If you find the basic average cup of coffee doesn’t seem to hit the spot, maybe you should try Death Wish Coffee, the infamous self-proclaimed “world’s strongest coffee” with insanely high caffeine content.
In this article, I will show you a comprehensive Death Wish Coffee review. You can learn about the company’s background, what makes it so special, its caffeine content, as well as my thoughts on several of its outstanding coffees.
Read on to find out whether Death Wish Coffee is indeed the world’s strongest coffee and how high the caffeine levels the company thinks people need.
Death Wish Coffee Company Background
Death Wish Coffee was founded in 2012 by Mike Brown with the fresh idea of selling the strongest coffee in the world.
While working at a coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, New York, he noticed the demand for a strong brew in the early mornings.
He created the recipe and roasting technique for the brand.
But the strongest cup of coffee only started to take off after the brand’s appearance on Good Morning America in 2013.
This brand also won a contest sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks and scored an ad during the big game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl 50 as the smallest company ever in 2016.
Interestingly, in 2018, the brand even collaborated with NASA Food Labs to develop an instant freeze-dried coffee blend to supply the astronauts on the International Space Station.
From that much information, you should be able to tell that this is no ordinary coffee brand. Death Wish Coffee Co. was established to distribute truly out-of-this-world bold cups of Joe that are carefully roasted to bring out the strongest flavors yet with little of the unwanted bitter compounds.
The brand is on its mission to rebel against the bland brew in the market as well as the lackluster unfulfilling life that that coffee fuels.
What’s Special About Death Wish Coffee
Considering how one-of-a-kind this coffee brand is from its background, how unique must its brew be to attract coffee enthusiasts?
Death Wish Coffee: What do they have? Do they have good coffee?? Let’s find out!
Death Wish Coffee Beans Origin
Where do Death Wish Coffee beans come from?
According to the brand, most of the coffee beans used for making Death Wish Coffee are from India and Peru.
India is the third-largest coffee producer and exporter in Asia and the sixth-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter in the world.
Coffee grown in India can enjoy a rather diverse climate with rich and long rainfall at high altitudes.
Peru is also a big coffee house in Latin America, though it’s been dropping in and out of the top 10 coffee producers in the world.
The country is especially known for Arabica coffee beans which are considered to be the superior variety due to the mild and aromatic characteristics of Arabica.
Organic – Fair Trade
If you’re an environmentally conscious coffee fan, rest assured because Death Wish Coffee uses USDA certified organic and Fair Trade certified coffee beans.
The USDA organic certification indicates that the coffee beans have been grown and processed according to the federal guidelines to rely on natural substances and environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices.
You can expect the beans to be free of harmful chemicals and artificial substances that are often used to improve soil quality, control pests and weeds, and enhance the outputs.
The Fair Trade certification ensures that the farmers are paid a fair wage to improve their livelihood and the local economy, sustain their eco-friendly and safe farming practices, and enhance the coffee beans quality.
The brand partners with the Loring Kestrel Roaster, who is an expert in using low oxygen to preserve the natural complex flavor compounds of coffee.
Most of the time, these precious compounds are broken down the darker the roast profile, turning them into unfavorable bitter and burned notes.
To be fair, the brand doesn’t have as much variety as other coffee brands due to its focus on darker roast coffees and making the coffee as strong as possible.
Aside from its signature dark roast, recently, Death Wish has also released a medium-roast coffee variety for those looking for something a bit less intense and more balanced but with the same level of caffeine as its classic.
The brand also provides both ground and whole bean coffee.
I suggest you get the latter and grind the beans yourself right before brewing to enjoy the freshest brew at its peak quality.
Pre-ground coffee tends to become stale much quicker than the whole bean due to the accelerated degassing process.
So do your future self a favor by buying whole bean coffee and investing in a quality burr grinder if you haven’t already had one at home.
In addition, Death Wish also strives to make its customers’ life easier by offering single-serve coffee pods and canned coffee aside from the traditional coffee bags.
The coffee pods are K-Cups compatible with Keurig machines that are insanely popular in the U.S. In just 2020 alone, 3 million new U.S. households became owners of Keurig machines.
World’s Strongest Coffee
From the front page of Death Wish Coffee to its coffee offerings, you can easily see that this is the ongoing theme of the brand: to supply the strongest coffee in the world.
This strong statement obviously makes it stand out in the market and make people wonder whether the statement is true, especially coffee drinkers who are looking for more of a challenge than the typical lackluster Joe.
In the next section, I can elaborate on why you can expect Death Wish Coffee to be strong.
Why Is Death Wish Coffee Strong?
Type Of Coffee
The majority of Death Wish coffee is the superior Arabica beans for their smooth taste with chocolaty notes, lower acidity, and little to none of the bitterness. FYI, bitter coffee doesn’t equal strong coffee.
Together with Arabica, Death Wish Coffee also blends a little bit of the delicious Indian Robusta coffee beans into the mix to add more layers to the flavors.
Robusta used to be looked down upon by the coffee snobs due to its earthier and grainer taste. But, recently, it’s gained more attention as gourmet versions of Robusta beans are being produced and distributed.
The Robusta beans also add a bit more caffeine for the coffee drinkers looking for more energy boost.
The main factor contributing to the strength of Death Wish coffee is the roast profile that the brand picks. Unlike energy drinks that have added caffeine, the roasting process can naturally give coffee the caffeine boost.
The signature dark roast, French Roast, to be specific, is known to have lower acidity but double the strength of the average cup of coffee.
Despite being slowly roasted to a dark, the flavorful notes of chocolate and cherry can still shine through the bold and rich coffee taste and smooth body.
How Much Caffeine Is In A Cup Of Death Wish?
According to Consumer Reports, Death Wish Coffee contains around 59 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. So an 8 oz serving of Death Wish coffee can supply you with 472 mg of caffeine already.
And according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a healthy adult should only consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day, which is equal to around 4 or 5 cups of coffee.
That means the amount of caffeine Death Wish has is 5 times the amount of a normal cup of Joe, which totally crosses the (guide)line.
But for most people, a typical serving should be at least 12 oz. When you down a 12 oz cup of Death Wish coffee, you also down 708 mg of caffeine. That’s nearly 8 times more caffeine than the average cup.
Is Death Wish Coffee Stronger Than Espresso?
Espresso is often referred to as an “energy shot” because of how much caffeine it contains in such a small and concentrated amount of coffee. So, does the amount of caffeine Death Wish contains surpass that of espresso?
From the same source on Consumer Reports, espresso reportedly contains around 64 mg per fluid ounce in caffeine content. That means it’s more caffeine-packed than Death Wish Coffee and its nickname stays true.
However, espresso is often consumed as a single or double-shot which are only 1 or 2 oz respectively. So, at most, a serving of espresso can give you a boost of only 128 g of caffeine, way lower than that of Death Wish.
Is Death Wish Coffee The Strongest Coffee?
There are certainly other coffee brands in the market that may also strive to stuff as much caffeine in one fluid ounce as possible.
One prime example of high caffeine coffee is Biohazard Coffee, which sounds just as dangerous as Death Wish. According to Caffeine Informer, you can expect around 77.3 mg/oz of caffeine in Biohazard Coffee. So a 12 oz serving size can take that number to a staggering 928 mg.
From the same source, Black Insomnia Coffee boasts 92.1 mg/oz in caffeine. That’s a whopping 1,105 mg in a 12 oz serving size.
You can go further down the rabbit hole to truly find the world’s strongest coffee, but it’s a suffix to say that Death Wish’s brand statement is not an overstatement if you’re looking for a coffee with a blast of energy.
Is It Safe To Drink Death Wish Coffee?
Since the caffeine is so high, you must be wondering whether this can be a problem.
Has anyone died from Death Wish coffee? No.
Can the high-caffeine coffee, Death Wish, kill you? No, as long as you know your limits and watch your caffeine intake.
From the caffeine content I broke down above, you can readjust your coffee consumption accordingly to avoid going overboard.
So although you can take 4 – 5 cups of regular coffee a day, if you intend to have Death Wish that day, make it just one cup.
But, as the FDA advises, the sensitivity to the effects of caffeine and how fast it can be metabolized can vary widely from one person to another.
If you’ve consumed more caffeine than you can tolerate, some of the following symptoms can be noticed:
- Upset stomach
- Fast heart rate
Buyers can follow the brand’s brewing instructions to reach the caffeine kick like the advertising or adjust the brew to make it more suitable for their caffeine tolerance.
There has been a recalling incident, however, as Nitro Cold Brew was a fairly new coffee brewing process, the FDA was concerned about the risk of botulinum, a deadly toxin, in the products.
So the brand’s Nitro Cold Brew cans were recalled as a precautionary measure.
Death Wish Coffee Review: Is The Hype True?
So, is Death Wish Coffee any good? Let’s check out some of the brand’s popular blends.
Dark Roast Coffee
Is time a social construct? Whether you’re a morning person or not, you most likely still have to get up and finish your social responsibilities. The OG Dark Roast is introduced for the people who struggle to stay awake in the morning.
High-quality beans are deep-roasted to bring out the sweet notes of black cherry and bold dark chocolate undertones.
You can enjoy it on its own as a rich black cup or with added cream and sugar. Many people use their simple auto-drip machines.
But you can also spice it up with other filtering methods such as Pour-Overs. Or have the beans immersed for extra flavors and kicks with a French Press.
Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend
Earlier, I mentioned that most of the coffee of Death Wish is sourced from India and Peru. This Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend is an excellent exception.
Aside from the famous Latin American coffee-growing region, the coffee beans are also sourced from the nutrient and mineral-rich volcanic soils in Indonesia.
Volcanoes often get a bad rep for the danger they pose to the neighboring land. That overshadows the fact that the soils are fluffy, light, full of nutrients, and in high altitudes with plenty of shades, providing a great environment for gourmet coffee to be grown and produced.
Together with Death Wish unique roasting practice, this is another bold blend with a velvety smoothness that can be used to make a cup of coffee powerful enough to “wake the dead”.
Again, you can enjoy it as a straight black using your drip machine or pair it with milk, cream, and sugar to make espresso-based drinks.
Medium Roast Coffee
The Medium Roast was created for those looking for a lighter version of the OG and a different flavor profile.
The same high caffeine coffee, but this time you get a more balanced blend that’s sweeter and smoother.
Your cup of coffee is aromatic and rich with distinct notes of stone fruit and hints of roasted peanuts and caramel. Top it off with a smooth milk chocolate finish and you’re good to go off to run your errands.
Since it’s a medium roast, your brewing method options are expanded significantly to pretty much anything.
Death Wish Coffee Subscription
Other than selling retail bags, the brand also has a subscription model for those looking for a long-term commitment with its strong and bold coffee to stay awake and get through the day of work and chores.
To start a coffee subscription, you can simply go find the product you want and click on Subscribe & Save 10%. You have 3 options for shipment frequency:
- Every 2 weeks
- Every month
- Every 2 months
I recommend picking either the first or second option so that you can enjoy the brew while it’s the freshest. Bean freshness can affect the quality of the final cup more than you might think.
If you’re buying ground coffee, stick to every-2-week. If you’re worried about not going through it fast enough before the next shipment, pick a smaller bag size from the available options – 1 lb (454 g), 2 lbs (907 g), and 5 lbs (2.3 kg).
When you’re on subscription, you also get to enjoy free shipping on all orders if you live in the States and order fewer than 25 units of coffee per shipment. I don’t think the latter should be a concern if you’re only buying for household or small office consumption.
Otherwise, look for their wholesale distribution if you’re hooked and want to share its great coffee with others.
Final Verdict From An Avid Coffee Drinker
- Very high caffeine
- Bold and rich flavors yet smooth and little bitterness
- Organic and Fair Trade
- Various product options (whole bean, ground, coffee pods, cans, etc.)
- Lack of variety (roast and blend)
- Not the strongest coffee
To Wrap Up
My conclusion from this Death Wish Coffee review is that you should give it a try if you’re looking for stronger coffee to get a caffeine kick at home that can jolt you awake.
Despite the limited variety of coffee Death Wish can supply, this certainly isn’t your typical Starbucks and coffee shop beverages or energy drinks.
Though the truth may be a bit different from advertising in terms of its bold statement on the site, you can indeed expect the brew to be bold with high enough caffeine levels.