The Mistobox Coffee Review
Let me guess: you’re thinking about getting a Mistobox coffee subscription?
One of the biggest problems when it comes to coffee subscriptions is that you can genuinely not know what you’re going to get. I mean, you might know it’ll be high-quality stuff… But is there any way to have more than just a few choices, most of which you’re not even sure you want to try?You're about to read our Mistobox review and see if its the right choice for you.
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The MistoBox Coffee Review In a Nutshell
Mistobox Subscription Review
- Coffee Selection
- Overall Experience
- Membership Options
- Unique Features
The Mistobox coffee subscription brings you an incredible variety of coffees to choose from, flexible shipping, and even a personal coffee curator to help you understand the complex world of artisan coffee (1).
Their prices are affordable, and their site is informative. If you’re looking for a well-rounded and informed coffee subscription experience, this is where you want to be. It's a solid option, and often secures a place in the top 10 coffee of the month club offers.
How to Choose the Right Coffee Subscription
Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty details of Mistobox coffee, let's slow down for a moment and go over some of the key things to keep in mind when choosing a coffee subscription:
Frequency. It's important to know how much you're drinking before you pick out a subscription. How many cups do you drink per day? How often do you buy new beans? You need to know this so that you can choose the best frequency for your subscription delivery. You don't want to pay for coffee that goes to waster, or - horrors! - run out of coffee.
Your coffee preferences. Before you purchase a coffee subscription, you should know what your preferences are for things like roast type (light, medium, or dark?), flavor profiles (floral, citrusy, nutty?), and washing processes (dry, wet, pulped?).
These preferences are generally the first thing you will be asked about when you sign up for a subscription... in most cases. Sometimes, the company will help you choose. It’s important to gauge how well you understand the details of what you actually like when it comes to coffee.
Here’s a great article that breaks down these elements of coffee. You can use it to get a feel for your own understanding, and work out exactly what makes a certain coffee your favorite!
Shipping costs. Keep an eye out for shipping costs with all subscriptions. An offer of free shipping on your first order can disguise a large shipping cost in the future. And, of course, you need to understand your financial limitations.
Now, I think we can safely assume that if you’re looking for a subscription in the first place, you’re not thinking clearance-level prices. Still, there is somewhat of a financial scale to coffee subscriptions, and the differences in price add up when purchased on a weekly or even a monthly basis. Know your budget! All right, now on to the Mistobox coffee review.
The Full MistoBox Coffee Review
Mistobox is a coffee subscription with an almost unbelievable amount of freedom and empowerment, particularly when it comes to their coffee selections. A Mistobox coffee subscription is the answer to any coffee fanatic who wants to try something new, while ensuring that the newness and variety will still be coming from types of coffee they prefer.
Mistobox works with over 50 artisan coffee roasters, which allows them to offer an incredible variety of coffees – literally, hundreds of them. You can start by getting their Mistobox discovery box, which is a few samples to help you narrow down your initial preferences.
After that, you’re off to the races. They roast each batch of coffee to order based on what they know you like, then pack it up in their nifty subscription boxes and then ship those Misto coffee boxes to you quickly.
Did we mention that they were on Shark Tank, too? Yeah, and Cuban made a deal with the company. I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement. See the pitch that started it all:
- Incredible variety. There are hundreds of coffees available for each subscriber to discover.
- Personally assigned coffee curator helps walk you through the process.
- Easy-to-use system. Change your preferences and coffee choices at the push of a button.
- Hit or miss customer service.
- $5 per shipment cost
Coffee Selection: 5/5
Mistobox is the king of the castle when it comes to varieties of coffee offered. You get to choose from – get this – over 500 different options! And these aren’t just little unknown roasters, either. Their ranks include some pretty big shot names like Intelligentsia, Onyx, and Verve.
As you browse and see coffees you would like to try, you can add them to the Brew Queue. Then, each shipment of coffee works its way down the queue. You can even rearrange the coffees within the queue if you can’t wait to get your hands on one further down your list.
Recently, Mistobox added the option to order ground coffee as well as whole bean. While it’s an article of faith that coffee tastes best when you grind it moments before brewing, that’s not always possible, so if you don’t have a grinder, Mistobox has you covered.
The initial quiz when you sign up is interesting and pretty simple - a few screens asking you for the kinds of flavors you’re looking for in your coffee, which of the three price tiers you’re interested in, how often you want it delivered, and then it goes directly to collecting your address and payment information.
After that, it’s automatic: you’ll get your next coffee on the schedule you set up when you placed your order. Of course, you can change frequency or pause your subscription at any time - and with the recent addition of the downloadable skill for Alexa, you can check or change your delivery by voice command.
You can choose to have your subscription delivered at 1, 2, 3, or 4 week intervals.
If you need to make a change, you can change it either by going to their Web site and checking your Brew Queue, or you can download the Mistobox skill and have Alexa take care of it for you - renew your subscription, check on deliveries, and more, all by voice controls.
Every shipment we’ve received from Mistobox has been first-rate, not only in the quality of the beans but in the way the coffee profiles you identify when you take the quiz, but also by exchanging emails with the coffee curator. Sometimes there’s really no substitute for humans who know what they’re doing.
Overall Experience: 4/5
When you purchase a Mistobox subscription, you are actually matched up with a living, breathing coffee curator, who will use their expertise to direct you towards the best coffee FOR YOU.
You can contact them with questions and discuss your coffee hopes, dreams, and desires in as much detail as you want.
While some customers have noted that customer service for Mistobox suffered a bit during their rapid growth, it currently seems to be on an upward trend. But their coffee curator service really takes the personal touch to the next level. Now that is something that tips the scales.
When it comes to artisan coffee, knowledge is a huge factor in how to get that perfect cup o' joe. Buying great coffee beans only gets you halfway there. You need info on brewing methods and how to prepare different kinds of coffees depending on origin, roast types, etc. The coffee curator will ask you about the kinds of brew you like - pour over, drip, French press, whatever your preference is, as a way of helping choose a coffee that matches your preferences.
Check out their video on how to use a Chemex below!
Our Mistobox shipments arrived within four to five days of the roast date printed on the bags. This is well within the window of peak flavor, but some other subscription services we’ve enjoyed roast their coffee on Monday, and it’s in our mailbox by Wednesday. Note that this might vary depending on the roaster’s schedule and, of course, their distance from you - a small price to pay for having access to the 50+ roasters that this subscription offers.
Membership Options: 4/5
Mistobox offers three tiers to their subscription options: Basic, Deluxe, and Exclusive.
Basic has one goal – to get you good coffee at an affordable price and on a regular basis (2).
“People might think, 'This is cool, but I still need to buy my coffee elsewhere.' To survive, we needed to turn MistoBox into a replenishment service.” -Samantha Meis, Mistobox
Deluxe, on the other hand, is more bent towards the coffee aficionados who want to up their game and keep trying the best of the best coffee out there. It’s a little bit more expensive, but it gets you access to a steady flow of the top specialty coffees that Mistobox has to offer.
Exclusive is just that - access to very limited roasts from some of the most respected names in the business.
Unique Features: 4.5/5
What makes Mistobox so hot? Two things: their huge selection of coffees, and their live coffee curator. With more than 50 artisan roasters available, you've got some of the finest coffees in the country available at your disposal (3). That breadth and depth of product flexibility gives Mistobox a real edge over, well, pretty much everyone else in the subscription business.
Even more so, though, is their coffee curator. It's like having access to a personal barista or roastmaster, but without the attitude. Our interactions with the coffee curator were always informative, educational, and cordial. It's a great way to fine tune your coffee selections with someone who really knows what they're talking about.
The half-point separating them from a perfect score? The tasting notes in the box are a bit light, with just a sentence or so (plus the roaster's description on the bag), and there's not as much specific information on grinding and brewing as some other subscription services offer.
If you're already a dab hand with a grinder and you have the concentric circles down to a science in your Hario, you don't need these. If you're still working out the SCA's "golden ratio" for your preferred brewing method, though, a little more assistance would probably help. (Of course, that's what we're here for.)
When it comes to shipping, Mistobox charges $5 per shipment, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when you see the price per bag pop up on the screen. But shipping is fast, and they can ship on your schedule.
You set up how often you want the coffee, from every week up to every four weeks. You can also affect the cost slightly depending on whether you sign up on a pay-per-month basis, or for six or even twelve months at a time.
There’s a progressive discount if you select one of the longer plans: you can save 10% by signing up for six packages, or 15% by signing up for 12.
Their subscription comes in at around $20 per month after shipping on the pay-per-month plan, which is a reasonable amount for artisan coffee. Now, that’s on the per month plan. If you pay upfront for the whole year, it drops down to under $18 per box (again, that’s including shipping). That is a seriously affordable box of high-quality coffee, right there!
Mistobox Isn't For You? Here Are Some Other Options
I get it - Mistobox is not for everyone, especially if you're looking to broaden your coffee horizons and willing to take a leap of faith. Here are two other winning options, based on customer feedback:
The Atlas Coffee Club subscription- When you sign up to the Atlas coffee club, you go on a world coffee tastebud tour. They will send you beans from exotic micro-lots around the world, and educate you on the coffee in the process. You learn about everything from the local culture, to tasting notes, to the best way to brew.
"Each shipment comes with brewing information, a postcard from the country of origin, and tasting notes about both the coffee and the region it came from." -Business Insider
The Angels' Cup subscription - If hundreds of choices are just too overwhelming, consider signing up for an Angels’ Cup subscription. Each box contains blind tastings of various artisan coffees, and you can use their app to record the details and personal notes of each tasting, and join the conversation with a larger coffee community.
"Angels’ Cup’s system of sending out blind samples and then using an app to share notes makes it a completely unique offering." - Small Business Trends
We do a lot of coffee subscription reviews around here, so we can say with confidence that Mistobox is a GREAT option for a coffee subscription. They are well priced, offer quick and flexible shipping options, and have various tiers to their subscriptions.
Overall, I give them a 4.7/5. If you're unsure, however, check out our reviews of the alternatives listed above: ATLAS and ANGELS' CUP . They are our current favorite picks.
But what really helps Mistobox stand apart from the pack are two things: their unbelievable variety of coffee choices, and the personally assigned coffee curators that each and every subscriber gets access to.
- Coffee subscriptions personalized for you. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mistobox.com/
- Levitt, S. (2016, November 30). How MistoBox Survived the 'Shark Tank'. Retrieved from https://www.success.com/how-mistobox-survived-the-shark-tank/
- Taylor, A. (2018, August 18). Caffeine, Mark Cuban fuel success of subscription-based coffee business. Retrieved from https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2018/08/15/caffeine-mark-cuban-fuel-success-of-subscription.html