"Black Blood of the Earth" is the appetizing name of a new java brew out of Berkeley, Calif., that contains 40 times more caffeine by volume than regular coffee. Explaining the train of thought that led to the drink's creation, brewer Phillip Broughton writes on his website: "At some point, all of us start wondering how much coffee we can drink before our hearts explode."
Broughton makes the drink using a cold vacuum extraction method and sells it in test tubes containing 50 milliliter doses. An 8-oz cup of regular coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine; at approximately 40 times stronger, a 50 milliliter dose (just one-fifth of the amount of a regular cup) of Black Blood contains about 850 mg. Yes, knocking back a test tube of Broughton's brew delivers more caffeine than eight coffees!
Without a doubt, Black Blood of the Earth would make your heart race. A single shot of it contains almost three times more caffeine than doctors consider safe to ingest in one day (300 mg), and it would give you the shakes, twitchy muscles and a case of insomnia. But would it kill you? No; its many fans are living proof of that. So how much "Blood" would it really take to make your heart explode?
The lethal caffeine dosage depends on a person's weight, sensitivity and metabolism, but a typical adult weighing 150 pounds (68 kg) would die from consuming about 12,000 mg of caffeine. That's the amount in 24 ounces, or 14 test tubes, of Black Blood. Please don't put this to a test.