"Death Wish Coffee" Boasts Most Caffeine In One Cup—But Is It Safe?

Drink at your own risk. (Photo: Death Wish Coffee)Your battle against caffeine-addiction just got that much more difficult. A coffee roaster in upstate New York has created “Death Wish Coffee,” the world’s strongest, which claims to have 200 percent more caffeine than your average cup of joe.

How Much Caffeine Would it Take to Kill a Person?

A single 12-ounce cup of coffee at Starbucks contains approximately 260 milligrams of caffeine according to EnergyFiend, a caffeine database. The same cup from Death Wish Coffee contains 520 milligrams, double the amount, and enough to give you some serious jitters.

“I had customers come in and say, ‘give me the strongest cup you got,’ and they wanted a darker roast,” Mike Brown, Death Wish's mad scientist, who also owns a coffeeshop in Pleasantdale, N.Y., told Yahoo! Shine. “I did some research and I blended the strongest beans in the world from Indonesia, Ethiopia, and South America.”

“Usually the lighter the roast, the more the caffeine,” Brown explains. “But most coffee drinkers prefer a darker roast. This is medium-roast so it has more flavor than other highly-caffeinated blends. We sell 13 different blends of coffee, and Death Wish is our most popular one.”

Death Wish Coffee uses Robusta beans that contain "nearly double the amount of caffeine" than the Arabica bean typically used by high-end roasters, coffee expert Matt Milletto, Vice President of the American Barista and Coffee School tells Yahoo! Shine. Though java snobs usually shun Robusta, Brown says they have sought out the best quality fair trade growers. They then grind the beans very fine to extract the most potency.

A one-pound bag of Death Wish Coffee, ground for optimal caffeine content, sells for $19.99 on their website and on Amazon.com.

But before you indulge in that hopped-up brew, proceed with caution.

Last year, the FDA posted several warnings about illness and deaths related to the consumption of energy drinks that contain large amounts of caffeine. Monster Energy, which has been named in a suit involving death of a teenage girl by cardiac arrest after she drank a 24-ounce can, contains 480 milligrams of caffeine. According to Consumer Reports, the daily amount of caffeine consumed for a healthy adult should not exceed 400 milligrams.

The medical community wants the FDA to regulate the amount of caffeine in these drinks. “There is evidence in the published scientific literature that the caffeine levels in energy drinks pose serious potential health risks,” a group of 18 doctors wrote in a public letter to the FDA published March 19. For pregnant women, the risks of caffeine consumption include birth defects and miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The American Fitness Professionals and Associates claim that caffeine can aggravate health problems like heartburn, ulcers, heart problems, and breast disease.

However, there are also some health benefits attributed to coffee. Regular consumption has been shown to reduce risk of skin cancer, liver disease, type two diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Death Wish Coffee openly acknowledges that high levels of caffeine aren’t for everyone. “The entire back label of the bag of coffee is a warning label. If you have medical issues like heart problems you shouldn’t drink this stuff,” Brown told Shine.

For those with a clean bill of health looking for a serious energy boost, Death Wish Coffee has received 5 stars from some happy Amazon buyers and accolades from coffee lovers who appreciate they don’t have to sacrifice flavor for caffeine content. “Best coffee ever! It tastes very good, never too strong and it gives one hell of a kick,” one fan wrote on Facebook. “It is very mild towards the stomach too compared to drinking normal store bought coffee. Truly the best coffee I’ve ever tasted!”

Death Wish Coffee feels so confident that you’ll be satisfied with their blend that if you don’t like it you can return it within 60 days and get your money back plus the cost of shipping. But don’t say you haven’t been warned. It is, after all, called “Death Wish Coffee.”



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