Black Rifle Coffee Review: Part 1
BRCC: An Introduction
We need good coffee. We, the human race, have come to depend upon it for productivity, wakefulness, and pleasure: we drink 2.5 billion cups per day. We at Red Hatchet Outdoors admit to accounting for about a tenth of that amount. Coffee is so important to us that it is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, with oil taking up the lead. Americans spend over $1,000 per year on coffee. It’s a big deal. Still, many of us are content to drink Starbucks and Nestle products because that’s what’s forced down our throats. At RHO we believe in quality, and our rule is that if you use something every day, get the good kind. That goes for mattresses, shoes, watches, guitars, guns, knives, pants, and… coffee. Black Rifle Coffee Company makes very good coffee. Founded by Special Forces veterans, their process is simple: order, roast, ship. This mantra helps them ensure freshly roasted grounds or beans delivered every time. They were kind enough to chat with us and answer some questions we had.
A Loud, Hairy, Gun Loving, Baby.
Black Rifle is still a young business. Founded in 2015, they’ve grown explosively: great products, great ideas, dedication to quality, and a supportive community can do a lot in a short period of time. CEO Evan Hafer describes the inception of his brand:
“I roasted coffee one pound at a time for my friends and friends of friends. My profession was soldiering and gunslinging. My passion is coffee. If people don’t like it, they can go somewhere else for caffeine. The internet is a means to reach people like us and provide them with the best coffee they have ever tried. Great coffee doesn’t just have to be for the entitled elitist crowd. Our brand is based on the owner’s personality: this is who I am and how I want to market the company. I take pride in the quality of the coffee and the roast. I also think it is important to entertain people along the way.”
The bit about entertainment is clear. Check out their Instagram page if you feel like getting stuck for a while. BRCC’s marketing is refreshingly honest; and it conveys the feeling that their primary priority is their product. They don’t seem to pay much mind about who they offend or turn off. We love it.
“Our coffee is fucking strong and our marketing is just as strong.”
We asked BRCC about what it meant to be a Veteran Owned Small Business:
“Being veteran owned is the core of our business. We may lose out initially donating to other Veteran Causes, but we feel it is worth it just to be able to give back to great causes that support a former lifestyle that we all lived and breathed for any length of time. The transition from that life is difficult and we don’t have the answers yet, but we attack this business everyday with the same attitude and mission focus we had in uniform, and hopefully that pays off for us in the long run. Hopefully we can show the business world that veterans have a lot to offer by being successful on our own. We hope the exposure that we bring to veteran owned companies becomes synonymous with a high quality product and service, not just a gimmick or guilt trip for customers to buy our product.”
Their zeal and focus is obvious. We’ve ordered from them twice so far, and both packages shipped astonishingly quickly. The post office does what it can, but they got those packages out fast, without a single mistake. They’re constantly updating their social media with interesting and engaging content, and fast to respond to customer service inquiries. They’re also roasting limited run blends like Blackbeard’s Delight all the time, making their site a worthwhile visit- you might just snag a bag before they’re out. They’ve even developed an app that you can download to automate your ordering. They just don’t quit!
One in Many
There are tons of boutique coffee roasters out there, but Black Rifle certainly stands out.
“BRCC is set apart as being, what we feel, is the finest cup of coffee you can get, at a fair price, delivered to like minded individuals. Our customers vary from serious coffee heads to ones who have been drinking Folgers for 20 years. We aim to make them customers for life with delicious coffee and customer service that they can’t find anywhere else. A finely crafted coffee doesn’t have to be for the privileged few that are willing to pay through their up turned noses.”
Black Rifle also has a chip on its shoulder. There’s no doubt that $12+ per bag coffee has a stigma to it: slouch-hatted trustafarians sneering at us drip-lovers. BRCC’s prices are comparable to Starbucks, but there is a vast gap in quality. Not only is BRCC’s coffee better, but choosing to support their business is a statement in support of veterans, second amendment rights, and great coffee. More from CEO Evan Hafer:
“Scott from Funker530 and Alex from The Raider Project are my friends. Those are veteran-owned companies just like BRCC. We think very similarly about helping guys from the community and how we go about doing that. We are looking for co-branding opportunities with guys like us that can do some good for the community. We also have ‘Thin Blue Line,” a coffee that donates all proceeds to the families of fallen police officers. If there is good to be done for causes we believe in, we will take them on. No different than raising your right hand and stepping into service for your country.”
Black Rifle Coffee Co. supports second amendment rights, that much is clear. They’re named after the most divisive symbol in second amendment politics. As civilians, we might forget that the “black rifle” has more significance for veterans. Hafer reflects:
“I am who I am. I have been throwing those black rifles around for over a decade in the worst places on the planet. The Black Rifle is just as much part of my DNA as the caffeine I drink everyday. Mixing the two things has always been my dream. So I’m living my dream. If people don’t like the rifle, they can go to a coffee that uses a flower or a peace sign or a mermaid as their logo. We won’t miss them or their business.”
If that sounds hardline, it is. They genuinely don’t care, and neither does the community that supports them. Remember that we’re writing about men who spray one another in the face with bear mace for fun, while shooting guns.
Don’t worry, that part is coming. Our first set of coffee reviews will feature Sniper’s Hide and Silencer Smooth. We’re going to run through just about every offering we can get our hands on- BRCC is RHO’s main source for caffeinated goodness these days. To give you some direction on ordering, we’ve included their roast guide. The beans come from Brazil and Columbia. These two countries are the world’s largest coffee producers, so the nationalities alone don’t tell us much about quality or flavor. Those qualities will come from the specific region and producer. As for the roasting process, BRCC says their process is…
“Based on Evan’s years of work tasting and experimenting. It’s important to use top of the line roasters and people that know what they are doing, or an entire batch can be ruined. As for the secret, well we could tell you, but you know the rest.”
Based on their professional backgrounds, we didn’t press the issue. They also added a bit about being in the coffee game, and some of the unique challenges they face:
“Just like any agricultural product, be it pork bellies or oranges, we are just as susceptible to bad crops, price hikes, demand issues, etc. The challenge to deliver a high quality product at a fair price is always tough. Sure we could save a few cents per pound of coffee, and most people wouldn’t notice, but we would and that is what drives us to ensure that each bag that goes out maintains that high quality.”
The Coffee Club
If you buy your coffee at Costco or Sam’s, you can expect the same prices using this service- do yourself a favor and actually do the math. You can eliminate coffee from your grocery list, understand the recurring cost, and get the coffee you love. There aren’t any cancellation fees, and you can get coffee every week, two weeks, month, or even two months. The other element to keep in mind is that it’ll give you something to look forward to! We’re big fans of “of the month” clubs, saving time, and saving money, so this was a no-brainer. We’re going to sign up the second we figure out what our favorite coffees are… Check it out here!
We’ll be posting our first taste test in the coming few days, stay tuned!