Giving coffee the fine wine treatment

Giving coffee the fine wine treatment

The latest innovation insight from Gama Compass™

MANCHESTER – 9th January 2015: This week Gama returns to the prevalent themes of male-oriented positioning and coffee connoisseurship, putting under the microscope a new product that combines masculine branding with the gourmet associations of aged wine through the medium of coffee – Death Wish Barrel Brand Coffee.

New to consumers in the US, Death Wish Barrel Brand Coffee – roast coffee aged in spirit casks – is the latest launch from Death Wish Coffee, a relatively new player on the gourmet coffee scene which first hit the headlines in 2013 by launching what it claimed to be the world's “strongest” coffee.

With Barrel Brand Coffee however, Death Wish Coffee is placing greater emphasis on a refined and adventurous sensory experience. While its tagline still invokes a sense of boldly defying conventions (“Some may say mixing coffee with spirits is irresponsible, we like to think of it as revolutionary”), the brand is also making a play for a gourmet audience by targeting “those with a sophisticated palate who are coffee/spirit connoisseurs”. In a process that recalls the maturing of a fine wine, the coffee is aged in spirit casks, a 45-day procedure that “allows for the infusion of fine spirits directly into premium green coffee beans” and achieves a “well-balanced and exceptional cup of coffee”, according to the company. Consumers can choose from coffees that are variously aged in whisky, rye or rum casks.

Death Wish Coffee’s ‘aged coffee’ concept can be seen as a logical extension to coffee connoisseurship: the phenomenon has already borrowed heavily from the language of fine wines with its emphasis on origin and craftsmanship in achieving a superior, sophisticated product. Such techniques could allow for new expressions of creativity in the gourmet coffee segment, without the need to resort to flavourings or other additives that could be seen as ‘adulteration’ by purists. Using a technique validated in the world of fine wines, producers can achieve a degree of differentiation without, crucially, undermining the integrity or authenticity that is key in appealing to a 'connoisseur' audience.

Image source: Death WIsh Coffee


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Cesar Pereira, founder & CEO of Gama, is available for comment. To arrange an interview please contact +44 161 818 8700 or

About Gama

Gama is a global provider of information and insight that specialises in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) product innovation. With a wealth of experience in business information and a network of over 100 in-country experts in 46 key markets, we offer high-quality news, research and analysis that give our clients a compelling insight into their industry.


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