Though the global takeover of Starbucks and an explosion in third wave roasters have greatly improved coffee’s long time 20th century reputation as a dirt-flavored morning clock-punching aid, all the subtle notes of pink grapefruit and ginger in the world won’t erase the fact that plenty of people just use it as a caffeine delivery system. Which is why while some hip brands focus on things like “single-origin,” a few hardcore companies will always pander to the maximum pick-me-up crowd – aiming to conquer the crown of “world’s strongest coffee.”
Launched in 2016, Black Insomnia, a South Africa-based coffee company, is the most recent brand to claim that title, saying it has scientific proof that its blend is the most caffeinated in the world – with “dangerously high levels of caffeine” as the brand awkwardly boasts. And now, the king of caffeinated coffees is finally available in the US.
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In the ongoing battle for the “world’s strongest coffee” crown, the unfortunately named Death Wish Coffee Company appeared to be the most legitimate previous king. However, according to Grub Street, Black Insomnia says that after an independent analysis of its beans and its competitors’ beans by a lab in Switzerland, Black Insomnia’s coffee was the “clear winner.” Caffeine Informer says Black Insomnia has 702 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce cup; meanwhile, Death Wish has 660 milligrams. For the record, both brands offer up more of the mild upper per 12-ounce serving than the 400 milligrams medical experts recommend you consume in an entire day. And to give this whole thing a bit of perspective, a “normal” 12-ounce cup of coffee will only have about 150 milligrams of caffeine. Meanwhile, a can of Coke only has 34 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, the soda’s basically a sleep aid.
Though caffeine might be its primary selling point, Black Insomnia also wants customers to know its product is “strictly pure coffee” – apparently achieved from sourcing the most highly caffeinated Robusta beans (as opposed to the more flavorful Arabica beans) – all “without a burnt and high acidic flavor.” Its coffee still offers “a nice walnut and almost sweet taste profile,” the brand writes.
If all of this talk of super strong coffee has left you pining for a case of the jitters, good news, Black Insomnia is finally available in the US thanks to Amazon. A 16-ounce bag will set you back $19.99 – not a bad price all things considered… assuming you don’t factor in any future medical bills.