Here's how we made freeze-dried instant Death Wish Coffee for space

By Kristen Underwood — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

How is coffee made in space?

Can you imagine leaving your home planet? Looking down and realizing you’re not on Earth anymore? Imagine not being able to feel the sun kiss your bare skin all summer, or endure the warmth of a hot relaxing shower, or not being able to enjoy a fresh piece of watermelon, or even worse, sip your cup of rich, hot coffee in the morning. Astronauts, in a sense, are the definition of taking one for the "world."

Everything in space is different. I imagine somewhere along the journey that sucking freeze-dried coffee out of a sealed plastic bag would throw my inner sanity off balance, alongside my inner ear – which is what keeps you balanced on Earth. Trying to drink from a regular coffee mug would be nearly impossible, as it may never reach your mouth, due to the low-gravity atmosphere. You have two options: lick it out of your mug like a puppy or toss it in the air and sip down the blob that forms in the air, neither of which seems to be the way to go.

Death Wish Coffee sympathizes with astronauts at 5:00 a.m. because we know how dreadful life can be without a cup of strong coffee. And since it wasn’t on the critical path of operations, we did something about it.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the smoothness and strength of our coffee than by providing the crew aboard the International Space Station with an easy-to-make blend that will keep them on their feet, so to speak,” noted Mike Brown, Death Wish Coffee’s founder.


Here’s the process we used to make freeze-dried Death Wish Coffee for space:

  1. First, the coffee is roasted and coarse ground.
  2. The coffee is then brewed with hot steam and heated down to a thick concentrate.
  3. From there, the concentrate is frozen to temperatures of -50 degrees below zero.
  4. The coffee is then broken up into small .05-1-millimeter pieces, sifted and sorted based on size.
  5. The frozen coffee is then placed in a drying chamber under vacuum to evaporate any remaining water left over from the brewing and freezing process. This process is called sublimation.
  6. Once the entire process is complete, the coffee is sent to the packaging plant for final processing. 

And just like that, The World’s Strongest Coffee is now The Galaxy’s Strongest Coffee!

For media inquiries regarding Death Wish Coffee going to the International Space Station, email Shannon Sweeney at [email protected]

Related: Death Wish Coffee is heading to the International Space Station

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