Death Wish Coffee: A 12-ounce, 728 mg Megaton Caffeine Blast

This one’s for all my fellow coffee hounds out there, you know who you are.

I’m nearly as much of a java connoisseur as I am with beer and bourbon. While I have to wait a bit longer for my underaged son to imbibe the good life with me, we have opened up a shared love of coffee. Hawaiian Kona is my absolute favorite coffee in the world. Then there’s the genius level brews served chain style at Peet’s and First Watch and so many independent coffeehouses I’ve pulled from the brim around the country. Sure, I love me some Dunkin’ and an untainted Venti size Pike’s Roast at Starbucks. A pair of hippies I once knew used to make the most bangin’ organic nutty-flavored coffee they called Mother Earth, and I rue the day they went out of business.

I have family in the UK and they send over the British-built Hot Lava Java. While the English are the inarguable masters of tea, Hot Lava Java is an absolute shock and joy. One day I hope to sip on tea and HLJ in Yorkshire and the northern UK while scouting for Midsomer Murders film locations. A favorite pastime TJ and I have is pulling on some PG Tips while seeing which of us can beat Chief Inspector Barnaby to the punch to solve those daffy mysteries.

You all know I used to haunt local open mike forums in Maryland and Pennsylvania-based coffeehouses and lovingly joke how I and my fellow poets and authors dueled the hissing espresso machines to be heard, much to the chagrin of customers less than supportive of the arts. Only to take down cinnamon or hazelnut espresso myself during the breaks at open mike. Like my beers, the darker and richer the blend, the better, though I can get still down with the cheapies like Bustelo and Eight O’Clock. Suffice it to say, I love my hot beverages.

My son has watched me over the course of his 15 years pounding coffee, though nowhere near the same zealousness as my stepfather, who can drink two pots of the stuff a day. I think coffee is the secret to his success at a tank-rolling 80 years old. Naturally, the boyo grew curiouser and curiouser about coffee over the years to the point he is now refining his own taste buds. If we can get him off the cream and sugar, he’ll have an entire world of taste unravel across his tongue. I’ve had to go slow with the kid over the course of the past couple years he’s been wanting the stuff, but wherever he lands in his adult life, I’m more than certain he’ll be a coffee hound like the rest of us.

It’s been out a while, and I had a cup a few years ago to much delight, but in case you haven’t heard, there’s this little coffee company blowing raspberries at the industry, claiming to be “rebellious by nature.” They boast to have “coffee that slaps,” and they’re not far off in having the right. I’m talking about Death Wish Coffee Company, “ruining other coffee since 2012.”

Serving bagged organic coffee in four blends, medium, dark, espresso and Valhalla Java, Death Wish Coffee drops 728 mg of caffeine per 12 ounces upon its consumers. It’s not one to take down the entire day, no matter how acclimated your body may be to caffeine. A Rockstar energy drink may be more fashionable and profitable to the high octane generation coming up, but Death Wish is pure refinement of the coffee bean as it is a sock across the tongue.

They’re also expensive at $19.99 per 16 ounce sack, which makes Death Wish Coffee a road lesser traveled in my house, given our tight budget and an upcoming wedding to save for. I got the dark blend this weekend courtesy of a major 3 day only sale on the stuff, so my kid could give it a whirl. I already knew what to expect, and maybe it’s a tad irresponsible, but the boy has needed me even more as a dad lately, and it gave me a quiet snicker to see his face light up with an emphatic nod of approval to Death Wish. Even more hilarious when one of our cats nosed around my cup and jerked his head back, paws lifted up before trotting off with a bipolar feline review. Enjoy it while we have it, kid. We go back to the basic brews when it’s all gone.

–Ray Van Horn, Jr.

5 thoughts on “Death Wish Coffee: A 12-ounce, 728 mg Megaton Caffeine Blast

    • Understood! This is some powerful stuff, no question. I used to be a cream and sugar guy, but my stepfather always used to tell me how black coffee retains all the flavor, so I tried it that way and dropped two pounds instantly, lol…


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