If you’re after some strong coffee that can give you an intense caffeine boost, we’ve got you covered with a list of 13 coffee brands, ranked by caffeine content in milligrams per 12 oz. cup.
However, these coffee packs have crazy amounts of caffeine in them compared to regular coffee – so please read our warning and the recommended maximum daily intake set by the US FDA first.
Also, just to be clear, when we say “strong coffee” – we aren’t talking about strong tasting coffee; we’re talking about coffee brands that give you the ability to pack immense amounts of caffeine into your average mug.
These two factors aren’t mutually inclusive. You can potentially have a bold and strong tasting cup of coffee that is lacking in the caffeine department; and vice-versa.
- Editor’s Pick – Death Wish Coffee
- A Brief Warning Before You Invest In Strong Coffee
- THE LIST: 13 High Caffeine Javas For People Who Need Strong Coffee
- How Should I Brew Strong Coffee?
- Before You Dive Into A Cup Of Strong Coffee
One last thing we recommend to get the best kick out of this, is the French press brewing method. This produces a strong tasting cup of coffee that has a rich and bold flavor. If you’re interested, we can help you pick out the best French press coffee maker too.
Editor’s Pick – Death Wish Coffee
Strength – 5/5
Flavor – 4.5/5
Price – 4.5/5
Death Wish Coffee isn’t the strongest of the strong coffees on our list, but it still packs a whopping 728 mg of caffeine in the average 12 oz. cup, and, it has one of the best tastes compared to other high caffeine brands.
A Brief Warning Before You Invest In Strong Coffee
Consuming too much of virtually any substance (yes even drinking too much water) can potentially have negative repercussions on your body and overall health. Caffeine may be great at keeping you awake, alert, and productive; however, taking too much caffeine into your body could lead to a wide array of side effects – ranging from mild to severe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has formally stated that 400 mg of caffeine is the recommended (safe) maximum amount that healthy adults should consume on a daily basis. Remember that coffee isn’t the only beverage (or food) that contains caffeine. So those energy drinks, soft drinks, and teas, that you may be drinking are all adding to your daily caffeine intake.
For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams a day – about four or five cups of coffee – as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.—U.S. Food and Drug Administration
This value from the FDA is great for the average adult whose body reacts normally to caffeine but it doesn’t take into account the outliers. A substantial portion of the population does not have what is considered to be the “normal” level of caffeine tolerance – they are either hyposensitive or hypersensitive to caffeine.
Strong Coffee And Caffeine Tolerance
Caffeine tolerance can be grouped into three categories: average, hyposensitive, and hypersensitive. Let’s take a brief look at the definition of each of these categories.
Average Caffeine Tolerance
This group of people is without a doubt the majority and they are who the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is basing their recommendation of 400 mg of caffeine on. If you haven’t had any health issues when drinking coffee in the past, then it is highly likely that this is where you fall.
Hyposensitive Caffeine Tolerance
This is the group of people who would most definitely want to find a brand of strong coffee because they just don’t feel anything much from drinking the average cup. One study has found that approximately 10% of the population would technically belong to this group.
Hypersensitive Caffeine Tolerance
As you have probably deduced by now, hypersensitive caffeine tolerance is the opposite of hyposensitive caffeine tolerance. Many of these people can’t even stomach a regular cup of joe, let alone a cup of strong coffee. In actuality, there are relatively few people in the world that are naturally hypersensitive to caffeine. However, there are several prevalent health conditions that can make an individual hypersensitive to caffeine.
How Many Cups Of Coffee Does The Average Person Drink?
As we said previously, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that the 400 mg caffeine limit generally equates to about 4 to 5 cups of coffee, but does the average American actually drink that much?
One study in 2015 found that the average American drinks 2 cups of coffee per day and that coffee consumption gradually increased with age. Similarly, another study in 2019 that specifically looked at how many cups of coffee the average American drank at home, found that 1 to 2 cups per day were most common (with 25% and 29% respectively).
All in all, this puts the average American at well below the 400 mg mark for caffeine consumption – at least when only coffee is taken into account.
Who Should Be Extra Cautious About Their Caffeine Consumption?
If the average American is only drinking 1 to 2 cups of coffee each day, then they obviously shouldn’t have to be worrying too much about their caffeine consumption (unless they’re chugging back cases of energy drinks as well).
However, there are certain groups of people that need to be cautious about just how much caffeine they are putting into their body. This is because they either run the risk of adversely affecting their bodily functions or exacerbating health issues that are already present.
Less than 400 mg of caffeine is the recommended daily intake allowance for people with gastrointestinal issues. This amount can vary significantly based on the person’s age and the severity of the gastrointestinal issues.
Less than 300 mg of caffeine is the recommended daily intake allowance for pregnant women.
Less than 200 mg of caffeine is the recommended daily intake allowance for individuals with arrhythmia or type 2 diabetes.
0 mg of caffeine is what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (and several other institutions) recommends for children, especially those that are under the age of 4.
THE LIST: 13 High Caffeine Javas For People Who Need Strong Coffee
Now that we’ve got all of the warnings and preamble out of the way, here is the definitive list of the 13 strongest coffee brands that you can buy right now – from strongest to “weakest”.
Oh and also, we’re only talking about brands that have disclosed actual values when it comes to their caffeine content. So none of those vague “50% more than regular coffee!” brands are going to be included.
How Should I Brew Strong Coffee?
Generally speaking, you are going to be getting a powerful dose of caffeine no matter what brewing method you choose to use with any of these strong coffee brands. However, that being said, we’ve found that there are just some particular brewing methods that pair surprisingly well with some of these coffee beans.
One thing that you may find surprising is that water is one of the most important factors that you should definitely be considering if you are going to be brewing a strong cup of coffee. Particularly, you should be choosing a brewing method that has both the water and the coffee being in contact with each other for a relatively long period of time.
Sadly, this means that the drip filter method – America’s favorite way to brew a cup of coffee – is not the most optimal way to brew a cup of strong coffee. Let’s take a look at a few of the best brewing methods (for people who need an immense amount of caffeine) and the coffee beans that we recommend to go with them.
Brewing Strong Coffee With A Stove-Top Coffee Maker (Moka Pot, Percolator)
Like a lot of other coffee brewing methods, moka pots and percolators have gradually declined in popularity due to the widespread availability of automatic drip coffee makers. At least, this is the case in the US. Moka pots still have a notable place in the coffee industry in several countries in both Europe and Latin America.
Moka pots are generally straightforward and simple as far as coffee brewing methods go; however, they are also perhaps one of the most ingenious ones as well. The interior of a moka pot is separated into two chambers that is separated by a funnel-shaped filter. This filter is where the ground coffee is placed and the bottom chamber is where water is stored. The top filter is left empty because this is where the brewed coffee will end up. Once heat is applied to the moka pot, the water turns into steam and passes through the ground coffee. Over time, the brewed coffee then collects into the top chamber.
This unique brewing method allows the water to extract a relatively high amount of caffeine from the coffee (especially when compared to automatic drip coffee makers. It is also worth noting that moka pots are usually only capable of brewing a small amount of coffee and their sizes are generally graded by the amount of espresso cups they can fill. This can range from sizes of 1 espresso cup (2 oz.) to 12 espresso cups (25 oz.).
Any of the strong coffee brands that we mentioned above would brew up just fine in a moka pot but the three that we would specifically recommend are: Black Label Coffee, Black Insomnia Coffee, and Biohazard Coffee.
As an added bonus, if you are someone that wants a strong cup of coffee and a strong tasting cup of coffee, then you are in luck. Since moka pots make use of metal filters – and not the paper filters that automatic drip coffee makers use – you will get a bolder and richer cup of coffee.
Using The Cold Brew Method To Brew Strong Coffee
No, we’re not talking about iced coffee, that stuff pales in comparison to the caffeinated strength that cold brew coffee can provide.
What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee? Well, to keep it short and simple: iced coffee is coffee that has been brewed hot and then cooled (usually by using ice); on the other hand, cold brew coffee isn’t brewed using any heat at all.
If you simply aren’t a fan of cold coffee then you’re seriously missing out. Yes, the cold brew coffee has the potential to have more caffeine than your regular cup of drip coffee but there are also other benefits to this method as well.
First and foremost, it is remarkably easy to make, you just add water to coffee and wait. In fact, it could be argued that it is the long wait time (usually 12 hours or more) that is the most grueling part of the brewing process. People with sensitive stomachs will also be happy to know that cold brew coffee has significantly less acidity compared to drip coffee.
Still, what you care most about is getting strong coffee, right? Well, it is this extremely long seeping time that makes cold brew coffee the perfect brewing method for people that want to get every bit of caffeine out of their beans without sacrificing flavor.
We found that Black Label Coffee, Very Strong Coffee, and Death Wish Coffee were the best candidates for the cold brew method.
Other Brewing Methods To Consider For Strong Coffee
If you absolutely want to get the most kick out of your coffee, then you should definitely give boiled brewing methods, like Turkish coffee or Greek coffee a try.
However, just a heads up, the flavors that these brewing methods can provide definitely aren’t for everyone and they are definitely an acquired taste. Seriously, only the snobbiest of coffee snobs would reprimand you if you said that you weren’t a fan of this type of coffee.
Another coffee brewing method that you could give a try is the French press method. This is another one that has a significant amount of water on coffee action but the steeping time isn’t anywhere close to the likes of cold brew coffee. Still, the French press brewing method is great when it comes to flavor extraction. So, it’s a great choice if you want to drink your strong coffee but specifically want to prioritize getting that strong taste.
We absolutely stand by our previous recommendation that Death Wish Coffee makes a great cup of French press. However, a cup of French press Black Insomnia Coffee can definitely give it a run for its money.
Before You Dive Into A Cup Of Strong Coffee
Remember, just one cup of any of the strong coffee brands that we showed you easily exceeds the recommended maximum caffeine intake for the average adult. We seriously suggest that you consult with your doctor before attempting to go above this range.
Please caffeinate safely!