Black Rifle Coffee Review: Should You Try This Coffee?
Black Rifle Coffee Co. is a unique and eye-catching brand that we were excited to review. As a veteran-owned business, they strive to give back and empower U.S. military active-duty members and veterans. But how does the coffee taste, and is it worth your money?
Keep reading to discover if Black Rifle Coffee can become your new favourite brand.
Summary: Black Rifle Coffee
- Veteran-owned, small-batch coffee roaster
- Large selection of on-the-go, coffee-brewing options
- Coffees available as whole beans, pre-ground, and K-Cups
Silencer smooth is the first roast I have absolutely loved drinking black. It is refreshing!– Geri P.
Full Review Of Black Rifle Coffee Company
The Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) is a small-batch coffee roaster based in Salt Lake City, UT, providing coffee to active-duty military and veterans, first responders, and those who “love America” (1). Since 2017, the brand has also had a headquarters in Alberta, sending fresh roasted coffee to Canada.
Black Rifle Coffee founder Evan Hafer always associated coffee with family and comfort. He sought to recreate that sense of comfort and home during months-long deployments overseas. The original Dark Roasted Freedom was promoted as a limited-edition coffee, but it became BRCC Coffee’s flagship blend after overwhelming demand.
Today, BRCC is a cultural icon, providing the military, emergency services, and Conservatives with a culture and coffee they can call their own.
Coffee Quality and Flavour – 3.5/5
Black Rifle Coffee Company sources coffee beans from Brazil and Colombia. Their beans are selected to meet high standards for cup quality, optimized for specific roast profiles, and roasted daily to maximize freshness.
They also offer limited-edition, micro-lot beans via their Exclusive Coffee Subscription. Slots are limited, so you must join a waitlist to enjoy these perks.
You can filter the coffee products by taste profiles – like chocolatey, earthy, nutty, and smoky – to help narrow your choices. Otherwise, you need to depend on Black Rifle Coffee reviews and your taste buds to find your ideal blend.
We found that many of their coffees, excluding the flavoured ones, were very darkly roasted. This gave many of their blends a bold, bitter flavour profile that lacked nuance.
Selection and Variety – 4/5
The Black Rifle Coffee menu offers dark, medium, light, and flavoured coffees. The medium and dark-roasted coffee blends are punchy and bold, and their light roasts are good for someone looking for a milder, sweeter cup.
Black Rifle coffee flavours are limited to Fool’s Gold Irish Cream, Vanilla, and Hazelnut. They are only available in pre-ground and Rounds (aka. K-Cups) options.
Our favourite pick was the sweet and simple Vanilla. The vanilla flavouring was muted, but it was strong enough to cut through the coffee.
Roast Level Variety
There are currently 19 coffees on offer:
- 5 light roasts
- 11 medium roasts
- 3 dark roasts
The Home Grounds team enjoyed the Silencer Smooth Roast as the best Black Rifle Coffee flavour, with caramel, milk chocolate, and citrus notes. It was a relatively nuanced cup, though this light roast was closer to a medium.
Black Rifle Coffee Company offers a range of ready-to-drink options for a quick caffeine fix. These flavoured coffees come in two varieties: Ready to Drink and Ready to Drink 300.
The regular Ready to Drink coffees are made with Colombian coffee, in Espresso Mocha and Espresso with Cream flavours, and contain less sugar than competing products.
The Ready to Drink 300 coffees are made from Colombian coffee, contain 300 milligrams of caffeine per can, and include a blend of MCT oil and amino acids. They are available in Vanilla Caramel and Rich Mocha flavours. We found the Rich Mocha RTD 300 — which happens to be the most popular Black Rifle Coffee — to be pleasantly sweet and mild.
Note that Black Rifle Coffee Company is currently being sued for failing to pay millions of dollars in royalties. Court documents obtained allege that the plaintiffs were instrumental to BRCC’s success and viability in the ready-to-drink coffee space (2).
Brewing Methods – 4/5
Black Rifle offers its coffees as whole beans, pre-ground, Rounds, x Grinds Pouches, cold brew packs, coffee steep bags, and instant coffee sticks.
The whole-bean coffees are suitable for various brewing methods — including French press, drip, and espresso — and their pre-ground varieties are best for drip coffee machines. The x Grinds pouches, coffee steep bags, and cold brew packs are designed for immersion brewing. Because these packs contain pre-ground coffee, the flavours may not be as bold as freshly whole beans.
Sustainability Initiatives – 3/5
BRCC is dedicated to serving the military and first responders (1).
As a Veteran-founded and operated company, Black Rifle Coffee also strives to help other service members successfully transition from the military into entrepreneurship.
In 2017, Black Rifle Coffee Company owner Evan Hafer made it his mission to employ 10,000 veterans over the next ten years, empowering them with the tools and skills they need to find their own success.
There is little information on the environmental impact and sustainability of the coffee farms from which their beans are sourced. Though BRCC’s “Our Coffee” page briefly mentions sustainable farming, the statement is short on details.
Value for Money – 3/5
Black Rifle beans are reasonably priced, on par with other top brands on Amazon. They roast five days a week and operate two roasters, so you’ll always get fresh coffee beans close to their roast dates. Though you’ll pay a little more for Black Rifle Coffee vs Starbucks, it’s much cheaper than many specialty coffees. However, with little traceability and few single-origin options, you get what you pay for.
What We Liked:
- Empowering and employing military members and veterans
- Unique branding and engaging social media presence
- Large selection and variety
- Flavourful RTD 300 coffee beverages
What We Didn’t Like:
- Highly-charged political branding and extremist views
- Little to no information on coffee origin or sustainability
- Specialty coffees only available via an exclusive subscription
Do Not Buy Black Rifle’s Coffee If…
You prefer organic coffee: Whether you value organic coffee for the environmental benefits of the flavour, Kicking Horse Coffee has plenty of balanced blends on offer.
You want the best for your health: Check out Purity Coffee, a brand that roasts specifically to maintain the healthy components of coffee, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
You need an ultra-caffeinated coffee: Depending on the beans, Black Rifle Coffee caffeine content is up to twice as much as a traditional cup of coffee. But if that’s not enough, the popular Death Wish Coffee contains a whopping 472 mg of caffeine per 240 m cup.
Black Rifle Coffee Company is a veteran-owned coffee roaster that strives to empower our service men and women and everyday Americans through their coffee beans and culture. This commitment is commendable, but we’d love to see the same dedication to supporting quality coffee and the farmers who grow it.
- Black Rifle Coffee Company. (2014) About Us – Who We Are. Retrieved from https://www.blackriflecoffee.com/pages/who-we-are
- Daily Coffee News Staff. (2023, February 20). Black Rifle Coffee Company is Being Sued by an RTD Beverage Consultancy. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2023/02/20/black-rifle-coffee-company-is-being-sued-by-an-rtd-beverage-consultancy/