7 Best Coffee Concentrates for Easier Mornings, Tested and Reviewed

Updated: Apr. 09, 2024

I tested 15 different coffee concentrate brands and these are the ones worth getting out of bed for.

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Best Coffee Concentrates For Easier MorningsEMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

On any given morning, I’m pulled in two directions. I’d like to be the kind of early girlie that rises with the sun and whips up a freshly brewed latte at my home coffee bar before starting my day. However, I’m more of a grumpy goblin that gets up mere minutes before I begin work, giving me approximately a few seconds to fumble with my coffee maker. One trick I’ve found that helps cut through the morning madness? Creating a freshly-brewed, barista-style drink using one of the best coffee concentrate options—no need to break out the Nespresso or Keurig.

Coffee concentrate comes in a wide variety of flavors and applications, with most available as a viscous liquid in a bottle. However, innovative variations including powders and sprays (yes—really!) are also readily available. Not only do most of these concentrates work for cold brew, but they also make an excellent Americano, frappe or latte—no single serve machine or drip coffee maker required. While I’d consider myself a java junkie, I’m no expert barista. However, if you’re looking for a few options that offer flexibility and a fast cup of caffeine that doesn’t taste like dirt, you’re in for a real treat.

On a mission to make my mornings easier (and tastier), I gathered and tested a collection of 15 different coffee concentrate brands. From flavorful finds from the supermarket that offer just a few cups per serving to ultra-concentrated options that boast up to 32 drinks in each bottle, I tasted 25 different varieties and flavors to truly find the best coffee concentrate out there. After spending seven hours mixing, tasting and buzzing from caffeine, I’m confident that this list of coffee concentrates covers both coffee connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

Emily Way/Taste of Home EMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

Best Overall Coffee Concentrate



  • Tastes the most like actual, brewed coffee
  • 14 servings per bottle
  • Travel-friendly bottle is easy to open/reseal; pour spot is drip-free
  • Diverse selection of flavors
  • Subscribers enjoy reusable stainless spoon with first order
  • Brew it hot and cold or in a milkshake, smoothie or frappe


  • A little pricey at just under $2 per serving
  • No decaf option

Emily Way/Taste of Home

Thanks to a good balance of flavor, value and intuitive packaging, Jot’s coffee concentrate takes our top spot as the overall best coffee concentrate. Founded in 2019 and based in Boulder, Colorado, Jot quickly rose to fame on TikTok. It draws in all kinds of caffeine fans with a proprietary extraction process that produces a bottle of concentrate that cooks up around 14 cups per bottle.

Out of all of the brands I tested, this one impressed the most with its coffee-like flavor. It didn’t taste artificial or bitter, instead offering a mellow, slightly acidic flavor. Six different flavors—including a limited-time option that tastes like Nutella—round out this coffee concentrate. While I’d love to see a decaf option like many of the other brands offer, a travel-friendly bottle and mammoth number of servings make up for that.

At $2 per serving, it won’t win any prizes for being wallet-friendly, but that’s still less pricey than the cost of enjoying a cup at a café. I’ve mixed up multiple drinks with Jot, including a few in my HyperChiller. It’s so easy to add a tablespoon to a blender for a mocha smoothie, or even in a batch of cake batter for a richer flavor. I found each serving option equally delicious!

Emily Way/Taste of Home EMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

Best Powdered Coffee Concentrate



  • Powder mixes readily into both hot and cold water or milk
  • Travel-ready packaging featuring mini to-go cups
  • Six different strengths, available separately or in a variety pack
  • Very flavorful and full-bodied, especially the darker roasts
  • Also available in latte and Americano flavors
  • Certified by the International Coffee Quality Institute
  • Doesn't settle or get gritty after sitting


  • Lots of plastic waste

Emily Way/Taste of Home

While instant coffee isn’t exactly a coffee concentrate, Saturnbird coffee pods aren’t exactly instant coffee. Available in a package of 24, these charming to-go cups each contain enough freeze-dried concentrate to make a single 10-ounce cup of cold brew or hot coffee. Each mini cup comes with a strength number printed on the front. Snag a variety pack and try all six, or stick with your preferred strength for a custom cup.

I’m no stranger to instant coffee, but I definitely wasn’t expecting the concentrate to look this finely ground. Usually, spray-dried instant coffee comes in these sort of larger clods, and it take ages to dissolve into water. Surprisingly, Saturnbird’s solid concentrate immediately melted into both ice cold and hot water with almost no mixing on my part. The full-bodied, flavorful result has me rethinking my bias towards instant coffees! Given the cute mini cups, these would work nicely as an addition to a coffee gift basket.

The packaging is incredibly adorable and super travel-friendly, especially as it isn’t liquid so it won’t leak in my bags. It’s also my preferred coffee concentrate to bring along on a plane since it follows TSA guidelines. While I do love the packaging and the overall robust flavor (each number corresponds very well to its claimed strength), it’s worth noting that the plastic waste is not at all environmentally friendly. That said, I’m planning on repurposing mine as travel containers—they’re the perfect size for shampoo and soap!

Pop & Bottle
Emily Way/Taste of Home EMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

Best Organic Coffee Concentrate

Pop & Bottle


  • USDA Organic, made from sustainable coffee
  • Four flavors: Regular, caramel, classic mocha and vanilla
  • Flavors are detectable and strong without tasting too sweet or acidic
  • Only ~$1.16 per serving
  • Makes both hot and cold coffee
  • No preservatives, additives or sweeteners


  • Bottle's seal is tricky to remove, but it's very secure during shipping

Pop & Bottle
Emily Way/Taste of Home

Brew masters looking for something eco-friendly, listen up! Earning high marks in both flavor and variety, next up is Pop & Bottle’s organic coffee concentrate. Organic coffee is having something of a renaissance, especially since its free of potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides. This is hands-down the best coffee concentrate option for those craving a cup made with sustainable farming practices while still tasting delicious

Each bottle contains up to 16 cups worth of concentrate with a thick piece of plastic that seals it for shipping. While it contains no additives, preservatives or sweeteners, the flavored options are very potent and taste delicious both hot and cold. I also enjoyed the regular coffee flavor mixed up in milk to make an unsweetened latte—no bitterness or acidity here! Just a balanced, mellow cup.

Pop & Bottle promises a true USDA organic experience, and it shows in their company values. Apart from a lack of emulsifiers and using only plant-based ingredients, the coffee used in each batch of concentrate is sustainable, direct-trade and employs planet-friendly farming practices. What’s not to love about loving the earth?

Explorer Cold Brew
Emily Way/Taste of Home EMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

Best Decaf Coffee Concentrate

Explorer Cold Brew


  • Four caffeine levels, including regular, high, low and no caffeine
  • Balanced flavor doesn't taste too acidic or bitter
  • Comes in a massive 32 oz. bottle (makes up to 20 drinks)
  • Works both hot and cold
  • Mixes well with non-dairy milks


  • One of the priciest at ~$2.25 per serving
  • No flavored options available

Explorer Cold Brew
Emily Way/Taste of Home

Decaf coffee is one of the many different types of coffee on the market, made specifically for folks sensitive to caffeine. While decaf coffee contains far less jitters in each cup, it does still contain caffeine, which isn’t great if you’re craving a latte in the evening. Enter: Explorer cold brew concentrate. Available in a behemoth 32-ounce bottle, Explorer offers myriad strength options for the cup o’ Joe devotee that wants to control their caffeine intake.

Choose from a classic or caffeine-heavy version, or opt for their low- or no-caffeine bottle—both taste just like a regular cup of java. While Explorer doesn’t come in any flavors aside from traditional coffee, it does work well both hot or cold, and there’s no excess acidity or bitter aftertaste. Each bottle yields up to 20 drinks, which makes its higher price tag a little easier to swallow.

One place where Explorer excels is with mixed coffee drinks. Even when brewing coffee from beans, too much acidity means a curdled mess when it comes to non-dairy creamers. While some options on this list don’t play too well with plant-based milks, I’ve never had an issue adding a splash of almond or soy milk to my Explorer brew.

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Best Budget Coffee Concentrate



  • Budget-friendly at only $0.70 per serving
  • Small, travel-ready 6 oz. bottle
  • A massive 35 servings per bottle
  • Best enjoyed both hot and cold
  • Only option to include a spill-free flip top lid
  • Includes recipe booklet with mixing instructions, coffee concoctions and alcoholic cocktail options
  • Five options, including regular, decaf, caramel, mocha and vanilla


  • A little on the acidic side

Emily Way/Taste of Home

One of the most recognizable brands I tried, Javy impresses with its myriad flavor options and budget-friendly price point. Aside from the decaf version, each flavor—including regular, caramel, mocha and vanilla—contains a whopping 80mg of caffeine per serving, which is impressive considering the modest 6-ounce bottle size. That’s more than the average homemade espresso!

The flavor is like a cup of coffee from a café. While I picked up on a little bit of acidity, it’s not distracting or unappealing. If that bothers you, adding a splash of milk or a dollop of honey cuts through that really well. Javy also offers tons of recipe suggestions in their included booklet, including coffee concoctions, smoothies and—most intriguingly—cocktails. I like the flip-top lid best out of all the concentrates I tried, offering an easy-to-portion and spill-proof experience.

As I mentioned, one area where Javy excels is its price point. Despite offering a comparable price to the other options on our list, Javy’s concentrate stretches so much further. The concentrate is noticeably dark and viscous, which makes sense considering that each bottle—which, I repeat, are only 6 ounces—includes 35 servings, each making a standard 6-ounce cup. That’s wildly economical, ringing up at less than a dollar per serving!

Cometeer Coffee
Katie Bandurski/Taste of Home KATIE BANDURSKI/TASTE OF HOME

Freshest Coffee Concentrate

Cometeer Pods


  • Freshly-brewed flavor
  • Quick and easy to prepare—just and add water
  • Very versatile; enjoyable both hot and cold
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable packaging
  • Easily stores in the freezer
  • Easy to customize to your preferred brew strength


  • Expensive at over $2.50 per cup

Cometeer Coffee
Katie Bandurski/Taste of Home

Brewed by expert baristas and flash frozen for freshness, Cometeer’s coffee pods arrive in a big box surrounded by dry ice. Each pod looks a lot like a standard K-cup. However, inside lies a frozen cylinder that’s bursting with coffee flavor. Just melt the pod and mix it over ice or in a mug of hot water for a brew that’s like being at a local coffeehouse.

“On first sip, I was pleasantly surprised,” says Senior Editor Katie Bandurski in her review of Cometeer. “This cup could have come from a coffee shop. It was rich, bodied and had a nuanced flavor I would never expect from near-instant coffee. My first thought was, ‘wow, this really does live up to the brand’s ‘having a barista in your freezer’ marketing claims.’ I also love that you can add as little or as much water as you’d like to achieve your ideal brew strength.”

With sustainable packaging and easy storage in the freezer, Cometeer is well worth its higher price point. They use beans from local coffeehouses to simulate a gourmet experience. “As someone who likes to switch between hot brews, lattes, iced coffee, cold brew and even mushroom coffee, Cometeer gives me the flexibility to satisfy any craving,” says Katie.

Coffee To The Moo
Emily Way/Taste of Home EMILY WAY/TASTE OF HOME

Best Nitro Coffee Concentrate

Coffee to the Moo


  • Tastes and looks like real nitro coffee
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Doesn't need to dissolve or mix in to enjoy
  • Includes functional ingredients, including collagen and lion's mane


  • Packaging is not eco-friendly
  • Rather pricey at $3 per serving

Coffee To The Moo
Emily Way/Taste of Home

If you’re already a big mushroom coffee fan, you’re going to love Coffee to the Moo. These little sprayers each contain a coffee concentrate that simulates the experience of nitro cold brew—with a healthy twist. For those who don’t know, nitro cold brew comes charged with nitrogen, which gives it a creamy and foamy texture. It’s a favorite among bean fiends who appreciate a more nuanced cup.

Each package of Coffee to the Moo comes with six spray bottles bursting with flavorful coffee concentrate. Just uncap, shake and spray at a 45-degree angle into a glass of filtered water. The pressurized concentrate mixes with the nitrogen, causing it to come out with a creamy, café-style layer of foam on top. Because nitrogen pressurizes it, the concentrate basically mixes itself as it hits the water, too.

The small size and leak-free lids make it a great pick for camping, but I don’t just love it because it’s travel-friendly. Each flavor—Skinny Moo, Beauty Moo and Holy Moo—come with their own fleet of beneficial ingredients. Skinny Moo offers a keto-friendly experience, boasting grass-fed butter and coconut oil. Beauty Moo (my favorite of the bunch) contains beauty-boosting ingredients like rose collagen peptides and vitamin C. Finally, Holy Moo claims itself a brain booster, containing Lion’s Mane, ginseng and a seven vitamin blend for focus.

What to Look For When Buying Coffee Concentrate

While it’s certainly possible to make your own cold brew using the best coffee brands, consider the time it takes to brew up a cup. Sometimes, setting aside the time is just not feasible—and the best coffee concentrates resolve this issue, even offering a more enjoyable taste to boot!

Finding the best coffee concentrate means more than just looking at cold brew. In my opinion, a good coffee concentrate should offer flexible brew options and near-infinite possibilities. It should work for both hot and cold cups, smoothies, milkshakes, frappes and specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. Another consideration is flavor. While there’s always the option to enhance your cup with a flavored syrup, many contain sweeteners and other artificial ingredients. Snagging one of the best coffee concentrate options means enjoying a variety of available flavors—no unnatural preservatives included.

Why You Should Trust Us

As an espresso enthusiast and Taste of Home’s resident food and drink expert, I love staying on the cutting edge of new flavors and brands. Over the course of my adult life, I’ve tried a number of coffee concentrates in an attempt to simplify my mornings. For this piece, I gathered up all of my knowledge on coffee concentrates I’ve already enjoyed, plus a few from brands I’ve been dying to try. After mixing up over 25 drinks—both hot and cold, flavored and traditional—I’m certain that this is the most comprehensive list of the best coffee concentrate options out there. Enjoy, mocha maniacs!

How We Tested for the Best Coffee Concentrate

To find the best coffee concentrate options, I first focused on both brands I’ve already enjoyed . I then acquired any that I’m curious about. From there, I evaluated each option for the following, rating each category a score out of five points for a total of 25 possible points:

  • Packaging
  • Variety
  • Mixing
  • Flavor
  • Value/Cost

For packaging, I considered the condition of each shipment after arriving at my door. I also looked at whether the concentrate leaks once unsealed and tipped upside down, how easy it is to portion out any measurements, any brewing guidance or directions included. Finally, I noted the ease of sealing and storing the bottle once opened.

A high score in terms of variety depends on the number of flavors and caffeine levels available and whether there are different sizes to choose from. Mixing follows, with the focus being on the clarity of instructions/measurements, whether the coffee works both hot and cold, how easily it mixes into water and milk, and the number of servings in each bottle.

Flavor is the fun part. I tested each coffee concentrate both hot and cold (if available, according to the instructions), plus any additional flavors. From there, I considered whether it’s comparable to cold brew or ground coffee. I then noted when the flavor is too acidic or bitter.

Lastly, I looked at value, noting the bottle size, serving size and cost per unit. I then calculated out the cost per serving, letting me know exactly how economical each option is. From there, I was able to determine whether the quality matched the price.


What is coffee concentrate?

Coffee concentrate is just that—a concentration of coffee, either reduced using heat or dehydrated to remove excess moisture. It’s also made by steeping coffee grounds in water, which can be done right at home. From there, just mix the concentrate into a hot or cold glass of water or milk to enjoy a cup of coffee that takes mere seconds to whip up.

How do I use coffee concentrate?

There are myriad ways to enjoy coffee concentrate, whether it’s mixed into water or milk as a drink, added to a smoothie or milkshake, dotted into cookie dough or enjoyed as a coffee cocktail. The great thing about coffee concentrate is that it allows you to get creative without worrying about additional moisture, which can quickly ruin a recipe.

Does coffee concentrate have caffeine?

While most coffee concentrates contain caffeine, some brands (including several of the best coffee concentrate brands on this list) offer decaf or caffeine-free options.