Food by VICE

This Coffee Has More Caffeine than Eight Cans of Red Bull

“When do you want to sleep again?” asks the website for South African coffee brand Black Insomnia, which is coming to the US.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Mar 31 2017, 9:00pm

Photo via Flickr user tyle_r

There are some mornings when you don't need coffee as much as you just need caffeine, the kind of morning when you stare at a pile of Keurig K-cups and seriously consider swallowing them whole. That kind of morning is what Black Insomnia was made for.

The South African company sells the world's strongest coffee, with a self-described "dangerously high level of caffeine" that'll open your eyes and potentially blow your aorta. (Figuratively. I think.)

Black Insomnia says that its coffee—which, according to UPI, has 702 milligrams of caffeine in every eight-ounce cup—is the "World's Strongest," and says that it would be stupid to try to make a stronger cup. "Although several other coffee brands have tried to stake the claim, none have been able to reach the unadulterated caffeine content that defines Black Insomnia," the company said. "Nor should any brand attempt to surpass this content in the interest of public health and safety."

The secret to Black Insomnia's nerve-fraying caffeine level is the Robusta coffee bean, a bean that, on average, has 83 percent more caffeine than more traditional Arabica beans. (According to Caffeine Informer, Robusta beans are less popular with coffee roasters because they're less flavorful than Arabica beans, but does that really matter after you've chewed through your own tongue?)

Black Insomnia has gone to great lengths to certify its World's Strongest coffee claims. It sent samples of its brew to SGS Laboratories for High Performance Liquid Chromatography testing to verify its caffeine content—and to prove its dominance over its competitors. When the results were calculated, Black Insomnia had the certified 702 milligrams of caffeine per cup, which was significantly more than other high-octane brews like Death Wish or WodFee.

So how strong is it? Caffeine Informer has given Black Insomnia a rating of "DANGEROUS." Each cup is the equivalent of about four and a half cups of 'regular' coffee, which averages about 150 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. That level of caffeine also equates to drinking nine shots of espresso or more than eight cans of Red Bull (although you'll look like less of a d-bag with one cup of Black Insomnia).

Black Insomnia has cited the Mayo Clinic's caffeine recommendations in its own press releases, gleefully pointing out that the medical pros recommend that the average 65-kilogram (143-pound) adult should limit his or her caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day. That's significantly less than one giant mug of Black Insomnia, so down that at your own risk, I guess.

"When do you want to sleep again?" Black Insomnia asks in bold letters on its website. If the answer is "Sometime when I'm in my mid-fifties," then go ahead and place an order: Black Insomnia is finally available in the United States.

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