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Coffee around the World: Red Eye

red eye

Coffee comes in many forms, we love experiencing new drinks and with over 600 years of evolution and revolution in the coffee industry, alongside ‘traditional’ drinks there are some strange concoctions that you would never have imagined.

For those looking for a refined caffeine boost, then a Red Eye is going to be the rocket fuel that powers you through the day.

Anyone who doesn’t like their coffee strong, then you need not apply…

Sometimes called a ‘shot in the dark’, the red eye is only really served in North America. The drink is often referred to as a Hammerhead, depth charge or even a Wellard Coffee – a reference to the dog in Eastenders and the fact that one has to be “Well Hard” to drink it.

Once you get an idea of what the makes the drink, you’ll understand why it’s referred to a Red Eye…

What actually makes a Red Eye?


A photo posted by I’M-FEI-MING (@imfeiming) on

Simply by adding drip filter coffee to an espresso you’ll make a Red Eye.

This ultra caffeine boost creates a drink that at first glances looks like a regular Americano, but tastes like one of the strongest coffees we’ve ever experienced.

The drink was invented as a boost for passengers on the long plane trip between New York and the West Coast of the USA, which leaves late and arrives early in the morning, and therefore makes a good night’s sleep almost impossible to achieve. Hence the need for a strong coffee to prop businessmen up throughout the day.

The Red Eye is the fuel for a long day, really puts a spring in your step, and will definitely put hairs on your chest!

If you have the guts to try this coffee, we recommend that you use coffees with complementary flavours, our Swordfish blend for the espresso shot and our Primo Espresso blend for the pour over. 

The smoky, nutty chocolate Swordfish combines perfectly with the citrus, cream and milk chocolate flavours of our speciality Primo blend.