Malcolm Owen On December 11, 2002 at 10:56 am

You know, people often ask me "What is the best coffee for Gamers?". My answer (the stock one at least) was "Drink anything, but in huge quantities! And not Decaff!". My view is, if it contains caffine and keeps you awake longer, then it generally is a good thing. And now, I have some Coffee to review!

Shock Coffee is labelled as "Extreme Coffee", because of a higher caffine content than normal coffee. To me, this is good, following Maiko’s Commandments ("Thou Shalt Drink Excessive Amounts of Caffinated Beverages And Stay Awake Longer"), but it was questionable as to whether it was at all better than my normal brew when I first received it. The coffee comes in two versions – Pre-Ground (For those who want it quickly and without grinding) and the big Tin o’ Beans (Whole beans, ready for grinding). I went with the beans, since I wanted a much fresher sample to test from. Ok, ok, I bought the beans because I wanted to play with the grinder on my coffee machine…but at least I bought them. The taste that you get is a slightly acquired one. It’s a much "smokier" taste than most others, with a slightly burned aroma too, but it still tastes nice compared to Nescafe. It may take a short while to get used to it, but if you chug your brew, then there is nothing to worry about. The claims, according to the website, say that this in normal perculated form, the average cup contains 30mg of Caffine, compared to 20 for the average gormet coffee and less than 5 for regular cola. I do not doubt these claims at all, but the question is whether it is effective in keeping you awake longer than normal coffee. So, I experimented. In a nice way. With the coffee.

Every morning, I drink something like 4 or 5 cups of coffee before heading off to my educational establishment of choice. It is a long bus journey (An hour and a half, in fact). I have nothing to entertain myself, except for a "Learn Japanese" book, which I can’t read whilst travelling due to travel sickness. Despite drinking all of that coffee (normal Nescafe, meh..) I always end up almost nodding asleep at various times. I stay in a very lethargic state all the way through, and very rarely stay awake throughout.
For 3 days, I drank the same amount of Shock Coffee in the morning before the bus journey. Those three days were hell. I stayed awake all the way there, and bored myself to death at the same time. I looked out the windows, and saw things I didn’t see before on the journey (Two castles, a Territorial Army recruitment centre and a McDonalds, among other things). This coffee is some powerful stuff!

If you want great taste in your coffee, then look elsewhere. The taste and aroma seems to be a little burned compared to other brands, but then again, this coffee is for chugging, not tasting, so we can let this one go.

This is the Mountain Dew of coffee. It works a charm to keep people awake, especially for lanparties and late night sessions, but only for die-hards to drink.

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