Pros: Aromatic, strong and worth a try if you're bored with the same ol' blends.
Cons: DANGEROUS, and expensive.
Perhaps I should feel guilty about this, but normally, when a new “shock” product is launched, I end up rushing to stores to try it. The KFC Chicken Sandwich, Foie Gras and Fugu come to mind. Of course, no other highly advertised shock product has attracted my attention more than the energy drink. Especially those mixed with alcohol and sold in my local corner stores – advertising “massive caffeine doses”.
Caffeine has numerous benefits to the human body. It acts as a stimulant which increases dopamine levels in the body and prevents drowsiness. Drugs do not have the same effect on everyone. In some people small doses of caffeine have large effects; in others it has small effects and in some there is no effect. There is however a “lethal dose” of caffeine estimated at between 150-200mg per kilogram of body mass which would effectively mean drinking more than 80 cups of coffee in a very short time. Drinks that can deliver these levels of caffeine are considered dangerous.
The last controversial “high caffeine” energy drink I tried was Redux Beverage’s “Cocaine”. With a slim red can that seemed to mock Coca Cola’s and white writing that resembled “lines” of cocaine waiting to be chopped with a razor blade on a mirror and snorted, I was curious to see just what the hubbub was all about. Though it wasn't anywhere as tasty as Monster or Red Bull, Cocaine, at the time, had one of the highest caffeine contents you might find in your average beverage store. Though it advertised 750mg of caffeine, it actually had just 280mg of caffeine while having 750mg of synthetic taurine – which is not true caffeine, but an amino acid scientists have synthesized in an attempt to recreate the energy- giving effects taurine has in the human body during exercise. Cocaine technically had less caffeine per ounce than your average Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks Expresso, but the swift action of community organizers and local 3rd-term, nanny-state, dictator Mayor Bloomberg put a swift end to the Cocaine Energy Drink in my neighborhood. (Real Cocaine can still be found fortunately).
DEATH WISH COFFEE contains 651 milligrams of caffeine which places it at the #5 spot in terms of caffeine content. The only things you’ll find with more caffeine per ounce are concentrated caffeine formulas such as 5150 Juice, 70mg Energy and Chameleon Cold Brew coffee which are all additives designed to instantly turn whatever you normally drink into an “energy drink”. Unfortunately, these additives are designed like “medicine” and are subject to drug abuse due to the fact that someone could easily add more than is advised. Death Wish isn’t an additive. Death wish is a bag of Robusta coffee beans that you must brew in accordance with the included instructions to actually produce a cup of coffee that most will consider “the strongest coffee ever”.
I recently wrote about the KEURIG B70 and K45 machines as proposed gifts for Mother’s Day. For my “experiment” with Death Wish, I used the Keurig B70 with a My K-Cup to produce a 6-ounce cup of coffee. I normally drink my specialty drinks in bulk form with large cups, but I wasn’t taking any chances with Death Wish. You actually get warnings with this stuff!!! You are supposed to use 2 and ½ tablespoons of finely ground Death Wish in order to make a 6-ounced cup of coffee. If you follow the directions to the letter, that 6-ounce cup of coffee will contain about 650mg of caffeine. There is also an instruction recommending 1 and ½ tablespoons per 8-ounces of water if you want to make a standard cup of coffee. I used 3 tablespoons and created an 8-ounce cup. Though some people can drink their coffee black, I’m not really a coffee drinker. I drink it occasionally and socially. I added just a little bit of International Delight French Vanilla creamer.
One of the most memorable coffees I’ve had was a Sanka blend while in vacation in Dominican Republic. Until this cup of coffee which I treated with very little milk and just one packet of artificial sweetner, I’d never really “noticed” coffee before – despite drinking it recreationally. The next major coffee I’d tried was Starbuck’s “Blonde” which was a ultra-dark blend with a strong odor and a long aftertaste – which allowed me to drive back and forth to a Poconos, Pennsylvania gun range in our Jaguar XJ-L. I’ve also ordered $1 espresso shots at Dunkin Donuts which kept me up all night. These are just a few of my “baselines” for my Death Wish experience.
Lighter roast coffees actually have more caffeine in them than dark roast coffees because caffeine is leeched by the water the longer the roasting process continues. Death Wish carries a strong, pungent coffee odor which is sure to pull your significant other out of R.E.M sleep if you’ve set the percolator for 5 A.M. and it offers a smooth taste that I’m sure black coffee drinkers will appreciate, but this is definitely not the “adrenaline injection” I expected it would be.
I wanted to believe Death Wish would leave my teeth quivering and the back of my neck twitching but it just wasn’t so. Granted, it tastes great and granted, it does offer a tremendous energy boost if you are near the end of your day and for whatever reason need to stay up longer, but as for obvious drug effects – you aren’t gonna’ get them here – if you follow the directions. If you wanna take your chances and add 4 tablespoons per 8-ounces of water (or more), you’re on your own, but I can say that just one small cup had me wired till 4 A.M..
OVERALL – at $20 for a 1 pound bag, Death Wish is significantly more expensive than the canisters of coffee I usually grab at Walmart and definitely not as rewarding as my favorite Hazelnut, Kenya and French Vanilla K-cups. Kenyan AA, by the way seemed better balanced to me than Death Wish when brewed in the Keurig. Perhaps it’s just the amount I drank or my body type, but Death Wish didn’t knock my socks off. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try it. It’s got a great aroma and it can be customized to be even stronger if you want to modify the directions and ignore the warnings. I’m sure, however, that Death Wish will rank somewhere up there with the best dark roasts you’ve ever had – especially if you are used to store brought brands.