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Andy Campbell


Death Wish Coffee: 'World's Strongest' Cup Claim Put To The Test

Posted: 03/20/2013 12:06 pm

You know me, I'm a crime reporter. I like my coffee like I like my police reports: chock-full of crack cocaine.

So when Death Wish Coffee Company sent a press release claiming that its coffee was the "most highly caffeinated premium dark roast organic coffee in the world," I immediately sent an intern to find me some. Apparently, the company has a guy, because it found a bean that has 200-percent more caffeine than your average coffee shop's bean.

Not only that, Death Wish guarantees your money back if the cup isn't the strongest you've ever had. Who better to judge its power than a reporter whose daily coffee intake could keep four Latin American Fair Trade farms in business for a month?

I spent three days drinking the self-proclaimed "masterful blend" exclusively, using a French press. No, it's not supposed to be made stronger by way of French press -- but my death wish is a wolverine riding an intercontinental ballistic missile over the Grand Canyon into my face, so I did it anyway.

I'll admit, before I drank Death Wish Coffee when I arrived at the office oh-so-early, I was all like:

worlds strongest coffee

About 15 minutes later, I was all like:

worlds strongest cup

But is it the strongest, most amazing cup in the world? No. Let me break it down for you:


I'll happily go to the grimiest deli in Brooklyn and fill up a 20-ounce styrofoam cup with coffee that's been burning for five hours and leave without adding sugar or milk. Matched up with that, Death Wish is delicious.

I shouldn't be so harsh, though -- it's not a terrible tasting cup of coffee. In fact, it's not even the darkest roast I've ever seen. As you may know, the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine content. This is a dark roast, but with Robusta beans rather than Arabica, which has a lower caffeine content. This stuff is palatable without sugar or milk, and has a smooth finish. Dark roast fans will enjoy its bold smoothness. But that's not why we're here.

Indeed, that "World's Strongest Coffee" claim is supposed to come from the buzz.


As I write this, I'm pretty high. Sometimes I drink enough coffee at the office that I'll blast "Hold The Line" by Toto or the Top Gun anthem, then stand up and dance for anyone who will watch. After two cups of French-pressed Death Wish, I'm not at that point yet. My hands aren't shaking.

That said, giving me a buzz after two cups is a feat that few coffee enemas have achieved, so I can attest there is a small caffeine explosion going on in my cup right now.


I'll continue to drink Death Wish until the bag is gone. But I probably won't seek out another bag, even with my extreme caffeine addiction. It's probably not worth buying on flavor alone, and the kick isn't so fever-inducing that I want to start a soul train in the Huffington Post nap room.

I'll leave you with a quote from my boss, who probably gave a better review.

"Meh, it's a cup of coffee," he said after his first sip. Fifteen minutes later, he said, "I'm kinda high right now."


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Follow Andy Campbell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndyBCampbell

You know me, I'm a crime reporter. I like my coffee like I like my police reports: chock-full of crack cocaine. So when Death Wish Coffee Company sent a press release claiming that its coffee was the...
You know me, I'm a crime reporter. I like my coffee like I like my police reports: chock-full of crack cocaine. So when Death Wish Coffee Company sent a press release claiming that its coffee was the...
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Recency  | 
7 hours ago (10:11 AM)
Coffee snobs, meh.....It all tastes like crap, but we drink it anyway.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
12:19 PM on 03/21/2013
"As you may know, the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine content." Really? I didn't know that actually.
04:23 PM on 03/21/2013
It's true. Darker roasts have less caffeine because it's essentially burned out.
11:54 AM on 03/21/2013
Lol I never realized caffeine addiction was so widespread.
Hare Krishna
07:01 AM on 03/21/2013
On an average I drink between 3-6 cups of coffee per day. I find "Seattle Best" and "Maxwell House breakfast blend" to be good, strong and delicious. These coffees gives you a good buzz and the flavor are wonderful.
01:36 AM on 03/21/2013
You should try planting them to see if it grows into a giant bean stalk..;)
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05:54 PM on 03/20/2013
Death Wish coffee will now be all the rage until someone drops from a coronary..... then it will be all "oh, let's legislate" and "why!!??!?

Four words: Instant Folgers. Crushed Vivarin.
Don't blame me, I'm not a republicrat.
05:41 PM on 03/20/2013
What is the over/under on when some stu.pid kid will drink too much of this and die causing their parents to sue claiming the giant skull & cross bones and the word Death was not enough warning?
05:20 PM on 03/20/2013
I called up that company and told them their coffee tasted like mud. They said it was because it was ground this morning.
07:36 PM on 03/20/2013
10:03 PM on 03/20/2013
Oh, but that was seriously hilarious.....not to self-contradict or anything.....you know....
04:26 PM on 03/20/2013
I had a coffee the other day from Columbé just down the road at Astoria Place. I started getting palpitations and felt like the World was going to end. THAT is strong coffee. Also, you should order some Bolivian Coca coffee. That stuff's quite fun.
03:15 PM on 03/20/2013
After two coffee and Bailey's Rum drinks in a Antigua, Guatemala hookah bar, thinking the alcohol would counter the coffee's caffeine, I spent the entire night staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping. Finally, got a little nap before noon, before seeing the sights that day. Never had caffeine that strong. No, the hookah's content of just tobacco and no drugs had nothing to do with it.
03:15 PM on 03/20/2013
A friend of mine made a batch to measure the caffeine content, he got more than 1,1 g/l (3,5 times as much caffeine as in red bull)
This was not much stronger than the stuff he usually put in his cup.
Moldova Marsupial
03:10 PM on 03/20/2013
Twice mentioned sugar and milk. You are not a coffeeholic.

Fun article thought
I just like to write comments
02:51 PM on 03/20/2013
You can buy pure caffeine by the kilo from Amazon. Just sayin'.