What Are the World’s Strongest Coffees?

When we wrote about Death Wish Coffee we believed it was the strongest coffee in the world. We may have been wrong.

Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee mixes Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to make Death Wish Coffee.

Robusta coffee is properly named Coffea robusta, or Coffea canephora. This variety of coffee is a more hardy plant than the Arabica variety. It is less prone to infestations of insects or plant disease so it is also cheaper to grow. Originating from plants in the western and central sub-Sahara Robusta yields more coffee beans than an Arabica plant and Robusta coffee beans contain about 2.7% caffeine as opposed to 1.5% for Arabica. The Robusta plant can grow as high as thirty feet. It is the primary coffee grown across most of Africa from Ethiopia on the Indian Ocean to Liberia on the Atlantic and South to Angola. The most recent export of Robusta coffee beans has been to Vietnam where coffee farmers produce the second largest volume of coffee in the world after Brazil.

Caffeine in non-coffee drinks comes from Robusta coffee beans. And a Robusta Arabica mix is used in Italian espresso blends.

Move Over Death Wish

According to Fox News there is a stronger coffee just arrived from South Africa, Black Insomnia Coffee.

Black Insomnia Coffee, which made its debut in South Africa last year, packs a serious punch. According to creator Sean Kristafor, the java jams 702 milligrams of caffeine into just 12 ounces. Compare that to a Tall Starbucks Pike Place, which has about 230 milligrams.

According to the coffee company, the makers sent bags of its coffee to a Swiss-based laboratory to confirm its claims as the world’s strongest brew. Samples were then tested via liquid chromatography (the separation of a mixture by passing it in a solution) and Black Insomnia was the strongest of those reviewed with 17.5 grams of caffeine per kilogram of coffee.

By comparison, “Death Wish” coffee was evaluated as having 13.2 grams per kilogram, while WodFee (marketed as the “world’s strongest coffee blend with added caffeine”) had 13.8 grams. A dark roast from Starbucks has around 5 grams of caffeine per kilogram, approximately.

These three strongest coffees have more than twice the caffeine per cup than the coffee you are drinking today. What is the point of stronger coffee?

Flavor, Health Benefits and Staying Awake

For many people the point of drinking coffee is to wake up in the morning and stay awake at mid-day. If you are a long distance truck driver who needs to keep your rig on the highway at 3 am the world’s strongest coffee makes sense. On the other hand if you like the flavor of high quality Arabica coffee you will be missing out by adding robusta beans or straight caffeine to your brew. And most of the health benefits of coffee come from the antioxidants so simply adding more caffeine to you mug may keep you awake but will not help you prevent diseases or live longer.


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