Coffee and Culture Wars

SuperMatt

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There is a coffee company called Black Rifle Coffee that is targeting people based on their politics. They’ve chosen to try and be a coffee company for right-wingers.

I read this article in the NY Times yesterday (paywall removed for your reading pleasure):


My sense from the article is that their pandering to the right has started to disturb them a bit (or so they said to Times reporters). For example, they were associated with Kyle Rittenhouse and Jan 6 insurrectionists due to them wearing clothing with their brand name on it.

Well, based on a major Twitter trend today, it appears their strategy may destroy them. Left-wingers who may not have known that the company pandered to racists will definitely avoid the place now. And apparently they are not racist enough for the right-wing anymore, so it looks like right-wingers are saying they will abandon the brand.

I sure hope such a business goes under soon. It would be poetic justice.
 

Scepticalscribe

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There is a coffee company called Black Rifle Coffee that is targeting people based on their politics. They’ve chosen to try and be a coffee company for right-wingers.

I read this article in the NY Times yesterday (paywall removed for your reading pleasure):


My sense from the article is that their pandering to the right has started to disturb them a bit (or so they said to Times reporters). For example, they were associated with Kyle Rittenhouse and Jan 6 insurrectionists due to them wearing clothing with their brand name on it.

Well, based on a major Twitter trend today, it appears their strategy may destroy them. Left-wingers who may not have known that the company pandered to racists will definitely avoid the place now. And apparently they are not racist enough for the right-wing anymore, so it looks like right-wingers are saying they will abandon the brand.

I sure hope such a business goes under soon. It would be poetic justice.

Very curious; usually, the hipster coffee crowd leans left, politically.

Or, rather, it used to.
 

SuperMatt

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Very curious; usually, the hipster coffee crowd leans left, politically.

Or, rather, it used to.
It‘s definitely a counter-culture play by this company. The question is: is it going to backfire? They went pretty far down the path of hate, and now that they are trying to backtrack and maybe go more “mainstream,” they appear to be getting hit from both sides. The farther-right folks are calling them traitors or sellouts now, and the left-leaning folks aren’t likely to buy their coffee anytime soon.

I think such schemes are likely to backfire at some point. If they focused on the product instead of controversy and far-right politics, they might have grown slower, but likely wouldn’t have set themselves up for a big fall…
 

Scepticalscribe

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It‘s definitely a counter-culture play by this company. The question is: is it going to backfire? They went pretty far down the path of hate, and now that they are trying to backtrack and maybe go more “mainstream,” they appear to be getting hit from both sides. The farther-right folks are calling them traitors or sellouts now, and the left-leaning folks aren’t likely to buy their coffee anytime soon.

I think such schemes are likely to backfire at some point. If they focused on the product instead of controversy and far-right politics, they might have grown slower, but likely wouldn’t have set themselves up for a big fall…

Well, the left-leaning coffee crowd (and yes, I am writing from a position of some knowledge on this one, as I'd class myself as fitting into, or falling into, such a category) tend to buy their coffee on ethical grounds (and often, informed by considerations of ecological and environmental awareness as well), from smal local roasters, or independent coffee shops, those that prioritise quality (single estate coffee), and fairness (paying proper prices - often above market rates - to the producers).

And this is not something new; some of my friends have been buying Free Trade coffee for close to thirty years now.

So, not a natural home for the far right, I'd have thought.
 

Scepticalscribe

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In fact, for those of us on the left, the coffee dilemmas (re "culture wars") were rather different.

I do recall the days when political considerations determined what coffee one bought, and when those same political considerations took precedence over other, more mundane, considerations (such as quality, and taste).

Yes, Nicaraguan coffee (from the 80s, and early 90s), I'm looking at you.

These days, to my mind, for coffee, quality matters at least as much as politics - in fact, more so, - this is something one drinks, after all - (and, thirty years ago, I never thought I'd end up writing such a thing), and, moreover, it has left me with a profound prejudice against Nicarguan coffee which I must admit I struggle to overcome.
 

SuperMatt

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Well, the left-leaning coffee crowd (and yes, I am writing from a position of some knowledge on this one, as I'd class myself as fitting into, or falling into, such a category) tend to buy their coffee on ethical grounds (and often, informed by considerations of ecological and environmental awareness as well), from smal local roasters, or independent coffee shops, those that prioritise quality (single estate coffee), and fairness (paying proper prices - often above market rates - to the producers).

And this is not something new; some of my friends have been buying Free Trade coffee for close to thirty years now.

So, not a natural home for the far right, I'd have thought.
Everybody likes coffee regardless of their politics. I agree that people on the right probably don’t care about “fair trade” at all.


It is notable (to me) that this brand became popular despite no apparent push to sell itself on quality... and at $15 a bag, that is quite surprising to me. In looking at their site, you have to dig around a bit to discover that their coffee comes from Brazil and Colombia (no other details given). Everything on their site is about Guns and America and subscribing to regular coffee deliveries.
 

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Herdfan

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It is notable (to me) that this brand became popular despite no apparent push to sell itself on quality... and at $15 a bag, that is quite surprising to me. In looking at their site, you have to dig around a bit to discover that their coffee comes from Brazil and Colombia (no other details given). Everything on their site is about Guns and America and subscribing to regular coffee deliveries.

Local gun range/shot advertises that they sell it. So there is somewhat of a built-in market for former Folger's drinkers.

No idea if it is any good or not as I don't drink coffee. :)
 
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