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Last Updated on December 15, 2023
Before you purchase a coffee subscription, you should know the pros and cons of these services.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about coffee subscription models so you can decide if coffee subscriptions are worth it for you.
How Do Coffee Subscription Boxes Work?
Coffee subscription services are pretty simple: you pay a monthly fee, and you get delicious coffee beans or ground coffee delivered regularly to your home.
But not every coffee subscription model is the same. Different coffee businesses have different delivery times, package sizes, pricing plans, and target markets. So it’s best to compare a variety of coffee subscription models to find one that works well for you.
Are Coffee Subscriptions Worth It?
Coffee subscriptions are worth it if you can find a plan that fits your budget and matches delivery frequencies with your coffee consumption rate. Other factors may come into play, such as your specific taste preferences and preferred coffee sources. We’ll help you with figuring all this out.
A Peek at Some Popular Coffee Subscription Services
- Atlas Coffee Club. Perfect for creative and adventurous coffee drinkers. With this service, you can expect single-origin coffee from over 50 countries, including Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, and Tanzania. Atlas Coffee Club offers a fantastic selection of exotic coffees that are fun and delicious.
- Bean Box. This service partners with small-batch coffee roasters, and you can select a coffee tasting subscription or a coffee bag subscription. The locally roasted coffee beans are delivered at peak freshness. Other types of coffee include whole bean, ground, light, medium, dark, decaf, or espresso.
- Grounds and Hounds. This coffee subscription stands out because it uses a portion of its profits to support animal rescue organizations. Grounds and Hounds offers personal subscriptions and gift subscriptions for a variety of coffee styles, such as whole bean, ground, or single-serve pod.
- Trade Coffee. You’ll have an easier time finding your perfect cup of coffee with this subscription option. The site matches you with the best single-origin, fair trade, and decaf coffees based on your brewing methods, flavor preferences, and other personalized details. You also get to choose the frequency of delivery.
Pros of Using a Coffee Subscription Service
Coffee subscriptions might be worth it for the following reasons:
This is the main advantage of a coffee beans subscription. Having fresh coffee delivered regularly to your door is a major convenience. You won’t have to remember to top up on coffee at the grocery store anymore, and you’ll finally be done trying to figure out where to find the best coffee.
A coffee subscription is an incredibly convenient way to keep yourself fueled because coffee businesses tend to be very reliable when it comes to delivering coffee on time.
Fresh Coffee Beans
If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you know how important it is to use fresh coffee beans. The coffee you get from a subscription service tends to have a fresher taste than what’s offered at your local supermarket. So unless you have a variety of local coffee roasters to choose from, a coffee beans subscription is your best bet.
Variety and Discovery
Coffee subscription services usually come with an astounding variety of coffee options, especially if you pick a multi-roaster company that sources coffee from various coffee roasters.
Even with a single roasting company, you’ll still have access to a wide selection of coffees that you can try with different brewing methods. Newbies and seasoned coffee lovers alike will appreciate the opportunity to treat their taste buds to something new and unique.
For example, some services let you sample roasted coffee from around the globe. The contents of your subscription box may come from Ethiopia, Indonesia, or another exotic region. Variety leads to exciting discoveries. And it’s easier to figure out your personal preferences when you have a more seasoned palette and an elaborate coffee education.
Potential Cost Savings
A coffee beans subscription can potentially save you money, since you won’t have to make frequent trips to the supermarket. If the subscription plan comes with a high level of customization, it’s easier to buy the exact amount you need without being wasteful. In general, subscription services can be less expensive because of lower overhead.
Cons of Using a Coffee Subscription Service
A coffee subscription might not be worth it for a number of reasons:
When using coffee subscription boxes, it can be challenging to match the frequency of delivery with your coffee consumption. Even if you’re a regular coffee drinker, you won’t consume the same amount of coffee per week or month.
That means you could get too much coffee, resulting in a stale stockpile, or you could get too little coffee and run out of morning fuel at the worst time. Some coffee subscription brands haven’t fine-tuned this aspect yet, making their service a hit or miss.
Let’s say you’re trying out a new flavor of roasted coffee and you get a batch to last you the whole month. What happens if you discover you don’t like the taste? Well, you’ll have many cups of coffee that will now go to waste.
Might Be Pricey
We mentioned earlier that it’s possible to save money with a coffee subscription plan, but more often than not these plans can be a bit pricey.
Keep in mind that the coffee has to arrive fresh: it’s sent via fast mail delivery, and this boosts the price, even if you get free shipping. Costs can also increase if you order from an aggregator vs. a single roaster.
What To Consider When Looking For a Coffee Subscription That’s Worth It
When choosing a coffee subscription service, keep the following factors in mind to help you make the best decision:
What level of customization does the service offer? Ideally, they should cater to your coffee preferences by allowing you to customize your subscription box based on flavor, body, acidity, roast level, taste, brewing methods, blends, combinations, amount/size, budget, and other factors. Some services even allow you to change the frequency of your deliveries, so it’s easier to match your consumption to delivery dates.
Choosing a service with an easy-to-use online interface allows you to customize your order quickly. The best way to assess user-friendliness is to hop onto the site and go through the motions of making your first order. This will give you an idea of how easy it will be to get coffee that’s delivered on your own terms.
It wouldn’t hurt to also check out the website’s customer service options. You should be able to easily communicate complaints and concerns, and have them addressed in a timely and professional manner.
Packaging and Positioning
Packaging and positioning mainly refer to the level of specialization of a particular subscription model. If your coffee needs are unique, you’ll have a better experience with a service that stands out with niche products. For example, some subscription models specifically package their products for campers. Others provide fair trade coffee to subscribers who value high ethics. Find a service that positions and packages their products in a way that resonates with you.
Delivery times should be flexible. Weekly, biweekly, and monthly are the most common options.
Remember to check if the service delivers to your area, and also look into their method of delivery, delivery packaging, and timeline for delivery.
The main features to consider when choosing coffees are aroma, body, and taste. But you can get more bang for your buck if a coffee subscription service offers add-ons and extra features, such as fair trade and organic options, or a gift subscription so that you can share your coffee adventures with your friends and family.
Some coffee subscription boxes come with a postcard from the country of origin. Others pledge to donate some of their proceeds to charity, which is always a nice touch.
Many daily coffee drinkers just want an affordable option.
On the other hand, occasional drinkers may desire a premium experience, and will pay more for luxury, high-end coffee.
Coffee subscription boxes offer a range of items suitable for all budgets. Pick one that fits your needs.
The Final Word
Coffee subscription boxes are often worth it because they allow you to tap into the world of coffee on a grander scale. As long as you can match your consumption to the deliveries, it’s easy to overlook the downsides. That’s why it’s important that you take your time to shop around for the best subscription service and compare the key factors outlined above.