Coffee

Cupping Coffee in Guatemala with Black Rifle Coffee Company

August 28, 2020Michael R. Shea
Coffee or Die Photo

The Coffee Crew from BRCC is back with the second installment of their hunt for Lava Panther — September’s upcoming ECS power coffee. This latest CAF Life video shows some killer behind the scenes footage of what it takes to find, grade, and buy the very best coffee beans in the world.


After a five-hour death race from Guatemala City to Sololá on the shores of Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan rainforest, the crew treks into the mountains to an exclusive coffee co-op, where 150 local farmers bring their very best coffee beans for sale and distribution. The goal of these BRCC origin trips is to find world-class hidden coffee varieties and bring them back to the BRCC tribe.



The ECS coffee “has to be so much different from what our customers typically get,” said Evan Hafer, BRCC CEO, while touring the farms. “We’re making adjustments to show people what coffee really is. You have to educate people along the way.”


Much of these trips center around cupping coffee. This esoteric, old-school practice has more in common with wine tasting than the drive-thru chain coffee so many Americans are accustomed to.


Different local coffees are ground and steeped in 200-degree water. At the four-minute mark, testers “break the crust” by pushing back the floating coffee grounds while breathing in the wet aroma, noting any fragrances detected. The grounds are removed, the coffee cools for about 15 minutes, and then the testers sample it. This isn’t a sip, but a slurp to bring the aroma into the lungs while drinking — as is the process for tasting and scoring fine wine.


“This is a quick way to evaluate coffee,” said Edwin Parnell, BRCC roaster and licensed coffee grader. “Much like beer, much like wine, it’s a way to do quality control.”


And, as you’ll see, it’s a good reason to roll around with a 24-karat gold spoon in your fanny pack. There is no quicker way to impress the locals in coffee country than by rocking the gold spoon.



Michael R. Shea
Michael R. Shea

Shea is the senior editor at Free Range American, plus an itinerant freelancer for USA Today and  Men’s Journal, among others. In July 2021, Gun Digest published his first book, Rimfire Revolution: A Complete Guide to Modern .22 Rifles. He holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He once tanned a deer hide in an apartment bathroom. His wife was not pleased.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved