things that might kill you

Someone’s Selling Coffee With Half the Lethal Dose of Caffeine

Possibly real effects of drinking Ass Kicker. Photo: Sarah Palmer/Getty Images

If the one thing you want out of your morning brew is threat of tachycardia, look no further than the “Ass Kicker.” Invented by Australia café Viscous Coffee, it’s a cup of joe that contains five entire grams of caffeine. A normal cup of brewed coffee peaks at 200 milligrams (espresso taps out around 75), and when scientists do thought experiments on how much caffeine it’d take to kill a person, the number they end up with is usually about ten grams. Two cups of Ass Kicker, in other words, could do things much worse than its already-hostile name suggests. It comes with a health warning for people suffering from heart or blood-pressure problems.

Owner Steve Benington tells The Advertiser the drink is meant to be consumed gradually over a period of 3 to 4 hours, but can provide 18 hours of sustained “up time.” The concoction doesn’t sound particularly tasty, but if the goal is feeling like a Red Bull IV is coursing into your veins, it probably does the trick: A standard Ass Kicker starts with a quad espresso, then adds eight cubes of frozen cold brew and about half a cup of a super-strong ten-day cold brew. Benington guesses each frozen cube is the caffeine equivalent of “a bit more than two shots of espresso.”

He created Ass Kicker for a nurse who complained about dozing off during an unexpected overnight ER shift. Suffice it to say, it did the job and then some (“kept her up for almost three days,” he says). Benington claims to have “toned it down a little” since then, but if that sounds too wussy, he’ll happily whip up something with “custom caffeine levels tailored to personal requirements,” assuming there’s no actual death wish.

This Coffee Blasts You With a Half-Lethal Dose of Caffeine