Is Death Wish Coffee The World’s Most Caffeinated Cup?

Written by:
Kenny Gould
Photography By:
Death Wish Coffee

With its skull-and-crossbones logo, heavy metal aesthetic, and billing as “The World’s Strongest Coffee,” it’s easy to get intrigued by Death Wish Coffee. Founded in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 2012, the company gained renown after winning Intuit’s 2015 “Small Business Big Game” Competition, which earned them a thirty second Super Bowl commercial.

Since then, the company has grown. It became the official coffee of New York Comic Con and sponsored NASCAR drivers Ty Dillon and Daniel Hemric. Then, on June 29, 2018, the company sent a blend of their Death Wish Coffee to the International Space Station.

But is Death Wish Coffee really the most caffeinated coffee in the world? And if so, exactly how much caffeine is in Death Wish Coffee? Is it a gimmick, or does it live up to its promises?

What Is Death Wish Coffee?

Death Wish Coffee beans and canister

In 2012, Mike Brown started Death Wish Coffee out of a small coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, New York. He wanted to produce a highly caffeinated cup of coffee that kept his customers energized.

Today, the company boasts that “over a million people have trusted Death Wish Coffee to wake them up and keep them going every day.” On their homepage, the company maintains the claim that they offer the strongest cup of coffee in the world.

Is Death Wish The Most Caffeinated Coffee In The World?

A man pours Death Wish Coffee from a coffee pot

Undoubtedly, Death Wish offers a strong cup of coffee — about two times the amount of caffeine found in a regular cup. Although they don’t reveal any trade secrets on their website and couldn’t be reached for comment, they most likely achieve their high caffeine content by using a type of coffee bean called Robusta.

As opposed to Arabica coffee beans — the variety used by most cafés and coffee shops — Robusta beans have a much higher caffeine content. However, Robusta beans are often regarded as inferior due to their lower quality and darker, earthier flavor.

Cans of Death Wish Coffee on ice

According to a website called Caffeine Informer, at least half a dozen other coffee companies claim a higher caffeine content than Death Wish. Leading the pack at 1555 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces brewed is Black Label from Devil’s Mountain Coffee Company; an average cup of drip coffee contains about 240 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces. Very Strong Coffee from Great British Trading claims 1350 mg.

Then there’s High Voltage Coffee at 1150 mg, Black Insomnia at 1105 mg, Maximum Charge from Cannonball Coffee at 1101 mg, and Biohazard Coffee at 928 mg. Death Wish clocks in at 728 mg of caffeine per 12 ounces brewed. However, the site also notes that “the caffeine amount reported to us by Death Wish in a 2015 lab analysis is currently being contested.”

What Does Death Wish Coffee Taste Like?

Death Wish Coffee in a Chemex brewer

Out of the bag, the beans are black and oily, characteristic of a dark roast. Most Robusta blends are roasted dark to mask their generally bitter, unpleasant flavor.

I made my Death Wish Coffee in a French Press. Per the company’s suggestion, Death Wish Coffee’s recommended brewing ratio is 2.5 tablespoons of grinds per every 6 ounces of water. A nice bloom pointed to the freshness of the beans. Though I consumed it black, the coffee itself tasted a bit milky.

The Bottom Line On Death Wish Coffee

A can of Death Wish Coffee Cold Brew

I typically drink a cup of coffee every day. Sometimes two. So I have some experience with caffeine, but I’m also a lightweight. Caffeine, alcohol — it doesn’t matter. One or two drinks and I feel it.

Still, I drank a cup of Death Wish without too much problem. I mean, I definitely felt the effects, but I wasn’t freaking out.

If you react strongly to caffeine, avoid Death Wish. But for caffeine junkies or someone who needs an extra kick, order Death Wish whole beans, ground coffee, or K Cups via Amazon.

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