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FOOD + DRINK

Hacker's Brew Iced Coffee

A handcrafted mocha- and coconut-milk-infused drink made to boost your brain power

by Katie Olsen
on 17 August 2016

As the coffee industry keeps evolving and growing, another brand is emerging—and making a splash by doing things differently. The CEO of Hacker's Brew, Elias Ladopoulos (a technologist, investor and well-known co-founder of the Masters of Deception hacker group), loves his coffee. However, Ladopoulos was finding the ups and downs, highs and lows, buzzes and crashes all a little unstable. So Hacker's Brew was developed as not just a coffee, but a nootropic (otherwise known as smart drugs or cognitive enhancers) in order to boost memory, creativity and general brain power.

Ladopoulos tells us, "I started experimenting with nootropics to get back the level of performance I wanted, but despite all the energy drinks and 'mental boost' supplements out there, nothing gave me both an immediate effect and longterm improvement—every day felt like starting at square one again. I began working closely with neuroscientists, labs, and doctors, testing different formulas that both worked, and tasted well in coffee. The key was not to focus on stimulation alone, as most caffeinated drinks do, but to leverage the body's ability to adapt and perform better over time, given the right fuel. We tested a number of adaptogens that regulate the body's various mechanisms, including inflammation, attention deficiency, and energy production."

Made with nutrient-rich ingredients, the brew's main two components are high-quality organic coffee and organic cacao. Then there are a bunch of herbs, acids and good fats that boost energy, reduce mental fatigue and lessen the anxiety that often comes with being jacked up on coffee.

Understanding that all these ingredients are not necessarily easy to come by and that not everybody has time in the mornings to make themselves a complicated coffee or smoothie, Hacker's Brew is simple and easy enough for almost any busy routine. Ladopoulos says the important thing here is not trying to completely change people's routines, "It should be something you add to your existing routine and lifestyle that makes you feel obviously better on day one—and even better over time. It needs to be easy and tasty to drink, and legitimately good for you to have on a regular basis."

Simplicity is undeniable: some of the CH team drank it straight from the bottle, and others poured it over ice—either way, no milk, sugar or any additions were necessary. It's certainly sweeter than your regular cold brew (thanks to the coconut milk) so it might not be for everybody. But for those who enjoy milk in their coffee, it's a great balance—perhaps most easily compared with an iced latte. The Hacker's team also practices what they preach, "We drink Hacker's Brew every day ourselves, so we're not interested in personally using, or selling anything, that becomes average over time. Marketing dollars can't cover up the truth. Instead, we've decided to continuously invest in research to regularly improve and update our product, so that you don't have to worry whether or not it's still the best one on the market." Perhaps most refreshingly, Ladopoulos and the Hacker's team isn't suggesting you replace your regular hot coffee and only drink their product, "A regular cup of coffee with breakfast is delicious and comforting as hell, and no one should fuck with that."

Hacker's Brew is available online in 10-packs for $65. It's made in limited batches and often the brew is updated. The single-serve bottles will last 14 days in the fridge.

First and final images by Katie Olsen, all others courtesy of Hacker's Brew

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