Mike, you have been all over. For a long time, you were on the road as head of security for a global corporation - why are you brewing coffee now?
Mike: Coffee was and is always connected to passion for me. It's an attitude towards life and a comfort zone at the same time. For me, the day only starts after a cup of coffee, the ultimate wake-up and energy supplier. I ended up working with coffee due to a fundamental curiosity and a deep connection to the "black stuff". And a little bit of luck, of course. After years of intense work, i quit my job to take motorcycle trips in the USA. I had to come back to Vorarlberg for family reasons. A good friend recommended i start working with coffee, a fascinating raw material. Of course, the product has to be way ahead of the competition - and that's what makes DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE what it is. We are provocative and different from the rest, with our brand but mainly our product.
What makes your coffee so special?
Mike: I describe our product as a "functional coffee", because of its particularly high caffeine content. It is at once a wake-up and energy kick, in addition to having great flavor. But like all addictive substances, it's not about the quantity, but the optimal dosage. In our "magic workshop", our small roasting center in Hohenems, we spent a long time finding the right blend. And the result speaks for itself. DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE has corners and edges, a sweet, chocolate and nut aroma, and packs a real punch. In short: a full charge of natural energy that makes your heart race and gets you through the day (and night!).
And your target audience? How do you see the coffee drinkers?
Mike: My target demographic definitely includes coffee junkies that live life at the limits and need that energy kick. A cup of DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE provides pure adrenaline and helps people in those professions that need to perform at the highest levels without sleep: doctors and pilots, truck drivers and doormen. Although architects, graphics, actors and artists also love our coffee. Even lawyers, who need that strong coffee for tough cases when they're working long into the night and lack creativity. In short: coffee drinkers who want the extra caffeine combined with great taste.
So, is DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE a drink for everyday people, given its high caffeine content?
Mike: Definitely yes! I like to compare DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE with a good bottle of wine. Everybody should have one in the house, but it's only "put to use" on certain occasions. Especially when it comes to dealing with those daily "f*ck you moments". When stress from work is extremely high, when fatigue limits your creativity, or when maximum physical performance is required. DEAD OR ALIVE does the soul good precisely in those moments. It is so pure, it helps you focus and tastes amazing. Just the thought of having DEAD OR ALIVE on hand makes you calm.
Where can people buy and enjoy your coffee?
Mike: Our coffee is available in our web shop at www.deadoralivecoffee.com or in select stores, including Jöslar in Andelsbuch, Bentele Genuss, Culinaria Bregenz and Feldkirch, or Kaffeekontor Bayern in Munich. We also supply restaurants, but i see them as secondary. DEAD OR ALIVE is no coffee for common people.
What's next for the brand? Do you have new ideas up your sleeve?
Mike: First up, we will take DEAD OR ALIVE COFFEE international and supply to coffee lovers all over the world, including in the office sector. We have sales in the USA, Brazil, Uruguay and even in Iran. We need to increase brand recognition, better position the brand and grow the fan base. We do this through merchandising and targeted online marketing on social media. We also tour the country with a converted ups delivery van that we can serve coffee from, the Deadomobile. At the moment, we are also trying to deliver our coffeebox with 7,500 mg of caffeine by drone.
Whatever we do, it won't be boring!