Death Wish Coffee Review
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Today I'll be looking at Death Wish Coffee, a dark roast coffee blend that is notorious for its extremely high caffeine content.
If you've been following my coffee reviews for a while here at The Coffee Concierge, you may have noticed that I don't review too many dark roast coffees.
Well, that changes today.
What is Death Wish Coffee?
Death Wish Coffee is a blend of arabica and robusta beans, primarily grown and processed in Peru and India.
It is a very dark roast, with roughly 2.5 times the amount of caffeine of a "typical cup of coffee".
Death Wish Coffee claims to be the "World's Strongest Coffee", but as we'll see later in the review, this claim is merely a marketing tagline that is unsubstantiated.
Who Death Wish Coffee is For
To the undiscerning coffee drinker who has built up a strong tolerance to caffeine, Death Wish may be worth a try.
Who Death Wish Coffee is NOT For
If you value taste over caffeine, there are far better coffee options out there.
Death Wish also isn't the coffee with the highest caffeine content on the market, so if that's most important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Grind your coffee beans fresh each and every morning with Death Wish Coffee whole bean
- Our dark roast coffee is made with Arabica and Robusta beans to give you a fresh, strong cup of coffee to get your day started
- Death Wish Coffee is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade, giving you the highest-quality beans available
- Smooth, never bitter taste with flavor notes of cherry and chocolate
- 100% natural. We use no artificial additives or ingredients so you know exactly what’s going into each cup of coffee — just strong, high-quality coffee beans
Super Bowl Ad
My first exposure to Death Wish Coffee was during Super Bowl 50, where they aired this ad after winning a competition that Intuit hosted:
General Notes & Observations
Country of Origin: India and Peru
Processing method: Unknown
Growing altitude: Unknown
Roaster tasting notes: Cherry, chocolate
Coffee Concierge tasting notes: None
The World's Strongest Coffee?
Strong can be interpreted in different ways when it comes to evaluating coffee, but in this case, "strong" refers to the coffee's caffeine content.
Death Wish Coffee has twice the caffeine as your typical cup of coffee.
Of course, there is no such thing as a "typical" cup of coffee in my world, but I guess we can just assume that Death Wish is comparing their dark roast blend to one that uses arabica beans exclusively.
And that's what makes Death Wish more caffeinated...it isn't exclusively arabica beans.
Robusta vs. Arabica
If this talk about arabica beans has you confused, let me explain...
Of the hundreds of coffee species in the world, there are two main coffee species that make up the majority of what is sold and consumed.
These two coffee species are:
Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (AKA Coffea Robusta).
Arabica beans are generally considered to be superior to Robusta from a taste perspective, which is largely attributed to the more limited caffeine content (caffeine is bitter).
Robusta beans have twice the caffeine content that arabica beans have.
Arabica beans also have a higher lipid and sugar content (60%), which contributes to perceived acidity and natural sweetness.
So what's the secret to Death Wish Coffee's higher caffeine content?
The Death Wish coffee blend includes Robusta and Arabica beans. The extra caffeine is brought out by the Robusta beans.
How Much Caffeine is in Death Wish Coffee?
Death Wish Coffee claims to be 2.5 times as strong as your "typical" cup of coffee.
I suppose what they mean by "typical" is a 100% arabica coffee.
If you're looking for the specifics, Death Wish has 728mg of caffeine per 12 ounce cup of coffee, according to Caffeine Informer.
This comes out to roughly 60mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.
A typical cup of coffee is measured at 5-6 ounces, which means you are getting a whopping 300mg of caffeine per cup of coffee.
That's like drinking three 5-Hour Energy drinks.
But is Death Wish Really The World's Strongest Coffee?
The short answer is no.
Black Insomnia goes even further, with 1105mg of caffeine per 12 ounce cup of coffee.
And then there is Devil Mountain Coffee Company's Black Label, which has a ridiculous 1555mg of caffeine per 12 ounce cup of coffee.
One can only wonder what the tipping point is here...
Death Wish vs. The Competition
Given how dark and oily these beans were, I had a feeling that I would have to brew with a coarse grind, low temperature, and thick paper filters.
And for the most part, this is exactly what I did.
I think it worked, as I rarely made a cup of coffee that was undrinkable.
To be honest, I was surprised.
I won't break down the different methods here because I didn't really have a particular preference.
I wouldn't recommend it for French Press though, as there is simply way too much oil and sediment that won't get filtered out.
Of course, a simple automatic drip coffee maker will do just fine as well. Just make sure to grind a bit more on the coarse side.
If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.
Virtually none. This was a coffee that had more nutty notes than acidic ones.
Nothing really wrong with the aftertaste, but nothing special about it either. A bit dry, but nothing I can complain about.
You'll either love the aroma or hate it. I personally didn't think it smelled particularly delicious. Movie theater popcorn and rubber isn't really a good combo if you ask me.
The aroma is crazy strong though. You'll easily smell this coffee through the box that it arrives in.
Surprisingly smooth and neutral. Given the lack of acidity, the balance shifts towards the darker, nuttier notes.
Not as much body as I'd expect given how oily the beans are. Of course, the brew methods I used had a lot to do with this. The slight dryness in the aftertaste retracts from the overall score here, but not by much.
You don't buy this coffee for its complexity, you buy it for its caffeinated kick. If somebody tells you this tastes like a chocolate covered cherry, they either have an amazing palate, or they're lying to you (and themselves).
Nothing really notable about the taste, but this was a pretty neutral and drinkable coffee.
This was a very consistent coffee across brew methods for me. I also didn't have any bad brews. Maybe I was just able to dial it in more quickly?
Nothing sweet about it. Not too bitter though (I expected to have to add cream and sugar).
I didn’t experiment with enough brew methods to really rate this category.
If you are not getting the caffeine pick-me-up you are seeking in the coffee you already drink, then Death Wish Coffee is definitely worth a try.
Of course, you could always drink more of what you're already drinking to match the effect. After all, this stuff is not the cheapest coffee out there.
There's also coffee that is even stronger than Death Wish (in terms of caffeine) if you're crazy enough to try it. For that, my recommendation would be Biohazard Coffee.
If you're more concerned with the way your coffee tastes than how much caffeine it comes packed with, I'd look elsewhere.
In my opinion, Death Wish Coffee doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't taste good either.
Tried This Coffee?
If you've tried this coffee, let us know what you thought by leaving a review in the comments section below.
If you have questions, I'm also happy to try and answer them. Leave those below!
Death Wish Coffee$19.98
- High caffeine content
- Balanced, smooth
- USDA Certified organic
- Fair trade
- No complexity
- No sweetness
- No acidity
- Unknown freshness
- Not ideal for immersion brew methods like French Press
- Not really the world's strongest coffee
Last update on 2020-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API