Death Wish Coffee makes the world’s strongest coffee — pumping two times the caffeine into every cup of Joe they produce — but since they’ve already conquered the world, the badass roasters are now out to lay claim over the universe by sending their coffee to outer space.
On June 28, Death Wish Coffee literally launched a freeze-dried, instant version of its insanely intense coffee into outer space aboard SpaceX CRS-15 on Friday, July 29. Once there, the coffee (which was packaged by NASA in astronaut drink pouches reminiscent of Capri Sun juice packs) will be enjoyed aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
As an FYI, the ISS doesn’t have a Starbucks at every corner. In fact, Death Wish Coffee’s founder, Mike Brown, told The Manual, “We didn’t realize it was so hard getting a good cup of coffee in outer space. You really gotta jump through some hoops.”
Inspired by a podcast chat with retired astronaut Nicole Stott on Death Wish’s Fueled by Death Cast, the real space-woman attested to craving good coffee while in orbit, especially after a tiring spacewalk. Death Wish, to its credit, heard that and said the equivalent of, “Hold my beer.”
While Death Wish Coffee is typically sold in 1-pound bags of whole and ground beans, as well as “Death Cups”(single-serving packages much like K-cups), the rebel roasters developed a NASA food lab-approved instant product from scratch to send to the ISS.
“It’s a pouch with Death Wish Coffee on the front in simple black on white, with all the air sucked out. There’s Velcro on the bag, maybe to help it stick around.” (The ISS is a microgravity climate, hence the floating.) “Then there’s a plastic nozzle and an insert to inject it with hot water,” said Brown.
Unlike your memories of the watery instant coffee of the ’80s, Death Wish’s outer space instant brew (which is a combination of bold Robusta and Arabica beans) “tastes darn close to regular drip [Death Wish] coffee,” said Brown. “So much, in fact, that we decided to move forward for producing a consumer version of instant coffee within the next six months.”
This means that you will theoretically be able to drink space coffee by winter.
Before ew-ing instant Joe, you might want to check yourself. Instant coffee is actually pretty cool these days, especially now that it tastes great.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while,” Brown said. “Friends and customers, people who are hikers, campers, and extreme sports people, ask us for instant. And it’s come a long way. Not too long ago, Starbucks put out an instant and it was so much better than the old stuff. A few other brands noticed and jumped on it.”
But enough about those other brands, let’s talk about the Death Wish’s intergalactic coffee.
The unique freeze-dried packets will be enjoyed by the astronauts of Expedition 56, who are already living large on the ISS (albeit sans coffee … poor things). That means that the astronauts working on projects like ECOSTRESS, which measures the temperature of outer space plants, will be pumped up on Death Wish.
As for his outer space essentials (if he were to be shot into the cosmos), Brown said coffee would be at the top of that list, followed by his laptop and beer. That is, if NASA (or a brewery) ever finds a way to keep beer carbonated in outer space. Certainly, a task unfathomable to complete without coffee.
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