Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 30 - ALYSSA HARDY

Alyssa Hardy drinking a cup of Death Wish coffee


Death Wish Coffee Company Employee Series #7

“Style is the great equalizer of the world. If you have a sense of style you want to put out to the world, you can do it”  - Alyssa Hardy, content manager Death Wish Coffee Company.




 Listen to the episode above, or watch the video on Youtube: Click Here.


Listen to how video games can actually change your brain for the good and the bad on this week in Science. Plus, everyone has their own style and it is not just about what you wear. The idea of being comfortable in who you are is featured on What Fuels You. Finally, the special guest on this episode joins the hosts for The Roast as they talk about something new in men's fashion, and a brand new product reveal that has been a long time coming for the World's Strongest Coffee.


Alyssa Hardy is on the show and is also the content manager at Death Wish Coffee Company. She talks about joining the team and her transition from her old job, some of the details about our current Grind It Out campaign, and how her love of the fashion has led to her being able to cover some of the biggest fashion events in the world.


Dustin: Can you talk about your background, your experience, before Death Wish, how you ended up here?

Alyssa: Sure. I actually started ... I went to school for English. I have a college degree in English. I started working for a publishing company right in my senior year of college, though I took some breaks during college.

Dustin: Were you working for the company or were you just an intern?

Alyssa: I was just an intern, but it was full-time. I don't know. It was really cool, because what they did was my entire semester was just credits in my internship. I basically had a job and it just went right towards school.

Dustin: That's awesome.

Jeff: Wait, were they paying you?

Alyssa: Yeah.

Jeff: That's a good sign.

Alyssa: I worked for a publishing company that published textbooks. They were beauty textbooks. If you go to cosmetology school, you would use the books that I used to work on. I was an editorial assistant, which meant that I just managed budgets and I managed authors and all ...

Jeff: Crazy.

Alyssa: ... the fun stuff. I'm very into fashion and I started sort of writing for blogs and doing fashion week and runway stuff. Then I started writing for a couple magazines on a freelance basis. My main gig has always been being a writer. That's kind of what I've always worked towards. I have written for tons of magazines.
Then Thomas [Draganetti 00:01:34], who's the art director here, he-

Dustin: We talk about him every now and then.

Jeff: Our listeners know him well.

Alyssa: Thomas, he is a good friend of mine and my fiance's. He one day had come over for a party at my apartment. It was right after Death Wish won the Super Bowl. He said, "Man, we really need somebody to write things." It was basically that, we just need somebody to write things. I was like, "Oh, I didn't even really think about that with Death Wish." He was like, "Yeah, I don't know what really could happen, but just go check it out. I don't know. We'll see. Email Mike and say, 'Hey, I'm a writer and I like coffee.'" Basically I emailed Mike, and I never heard back from him.
Then I think it was five months later, I get this very random email from Mike Brown being like, "Hey, do you want to come in and meet everybody and chat about things?" I was like, "Oh, I forgot I even sent that email," since I hadn't heard anything.

Dustin: That's kind of the weird thing about life. You throw a lot of lines out there and you never know what's going to catch. It's always almost the least expected one ...

Alyssa: Totally.

Dustin: ... that catches sometimes. It's really weird. I guess that means that's the purpose of being thorough, because you never know what will lead to success or what you're looking for in general.

Alyssa: Right, definitely.

Dustin: Were you interning at the time that you were ...

Alyssa: No.

Dustin: Where were you working at that time?

Alyssa: I was still working there, but I went from being an intern to an editorial assistant to I was then their social manager. It's a different side of business than what we really think of because you're working with schools. I was running all of their social media, all of their blogs, all of that sort of marketing side for that company, as well as doing all of the freelance writing on the side. That's where I was there.
I was ready for a change. I'd been there since I got out of college. Death Wish was obviously a very big change from what I was working on.

Dustin: Yeah, little bit of culture shock there.

Alyssa: Yeah!

Dustin: I remember, I'm like, "I probably shouldn't swear so much around Alyssa."

Alyssa: I remember that. That was so funny.

Dustin: Then I remember Eric was dealing with something quite difficult and he was like, "Fuck ass! Fuck him!" It's not actually like Eric to be like that.

Jeff: No, not at all. Not at all.

Dustin: He's so nice and jolly that it's almost surprising. I looked over at you and you're wide-eyed, "Oh, Jesus, what did I rope myself into?"

Alyssa: Yeah, it was definitely a cultural shock, but it was interesting. I came from obviously a very corporate place. I remember Mike telling me, "Hey, so just so you know, you're the first real ..."

Dustin: Professional.

Alyssa: No.

Dustin: You didn't want to say it, but I'll say it for you.

Alyssa: "... that we've hired from another company and brought in in that way. Just know that." Then I got there and kind of ... Everybody was so fun and wonderful, so it totally made up for it. But it was absolutely a culture shock.

Dustin: It's never coming from a bad place.

Alyssa: No, no, never.

Dustin: It's not threatening.

Alyssa: No.

Dustin: But it can be intimidating if you're not ready for it.

Alyssa: I think it's rubbed off on me a little bit too. Every once in awhile, I'll catch myself. I'm like, "Oh my God, I would never say that."

Jeff: From the time that you started to basically now, how have you seen the company change? Especially your role in the company, how have you seen that progress?

Alyssa: It's crazy to see. That was one of the reasons why I was so intrigued with coming here. I was like, "Wow, this company is really on a huge growth trajectory and there's so much room for opportunity." Really the community, I've never seen anything like it. They're so rabid and they love it. The team loves it. Everybody is just all going toward this same goal. I was like, "That's something that could be really amazing to be a part of." Keeping in mind, it's still been under a year since I've been here so my role is changing everyday. I'm still trying to really define it and see where it goes, as we add new people and add new avenues and we see what the community wants to be reading and what they want to be watching. It's changing everyday.

Dustin: Is there some avenues that we're not in that you think we would do well in?

Alyssa: That we're not in?

Dustin: Yeah.

Alyssa: I mean, I will say we've been pretty good about being like, "Let's just try all the things right now."

Dustin: Totally.

Jeff: Totally.

Alyssa: No, I think we're working toward getting video to be a huge thing. I think we've just got to keep plugging away at that and keep asking people what they want to see and making sure that we're working toward the same goal as our community is.

Jeff: I think that's a big part of it. That's why we started adding video even to the podcast, just because we live in such a highly consumable, easily consumable, very short consumable world of what we consume. It's interesting to be part of a company, like you said, that is just like, "Let's try all of it. Let's do all of those things and see what kind of sticks, in that sense." Do you think we should get into the fashion world?

Alyssa: Yeah. Actually, it's funny. That is the weird dichotomy of my life. We've got this really bad ass Death Wish and fashion, but fashion is also really bad ass too.

Jeff: Totally.

Alyssa: I told this to everybody when I first started, fashion girls love coffee.

Jeff: They really do.

Alyssa: They really do.

Jeff: Early morning photo shoots.

Alyssa: Yeah! Just being like, "Ah," all the time. I definitely, I think that we are in there, as interesting as that is. There's actually a couple bloggers that I'm friends with that I've sent the coffee to, and they're like, "What is this stuff?"

Jeff: Awesome.

Dustin: Yeah, that's an untapped market for sure.

Alyssa: Yeah, it is.

Dustin: Speaking on fashion a little bit. Was fashion something that you were always interested in, even as a little girl?

Alyssa: Oh, yeah.

Dustin: Yeah?

Alyssa: Oh, yeah.

Dustin: What got you into fashion? Do you know kind of the antithesis of that?

Alyssa: You know what, I think that style is the great equalizer of the world. I think that even if you're not into fashion, per se, what you wear can define you. Even if you're wearing hand me downs from Target or if you're wearing Balmain, it doesn't matter. If you have a sense of style that you want to put out to the world, you can do it. That's, to me, is such an amazing equalizer and it's a way to express yourself unlike anything else in the world.
When I was younger, I had a couple of traumatic things happen to me with my arm. I burnt myself really bad. I was in the hospital for a really long time. I think when I came out of that, fashion was really a way for me to ... It was just something that I could get into and just use to really express myself. I'm such a nerd about it. I love designers and I love models and I love all of that stuff. That's really what it is.

Jeff: You've covered some of the biggest events in fashion too. You were saying that for a couple years there you were going to Fashion Week. Do you still do that?

Alyssa: Yeah. Fashion Week is weird because it goes from a Wednesday to a Wednesday. Even, and obviously I'm at Death Wish during the week, but even in February I was there on Saturday and Sunday. I love ... Actually this last Fashion Week, I had this cool opportunity to meet with this young girl who has muscular dystrophy. Her wish was to attend Fashion Week. I don't know. I got linked up with her somehow and I got to take her around. It was the most incredible ... She reminded me was fashion is so magical, because for her, she's in a wheelchair and she doesn't really get to ... She can't move around the same way everybody else can, but she can use fashion to really express herself and be her own person. She just loves it. She's so obsessed with it. That was a really, really cool moment for me.

Jeff: It's interesting, because I know both Dustin and myself aren't super into fashion, as you can see-

Dustin: I like my shirt. I think I'm pretty hip.

Alyssa: I think he's hip too.

Jeff: The thing is, when you put it in the way that it's more about that. It's about creating a style. I see that in a lot of avenues of things that I'm interested in. I use this example a lot, a rockstar makes themselves who they are not just from the music that they create, but the look that they're putting out. That's why grunge movement was a movement not only in music, but in style too. You could easily identify with that.

Dustin: I think style has this weird middle ground where you can be underdressed and be uncomfortable, but you can be overdressed too. You have to find that middle ground, where it's like, "I actually feel right in these clothes." You can almost read it on people when you meet somebody and they're ... Leather boots and the chains everywhere. It's like, you don't look comfortable in that. At the same time, I've seen people, for example, like Zach Wild, dressed in all that shit. It's like, that seems ...

Jeff: That's who he is.

Dustin: That seems right.

Alyssa: Yeah, that's when he's living his best self. Even like you, Jeff, you wear a hat every single day, right.

Jeff: Everyday, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alyssa: That's you. You put that hat on and you're like, "This is Jeff."

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alyssa: That one accessory that you put on makes you feel your best self.

Jeff: I have thousands of accessories. But yes, the hat is ... It's funny, because there was a time period in my life, I think about sophomore, freshman and sophomore in college to about almost senior in college, where I did not wear a hat. I was like, "I'm going to be a different person."

Dustin: And nobody liked you.

Jeff: It was weird. I colored my hair at that time.

Dustin: What color, Jeff?

Jeff: Blond. I was a blond for awhile.

Alyssa: It was a blond moment.

Dustin: You're like, "Blond."

Alyssa: How did it feel? Amazing, right?

Jeff: It was great. Okay, full disclosure.

Alyssa: Blondies over here, we can-

Jeff: Full disclosure, I forget the name of the band. It escapes me.

Dustin: Blink 182.

Jeff: No. Late '90s, there was a song called The Freshman.

Alyssa: Oh, yeah.

Jeff: You know the song I'm talking about?

Alyssa: Of course, we were merely freshmen.

Dustin: I was just singing that yesterday!

Jeff: That's that song. The singer of that band ...

Dustin: She was touching her face ...

Jeff: That's it. That's it. The singer of that band, The Verve? Is that the name?

Dustin: Yes, yes.

Alyssa: Yeah. Sounds right.

Jeff: The singer of that band had this killer blond hair. I remember being like, I was like, "I could rock that," and I did. I was like, "I'm going to have blond surfer hair," for three or four years. I didn't wear a hat. It's funny thinking back on it, I never felt like myself. I was definitely trying to be somebody else. It wasn't my style. It wasn't my deal. Then I started wearing hats again.

Dustin: I think that that's part of finding your style though. You see something that, oh, that's intriguing. I'll try that. You do something weird with your fucking head, and then you're like, "Wow, I look dumb."

Jeff: I mean, again, I went through lots of different phases, like we all did in our younger years. When Marilyn Manson hit, I was right on the front lines with everybody else. Black everything. Chain wallet. The whole nine. I was like, "Goth or nothing."

Dustin: I just got rid of my chain wallet.

Jeff: Really?

Dustin: I believe in the usefulness of a chain wallet. I was never worried about somebody pick-pocketing me because it was connected to me.

Alyssa: That's right.

Jeff: I lost my wallet so many times. When I had a chain wallet, was the only wallet I never lost, because it was chained to me.

Alyssa: Let's bring back chain wallets, guys.

Jeff: Okay.

Dustin: I only got rid of mine because I had to put my wallet in my front pocket because I was starting to get weird back problems from my wallet.

Alyssa: I have a chain wallet. It's called a purse. It just goes on my shoulder.

Dustin: That's great. Chain wallets forever. Do you think Death Wish should have a dress code?

Alyssa: No. No.

Jeff: I love it.

Alyssa: That's hilarious because ... I actually remember ... Now my old job had a dress code and then they dropped the dress code. It was like everybody showed up in jeans and T-shirts for three weeks.

Jeff: Because there was no more dress code.

Alyssa: Because you suddenly could. Coming into Death Wish, which was really awesome for me, I think the working style here is everybody loves their band tees. Everybody loves their jeans. We've got a few dickies wearers in the office. I love it. I think it's cool. I think it's a way that people express themselves. When people walk in, I've had people say to me that I've worked with ... For instance, somebody that Dustin and Eric had met at SCAA, they were like, "Yeah, you know when Death Wish is walking down the aisle."

Dustin: That's true.

Alyssa: It's so true.

Jeff: We've gotten that just at different events that we work, whether it's Comic Cons or even coffee type conventions. It's become this thing that we're the guys and girls that show up and we look like rock stars and we carry ourselves like rock stars.

Dustin: I think everybody is really comfortable with the shit that they wear, too.

Alyssa: Yeah, for sure.

Dustin: I think that's big.

Alyssa: For sure.

Jeff: Especially coffee conventions. You look at some of these other companies that are out there, and some of them have dress codes.

Dustin: Or uniforms with the company name.

Jeff: Or uniforms. Yeah, the khakis on the black or whatever. It gets lost in the mix, the sea of all the companies or all the vendors that you're walking through. Then, like a sore thumb, there's Death Wish.

Dustin: Tattoos and T-shirts.

Jeff: Again, bringing it back to what you were talking about, that's our brand. That's our style. We are that.

Dustin: Freedom!

Jeff: Even though we're the employees of that brand as well, we embody that style, the branding we're trying to put out there.

Alyssa: Yeah. I mean, it's the strongest coffee. It's about being your strongest self. If you want to wear a band T-shirt, cool. If you want to wear a suit, awesome. If you want to wear your pajamas, great.

Dustin: I haven't seen that yet. Has anybody worn their pajamas?

Alyssa: No, no, no. Maybe not to work. I just mean in life.

Dustin: Maybe we should have a pajama day.

Jeff: I think we should have a pajama day. That might get a little weird, especially with people like Kane in the office.

Alyssa: Kane.

Jeff: Rose. Rose. Speaking on Death Wish though ... You've been here for almost a year, you said?

Alyssa: Almost a year. September it will be a year.

Jeff: We like to ask when we have the employees on this question, because we're always curious of this too. Where do you see us going? I'm talking a year, three years, five years, where do you see? Are there specific things that you see for this company that we're going to be achieving?

Alyssa: Yeah.

Jeff: Or that you'd like us to achieve?

Alyssa: I'd love to see ... I think that we have a very core group of people that are drinking our coffee right now, and I love to see those people help us spread the word to different groups.

Dustin: I almost spilled my drink all over the ...

Alyssa: That would have been bad.

Dustin: ... the equipment. That would have been really bad. Sorry. Didn't mean to startle you.

Alyssa: No. Helping us. I want to see us in colleges. I want to see us at the backstage of Fashion Week and at the backstage of a baseball game. I want to see all of these different types of people drinking our coffee because everybody loves strong coffee and it's delicious. I think it can really ... What I've seen from this, it's a unifier. We've got all these people. You can find common ground in the fact that you love coffee. If we have all these different groups of people really drinking our coffee and living the lifestyle ... Even if they don't like coffee we still have a lifestyle.
I think I'd like to see us grow as a lifestyle brand and I'd like to see us reaching out to different groups of people. On college campuses, that's my ...

Jeff: I'm with you on that one. Do you think that's just kind of staying on the same track that we're doing?

Jeff: Yeah.

Alyssa: Yeah. No, I think we've got to stay on the same track. It's something that's been really awesome to see. We have a such a small team and seeing all the things we do with such a small team. I think as we grow we're going to be able to do more.

Jeff: Definitely.

Alyssa: More and more. It's tight-knit, which is cool. I think everybody is good at something, and it's really awesome to see all these different talents come together to bring this idea to life.

Jeff: Let's speak on big ideas a little bit. We did have Thomas on on an earlier episode, and we talked a little bit about this as it rolled out. You and Thomas and Tea make up our marketing department. You guys came up with Grind it Out, which is our awesome new campaign.

Dustin: Or as I like to call it, Grund it Out.

Jeff: Grund it Out. I kind of want to hear a little bit from your side of it how that came to be and how we're implementing that.

Alyssa: I think me coming in as, I don't want to say an outsider because that sounds weird, but I came in, I think, with a fresh set of eyes to the company.

Jeff: Definitely.

Alyssa: We started to look at how our coffee was living within all these different types of people. Because I started to meet a construction worker who was like, "I drink this coffee because I have really long hours at my job and I need it to get through," and a nurse who says, "I work overnights and I drink this coffee because it keeps me awake," or a radio host that says, "You know, I drink this coffee because I have to wake up at 3:15 a.m. and look pretty on camera and meet celebrities and I need caffeine to get me through the day."
Where it really came from is we kind of wanted to highlight those stories. The other part of that is we wanted to be able to say, "You know what? Your grind is you." You don't have to be ... If you're a construction worker, that's awesome. We want to show that that is awesome and important, no matter what. It's an important job. I have to sit in this building, and a construction worker builds it. That's important.

Jeff: Yeah. That's what's really ... That's what I really love about the Grind it Out campaign. It's kind of on the same vein of one Dustin and I came up with the idea of Fueled by Death Cast. We never wanted to talk to the same type ... We wanted to talk to the same types of people, but we never wanted to just pigeonhole it and be like, "We're only going to talk to rock stars." Because everybody does something that's them, like you said. I think that's really cool that you guys came up with that idea that took the emphasis off of the brand itself and it was about the people that are enjoying the brand and the coffee.

Alyssa: Yeah. Last year with the Super Bowl, we talked a lot about ourself, which is what we needed to do for sure. Now it's time to turn it around on the people that helped us get to this point and are going to help us grow it to the next point. I'm happy that we've been able to highlight some really amazing Death Wish drinkers. We've got tons more coming out still.

Jeff: Which is awesome. This is going to run throughout the rest of the year, correct?

Alyssa: Oh, yeah.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. We've been talking a lot about it on this podcast, if you guys haven't heard me ramble on the last couple episodes. All you have to do is follow the hashtag Grind it Out and check out all our awesome stuff on DeathWishCoffee.com. I love it.

Alyssa: Give us feedback, too. I want to hear what you guys think. It's an ever-evolving project. If you guys are saying, "We love this and we want to see more of this," we want to hear that. Let us know. Wherever. You can reach us in a thousand different places, so just let us know.

Jeff: Like [D Man 00:22:09] and myself have been actually saying on the podcast, the best way to interact with the Grind it Out campaign is use the hashtag yourself. You're out there grinding it out doing something. Even just having fun perusing the internet. If you're posting about it, use that hashtag. Then we can all be in this conversation, which is, again, why I love this campaign. I think it's really neat.
As we boil all of this down and everything that you've brought to the table and that you're continuing to do awesome stuff for this company like Grind it Out and then still with your passion with the fashion world and all that stuff, what fuels you to keep doing that? What fuels you to get up everyday and want to continue to write and be in fashion, be in Death Wish, do all these different things?

Alyssa: I should have been prepared for this question because I know you ask it on every podcast, so I should have prepared myself. I think that it's weird, because this is obviously the easy and corny answer, but it's just true. There's just something about writing in particular and being able to write to an audience that is buried deep within my soul. I can't not do it. I think if I wasn't doing it, I would not be myself. What wakes me up and gets me, I write every morning. The first thing I do when I wake up is I write. If I didn't do that, it's like having coffee to me. It's just part of who I am.

Jeff: That's cool.

Alyssa: I think. It's the passion really, I guess, that fuels me to do it. It's hard too at the same time. You're putting yourself out there.

Jeff: Do you ever think about writing a book?

Alyssa: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah?

Alyssa: Yeah. Yes. Yeah.

Jeff: What would you write it on?

Alyssa: It would probably be a fiction book that I may or may not have started. You know what, it's weird. It's something that I talk to my friends about all the time because it's something I've always wanted to do and finish. It's hard to do that when you're working so much, obviously, but that's not an excuse. I don't think it's an excuse. I think it's something where I've actually been recently trying to implement this thing where I take three hours a week to work on it, whether it's in the morning or if it's right before I go to bed or before I make dinner or whatever. Just take three hours, doesn't matter when it falls, in my week and just work on that passion project that I have. Because the only person stopping me doing it is me.

Jeff: Correct.

Alyssa: I'm the only standing in my way. If I have this big dream of writing a book someday, well, Alyssa, you've just got to do it.

Jeff: It's funny because I have a little bit of writing background too. Taking your thought process from something like a journalistic type of writing towards a creative type of writing, you have to learn how to compartmentalize how you're approaching those two things. It is next to impossible to sit down and write an article and then turn around and, in the same breath, start writing fiction.

Alyssa: Sure.

Jeff: You have to kind of flip that switch. I think it's really smart of you to be like, "I'm going to actually allocate time every single week." Therefore you kind of are able to flip that switch.

Alyssa: That goes for anything creative or any sort of passion that people have. I hear people say, "I wish I was doing this, I wish I was doing that." Wishing is great. Just do it.

Jeff: Just do it.

Alyssa: Just make it happen. I get. Life is hard and there is a lot of crap in the world and things that are happening and kids and whatever. But you get one go, so just do what you want to do.

Jeff: Why not fill it with as much as you can.

Dustin: I think a lot of people will get deterred. Deterred, sorry. Because ...

Alyssa: No.

Dustin: Welcome to the eight year old podcast! Because they suck at it at first. One of the quotes I love is the first step to being good at anything is sucking at it.

Alyssa: Yep. I-

Jeff: Did Jake the Dog say that on Adventure Time?

Dustin: Yeah.

Jeff: Nerd.

Alyssa: There's a lot of times when I'm like, "I'm a decent writer," but then there's things that I write and I'm like, "Wow, that's crap." That's fine. That's fine.

Jeff: Yeah, totally.

Alyssa: That's how you get through things. The other piece of advice that I was given once was if you want to be a good writer, you better have a strong stomach.

Jeff: Totally.

Alyssa: Because you're going to get a lot of rejection and a lot of crap, and it's painstaking. Any sort of creative ... You guys are musicians, you know this. Getting any good work out is painstaking and you have to have a strong stomach for it.

Jeff: You totally do. Rejection is part of anything, especially in a creative sense. I had multiple rejection letters on various pieces of fiction that I wrote. I also had multiple rejection letters on record labels throughout the years. Just recently actually, just a couple years ago, I burned them all. It was very cathartic.

Alyssa: Burn it all.

Jeff: I was holding onto them for some strange nostalgic-

Dustin: What was the theme music playing in the background when you burned them?

Jeff: I don't know. Probably Journey. Don't Stop Believin' maybe.

Alyssa: I love it.

Dustin: It was more of an uplifting than an angry thing.

Jeff: You've got to let that stuff go. It only makes you better.

Dustin: You can't stick your ego in there, I guess, right.

Jeff: Right.

Alyssa: Sure. I mean, I am not above. My ego has gotten in the way so many times where I've gotten rejected. I'm like, "What the hell? This is not something that ..." Then, the second you do let your ego, you realize, "Oh, that's just my ego." You go, "Oh, okay. All right. Moving on."

Dustin: Next project.

Alyssa: Moving on.

Jeff: That kind of brings it into something that we always ask employees, too. You've only been here for less than a year so you might not even have an answer to this yet. We love to hear stories. We never talk about, like we've just said, we never really talk about things that are failures, because you should never look at something as a failure. We always go back to EJ Snyder. He said, "You either win or you learn." That's a big thing. But, implementing a lot of different ideas, especially from the marketing side, in this company, has there been anything that you were like, "This is going to work," and it just didn't?

Alyssa: Yeah. I actually haven't really been here yet for that long, so I think I'm still in the trial phase. We've been trying a lot of stuff. We have a lot of big ideas I'm really excited to share with everybody, but not going to do that right now, that will definitely test this thing. What I will say about failure, I totally love that you fail or you learn. I'm also okay with saying, "Yeah, I just kind of messed that up." Yes, you learn from that, for sure.

Jeff: You learn from that. You learn from that.

Alyssa: For sure.

Jeff: The reason why we do like to ask that question is because, like you said earlier, is that this company is just like, "Let's try everything."

Alyssa: All the things.

Jeff: Some things just don't work as well.

Dustin: Let's try apple coffee.

Alyssa: Right, right, right.

Dustin: No. Let's not try that again.

Jeff: Anyway. On the coffee, another question we ask every single time-

Dustin: I want to ask, Jeff.

Jeff: Yeah, you do it.

Dustin: Valhalla Java or Death Wish. You have to pick.

Jeff: You have to pick.

Alyssa: Death Wish.

Jeff: What?

Dustin: Really?

Jeff: Really?

Alyssa: Well, okay, here's the thing. Let's break this down for a second.

Jeff: Let's break this down.

Dustin: Okay.

Alyssa: Because I love the smell and taste of Death Wish. I love coffee. Sometimes if I drink too much Death Wish, I am a very shaky and panicky, crazy person.

Dustin: Amen.

Jeff: Lots of our fans are too.

Alyssa: Sometimes the Valhalla is a little bit easier on the nerves for me.

Jeff: That's totally why I love that we bring both these brands to the table. It's the same aesthetic. It's the same good coffee. I mean, it's not the same when you break it down to the beans. But it's coming from the same good place. They're two different flavor profiles, two different types ...

Alyssa: They are.

Jeff: ... of coffee.

Dustin: One of them won't give you anxiety attacks if you drink too much. Well, it might. You have to test that water.

Alyssa: It's so funny to me because there are some people that it doesn't affect them at all. I'm an anxious person in general. I'm a very nervous person.

Jeff: Amen.

Alyssa: Just depends on the day. If you're like Thomas, for instance, Thomas and I sit right next to each other, literally, as close as Jeff and I are sitting right here. There will be days where Thomas will drink the coffee, and where I would get nervous and I'd be like, "Nobody talk to me," Thomas will be like, "Woo!"

Jeff: He becomes fun Thomas sometimes.

Dustin: He's mellow yellow though. He's able to. I can't do that either. I'm like one cup in the morning, a [ZV 00:31:46] in the afternoon.

Alyssa: Yeah, exactly.

Dustin: That's pretty much all the caffeine I can take in a day. I've tried to full blown caffeine it, and I don't know, I ended up in the doctor's office with serious headaches everyday, really, really, really bad headaches. Like can only stand being in the darkest room possible kind of headaches. Really bad. I didn't even know what was causing it. I was like, "Jesus, Doc, I think I've got a brain tumor." He was like, "How much caffeine are you taking?"

Alyssa: Really?

Dustin: Yeah.

Alyssa: Very interesting.

Dustin: At the time I wasn't working here. I was working in a late night restaurant and was relying on outside sources for energy. Definitely got carried away with caffeine all around.

Jeff: I remember the days when Dustin didn't even drink coffee at all, didn't even like it. I've always been a coffee drinker.

Alyssa: Me too.

Jeff: It's funny, because before I started working here, I was working in restaurants and kitchens forever. My routine was coffee until noon and then tea after noon. Usually still caffeinated tea. Usually Earl Grey or something like that. Now that I'm here, I should probably bring tea in and go back to that. I've just substituted Valhalla for tea.

Dustin: There's some tea here.

Jeff: I know there is. There is some tea here. It's really become I'll drink Death Wish until noon and then I switch to Valhalla.

Dustin: Oh my God.

Jeff: Drink Valhalla until four.

Alyssa: There's always, in the morning, there's the Ox Box is running with Death Wish and there's the brewer running with Death Wish and [Chemix 00:33:14] is running with Death Wish. You can see people sort of switch to Valhalla, water, or tea in the afternoon. Because we all drink a lot of Death Wish in the morning.

Dustin: Or maybe other nameless brands of coffee that we might indulge in from time to time.

Alyssa: Sure.

Jeff: People know. If you're just tuning into this show and you've never heard us talk about that before, one of the things that's great about this company is we're so curious about the industry at large. Whenever we see a new brand out there or a brand that's doing really well or has a new flavor, something like that, we usually order it. As a collective, we try it because we're super interested about it.

Dustin: As a collective, we judge it very, very harshly.

Alyssa: Yes.

Dustin: Extremely harsh.

Alyssa: Yeah.

Dustin: They're all inferior. I'm just kidding. Sorry, I got too intense there.

Jeff: It's not true.

Alyssa: There's room for all of us. We all love all different things and different levels of caffeine at certain days and more caffeine on other days.

Dustin: Wait. Let's go back to the original question. Death Wish or Valhalla Java? If there was only one kind under the roof.

Alyssa: D Man! You know what? If there was only one kind under the roof, I would need my caffeine intake, so I would say Death Wish.

Jeff: There we go.

Dustin: There it is.

Jeff: There it is.

Dustin: That's good, that's good. That's all, folks.

Jeff: Finally, is there anything coming up for you either in the company that you're excited to talk about or just personally in your fashion world type stuff that you want to plug?

Alyssa: Weird. Yeah. I guess. We have a lot of things coming out here at Death Wish.

Jeff: Yeah, I know a lot of it's secret and we're not trying to get your secrets.

Alyssa: A lot of it's secret, so I can't really tell you much about it. I will say, just with Grind it Out, we have a lot of really awesome subjects coming out, like Bethany Watson from Z100. I'm really excited about her video coming out. Really awesome to film that. I think that'll be out. I'm going to be in a commercial in Norway or Sweden, and Finland.

Dustin: I know. A commercial! [crosstalk 00:35:25]

Jeff: That's so much fun. Hopefully we'll get a copy of that and we'll post it on the Death Wish Coffee page.

Alyssa: Yeah, that's going to be real weird.

Dustin: We will find it.

Jeff: Yes, we will.

Alyssa: I'm sure it'll be on the internet. I'm just really looking forward to summer, guys. I don't know about you.

Jeff: Totally.

Dustin: I could go either way. I don't know. It's gross summers here usually.

Alyssa: True.

Dustin: It's so muggy and buggy.

Jeff: I don't know. Like I've said before, this summer I know at least my beverages are locked down because we have the cold brew coffee and the Jucifer beer that we did with Old Saratoga.

Dustin: So good.

Jeff: I think I'm only going to be drinking those just on repeat.

Dustin: It'll be Death Wish Nitro Brew until noon and then Jucifer beer?

Alyssa: Right. Summer Fridays.

Jeff: There we go. Jeff, it's Monday. That's awesome. Is there any ... Obviously follow us on social media, Death Wish Coffee. Is there any personal social media you want to plug?

Alyssa: Yeah, sure. You can follow me on Instagram at stopalyssatime. Yeah, that's the-

Dustin: It's funny. I feel like whenever we ask people to plug their social media, the answer 99% of the time is Instagram.

Jeff: Because it's the best out there.

Alyssa: I do the Twitter, but I'm not super active on it.

Dustin: I don't get Twitter. I try.

Jeff: I do Twitter as well. I tell this to people, Twitter to me is more of a news source. I lurk on Twitter than I actually post. Whereas I feel, even more so than Facebook, I feel Instagram is so much more of a community. I love, especially now with the stories and everything now, I love being able to get a snapshot of the people that I follow and being able to interact with them however I want. If I want to just like their photo, I can. If I want to leave a comment, I can do that. I can personal message some of my really close friends, and we have Instagram conversations and stuff. I think that that platform, it's my favorite social media. You're right.

Alyssa: Mine too.

Jeff: Honestly, 99% of the people that we talk to, that's the one that they'll plug. Even if they have multiple, they'll plug that first.

Alyssa: If you wanted to connect with me, if anybody out there wants to connect with me, that's where I am. That's where I'm posting. That's where you're going to see me posting stories and photos and stuff like that. That's where I'll interact back with you. Whereas Twitter, I might not check it.

Jeff: It's there. It's something to have.

Alyssa: Connect with me on Instagram. I'll be there.

Jeff: Awesome. Thank you so much for sitting down with us.

Dustin: Yeah, this was great.

Alyssa: Thank you guys. I was terrified, and you were wonderful.