Move over, Death Wish Coffee, there’s a new kid in town, and this kid is taking over in jittery glory.

Black Insomnia, a South African coffee company with the hastag #SleepingIsCheating, is now for sale in the US, and the FDA has been watching closely.

“If you want to stand out, you need to be the ‘est’ — the biggest, smartest, strongest, or cheapest,” said Black Insomnia founder Sean Kristafor. “So when we wanted to compete in coffee, as a caffeine product, we had to be the strongest, but obviously, we don’t exceed the world guidelines.”

So, Kristafor set out to have his coffee chemically tested, so that he could take that title.


For a frame of reference, the FDA and International Food Information Council both recommend you stop your daily caffeine intake by 400mg, and if you were to have 12 ounces of Black Insomnia, you would be almost double that, weighing in at about 702mg of caffeine.

Kristafor started out by selling his coffee to local cafes in June 2016.  By that August, his online sales eclipsed his local sales by more than 3 tons of coffee sold.  In October Black Insomnia had customers in 22 countries.  Today, Black Insomnia sells 5 to 6 tons of coffee per month.

Interestingly enough, the FDA states on its site doesn’t require caffeine to be on the ingredients list, so long as it wasn’t added later on in the process.

Kristafor does include extensive warnings, however.  Not only can sleepless nights and potential cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) be side effects, says Mary Sweeney, who researches the effects of caffeine at John Hopkins School of Medicine; but there are far more dangerous things that could happen.

“On Caffeine Informer, they say that if you drink more than 20 cups of Black Insomnia, you win the Darwin Awards … an award for people who pass away for doing stupid things” noted Kristafor.

Well, what do you guys think?  Should we partner with Black Insomnia to put them into one of our subscription boxes coming up?

Special thanks to CNN and KTLA for breaking this news story and giving us a starting point to get this story out.  Click on their links to see their reporting on the matter.