Whether in school studying for an impending examination or in the middle of a never-ending work day, there are times when we feel our systems shut down and we say to ourselves, “Yep, I need the strongest coffee in the world right now!” You are probably itching for that nerve-tingling jolt to snap you awake and reboot your brain.
The potency of coffee may be determined by a number of factors, but most people judge the strength of coffee by the caffeine kick they receive after their cup of Joe.
The soil where the coffee is grown, altitude of the area it is grown in, and species of coffee all make up for the different caffeine levels in coffee.
Here’s a small reference, the percentage of caffeine in Robusta coffee beans is 2.1% as compared to 1.2% in Arabica beans. Coffee grown under the shade will have half the amount of caffeine in contrast to coffee grown without shade, while some coffees are made stronger by producers who physically top up the caffeine levels of the beans with artificial additives.
Let’s dive into what makes the strongest coffee in the world so strong and why, there’s a lot to learn! But before we do, we’re calling all students! For a limited time, Amazon has an opportunity for our Coffee Sesh Community— a FREE 6-month trial of Amazon Prime Student! Get all the perks of Amazon Prime… but with the college-budget price! Sign up here!
Light Roast vs. Dark Roast Coffees – Which One is Stronger?
Most people believe the misconception that there is a relationship between the strength of coffee and the type of roast, which is, a light roast makes a weak coffee and a dark roast makes a strong coffee. This is in fact the opposite!
Light roast coffees are beans that have been roasted for a short amount of time. These beans tend to retain more acidity, are denser and filled with flavor of the country of origin. Since they are only on the fire for a short time, they hold on to most of the natural caffeine content that is lost during roasting, making them ‘stronger’. Light roasts have a mild taste that is focused on the bean’s composition, but not that much of a jolt.
Find out more about light roast coffee with our article What is Light Roast Coffee.
Dark roast coffees on the other hand have a lower caffeine content, because the longer it stays on the grill, the more it disperses pure caffeine and other nutrients from the bean. Dark roast coffees have rich, bold tastes that show off the roast profile instead of the flavor of the bean, and are sometimes bitter.
Find out more about dark roast coffee with our article What is Dark Roast Coffee.
The Method of Brewing Counts for Strength
The strength and essence of the coffee is highlighted during the brewing process. It’s fairly obvious that if you use an insane ratio of beans to water on any brewing method, you will get ‘strong’ coffee, but it will be harsh and unpleasant, and not necessarily good for your health.
Then again, cold brews require obscene amounts of coffee, but the extraction process is not as intense as an espresso which uses high pressure and a small amount of coffee. An espresso has more of a caffeine kick than French Press coffee. A French Press on the other hand, will release more caffeine than a drip coffee because it allows the oils from the beans to seep into the water at the right temperature.
When you find that your coffee tastes weak, is looking thin, or lacking in body, flavor, or sweetness, do not be quick to blame the beans. The brewing method you could be using may not be for that particular type of coffee, leading to an under-extracted beverage. When coffee beans are in contact with very hot water for too long, they tend to taste burnt, sour, or leave dark oily marks on the cup. To get the perfect cup of coffee, you may need to match your coffee maker with the right amount of coffee and the right amount of brewing time.
World’s Strongest Coffee
When searching for stronger- than- normal coffee to get you switched on again, you need to find coffee beans with a naturally higher caffeine content. There are a lot of brands that like to label themselves as “strong coffee“, but you don’t really get to notice the strength until after you’re done with what’s in your cup. We have narrowed it down to 6 coffees that have been rendered brutally strong and somewhat, borderline dangerous.
These 6 coffees have gone through chromatography tests to determine their caffeine levels. It is probably safer to let you know that according to the US Food and Drug Administration, 400mg is the safe daily limit of caffeine consumption, and 10g of coffee is considered a lethal dose. So while these strong coffees’ may just be the perfect wake up call, everything good has to be taken in moderation.
That being said, let’s jump into the list of coffee brands whose outrageous caffeine content puts them on the world’s strongest coffee register!
Devil Mountain Coffee Co. — Black Label Coffee
The Devil Mountain Coffee Company was not playing around when they created Black Label Coffee. Having sourced their premium coffee beans and roasting methods from exclusive plantations in Central and South America, the company boasts that their Black Label whole bean coffee has “a smooth and bold taste that’s roasted to perfection.” The company is USDA certified organic and practice fair trade.
Black Label tops the strong coffee list, with their coffee beans containing 1,555 mg of caffeine per 340 ml (12oz) brewed. According to them, Black Label is ‘so powerful, it’s a sin!‘
Very Strong Coffee
These guys were not kidding when they named their coffee Very Strong Coffee. They use 100% pure Robusta beans and promise twice the caffeine in every cup. They hot-roll their beans and with the first crack, they increase the heat, locking in intense, full bodied flavors when roasting. Very Strong Coffee guarantees a rich, uniquely powerful aroma that will keep you brewing all day.
When tested, Very Strong Coffee packs a punch, clocking in at 1,350 mg of caffeine per 340 ml (12oz) brewed.
High Voltage Coffee
Their slogan is “Coffee so strong, it will shock you” and we believe them! Their creative packaging has an image of a skull and crossbones with two lightning bolts on either side.
The coffee is made up of a combination of different beans that are ethically sourced from rainforest alliance farmers. High Voltage Coffee Co. assures you of smooth tasting, high quality coffee beans that are 100% natural with no artificial additives or ingredients.
Created in Australia, High Voltage Coffee Co. comes in third with 1,150 mg of caffeine per 340 ml (12oz) brewed.
Once again, the name says it all. Black Insomnia is a coffee from South Africa created by Sean Kristafor that pledges that ‘you will enjoy sleepless nights, partake in all-nighter study sessions and become unstoppable’. It is a dark roast coffee that uses 80% Robusta beans and 20% Arabica beans, and claims to have hint of nutty sweetness.
Black Insomnia’s 2018 coffee formula destroyed the on-going strength rivalry with Death Wish Coffee when it emerged as having 1,105 mg of caffeine per 340 ml (12oz) brewed. Their catchphrase, #SleepingIsCheating will keep you awake after a cup of Black Insomnia!
The black packaging of Biohazard Coffee has a distorted biohazard symbol on it, but the USFDA agrees that it is still safe for human consumption, but self-restraint is necessary! Biohazard coffee is made from dark roasted Robusta beans and is available as ground coffee and whole beans.
This precarious sounding coffee packs a whopping 928 mg of caffeine per 340 ml (12oz) brewed. Biohazard coffee prides itself on delivering a bold, rich taste with no additives or preservatives.
Biohazard Coffee brags about its high amount of caffeine, that they lab tested their beans to try to claim to be the strongest coffee in the world! How devoted is that?
Death Wish Coffee became popular in the US after winning a free Superbowl advertising slot in 2016. Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Death Wish combines the perfect blend of beans responsibly sourced from India and Peru with unique roasting techniques.
Death Wish coffee has fair trade certification and is 100% organic with no chemicals, additives or artificial flavors. This coffee is available as whole beans, pre ground coffee and K-cups for coffee pods— super versatile!
The result is strong intense flavors and no bitter aftertaste, but a caffeine content of 728 mg per 340 ml (12oz) brewed.
Please be warned that these strong coffees are not recommended for people with regular migraines, anyone with anxiety disorders or on heart stimulating medication. Pregnant women and children should avoid these coffees at all costs.
Now, we’d would like to hear from you— have you been brave enough to try any of these coffees in the past? Please let us know about it, drop a comment down below and share. We would love to hear your experience!
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Thanks for reading, we’ll brew ya later! ☕️