When Black Insomnia – officially the world’s strongest coffee – was launched on Amazon in the US in March this year, things went a little crazy. "Amazon sold out within 22 hours," recalls Michael van den Heerik, e-commerce operations director of the Black Insomnia Coffee Company. With Amazon sold out, the traffic spilled over to the company’s own e-commerce site. "Our website crashed three times in two hours," Van den Heerik says. The company ramped up production and set up servers all over the US to prevent further crashes so it could keep up with the skyrocketing demand. "We started flying in 2t of [green coffee beans] a day, seven days a week for just over a month," Van den Heerik recounts. Now they have the logistics down to a fine art. "We’re looking at five to seven days door to door," he says. From Black Insomnia’s roastery in Montague Gardens, Cape Town, it takes just three days to the Amazon warehouse, and another two to the doorsteps of caffeine fiends all over the US. Tha...

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