Why Are Coffee Subscriptions Better Than Buying Online or at a Store? Are They Worth It?
Coffee subscriptions are all the rage these days, with a wide variety of options designed to appeal to all types of coffee lovers. But really, are coffee subscriptions worth it? Or is this just a new marketing scheme enjoying its heyday. This article will explore the pros and cons of a coffee subscription to deliver a definitive answer.
The Many Advantages of a Coffee Subscription Service
As it turns out, coffee subscriptions aren’t just a trendy way to part you from your money. They really do offer numerous advantages, making them a worthwhile option for most coffee enthusiasts – not to mention a fantastic gift for a coffee lover. Let’s explore why you might want to choose a coffee subscription service.
You’ll Never Run Out of Coffee
Have you ever woken up on a cold, dark morning and stumbled to the kitchen on a quest for much-needed caffeine only to find out you're out of coffee? It’s devastating, and a coffee subscription will spare you that pain.
Provided you choose the appropriate delivery frequency to suit your consumption habits, you can expect a new bag to be ready and wait on your doorstep when you need it.
You’ll Get to Try New Coffees You Might Not Have Considered
This is the main advantage for anyone excited to explore new coffees but unsure where to start.
There are coffee subscriptions designed with the express purpose of expanding your coffee palate and discovering new favorite brews.
For example, there's the popular Atlas coffee subscription, which sends you coffee from a different part of the world each month. Or check out the Angel's Cup subscription, which sends you unlabelled coffees so you can conduct your blind taste test. It's fun and informative! Or, go with Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription box that quizzes the hack out of the flavors you like.
Some coffee subscriptions even use advanced technology like machine learning to define your preferences. You'll be asked to rate each new coffee you receive, and they'll crunch the numbers to find you the perfect beans.
Your Coffee Will Be Fresh Roasted
Coffee subscription services are usually designed to deliver the beans to you as soon after roasting as possible. They will certainly be fresher than what you might find at a local grocery store or an online supermarket like Amazon.
Some subscriptions take this more seriously than others. The Moustache Coffee Club, for example, will send beans so fresh that they're not even ready for brewing yet! They're labeled with a “best after” date because, as experts like Esther Shaw, co-founder of Coptic Light Coffee, will tell you, fresher isn't always better (1).
Too soon after [roasting], the coffee hasn’t really formed its structure and lots of the nuances in the taste profile aren’t apparent yet.
If receiving fresh coffee beans is important to you, do your research regarding shipping estimates for where you live. For American subscriptions, Alaska and Hawaii may not have guaranteed delivery times. And international shipping is not always offered or timely.
It Might Save You Money
Subscriptions designed to open your mind to new coffees are usually more expensive because you're paying for a curated experience, not just a coffee. But if you want your regular beans delivered to your door on a schedule, many roasters will offer this service at a discount of 10% to 15% versus buying individual bags, and they are rewarding you for your loyalty.
Are There Disadvantages to a Coffee Subscription?
There are so many coffee subscription boxes these days that almost anyone can find a worthwhile one. You can start by checking out our review of the amazing subscription boxes or watching this video:
However, there are exceptions. If you have access to excellent local roasters and their knowledgeable owners, you may be able to get the same freshness and expertise without having to mail order your beans. This is an excellent option for supporting your local community, and by eliminating shipping, you'll save money and help the environment.
The other exception is if you have no interest in specialty coffee. If your go-to brew is a can of pre-ground Folger's beans – and we don't judge here – then a coffee subscription will be a waste of money. That said, if you have a Folgers drinker in your social circle, a coffee subscription might be the perfect gift!
So, are coffee subscriptions worth it? The answer is a resounding yes – in most cases. If you enjoy high-quality specialty coffee and are willing to put in the time to find just the right subscription for you, you won’t regret it. The combination of convenience, education, and great coffee is hard to beat!
Coffee beans are best when brewed between 5 days and a month after roasting. Some variation may exist, depending on the darkness of the roast. They are still off-gassing if you brew them too soon, which disrupts extraction and wait too long, and they'll start to lose flavor.
Provided you have access to a good burr grinder; it is always better to buy whole bean coffee. But if you don't have a grinder, a subscription to pre-ground coffee is an excellent option because it will be delivered to you very soon after grinding.
You can brew approximately 20 to 30 cups of coffee from a 12 ounce bag of coffee beans. The exact number will vary depending on how strong you like your coffee, which dictates your brewing ratio.
- Clayton, L. (2020, October 7). Is Fresh Roasted Coffee Better? The Truth Might Shock You. Retrieved from https://sprudge.com/is-fresh-roasted-coffee-better-the-truth-might-shock-you-169851.html
I have had three coffee subscriptions and I found all three to not work well for me. For one thing, my wife and I both like dark roasts, and the subscriptions either wanted to make us try medium roasts…Deb would have been happy about that!…but I just never felt that I got a big ‘burst’ of flavor that I looked for in coffee. We have settled on a dark roast from a small roaster near us in the Seattle area. Because we are retired and spend a good part of the year on the road in an RV, we order either 6 or 12 bags of coffee at a time, as well as a couple of pounds of decaf coffee from a different roaster. The roasters know me and they work at shipping the coffee so I can get it wherever we were spending a few days. We do like supporting our local roasters. If you are planning a story on Cowboy Coffee, like Deb wrote about, you might let me know and I will send a short, and true, story about ‘Fishermen’s Coffee. Have fun with the coffee addicts!