Subscription services are everywhere now. You can get groceries, clothes, pet toys, wine, and even ammo delivered to you in the comfort of your own home. Why not coffee? If you’re even a minor coffee lover (coffee liker?) like me, you have to buy it from the store anyways… right?
I’ve recently tried a couple of coffee subscription services (some call it “coffee of the month”) that deliver craft coffee to see what its is all about.
How do coffee delivery services work?
No matter what service you go with, they send you shipments of coffee on a regular basis. Some services send you the same beans every time and others like to switch it up.
For example, with a Blue Bottle (a famous San Francisco-based roaster that we tried) coffee subscription, you get beans delivered by the roaster directly. With other coffee delivery services like Boxo (a service my friend started), you get a couple bags from a different roasters every month. Still other services let you pick craft coffee from different vendors, and they can make recommendations based on your preferences.
Pros and cons of coffee subscriptions
Upsides of coffee delivery services:
- Adding variety to your coffee routine
- Getting hard to find beans
- Subscription beans are typically very fresh
- You save a trip to the grocery store
- You always have beans in the house
- Discover new brands through curation
Downsides of coffee delivery services:
- Craft coffee is not typically cheap
- Shipping sometimes costs extra (the case with Blue Bottle)
- Not good for infrequent or non-adventurous coffee drinkers
Coffee subscriptions unboxed
My Blue bottle deliveries including just the 12oz bags, some tasting notes, and not much else (except for deliciousness). In the curated Boxo coffee box my friend gave me, I got a couple of tasty 8oz bags of beans from roasters in Miami (the city rotates every month), cards with tasting/brewing notes for each bag, along with some original Miami-themed art (to appreciate while I enjoy a my caffeine).
The cost of a 12 oz bag of coffee from Blue Bottle is $14 + $5 shipping… two bags go for $24 + $5 shipping. With Boxo, the cost for two 8oz bags is $29 and shipping varies depending on where you live.
Are coffee subscriptions for you?
If you’re an adventurous coffee drinker that loves trying new brews, a subscription might be for you. But if you’re on a budget and you can’t tell the difference between Folgers, Starbucks, and fine Italian espresso… you aren’t the target audience here. I can also picture myself giving a box or three to a coffee-loving friend as a thoughtful, nice gift.
Have you ever tried a coffee subscription service? What did you think?