Daniel Gracie

When you think of the name Gracie, likely the most famous family in martial arts, you probably don't also think of coffee, but that may be changing.

When you think of the name Gracie, likely the most famous family in martial arts, you probably don't also think of coffee, but that may be changing. Bean2Bean coffee company based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently put the finishing touches on their newest product: Gracie Grounds.

The same family name that has become synonymous with armbars, triangles, and chokes may soon similarly be equated with your morning cup of rich-flavored liquid energy used to start your day of training.

So why Gracie coffee? Who is Bean2Bean? Will this help my Jiu-Jitsu? For the answers to these questions and more, read on.

Bean2Bean is a family business that was started by Obel Hernandez Sr. in 2013. Recently, I spoke to Obel Hernandez Jr. Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, and Olivia DiToro Director of Media to find out the answers to all of the above questions.


Coffee 101

There are many coffee companies. Aren't they all the same? Not really. Bean2Bean has a unique edge, aside from the Gracies, in the form of their founder, Obel Hernandez Sr. When it comes to coffee, Obel Sr. literally sets the bar for just about everyone else. Obel Jr. explains, "He's certified by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to grade coffee. He's one of forty people in the world that have that licensing and the only one in the state of Pennsylvania."

What is grading coffee? It is what it sounds like, Obel Jr. instructs, "People send him (Obel Sr.) coffee, to his division, which is called ICE, Intercontinental Exchange, and get it graded. These people have bought coffee in the futures market, or have coffee they are sitting on, and it is sent to his department to be approved or fail. If it is approved, they can command market value or higher for it. If not, they can't." He breaks it down further, "It's kind of like a Beckett's grading system. They look at the beans before they're roasted, in the green state, for any defects. If there are more than eight defects, it's kicked out."

Having such an authority in-house is great for Bean2Bean. Olivia DiToro expounds, "Our quality of beans is so much higher because we have not only someone that cares and understands the quality of the beans, but also is certified to do so professionally for the entire world."

Gracie Grounds

The coffee/Jiu-Jitsu connection makes a lot of sense once you realize that Brazil exports more coffee than any other country. With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu having flourished and become a popular martial art in America, now is the time, and the next logical step, for the Gracies to make famous another Brazilian export. DiToro tells, "People are loving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and so they're thrilled and excited to be able to bring coffee into the mix and share that part of Brazilian culture with America as well."

Having the name Gracie on a bag of coffee is not just a branding exercise. A great deal of thought and effort has gone into making the product the best it can be and representative of Brazil and their most famous family. Obel Jr. laid out the process, "We had a sit-down with Daniel (Gracie). Kind of introduced ourselves so he could learn who we are as a business and a family and learn about him and Jiu-Jitsu and the Gracies, where they came from in Brazil. With that knowledge, my dad thought that he wanted to do a blend of natural Brazilian coffee and washed Brazilian coffee." Additionally, Obel Jr. clarified that the Gracie Grounds are a single-origin coffee, meaning, "All of the coffee in the bag comes from one country."

While Bean2Bean has partnered with other organizations from time to time, Gracie Grounds will be around for a while, DiToro affirms, "This project has meant a lot to us, so we will keep it around for the foreseeable future."

So, will coffee improve your Jiu-Jitsu? I'm not sure. However, if the Gracies are drinking it, I would definitely give it a try.

Gracie Grounds — Bean2Bean

Gracie Grounds

www.bean2bean.com

Product Description: Jiu-Jitsu and coffee go hand-in-hand when it comes to Brazilian culture. Two of the most influential exports of the country come together as one in this collaborative roast. We've partnered with Daniel Gracie and the Gracie Family Academies to share Brazilian culture with you.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon
d2e111jq13me73.cloudfront.net / Enter the Dragon/ Warner Bros.
Bruce Lee really did have the Midas touch when it came to training. Most people think Bruce was advanced and complicated, but he was the master of simplicity. He was not worried about doing the jump-up flip spin-around back kick. Not sure if there is one. But by the time you land, Bruce would just throw a simple kick or punch to knock you down as you landed to the ground. However, that is the point. Simplicity is often overlooked because of the coolness and the latest and greatest workout when simplicity produces the most significant effect. Super complicated does not mean superior. This is actually reverse in fact. We see super complex exercises that don’t need to be. Truthfully, if an exercise or method is not straightforward in its approach, then it probably is not good.
Keep Reading Show less
 Anthony Netzler

Anthony Netzler was a top martial artist and MMA fighter.

Anthony Netzler, a 53-year-old martial arts instructor, was sentenced on Monday to 15 years and seven months in prison by a New Zealand court for helping to mastermind the importation of what's been described as the second largest illegal shipment of methamphetamine in the country's history.
Keep Reading Show less
Christine Bannon Rodrigues
Photo Courtesy: Christopher Rappold via Facebook

Black Belt Magazine's 1989 Competitor of the Year Christine Bannon-Rodrigues was promoted to 10th degree black belt in Oki-ryu on December 5th. She is pictured above at the ceremony with her family, including Dante (left), Chris (right), and legendary Team Paul Mitchell coach Don Rodrigues. Chris and Dante were also promoted at the event, achieving the ranks of 6th degree and 2nd degree black belt, respectively. Chris Rappold, the executive director of Team Paul Mitchell who was at the event as a friend of the Rodrigues family, reported that 35 martial artists in total were promoted at the ceremony.

Bannon-Rodrigues is one of the most prolific sport karate competitors of all time, amassing numerous wins throughout her career in forms, weapons, and fighting. She won the coveted women's sparring diamond ring at the Diamond Nationals in 1992, and was inducted into the Diamond Nationals Hall of Fame in 2008. She is a nine-time world champion as recognized by the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO). Her success as a competitor led to opportunities in the film industry, where she is still active and has had a phenomenal career performing stunts as Batgirl and acting as a double for Hilary Swank in The Next Karate Kid.

Keep Reading Show less