Coffee connoisseurs mostly love coffee because of its delicious flavors, and they’re especially keen on exploring the tasting notes of different single-origin beans. But for many people, the most important reason for firing up their coffee machines is the caffeine kick.
Caffeinated coffee beverages give you all the energy you need to tackle the day’s tasks, and that extra motivation really comes in handy — just ask the sixty-five percent of U.S. coffee drinkers who take their mug of the stuff during breakfast hours!
But what if you’re a true caffeine fiend who has built up a tolerance and casual coffee consumption just won’t cut it anymore? You’re in luck! There are plenty of options for store-bought coffee that have more than double the caffeine of regular joe.
We’re going to introduce you to the deadliest coffees we’ve found while looking at the factors that influence coffee’s strength and what makes these coffee brews differ from a regular cup of coffee. Approach with caution, though, because these beans are not for the faint-hearted.
At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Strongest Coffee In The World
Addicted To Caffeine
Before we start looking at the world’s strongest coffees, let’s talk a little bit about caffeine. Big-time coffee drinkers love this magical molecule because of its short-term effects that show up around 30 minutes after it hits your taste buds. These effects include sharper mental alertness, more physical energy, and an increased heart rate.
Most of us can’t imagine starting our days off without a jolt of caffeine; that’s why about 90 percent of Americans consume the stuff in some form, whether through the bold flavor of a good cup of joe or a can of Monster Energy. More than half of the adult population consumes up to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day, making it America’s most popular drug.
What Is Meant By “Strong”?
The word “strong” is a pretty ambiguous concept when associated with coffee. Some people decide whether a brew is strong solely based on how the coffee tastes, while others use the word to note the amount of caffeine present in their cup. When we use the word “strong” in this article, we’re referencing the latter characteristic.
It’s recommended that healthy adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. That’s roughly four cups of brewed coffee, depending on the beans you buy. A few different factors influence your joe’s caffeine level, and we’re going to take a closer look at each of them below.
All About The Beans
The amount of caffeine in coffee depends on the type of beans you use. Some varieties of coffee can be more caffeinated than others, and coffee vendors sample java from around the world to find the strongest beans.
The highly-informed coffee enthusiast knows robusta coffee beans average over two percent caffeine, almost double the amount present in the most popular coffee bean type, arabica. That’s why most stronger coffee brands use robusta beans or an arabica-robusta bean blend.
Despite the extra caffeine boost provided by robusta beans, it’s common for coffee snobs to search for 100 percent arabica beans with which to brew their daily coffee. This is because the robusta variety is often less-than-amazing quality and cheaper. Its elevated caffeine content can also make this type of coffee less mellow and smooth because caffeine itself has a bitter taste.
Using the coffee roast level to measure coffee’s strength is one of the biggest misconceptions of the coffee world. People often describe dark coffee as strong, but that’s usually because of its bitter, intense flavor and has nothing to do with its caffeine content.
People also think the longer the beans are roasted, the less caffeine they contain, making light or blonde roast coffees stronger by default. This assumption is only partially true, but not because there’s any direct correlation between roast and strength; there isn’t. It’s true because dark roast beans are drier and less dense because they’ve been roasted for longer and at a higher temperature. A less dense bean means less volume and less caffeine, making the lighter roast stronger by volume.
Your favorite coffee brewing method will also influence the amount of caffeine in your cup. If you use an espresso machine to pull a shot of espresso, you’re consuming around 60 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of drip coffee, on the other hand, can contain about 100 to 120 milligrams per cup.
The varying amounts of caffeine occur because of different extraction methods. Espresso is intense and concentrated, but it’s extracted in only 30 seconds. When your cup of morning coffee is brewed by a drip machine or a pour-over filter, however, your fresh ground coffee beans will be in contact with hot water for more than four minutes. Cold brew coffee contains the most caffeine of all since the beans brew for 12 to 24 hours.
Quick Summary: Strongest Coffee In The World
Our Top ChoiceBanned Coffee Medium Roast
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|Death Wish Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
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|Devil Mountain Black Label Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Shock Coffee Ground||Check on Amazon →|
|Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend||Check on Amazon →|
The Strongest Coffee In The World
If you’re looking for a great-tasting product that will give you the energy boost you need to push through an especially lengthy to-do list, we’ve got a few suggestions to share with you! But before we proceed, we want to remind you to be careful before you pick up a bag of high-voltage coffee; they’re made only for those who know they have a higher tolerance for caffeine.
Banned Coffee Medium Roast
Banned Coffee is marketed as the World’s Strongest Coffee, and though we don’t exactly know whether or not that’s true, as we haven’t tasted all the joe in the world (though we wish we could), we can confirm these beans are pretty dang strong.
This arabica-robusta blend is smooth and clean with a heavy body and notes of berries and chocolate. The caffeine amounts present in Banned Coffee’s house blend are two to three times more than what you’d find in cans of the leading energy drinks, but it’s healthier — cheaper, too!
Death Wish Coffee
Death Wish Coffee is famously labeled as the “world’s strongest coffee,” but then again…so are most of the other brands on this list. Death Wish, however, started the whole strong coffee movement. And with 728 milligrams of caffeine per cup of coffee, Death Wish is one of the most widely recognized strong coffee companies out there, thanks to a Super Bowl ad and athlete endorsement.
Even with its boosted jitter potential, the Indian and Peruvian coffee beans have a surprisingly palatable taste that is not bitter or unpleasant, with some emerging notes of chocolate and cherries. Death Wish Coffee promises to “awaken your inner rebel” and give you an extra boost in the morning for athletic performance or pulling an all-nighter.
Black Insomnia Bean Coffee
Boost your energy levels with a bag of Black Insomnia coffee beans, one of Death Wish’s biggest rivals. Black Insomnia claims the competing high-voltage coffee company’s beans aren’t as strong as they claim to be, let alone as strong as their own product!
A cup of this South African coffee has a whopping 1,105 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce cup — you definitely won’t be sleeping after sipping this one! The robusta and arabica beans used for this coffee are surprisingly flavorful, with notes of macadamia, caramel, hazelnuts, and dark chocolate.
Before you add these beans to your online shopping cart, remember they contain almost three times the recommended caffeine allowance for a healthy adult, so if you’re sensitive to the effects of the stuff, this could be a dangerous coffee choice for you.
The next offering on our list of high-caffeine coffee comes from Biohazard Coffee Co. It promises to leave you invincible, ensuring sleepless nights and non-stop productivity. And with 928 milligrams of caffeine per cup, that guarantee is easy to believe in.
Sipping on a brew made from Biohazard’s dark-roasted organic coffee beans is an excellent way to up your caffeinated coffee game. However, some coffee enthusiasts think its flavor profile — including popcorn, nuts, chocolate, and tobacco — is surprisingly bland.
Devil Mountain Black Label Coffee
Though all of these brands claim to have the “world’s strongest coffee,” according to the stated caffeine content, this bag of beans officially is. Twelve fluid ounces of this brew contains an incredible 1,555 milligrams of caffeine — you can count on getting the coffee jitters from this stuff!
The good news is that no flavor was sacrificed to make this strong cup. The coffee beans, sourced from high-altitude and volcanic soils, are perfectly roasted to produce a rich and delightful gourmet coffee that delivers a surprisingly drinkable, smooth, bitter-free flavor.
Devil Mountain coffee is “so powerful, it’s a sin,” but its devilish ways are balanced by good, including the fact that it’s USDA certified organic, Fair Trade, and non-GMO.
Shock Coffee Ground
Feed your coffee addiction with the next strong coffee on our list. Meet Shock Coffee, the supposed original strongest coffee brand that burst onto the scene even before Death Wish did and proudly served more than 350 U.S. military bases and fueled troops during Iraq and Afghanistan incursions.
Though the caffeine content of these beans isn’t specified, Shock Coffee claims to produce a brew that’s 50 percent stronger than regular coffee, and the arabica-robusta medium-dark roast blend has such a smooth, bold flavor that you can enjoy it black.
Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend
You won’t find anything like Valhalla Java’s Odinforce Blend at any of the popular coffee chains you often frequent. The blend of beans from Central and South America and Indonesia comes together to make a brew with bold flavor and an even bolder jolt of caffeine for coffee connoisseurs.
The combination of arabica and robusta coffee beans produces a smooth and earthy flavor that lingers on your taste buds — you’ll look forward to seeing (and smelling!) this brew drip into your coffee pot every morning.
If coffee production is more important to you than taste, you’ll still be happy with the cups of coffee you make with Valhalla Java beans, as this coffee is both Fair Trade and USDA-certified.
How Is It Possible?
How is it possible that some of these companies make coffee with a caffeine content that is more than double the amount in a regular cup? Contrary to what you could assume, none of them add caffeine to the beans artificially.
These companies are dedicated to finding the strongest beans by sourcing and sampling coffees from around the world. Most of them use robusta beans and adjust the roasting process by strategically varying time and temperature. These two factors play a significant role in the caffeine content of your cup.
Is It Safe?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, these coffees are not for the faint-hearted.
Those who have a high sensitivity to caffeine could experience overdose symptoms and severe reactions. Some of the most common ones include having trouble breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, or uncontrollable muscle movements.
What makes these coffees dangerous is that they don’t taste very different from a regular cup of dark roast. This means that you don’t feel the impact that it could have until you finish your cup, and there is no way of going back.
Medically speaking, 10 grams of caffeine is considered a lethal dose that could kill you. However, this still depends on the person consuming, and bear in mind that the recommended amount that is deemed safe is 400 milligrams of caffeine.
While even the strongest coffee on this list is nowhere near the deadly 10-gram mark, we don’t suggest you try to approach it. Scientists found that people who drank six or more cups per day — counting one cup as around 75 milligrams of caffeine — had a modest increase in cardiovascular disease risk.
Other Ways to Make Your Morning Coffee Stronger
If you don’t want to pick something from the selection of coffee we listed above, you can still give your regular coffee a strength-filled boost.
Take the red-eye.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to get strong, quality coffee is to turn your regular cup into a red-eye. All you’ve got to do is pour a shot of your favorite brewed espresso over a mug of drip joe, and there you have it — a red-eye. This is one of the coffee drinks you’ll go crazy for after a long night or on a particularly early morning.
Brew dark roast.
While big-time coffee drinkers know dark roast coffee isn’t the strongest as far as caffeine is concerned, it usually produces a brew with rich and full flavors that are strong enough to perk you up at the beginning of the day. This is because the longer the coffee is roasted, the more refined its natural flavors become.
Use fresh beans.
If you want to make the most of your brew’s bold taste, be sure to use only the freshest beans to make it. Though old coffee beans don’t lose any of their precious caffeine, they do start to lose flavor. So, while your old beans may still give you the boost of energy you’re after, they’ll taste a bit lackluster, or even worse — just plain gross.
Adjust the water-to-grounds ratio.
If you want your joe to be as strong as possible (again, flavor-wise, not necessarily in caffeine content), add more grounds when you’re brewing. The standard water-to-grounds ratio for drip machines is two tablespoons of grounds per every six ounces of water; if you want a bolder brew, add more grounds. But beware: increasing the amount of coffee used may make your cup more bitter, so keep creamer and sugar on standby if bitterness isn’t your thing.
Inquiring minds want to know…
What is Starbucks’ strongest coffee?
Some caffeine addicts have dubbed the Starbucks coffee chain as the only acceptable choice for coffee. If you find yourself in that camp, you should know that the strongest bag of beans manufactured by the Seattle-headquartered company is the Starbucks Veranda blend.
The Latin American beans used for this blend have toasted malt and baking chocolate-tasting notes. Though you can occasionally find the blonde roast brewing in one of the franchise’s many coffee shops, your best bet for enjoying this brew daily is purchasing a bag of these beans for your home.
Ready For The Jitters?
Everyone knows how much the caffeine in a few cups of coffee can boost your energy levels. Still, for some exceptionally caffeine-absorbent people, this jolt wasn’t enough, thus encouraging brands to enter into a coffee arms race in an attempt to manufacture the world’s strongest coffee.
None of the above-listed options use any additives to boost their products’ caffeine levels; instead, the strongest beans and finest roasting processes are used.
Perhaps the most famous option on our list is Death Wish Coffee, the brand that popularized the whole strong coffee movement. The other offerings don’t fall too far behind, though; some even have Death Wish beat when it comes to caffeine content! So, whatever you choose, you can count on being up all day…and all night! Just remember to approach these coffees with caution and know your limits.