Caffiend: Inside the Bungalow's Instant Karma

Looking at the quaint, historic home that houses Inside the Bungalow off Robson and Main Streets in Mesa, one would never suspect the danger that lurks inside, in the form of a coffee drink known as "Instant Karma."

This drink is a "red eye" (coffee mixed with two shots of espresso), and it's one of the strongest coffees we've ever tried (and we've tried many). Baristas at the Bungalow give patrons a choice of coffees for the Instant Karma, and we went with the Ethiopian coffee. What we got was a tall Styrofoam cup filled with a brown liquid so dark it was almost black. It smelled so bitter it curled our nose hair.

Instant Karma is like mud coffee, and drinking it provides an instant rush. The flavor is extremely potent and overwhelmingly bitter. One sip and the taste stays on your tongue for hours. Several gulps results in heartburn, and makes the drinker feel like hair is growing on their chests. In fact, this brew was so strong we couldn't even finish it. We were wired after half a cup. Some things should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt; Instant Karma should be taken with lots of cream and a couple pills for heartburn relief. 


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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea