an affordable way to try cold brew to see if you like it.

What you’ll love: This coffee is sourced directly from farmers in Central America and East Africa. The beans deliver a mellow, medium-roast flavor with underlying hints of fruit and sugar. It is non-GMO, kosher and vegan, and is also free from common allergens and preservatives. 

What you should consider: This container only makes five servings of coffee.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Java House Cold Brew Coffee

What you need to know: At a 4:1 ratio, this bottle makes up to 160 ounces of coffee.

What you’ll love: This is a more complex brew, with a flavor profile of molasses, walnut and cocoa. It’s made in small batches and steeped for 12 hours to extract maximum flavor. It’s free of preservatives and made from 100% Arabica coffee beans.

What you should consider: The price is higher than other concentrates, and for less coffee.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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