Death Wish Coffee Is Really Living Up to Its Name

Photo: AP

Thanks to late capitalism, our society contains yet another potentially deadly irony: Death Wish Coffee, a brand of caffeinated brew that reeks of destiny.

On Thursday, Gothamist reported that one of the company’s products—Death Wish Nitro, aka coffee really strong cold coffee packaged in a beer can—had been voluntarily recalled over the “remote possibility” that the product might contain traces of a potential deadly toxin that can cause botulism. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns that botulism attacks nerves and can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, and death.


“After several rounds of successful testing, a process specialist has recommended that we add an additional step to our nitro cold brew production process,” the company explained in a statement on its website. “Based on these recommendations we’ve decided to recall all Death Wish Nitro cans.”

No illnesses have been reported so far, according to founder Mike Brown. Customers who have already bought the coffee (first of all, dispose of it now) will be offered a refund within 60 days upon proof of purchase.

Also, just throwing it out there, Death Wish might be an appropriate marketing moniker for, say, a Republican “health care” bill, but not for a product that people are actually expected to enjoy. Most people drink coffee to get reliable energy throughout the day and night, not to have the terrifying overdose experience this product’s name suggests. It’s the kind of subtly awful branding you don’t notice until suddenly there really is a death wish in your coffee, and it belongs to botulin.

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About the author

Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights