I was skeptical to say the least, as I sat at the stylish Shift Espresso Bar
in Greenpoint, Cape Town waiting for my first taste of Black Insomnia
coffee to arrive.
The branding is brazen and dark and powerful and I was interested to see if the coffee would follow this trend. Credit to the roaster, the infamous Doctor G of Rock and Roller Coffee Culture
and the talented barista at Shift, the espresso was…great! It was rich, to be sure and it had the edge of the distinctive robusta flavour, necessary for their caffeine content and it was good. It challenges the preconceptions you might have of what 'strong' coffee generally tastes like and also what your opinions of robusta
coffee might be. In the high end coffee world, the arabica
plant is lauded as higher quality and more interesting when it comes to flavour and the robusta plant produces a coffee bean that has a much higher caffeine content. I don't drink coffee for the caffeine boost generally. I mean, yes my body is used to a certain level of caffeine everyday, but caffeine content has never really interested me. That being said, there are those times you just feel like you need the extra boost, when you're on deadline for example and all normal rules go out the window. This blend of robusta beans from different origins specifically chosen for their kick was very enjoyable and in hindsight it was likely a bad idea to drink it at 5pm, as it did leave me feeling wired way past my bedtime. But as their tagline goes - sleeping is cheating!
Black Insomnia clocks in at around 702mg according to independent testing and published on the Caffeine Informer
website. Dangerous levels!
The specific Black Insomnia blend has undergone continual independent testing for the last month to see that the caffeine content does in fact surpass it's competitor. Caffeine Informer has confirmed that the results are now official.The company that held the title until this point is Death Wish Coffee
in the US, but the SA team patriotically competitive as ever has pipped them to the post by 6.35%. Will there be any response from Death Wish? Not so far, but how much more caffeine can coffee drinkers really take?
The man behind this brand, Sean Kristafor, is on a war path to claim this world title. He has a track record of building successful businesses and now he has turned his attention to the coffee sphere. He recommends that the first time Black Insomnia customer should try it as a flat white. It is available now at selected stockists,
including Shift which was the first to serve it. Luigi Vigliotti, owner of Shift, was blown away by the response to having Black Insomnia on the menu. They are positioning the brand at a few specifically chosen locations in addition to the cafe's house blend. The Black Insomnia team is preparing themselves for the international roll-out through online sales and expect huge volumes to be generated by the news that there is a new World's Strongest Coffee on the market.
So I guess the question is, are you brave enough to try it?