The World’s Most Intense Coffee Drinks

If you’re anything like us, your day doesn’t start until you’ve mainlined some sweet, sweet coffee into your veins. America’s java tastes have evolved significantly over the course of a generation, with more and more people craving high-octane espresso instead of old-school drip coffee. And our lifestyles demand something with a little more kick to it. That’s why baristas and roasters around the world are creating coffee drinks that pack a serious punch of caffeine and other stimulants. Join us as we go on a tour of coffee drinks guaranteed to wake you up and keep you up.

Death Wish

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Several companies are entering into the high-caffeine game with specially grown and roasted beans that promise a potent jolt. Death Wish Coffee out of Saratoga Springs, New York is on the forefront. Their brews are made from darker robusta beans, and the company promises a cup of coffee with twice the level of caffeine than a normal cup if you follow their somewhat intense brewing directions. Essentially, when you make a cup of Death Wish you use less water than you would normally, resulting in a cup of coffee that’s more potent. Although the roast is dark, the end result is not bitter and surprisingly palatable.

Black Ivory


When you think about it, coffee isn’t really a “luxe” beverage. It’s water that’s been sprayed through a bean. That hasn’t stopped a number of companies from trying to market increasingly exotic and expensive concoctions with it, and what might be the most overpriced coffee in the world is Black Ivory, from Thailand. The coffee is “naturally refined” by rescued elephants, which means the animals eat the coffee cherries and poop out the beans. Those beans are then hand-picked from the dung and roasted to create a beverage that’s served at a selection of luxury hotels in Asia, or you can buy beans and a special grinder for a little under $800.

Shock Triple Latte

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Canned coffee drinks were a thing in Japan for many years before coming Stateside, but leave it to American ingenuity to make them more powerful than you could ever imagine. Shock Coffee has made it their mission to pump their drinks full of as much of the stuff as humanly possible, and the skinny eight ounce can that contains their Triple Latte drink boasts a terrifying 231 milligrams of caffeine. That’s the equivalent of almost three cups of coffee the same size. Throw in a little sugar to amp up the stimulant effects and you have a potent can of brew.

Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino

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You didn’t think we’d be able to get to ten insane coffee drinks without making a stop at Starbucks, right? The Seattle-based chain has transformed the way Americans think about coffee with their trademarked sizes. But when one member of the cafe’s loyalty program showed up to claim a free drink back in 2014, he pushed things way farther than they’d ever seen. For his beverage, the dude brought in a mammoth 128 ounce glass and had the baristas fill it with 60 shots of espresso, some milk and a variety of flavors to create a beverage that took him five whole days to drink.

Coffee Crave Fearless Black

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There’s really only so much you can do with a bag of ground coffee to get the most caffeine out of it. You can roast the beans dark and source them, but eventually you hit a wall. That’s why the minds at Coffee Crave developed a little something they call LiquidCrave that ships with their Fearless Black bagged coffee. The Fearless Black is already about twice as potent as your ordinary drip coffee, but the LiquidCrave takes it over the top. It’s a refined additive that adds an extra 322 milligrams of caffeine with each quarter-teaspoon. Sure, it’s kind of cheating, but real heads do what it takes.

Black Insomnia


Another contender for the world’s strongest ground coffee is Black Insomnia, hailing from South Africa. Founder Sean Kristafor developed their proprietary blend as a challenge to other brands working in the same market, and claim that per cup it’s the most potent on the market. Made from a combination of Ugandan and Brazilian beans, Black Insomnia tops out at 57.5 milligrams of caffeine for a cup, nearly three times the amount in a standard drip coffee. The company has opened a few cafes in South Africa and also ship their beans and bottles of cold brew worldwide.



If you’re really desperate for a coffee drink that’s above the norm, take a plane to Australia and stop in at Viscous Coffee in Christie’s Beach, Adelaide. Their massive “Asskicker” iced coffee contains the equivalent of eighty shots of espresso. That’s five grams of caffeine, or approximately half of what’s considered a lethal dose. Did you know that there was even a lethal dose of caffeine? Us neither. What pumps it over the top is the eight ice cubes, each of which are made with 48 hour cold brew drip coffee instead of water. The cafe has even put a health warning up to make sure that customers know what they’re getting into.

Burning Coffee

When you think about coffee growing, your mind typically drifts to the tropics. But the city of Lviv, Ukraine posits that their caffeine wealth is excavated from deep underground. Green coffee beans are stored in massive underground caverns until they’re needed, and then brought up to the surface to roast. The beans are immediately roasted and ground for freshness. At the Coffee Manufacture shop, you can get their trademark “Burning Coffee,” which is topped with a sugar crust and then blasted with a blowtorch right in front of you to catch on fire. It seems like restaurant safety regulations are a little looser over in Eastern Europe.

Forto Strong Coffee

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We’re currently in the middle of what could be described as a caffeine arms race, with small companies pulling out all the stops to rack up the potency of their drinks. Funded on Kickstarter in 2015, Forto’s cold brew “energy shots” are a small two-ounce serving that delivers a staggering kick of 200 milligrams of caffeine, equivalent to a pair of full-sized cups of coffee. Unlike competing energy shots, these are made with completely organic ingredients, using natural cold filtration to extract the richest and most robust flavor. The company puts a warning on the containers that you should limit yourself to no more than two a day, spaced several hours apart.

The Largest Cup Of Coffee Ever Poured


Let’s close this out with a beverage so titanic that no human could ever drink it. In 2012, Italian coffee machine manufacturers De’Longhi slid into the Guinness Book of World Record with the biggest cup of drip coffee ever poured. Weighing in at nearly 13 tons, the massive mug contained the caffeine equivalent of 216,000 espressos. Needless to say, this wasn’t available in a “to go” cup, and we’re not sure what happened to all of the java once it was poured into the cup. In a perfect world, they’d give out free straws and let people sip their fill, but that might not be very sanitary.

(Facebook photo: NBC)

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