A reader asked if we are veteran-owned and veteran-themed like Black Rifle Coffee Company and if we would review their coffee. We’ve answered both questions. First, we talked about BRCC in podcast episode 21. Next, we examined the company and coffee right here in this post.
The Company. Evan Hafer, the owner, says this about BRCC: “I started Black Rifle Coffee Company to provide a high-quality, roast-to-order, coffee to the pro 2A and veteran communities. Between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I was working to refine both my coffee roasting skills and my firearms skills. I have spent over a decade researching coffee, refining my roast profiles and (of course) drinking what I roast. Black Rifle Coffee is quite literally the combination of my two favorite passions. I take pride in the coffee we roast, the veterans we employ and the causes we support.” And it shows in every touch point.
They’ve nailed their niche in an incredible way. Being a veteran, former law enforcement officer for over a decade, and 2nd amendment supporter, I find myself drawn to the company and their marketing. But the coffee lover in me knows there’s better coffee out there. Single origin doesn’t have to mean tight pants and arrogant liberalism. It frequently does, but you can have the best of both worlds. You can have conservative, gun loving, religion clinging views and still get a cup of blueberries to the face. They’re not mutually exclusive. I also can’t get behind topless girls with coffee cups covering their breasts. Most veterans and law dogs I know can get behind this kind of marketing very easily. It appeals to them. They can go all in. That’s why I say they’ve nailed their niche.
The Coffee. I ordered the Just Black coffee blend. It has 14 pages of 5-star only reviews, dating back almost a year and a half. Say what you want, that’s a lot of satisfied coffee drinkers. My take on the coffee was that it’s a good, solid cup of joe. It does smell better than it tastes, and there aren’t many flavor notes in the coffee. It’s just a simple kind of coffee that you probably grew up with. But on the other hand, I can’t say it’s any better than the Folger’s, Yuban, or gas station coffe, either. You can brew it in stronger ratios at home, and that certainly sets it apart from the others. It also had a very active bloom when I brewed it in a V60. I’m thinking it was roasted recently, even though there was no roast date on the bag itself. I liked a 20-1 ratio best for this coffee. It stands up well to cream and doesn’t compete with sugar.
The Conclusion. It’s good coffee at a rather high price point. You’re not gonna get wowed by the coffee or the packaging. The coffee flavor isn’t at the top of the ladder, but you get to buy into being part of the community. You’re still hanging with your boys in the squad bay when you buy this coffee. It brings back memories, takes pride in masculinity, and ushers you into the band of brothers. In that respect, it satisfies.
You know I can’t review a mail order coffee without commenting on the packaging. Well, it wasn’t the worst I’ve had and it was a long stretch from being the best. The black bag has silver printing all over it. No roast date. No Arabica only. Just coffee listed as the ingredient. Since coffee is Evan’s passion, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt the beans are 100% Arabica, but I can’t tell for sure.
Update. After I wrote this post, BRCC pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and received a lot of media attention. The timing is coincidental. I don’t think they’ll ever have the need for that many employees, but I support hiring veterans. I won’t comment more as this post is already a little too long.