Green Beret Turned Coffee Connoisseur Aims To Break Guinness World Record for Fastest Cup of Coffee

February 8, 2021Jennifer Lewis
guinness world record, edwin parnell, black rifle coffee company

Edwin Parnell cupping coffee in Guatemala. Photo by Marty Skovlund Jr./Coffee or Die Magazine.

We may all dream about breaking a Guinness World Record, but for most, we’ll have to live vicariously through the few who are fortunate enough to hold such a remarkable title. That is unless you happen to be a member of the Black Rifle Coffee Club and recently made your Guinness World Record dream a reality.

In November 2020, Black Rifle Coffee Company’s CEO, Evan Hafer, attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest virtual coffee hangout to date. On Nov. 7, 2020, the video coffee event took place and surpassed the goal of 500 attendees by almost double. The triumph means that Black Rifle Coffee Company now holds the official Guinness World Record for most users in a virtual coffee gathering — ever.

While most of the team patted themselves on the back for a job well done, Edwin Parnell determined one victory wasn’t enough. Parnell is a former US Army Special Forces soldier turned certified Q Arabica grader and head coffee aficionado at BRCC. The success of the virtual coffee conquest inspired Parnell to pursue his own record-breaking achievement: drink a single cup of coffee faster than anyone, ever.

“I love a challenge, and ever since I participated in the largest virtual coffee hangout, I knew I wanted to set a personal record myself,” Parnell said. “As someone who is deeply passionate about coffee, both working within the industry and as an avid connoisseur, this drinking challenge is right up my alley.”

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Parnell while deployed to Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of Edwin Parnell.

A record of this magnitude is no easy feat, as preparation, skill, and accuracy are required to obtain the title. To break this record, the drinker must finish the coffee in less than five seconds, the coffee must be at least 98 degrees, and the competitor must drink it black. If an official adjudicator cannot be present at the time of the test, evidence must be properly documented, such as proof that all requirements were properly met, and submitted to the Guinness World Record for review. 

“It’s ambitious for sure, but more importantly, it’s rewarding,” Parnell said. “I’m looking forward to putting in the work and walking away with my second Guinness World Record.”

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Parnell is a certified Q Arabica grader, making him among the most qualified judges of good coffee in the world. Photo courtesy of Edwin Parnell.

In the last couple of months, Parnell has trained with practice and precision, studying the tactics of Andre Ortolf, the current record holder for drinking the world’s fastest cup of coffee, who clocked in at an impressive 4.35 seconds. In fact, this is not the first Guinness World Record Ortolf has vanquished. He previously held the title for drinking 200 ml of mustard in 15 seconds, eating the most baby food in under 60 seconds, and even running 100 meters in ski boots the fastest. 

As of today, Parnell has attempted to break the record about 12 times, closing in on Ortolf’s record at just over five seconds. With a tad more practice and patience, it appears that BRCC may be announcing its second Guinness World Record sooner than anyone thought. 

Think you’ve got what it takes to beat the current standing coffee record? Apply here for your chance to take the title. 

Jennifer Lewis
Jennifer Lewis
Jennifer Lewis is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. A native of New York, Jennifer is a media relations manager in the music industry and a freelance writer who specializes in true crime, entertainment, and culture. She’s traveled throughout the world not only to find her own story, but to also hear the stories of those longing to tell them. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her cat, Avery.
Follow her on Twitter and Instagram
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