Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Review: Death Wish Coffee ($20 USD)

Review: Death Wish Coffee ($20 USD)

(2018) It started on the return trip from Sunday’s outdoor ride. At first I thought it was from the excitement of riding outdoors for the first time in over a month. Then I thought maybe I went a little too hard somewhere on the casual ride. Can cold weather make your chest flutter? There was one culprit that made me feel this way, and it was nowhere near me. In fact, it was sitting on my countertop at home, begging for me to return. There in the kitchen was a black one-pound bag of coffee that had a warning for its probability to do wrong. The name should explain everything: Death Wish Coffee.

 

We are used to hyperboles in today’s society. Companies are allowed to say they are the greatest in the world for a reason. It’s an industry term called ‘puffery.’ It means a company can legally advertise ‘World’s Greatest Cup of Coffee’ because everyone knows it’s not. Since it is widely accepted they are not the makers of the world’s greatest cup of coffee, pedestrians and cyclists alike move on without giving it second thought. But what if a coffee company claims to roast the most caffeinated coffee bean ever? That’s not puffery.

  Clearly Death Wish Coffee dominates the caffeine chart at nearly triple Starbucks' caffeine.

Clearly Death Wish Coffee dominates the caffeine chart at nearly triple Starbucks' caffeine.

For a short spell the offices at creakybottombracket.com was out of the standard coffee. The one-pound black bag loomed large next to the coffee grinder. If I’m honest, I was slightly nervous to brew up a pot. What if I got too ambitious and put more than the 2.5 tablespoons per six ounces? Would my heart race until the label name took over? I added a bit more water than the prescribed amount and waited.

 

Once the dark stuff cooled off enough to sip I began my trip into the World’s Strongest Coffee’s control. Expect and intense smoky flavor with a boldness unlike any coffee consumed prior. This is like a coffee never tasted before. It certainly rolled in a perk while consuming it. The coffee’s flavor profile commanded the entire breakfast table, elbowing out any other flavor for the meal.

  Full disclosure: This ratio worried me a bit. For regular coffee I put two tablespoons per eight ounces. 

Full disclosure: This ratio worried me a bit. For regular coffee I put two tablespoons per eight ounces. 

Once I downed a couple mugs of it I played the waiting game. I was worried to overstep my consumption even at this point. I was waiting for a jolt that would send me around the house to finish one project and start another. Perhaps by mid-day I would have constructed a patio out back. As the hours rolled by I felt an intense clarity and an almost Zen-like calm. The last time I had this needle-like calmness was trying butter coffee with MCT oil. I floated around the house, feeling my gaze was a lazer.

 

But wait. I thought you said your heart was racing at the beginning of this article. Well what happened was I got a bit cocky. I made the coffee part of my regular rotation of a couple cups in the morning and a couple cups after work. Pretty soon I concluded the fluttery feelings could be pegged on the ridiculous amounts of caffeine entering my body both day and night. After feeling my heart bounce around, I decided to pull it back a bit and make Death Wish Coffee a once-in-a-while brew.

  #GrindItOut

#GrindItOut

Making that decision had another potential hazard. I am not one to suffer headaches. I can count on one hand how many headaches I have had in my lifetime, but two days after cutting Death Wish Coffee from my brewing rotation I experienced a low-level nagging headache. I wonder if the sudden purge of intense caffeine from my system inflicted a caffeine withdrawal symptom. If true, that’s a testament as to how intense this coffee is. To be clear, I was still drinking coffee during this time, just not Death Wish Coffee. I want to compare my coffee experience with a race car that manages to spin its wheels at 100 miles-per-hour. 

 

One of the most celebrated quotes in cycling is Henri Pelissier’s “We run on dynamite.” The quote harkens back to the days of professional cyclists cramming more than a few pills to get them to the finish line quickly. One of the go-to drugs was amphetamine for nearly every endurance athlete early last century. Households had amphetamine to use because it was considered akin to ‘a stiff cup of coffee.’ I don’t know how much stiffer a cup of coffee can get than Death Wish Coffee. I’m not saying this coffee is an illegal drug, I’m saying it’s description matches that of an old-time pick-me-up.

 

For $20 (USD) a coffee fanatic can acquire a rare one-pound bag of intense coffee. The quote on the side of the bag states, “Some may say making coffee this strong is irresponsible.” I think the responsibility begins with the at-home coffee maker. This stuff is intense. This might be best served occasionally rather than regularly. It might be the world’s strongest coffee. Let’s hope nobody tries to make the ‘Universe’s Strongest Coffee.’

Essay: On the Restorative Properties of Cycling as Our 300th Post

Essay: On the Restorative Properties of Cycling as Our 300th Post

Review: Belgian Boys Club Antwerpen Blue Jersey – Long Sleeve (€165)

Review: Belgian Boys Club Antwerpen Blue Jersey – Long Sleeve (€165)