Is Coffee Evil? These Brands and Blends Sure Make You Wonder
Ah … coffee. For most of us, it’s the nectar of the gods. It wakes us up, gets us going, keeps us going, and makes us better people (in that it often prevents us from going for the throat of anyone who tries to talk to us too early in the morning). Coffee has legitimate health benefits: It can lower your blood pressure, protect your liver, and even help you live longer.
So why are so many coffee brands creating blends with titles and labels that make you think of death?
Perhaps they’re trying to be ironic, as in “Ha ha dead is the opposite of how I feel when I drink this” or “These skulls and gravestones on the package are sad and cause me think about my own demise so of course the coffee is going to make me feel vibrant and alive and not depressed at all.”
Actually, coffee — or caffeine of any kind in extreme excess — can kill you. In 2018, 92 people died from caffeine overdoses. But that’s super rare … and surely no reputable company would use death-themed marketing to sell something that could legitimately kill its customers.
It’s more likely that each of these are hoping consumers will make the connection between the strength of the coffees and their ability to metaphorically “raise the dead.”
Is it egocentric of us to think that these brands understand the dire caffeine needs of deathcare professionals — especially those on call overnight or going on their third straight day of back-to-back-to-back embalmings — and label and name their products in your honor?
Just in case you might want to drink something with a name or image that complements your chosen profession, here’s a partial list of the death-related coffee blends for your consideration.
Perhaps the most well-known of death coffees, Death Wish bills itself as “The World’s Strongest Coffee®.” Launched in 2012, Death Wish Coffee sales soared when the brand was featured on Good Morning America — and they haven’t’ slowed down yet. The secret to the coffee’s strength is a blend of arabica and robusta beans that “naturally brews to double the strength of the average cup.” DWC’s distinctive skull-and-crossbones logo is emblazoned on every bag of beans and box of K-cups (called “death cups”) as well as across a full line of merch “made to pair with caffeine-heavy habits.”
Deadman’s Reach and Double Dead sport the “deadliest” names of the blends in the Raven’s Brew Coffee® line of products, which also includes a Resurrection Blend. The brand was born in Ketchikan, Alaska in 1992, and its story is intertwined with the land, people, and activities of the region. The frame-worthy art that characterizes each blend is created by “dead-icated” (their term, not ours, although we’d love to take credit) Alaskan artists and is actually available in poster form.
If you’re not ready for the Four Horsemen (aka “it’s apocalypse and we’re all going to die”) bundle, you might try the Motley Crue: Kickstart My Heart dark roast, which features the iconic skull and pentagram logo sported by the kick-ass 80s hair band of the same name.
Warpath was created by a Navy SEAL combat veteran and the company is staffed with “veterans, NYPD, wives, and a 30+ year coffee roaster.” If you’re “tired of sipping coffee that’s weak and tastes like battery acid,” you might want to try Warpath.
Branded as “Fuel for the Fearless,” Invader Coffee is also veteran-owned and operated (not by the Grim Reaper, as you might have gathered from the package). The company, which is based in Austin, Texas, air roasts their beans to create a smoother, less acidic taste.
Player One was launched in 2017 by a group of gamers and includes an impressive array of blends for “creatives, travelers, those actively seeking top quality kindling for the fire fueling their passions.”
The skulls on the packages of Alpha Coffee’s blends don’t necessarily inspire thoughts related to death as much as they motivate you to get your a** in gear, soldier! The founders of this brand, a veteran and his wife, are deeply embedded in “the warrior mentality and lifestyle,” and the company regularly participates in veteran-related activities while donating to multiple military causes.
Iron Bean Coffee Co. prides itself on having the “freshest and finest coffee in America,” and is certified veteran-owned. The murder-y names of these two particular blends isn’t wholly indicative of the brand, which also offers less-threatening flavors like “Strawberry Feels Forever” and “Mom’s Carrot Cake.”