Don’t count Explorer Cold Brew from Brooklyn as just one more in a long list of companies with ready-made cold brew concentrates for iced or hot drinks. It offers a compelling, uncommon feature with its coffees: choice of caffeine content. No-caf, low-caf, regular caf and extra caf are the options, with the milligrams of caffeine content (from zero to 150 per ounce) displayed on the labels. The coffees — organic Sidamo and Yergacheffe Arabica varietals from Ethiopia and Peruvian beans for the decaf, both fair trade from local cooperatives — are not bargain-priced. But they are rich with alluring earthy bitterness. The no- and low-cafs are decaffeinated using the commonplace Swiss Water Process, and the extra caf is made by adding caffeine extracted from unroasted beans. The company was started by Cason Crane, an American mountain climber, who assembled a group of coffee experts from South Africa, Lebanon and Indonesia. A part of the proceeds supports clean water efforts in Africa.
Explorer Cold Brew Concentrate, $41 for 32 ounces, $20 for four 2-ounces samples, explorercoldbrew.com.