Death Wish Coffee blasts-off into space

June 29, 2018 03:45 PM

ROUND LAKE – What started as a question on a podcast of how astronauts recover after a spacewalk has turned into a care package to the International Space Station.

"We're very lucky these opportunities that come along. I feel like they come out of nowhere but they keep coming,” said Michael Brown, Pres. & CEO of Death Wish Coffee. “And it's like why is this happening? Maybe we're lucky, maybe we work hard. I'm not sure exactly what it is. But to any other entrepreneur out there, just keep at it."


Added his mom, Mary Koslow: "I'm amazed. Really. That is terrific."

Koslow had made space for her son to return when he launched the company. Now she, other family, friends and customers gathered in their headquarters for the early morning launch of the Space X rocket. At 5:42:42 the Falcon 9 Space X Rocket, with 5,900 lbs. of supplies, launched from Cape Canaveral, FL. It will support 250 science and research investigations on the orbiting laboratory.

During a podcast called “Fueled by Death” where hosts explore extreme jobs and efforts, they interviewed Albany-native Nicole Stott. She was born here but moved to Clearwater, FL where she graduated from high school in 1980. They asked about space walks and she said she really wanted a cup of coffee to recover. However, there wasn’t any on the ISS.

"We were like why don't we get you the world's strongest coffee cause that's the only thing that makes sense after a long spacewalk, right?" said podcast co-host Dustin Alexander. "It's very fatiguing. It's a six-hour long space walk and you're doing things that are taking fine motor skills in almost no gravity so when you get back on the International Space Station you're worn out. After something like that coffee's really great for re-boosting that mental fatigue issue."

At the event, Natascha Pearl, a self-proclaimed “space nerd” brought some of her "And so I thought, hey, Galaxy doughnuts, coffee in space. It's a winning combination...I pulled an all-nighter last night and I had half a cup of coffee and I'm feeling great right now…so it definitely is the strongest coffee in the galaxy."

This was the 15th mission to the ISS backed by SpaceX.

"It's amazing to think that an idea that was started here is now in outer space,” said Carolyn Braunius of Special Olympics New York who made the trip to Round Lake.

The company worked with NASA to go from the whole beans harvested in Peru to the freeze-dried packets sent to space.

"There's really no words to explain it,” Brown said. “It's just a lot of love and support. I couldn't be more thrilled and lucky.

"To see where we were then and this is when I was living behind my mom's garage without a dollar to my name and then going all the way to where we are today where we just went off on a rocket ship to space,” Brown said. “I couldn't even imagine it back then. It's even a little bit unreal for me today."

“Because of the process it goes through to preserve the flavor, the body of the coffee and the caffeine, it goes more through like a low-temp, long-time flash roast,” said John Swedish, head of Product Development. "When I say flash, it means a burst of heat up front, but then you hold that heat for a certain period of time but it preserves the flavor of the coffee and then it goes through and almost makes a syrup and then that syrup gets thrown through the freeze-dried process."

The company started small, earned a big boost when it won a Super Bowl ad contest, and now this from a comment on a podcast.

Alexander added: “It's one small step for Death Wish each step of the way and I can't wait to see what happens next…It'll probably take a full year before I can look back on this and then really understand how intense and how strange and random and really magical this is."


John Craig

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