11 Strange Coffee and Coffee Shops

Weirdest Coffees & Coffee Shops

1. Avocado + Latte = Avolatte

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The latest hipster food obsession is the "avolatte," a latte (which is a fancy term for coffee with milk) served in an avocado shell. Developed at the Truman Cafe in Melbourne, the idea has spread through the internet and around the world, pretty much instantly. It appears to be an eco-friendly way to add a bit of avocado flavor to the drink, but not everyone likes the idea. Personally, I do not like avocado, and I do like having a handle on my coffee cup. -via Laughing Squid


2. Someone Invented Colorless Coffee That Doesn’t Stain Your Teeth

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Coffee is more popular today than ever before, but many people abstain from consuming to much of it because it can really take a toll on their pearly whites. Well, thanks to the world’s first colorless coffee, you don’t have to worry about stained teeth anymore.

After getting tired of looking for a coffee drink that had the natural flavor they loved so much but didn’t stain their teeth, David and Adam Nagy, two Slovakian brothers who like strong coffee and their teeth white, decided to create it themselves. Called CLR CFF, their innovative drink is exactly what it sounds like – clear coffee, without the vowels.

It sounds like a gimmick, I know, but the Nagy brothers claim that CLR CFF is made solely from high-quality Arabica coffee beans and pure water, with no preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners or sugars added. It apparently took them three months to come up with a colorless coffee that actually retains its flavors, but for now they are keeping the recipe a secret. All they are willing to say is that it is made solely through “physical processing” that involves “methods which have never been used before”, and that an additional amount of caffeine is added after the brewing process.

VICE Munchies discovered an abandoned Indiegogo campaign that David and Adam Nagy started a while ago to help fund their idea. Unfortunately, it only raised €466 ($494) of its €35,000 ($37,178) goal. Apparently, that didn’t stop them from making their dream of a colorless coffee that doesn’t stain the teeth a reality, and they came up with another way to finance the CLR CFF project.

So how does colorless coffee taste? Well, we didn’t get a chance to try for ourselves, and early reviews paint a confusing picture. Staffers at English newspaper Metro described it as drinkable. “Imagine making a caffeine of coffee and then forgetting to wash it out,” they wrote. “The next day, you add cold water to get the very last dregs of flavor out of the wet beans—and that’s what this tastes like. Water, but an aftertaste of coffee.”


3. Charcoal Lattes Are the Newest Weird Food Trend

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Activated charcoal is in everything nowadays, from our toothpaste to our ice cream cones. But now you can find the gritty black stuff in your cup of morning joe. Charcoal lattes are a thing now, and are trending on Instagram (probably because the sooty grey color makes for a particularly superb social media post).

These drinks are — surprisingly — not even made with caffeine: Instead swirls of charcoal are mixed with creamy milk to create a frothy wakeup call that’s even trendier than your roommate’s morning green juice cleanse. Activated charcoal is thought to have a “detox effect” that bans bloat and calms irritated stomachs, but some say that consuming charcoal regularly could actually have detrimental health effects. (Keep an eye on The Daily Meal later this week for our story on the truth behind the activated charcoal trend.)


4. Kopi Joss – Sweet Coffee Served with a Lump of Burning Coal

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If you’re looking for a new and interesting way to enjoy your daily cup of java, try dumping a lump of hot coal into it. The trick worked for a small coffee stall owner in Indonesia who has become famous for his sizzling charcoal coffee.

The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta is perhaps the only place in the world where you can have your coffee served with a piece of red-hot coal. It’s called “Kopi Joss” and it was apparently invented back in the 1960s, by a local coffee stall owner known only as Mr. Man, to help him deal with a troubled stomach. The current stall operator, Alex, says that Mr. Man, who has since past away, was making his coffee as usual, when he laid eyes on the burning coal that he used to boil the water, and an idea popped into his head. His stomach was giving him problems and thought that the coal could make it better. So he took a piece of hot coal and dumped into a cup of coffee. It worked, and he since started selling it to brave customers as well.

Today, trying a glass of kopi joss at Mr. Alex’s stall is one of the main tourist attractions of Yogykarta, but he says that it wasn’t always this way. Back when Mr. Man started serving the bizarre drink, only local students and undergrads were crazy enough to try it, but as the word spread of the medicinal properties of the drink, more people stopped by to give it a try. Today, it’s mainly a novelty for tourists, but Mr. Alex claims that it can help alleviate bloating, nausea, heartburn or diarrhea.

Kopi joss, or charcoal coffee, starts off as regular coffee in Central Java. Ground coffee and four spoons of sugar are poured into a glass, and them boiling water is added. Then, Mr.s Alex picks up a lump of red hot coal with his tongs and sumps into the glass as well. That causes the coffee to bubble over and sometimes spill over the glass, so if you’re putt off by coffee grounds all over your glass, this drink may not be for you. Once the coal cools, you can take it out of the coffee and enjoy the drink.

Apparently, local students frequenting Mr. Alex’s coffee stall analyzed kopi joss and found that it has a lower caffeine content than regular coffee, because the coal absorbs some of it. The special ingredient also neutralizes the acidity of the coffee, making it easier on the stomach.

While some of those who have tried this unique type of coffee claim that it tastes the same as regular java, others claim that it has a slight taste of caramel, because the hot coal burns the suga added to the coffee. You’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out. A glass will set you back just 4,000 rupiah (¢30).


5. The World's Strongest Cup of Coffee

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Some people can't wake up without a cup of coffee and for some people, a whole pot of coffee is neccessary. If you just can't get enough caffeine, you might want to head to The Viscous Cafe in Australia, where you can find the world's strongest cup of coffee. Just one mug of this strong brew is the equivalent of 80 regular cups of coffee. That means each cup contains 5 grams of caffeine, which considering that 18 is fatal for even a healthy adult means that just three cups would put you dangerously close to death.


6. A caffeine-free coffee shop has just opened and people are freaking out

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Ok, so we could just about deal with the owl-themed cocktail bar, even though 30,000 people signed a petition to stop it from opening.

London’s cereal café was targeted by anti-gentrification protestors and don’t even get started on the crisp café.
Now a different kind of café has been derided by caffeine lovers in New York, the coffee shop that sells caffeine-free drinks.

That’s right, the decaffeinated pop-up shop has been handing out free samples in the city that never sleeps and it’s been called “the first sign of the cultural apocalypse”.

The caffeine-free pop-up is the brainchild of the Canadian-based company Swiss Water Decaf, which encourages people to "discover the art of coffee without caffeine".

Swiss Water’s president Frank Dennis insists the coffee has been a hit with customers so far.

"We know we're doing something silly ... opening up a shop that sells only decaf," he told CBC News.

"Our biggest fear was that no one would come in and we would have this empty hall in New York City, but it's been exactly the opposite."


7. The New World’s Strongest Coffee is Called “Black Insomnia” for a Reason

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The International Food Information Council recommends a daily caffeine intake of 300 mg, while the FDA recommends 400 mg, but just one 12-ounce cup of Black Insomnia brew contains 702 mg of caffeine, which will definitely keep you up at night and may even cause some health problems.

Black Insomnia Coffee was founded in 2016 by South African coffee lover Sean Kristafor. From the very beginning, his goal was to create the strongest coffee in the world, and he managed to do it by using the stronger Robusta variety, instead of the more aromatic Arabica. The secret to its high caffeine content is apparently in the way that the coffee beans are roasted, but Kristafor is obviously not interested in revealing the process. He only says that they can make it considerably stronger, and actually had to dial it down a bit for the commercial version, just so it was safe to consume.

Launched in June of last year, Black Insomnia was originally only available in select cafes in Cape Town South Africa, but it was so successful there that by October, the brand had already expanded to 22 countries around the world, and since last month, it’s also available on Amazon US. The company claims it sells five to six tons of its signature Black Insomnia coffee every month, and it is barely keeping up with demand.

“The world’s strongest coffee” is a bold claim to make, so in order to provide clear proof of Black Insomnia’s potency, Sean Kristafor sent samples to a Swiss-based laboratory, where it was tested using liquid chromatography, and compaired against several other known strong coffees. It came out on top, with a caffeine content of 17.5 grams per kilograms.

By comparison, Death Wish, the previous holder of the “world’s strongest coffee”, came out at 13.2 grams of caffeine per kilogram during testing, and Wod Fee, a coffee blend with added caffeine, had 13.8 grams per kilogram. One kilogram of Starbucks’ dark roast coffee “only” contained 5 to 6 grams of caffeine.

Caffeine Informer reports that Black Insomnia has 58.5 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, while Dead Wish coffee scores 54.2mg. Starbucks dark roast contains 21.25mg, Red Bull energy drink has 9.46 mg, and  Coca Cola has 2.8mg.

But these are all just numbers. How strong is Black Insomnia really? Well, strong enough to be put on the list of “Most Dangerous Caffeinated Products” featured on Caffeine Informer, and enough to cause palpitations in people with arrhythmias or those with a low caffeine tolerance. High doses of caffeine are also known to cause jitters, nervousness and insomnia.

Switching to a stronger coffee also increases your body’s tolerance to caffeine, as  Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, M.D., cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and professor of cardiovascular diseases, told TODAY.com. “You will gain a higher caffeine tolerance because of the vasoconstriction,” so the coffee you used to drink won’t feel as effective in keeping you alert as before.

Black Insomnia may be the new world’s strongest coffee – a claim still disputed by Death Wish – but that only applies to coffee you can brew in your own home. If you’re looking for the world’s strongest cup of coffee, just head over to Viscous Coffee cafe, in Adelaide, Australia, for some “Asskicker”. One cup of this ridiculously-strong coffee contains five grams of caffeine, 80 times more than a normal cup of java.


8. Why Dominique Crenn Wants to Plant a Million Trees in Haiti 'Meringue Coffee' Is the Latest Weird Coffee Shop Trend

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Remember when coffee was something mums drank out of chipped promotional mugs and dunked stale Hobnobs in? Or the lingering scent of Nescafe on your English teacher's breath?

Not anymore. The hot beverage isn't simply knocked back in brown swill form for a morning caffeine boost. It's a way of life, a legitimate career path, and, like, a totally emotional experience.

It can also get pretty fucking stupid. Not content with the "deconstructed" flat white, caffeine-free (but pretty!) blue latte, or even the perennially popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, one cafe in South Korea is now trying to make meringue coffee happen.

As The Independent reports, Take Out Drawing cafe in Seoul has begun serving its espressos topped with huge mountains of meringue. The meringue doesn't melt, so customers can break off pieces and dip them into the coffee for a delicious egg white and sugar-infused cup o' joe.

Unsurprisingly, the coffees have been a hit on Instagram.


9. This Deconstructed Coffee Has Australians in an Uproar

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The "deconstructed flat white"—three separate beakers of hot water, milk, and espresso served atop a wooden board—has been widely met with ridicule.

In a world where vomiting the colors of the rainbow onto each and every food item is largely met with mass approval, how can one tell when a food trend goes too far in its quest for fame? That's the questions we're left asking ourselves after hearing of a coffee styling from Australia that spectacularly went up in flames, long before it ever had the chance to take off.

The current debacle surrounds an unnamed Melbourne cafe's so-called "deconstructed" coffee. Their "deconstructed flat white"—three separate beakers of hot water, milk, and espresso served atop a wooden board—has been widely met with ridicule.


10. ‘Espresso tonics’ are the latest bizarre coffee trend

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Those are the rules of coffee, right? They were, until some unhinged motherf*cker went and brought tonic water into the equation. Over in Australia, the US and beyond, ‘espresso tonics’ are something people are actually choosing to drink. Yes, a shot of espresso with tonic water added to it. Rather than the endeavour of a few individuals who’ve tragically lost their minds, the hashtag #espressotonic comes up with thousands of hits on Instagram.


11. Wine-infused coffee now exists in the world

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One glorious cafe has finally given us the beverage we’ve been waiting for: red wine infused coffee. *Pause to drool*. Molinari Private Reserve, a café in the Napa Valley, take red wine and roast it with coffee beans, creating a coffee blend that smells like wine, tastes like wine (especially as you add more milk, apparently), and has a hint of blueberry. It still tastes like a rich, full-bodied coffee, mind you, so it’s not just like you’re drinking a microwaved Merlot.

The café advise letting it sit before sipping so the taste can develop and improve, or chilling it overnight for an wine-infused ice coffee in the morning. To be clear, the coffee won’t actually get you drunk. The wine’s just in there for flavour, not booziness.

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