As we pulled onto Arlington Avenue to go to Black Forge Coffee House, I asked my boyfriend, Mike, "Are you ready?” I had convinced him to try the Black Hole at Black Forge, too scared to try it myself. The drink is from their new specialized espresso menu – six beverages all priced at $6.66.
Why, you ask, was I afraid to try a drink from the Allentown-based coffee shop? Well, because the Black Hole consists of six shots of espresso on ice. That’s it. As the Facebook post advertising the drink says, “This is not for the faint of heart.” The other espresso specialties included yummy mix-ins like vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and cream (Dragonaut), or tiramisu, white chocolate, cream, and sea salt (Thunder Horse).
I could feel my heart rate speeding up as we walked into Black Forge. The other customers, clad in head-to-toe black, chatted calmly or worked silently on laptops. How could everyone be so nonchalant when you can literally buy speed-in-a-cup at the register, I wondered.
Busy with Sunday errands, we ordered the drink to-go. At the first sip of the Black Hole, Mike’s eyes lit up. “Holy shit, that’s strong,” he said.
Intrigued, I asked to try some. It looked non-threatening, just black liquid in a clear to-go cup, but taking one sip was like a slap in the face. My eyes immediately started watering and I felt my face pucker up. The Black Hole is extremely bitter, like it bites back, daring you to keep drinking.
That was all I could take of it, and Mike, who is a regular black coffee and espresso drinker, only finished about one-fourth of the Black Hole before setting it aside for later. His hands were shaky, his body temperature elevated.
“I like two shots [of espresso] and water,” he said. “Not six shots and no water.”
Typically when drinking espresso, a cup of water is included to counteract the intense flavor.
The Black Hole is the kind of drink you get and either slowly sip throughout the day or save and drink a little each day for a week. 10/10 would not recommend drinking it in one sitting. But then again, maybe you aren't caffeine sensitive like me. I don’t know your life. This is just a warning.
Drink and beware.