Here are the 5 Strongest Coffee Brands In The World. Tread with caution.
Need an extra kick to get you going? Or maybe you’re just a true caffeine veteran? Whether you need an extreme energy boost for your mornings or night shifts, or if you just like the taste of pure caffeine, these strong coffee brands have got you covered.
Keep reading for the world’s strongest coffee brands…and, hold your horses, it might not be what you expect!
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Defining ‘The Strongest Coffee In The World’
In this guide, we are focusing on coffee that tastes good, but has been engineered to be strong. If you’re looking for the best tasting coffee, you may not find it here.
First of all, we need to define what is really meant by the “strength” of coffee. Typically, strength can refer to two things: roast level or amount of caffeine. Let’s take a closer look at what these factors mean when you’re brewing coffee at home.
Different Beans Have Different Levels Of Caffeine
The chemical composition of coffee – meaning the ratio of different flavour compounds and the amount of caffeine – depends on things such as soil, altitude, and species.
There are two widely grown species of coffee: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora, also known as Robusta. The Robusta bean contains 2.1% caffeine on average which is almost double the 1.2% of the Arabica bean (1). This is one of the main reasons why Robusta coffee is considered cheaper and lower quality than Arabica: caffeine has a bitter taste, which means its flavour profile is less mellow. However, Robusta coffee can be well suited for dark roasts and espresso.
You will get double the amount of caffeine for the same amount of coffee
There are differences of composition within the species as well, depending on the region where the beans are grown. Some varieties of Arabica are more caffeinated than others. Companies that aim to produce especially caffeine-charged coffee test beans from various regions to find the ones that fit their bill (2)
Roast Levels DO NOT Indicate Strength
People often associate roast level with strength – it seems logical that a rich, dark roast would be stronger than a light one. However this is actually a misconception. There is no direct correlation between roast and strength.
In fact, it might surprise some people to learn that light roast coffee is actually stronger than dark roasted coffee in terms of caffeine content.
In fact, it might surprise some people to learn that light roast coffee is actually “stronger” in terms of caffeine content.
Although light roast coffee tastes brighter and looks lighter, it packs more of a punch when it comes to stimulating your nervous system. This is because light roast coffee is roasted for a shorter time, leaving the beans closer to their natural, hyper-caffeinated state.
Roasting the beans for longer produces a darker colour and deeper flavour, but also eliminates more of the natural caffeine and flavour compounds. This is why lighter roasts tend to have more complex floral notes and also more caffeine.
It’s Really The Brewing Method That Counts
While the flavour profile of the beans is largely determined by the roasting process, the barista really has the final say in terms of strength. If you use more beans per shot of espresso or cup of drip, you get stronger coffee – it’s as simple as that.
Of course, just brewing with an insanely high ratio of beans to water isn’t going to produce a cup of coffee that is nice (or even safe) to drink. If you want to make coffee that is stronger than normal, you should use beans that have a naturally high caffeine content instead. The brewing method and recipe you chose will determine the ideal ratio of beans to water.
There are some brews that require a larger amount of grounds than others, such as cold brew. This is because the extraction process is less effective, so more of the coffee is “wasted” in a way. Conversely, something like espresso brewing effectively uses up pretty much all of the flavour compounds present in the beans, so only a small amount of grounds per cup is required to produce “strong” coffee.
Your Grind Size Matters
This is closely related to the previous point. The finer the grind, the greater the density of flavour compounds (and thus caffeine). Grind size is an easy way to control the strength of coffee. But there are limitations. Specifically, the French press and most pour-overs are much better suited for medium or coarse ground beans. This is because a fine grind will prolong the extraction, making for over-extracted and bitter coffee. Moreover, especially with a French press, fine grounds will escape the plunger and float in your cup.
Espresso is one of the few brewing methods where a fine grind is preferred. In the case of espresso, the strength can be intensified by grinding the beans more finely. This is something you can experiment with to find your preferred level of intensity.
On a related note, we always say freshly-ground beans are always better. But in case you do not have a grinder, buying pre-ground beans is your next best option. Here’s our list of the best ground coffee.
“Strength” Is An Elusive Concept
To sum it up, it’s hard to define what “strong” coffee really is. Although dark roasts taste bold and rich, they have been roasted to the point where much of the caffeine content is actually gone.
Looking at it from a scientific point of view, lighter roasts are usually stronger in terms of caffeine content – but in the subjective experience of the drinker, they might not seem strong at all. In many cases, coffee marketed as “strong” is just a regular dark or espresso roast.
However, there are some coffee companies that focus on the actual caffeine content of their blends. When you want to have some seriously strong coffee, and not in name only, check these out. Be prepared for jitters!
400mg of caffeine is the daily limit according to the The FDA and the International Food Information Council.
WARNING: These coffee’s are suited for people with high caffeine tolerances only. Please speak to a health professional before consuming any coffee listed on this website. Be aware of your limits.
The 5 Strongest Coffee Brands In The World
|Big Dick’s Coffee Thunderbolt||
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|Sons Of Amazon||
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|Strong Coffee To Wake The Dead||
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|Very Strong Coffee||
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In this article we are looking at brands that self-label themselves as strong coffee. If you want more information on the strength of different brew methods, bean types and roasts; read our article: ‘what type of coffee has the most caffeine?
Big Dick’s is something of a newcomer to the roasting scene, setting up shop in 2020. After trying the other “world’s strongest coffees” on the market, the founders noticed these brands all had one thing in common: they tasted butter and burnt. So they founded Big Dick’s with the aim of balancing strength and flavour.
Their original blend achieved this by using 50% Peruvian Arabica and 50% Ugandan Robusta and a double roasting process. The caffeine content wasn’t exactly listed, but the claims are that it’s 50% stronger than regular coffee.
They then upped the ante at the end of 2020 with the release of their Thunderbolt blend, which was even stronger still. This is supposedly twice as strong as regular coffee, with 350mg of caffeine in each cup (though the cup size isn’t listed). To get this extra boost in caffeine, Big Dick’s have had to drop the Arabica beans in favour of the more caffeinated single-origin Robusta.
Even with the stronger blend, they still put the care into ensuring the best flavour possible. Beans are roasted in small batches for freshness, with the roast date written on every bag.
Two things led founder Duncan to start Cannonball Coffee: his time in Afghanistan and his active lifestyle. In Afghanistan, he had learned he had a taste for strong but good tasting coffee, but he also needed a serious caffeine kick to keep up with an intensive exercise regime. As with all the other brands you see listed here, Cannonball Coffee claims to get the strength you need without compromising on flavour. And to their credit, they have tasting notes on all their coffees.
The super-strong coffee comes in three strengths: Smooth Bore, Cannonball Blend and Maximum Charge. According to lab testing, Maximum Charge has 400mg per serve – making it the UK’s strongest at the time of testing. The single-origin Robusta beans have been sourced from Rwanda and treated with a medium roast. This results in a flavour profile of dark chocolate and toasty malt. Maximum Charge is also available as a dark roast, which brings out notes of chocolate and cloves.
If you need a serious kick-start to the day while you’re travelling, the Cannonball blend (their medium strength) is also available as brew bags.
Sons of Amazon also stake a claim at being the strongest coffee in the UK. According to their testing, an 8-ounce cup contains 440mg or 660mg per 12-ounce. So while it’s still over the daily recommendations for caffeine intake, it’s not as strong as the Cannonball Coffee offering. Sons of Amazon offer whole beans, Nespresso-compatible pods, a rocky grind for cafetieres or drip machines, plus a dust grind for espresso machines and Moka pots. If you’re not prepared to commit to all that caffeine, you can also get 100g sampler bags through the website.
One thing we love about the Sons of Amazon brand is they haven’t forgotten about sustainability in their search for high voltage coffee. In fact, their motto is “strong and fair”. The Sons of Amazon name is dedicated to their producers – the beans are grown in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. There’s strictly no deforestation involved, and the coffee is proudly Rainforest Alliance certified.
Their Nespresso compatible pods use the same beans, but are also completely recyclable and compostable, with no plastic or aluminium used, only corn starch.
Making a coffee strong enough to wake the dead is quite the claim. But whether it’s among the UK’s strongest is hard to verify, with the brand not listing any details of the exact caffeine content. Instead, they take the line of being “The UK’s first seriously strong coffee.”
What they do disclose is that this a 100% Robusta coffee, so you know the caffeine will be there. They’re sourced worldwide, including a mix of high grown and shade beans. Though there’s no certification attached, Wake the Dead coffee claims all beans are sourced using either Direct Trade or Fair Trade programs.
Beans are then hand-roasted in small batches 3-4 times per week to a dark roast. As we’ve noted, darker roasting doesn’t mean more caffeine, but it does affect the flavour of your brew. These have been slowly double roasted to develop a rich, strong body with low acidity and a hint of smokiness.
These particular beans have avoided the symbols of death and danger we see on such high strength coffees and adopted the somewhat humble name of Very Strong Coffee. It’s listed as having “twice the caffeine, twice the taste”, but they don’t make any claims to specific levels of caffeine. A third-party site, however, attributes the product with a whopping 1350mg per 12-ounce mug, making it the strongest in the UK (and on this list).
Not much weight is given to specifics about region or variety here, it’s all about the strength. As you’d expect, it contains 100% Robusta to get the caffeine levels as high as possible, but they say the blend is a trade secret. They claim that part of the secret is the long, slow roasting process. But remember that this is only going to give you the strength of flavour rather than higher caffeine levels.
Not that we’d complain about extra flavour!
Consume at your own risk!
These super-caffeine-charged coffees do not actually taste that different from a regular dark-roast coffee, which might make them even more dangerous. You won’t notice the strength until after finishing your mug – you’ve been warned. If these are not for you, check out our other coffee bean recommendations. Or if you want to have a cup of joe that will help you and relax, here’s the best CBD coffees you can try.
Highly caffeinated coffee beans such as the ones discussed in this article have the most caffeine. Regarding roasts: Light roasts tend to have more caffeine than dark roasts (the longer a bean is roasted, the more caffeine is burnt off). Regarding brew styles; espresso brewed coffee is the strongest.
Yes, espresso is stronger than coffee, pound for pound. A shot of espresso contains up to 40mg caffeine per ounce on average. Brewed coffee contains up to 10mg caffeine per ounce on average (3). This makes espresso up to 4x stronger than brewed coffee. Of course; you wouldn’t drink the same volume of espresso than you would of brewed coffee.
There is 728mg of caffeine in a standard cup of death wish coffee. This measurement is based on a 12-ounce cup. This makes death wish coffee the 2nd most caffeinated coffee brand on this list, with the first being Biohazard coffee.
- Differences between Arabica and Robusta Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved From https://www.coffeechemistry.com/differences-arabica-and-robusta-coffee
- What Makes Death Wish the World’s Strongest Coffee? Retrieved from https://www.deathwishcoffee.com/blogs/coffee-talk/worlds-strongest-coffee
- Caffeine Myths: Espresso vs. Drip. Retrieved from https://www.kickinghorsecoffee.com/caffeine-myths-espresso-vs-drip
- Caffeine Overdose: How You Can Die. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-you-can-die-from-caffeine