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Best Of 2014: Our Favorite High-Caffeine Stories

From cupping Guy Fieri's beans to having a coffee talk with the esteemed David Lynch, here are a few of our favorite high-octane coffee stories of 2014.
Photos courtesy of Toryan Dixon

Here at MUNCHIES, we love our coffee. Like Kramer on Seinfeld, we'd probably choose a lifetime supply of caffe lattes over a $50,000 lawsuit settlement any day.

Image via Flickr user thedabblist

There are few things that can improve the smooth, rich taste of a good cup of joe, but one of them is butter…or is it? Bulletproof coffee—the supposedly performance-boosting java that's accented with dollops of butter and coconut oil—was all the rage this year, but as we found out when we tried it, it's not for the faint of heart.

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"It tasted good, but I felt as though I'd just poured a vat of castor oil into my stomach," contributor Charlie Norton reported.

Photo by David Bienenstock.

And as if plain ol' bulletproof coffee weren't exciting/gut-wrecking enough, our Weed Eater was on hand to infuse the butter with pot before adding it to his morning beverage—a bit of a wake and bake delivered in liquid form, if you will. (We sampled a similar brew with a bunch of baristas in Seattle.)

"With a small dose, The Weed Eater accessed a pleasant cannabis/coffee buzz that felt more subtle, and far more sustained, than the quick jolt of a true hippie speedball," David Bienenstock reported of his experiment. Plus, he shared his secret recipe, so you can get high and buzzed at home.

Photo by Nathan Bobey

Cupping coffee—smelling the dry grounds, then saturating them with hot water and inhaling again—with serious Pacific Northwest baristas is one thing. But to apply this rigorous process to Caramel Apple Bread Pudding beans? Yeah, we went there when we appraised Guy Fieri's "Flavortown Roasts" coffee blends, which also include Bananas Foster, Hot Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Mint, and Hazelnut Cinnamon Roll flavors. But not all the testers emerged from the cupping unscathed.

"After only one time around at this cupping, everyone had headaches," contributor Alex Mierjeski wrote.

Photo via Flickr user Benjamin Staudinger

Banana- and pastry-flavored coffees may very well be a uniquely American phenomenon. Still, though, most of the world has embraced the sweet, milky libations slung by global behemoth Starbucks.

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But not Australia. The nation has such a strong local coffee shop culture that the chain struggles to succeed there; in 2008, the brand faced $143 million in Australian losses and had to close 60 stores. Looks like Aussies just can't be lured in by the icy, sugary buzz of a Frappuccino.

Illustration by Domitille Collardey

Australians don't fuck around with their coffee; neither does David Lynch. We were lucky enough to speak with the iconic director about his preferences in a cup of joe (smooth and rich, with no bitterness). We discovered that he's been drinking it since age three; that he drinks ten servings a day; and that he regards a flavorful coffee as both "beautiful" and "a good friend." Get down with your bad coffee-drinking self, Mr. Lynch.

Photo by Paul Galow via Flickr

Coffee might sometimes be flavored like cinnamon rolls and/or weed, but it's not all fun and games, either. Like, seemingly, all the foods we love—bananas, oysters, shrimp, and more—coffee beans, too are in danger, threatened by a fungus called coffee rust that's deadly and difficult to treat. We're crossing our fingers that the millions of dollars being used to research and address the problem will secure our sacred beverage for generations to come—and in the meantime, we'll sip a hot mug of coffee to help ourselves cope.