Coffee subscription services are THE hot new thing in the industry, currently. And why not? With all those Fill in the Blank of the Month clubs that have been around for years, why shouldn’t specialty coffee be given a fair shake too?
Coffee subscription services—and other similar services that thrive on the postal service—have almost no reason not to survive, from a financial standpoint. Sure, some of them may not be able to provide a sole means of income for the proprietor, but as long as they’re making enough to cover the cost of shipping, they could have a very, very long life.
One person can do the job, the service could be housed inside the owner’s home, the postal service does most of the work, and they’re paid by somebody else. There is very little overhead in this business.
Because of this, of course, coffee subscription services are practically a dime a dozen at this point. Even I’ve considered running my own company. Some roasters are even doubling down on subscriptions by submitting their coffees to these services while providing their customers with a subscription service of their own.
That’s why I’ve done a bit of research, scouring the Inter-Webs and finding the best of the best coffee subscription services around.
Multiple Roaster Coffee Subscription Services
What It Is: One of the most well-known coffee subscription services to emerge in the past couple years is the Brooklyn, New York-based Craft Coffee. Craft Coffee built on the idea of the Fill in the Blank of the Month clubs, filled in the blank with “specialty coffees”, then expanded the model from one to three.
How It Works: Each month, subscribers receive coffees from three different roasters from all over the country. As a coffee reviewer, I can tell you that this is a tremendous opportunity to broaden your horizons, diversify your palate, and experience great coffees from roasters that you may not otherwise ever experience.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: For as little as $19.99 per month (or as much as $24.99 per month), you receive a box filled with three four ounce packages of curated craft coffee. That makes about 42 cups of coffee per month. You can even choose whole bean or one of three grind settings (but I know that you’ll select the whole bean option—you’re no dummy).
What It Is: MistoBox is a perfect example of how entrepreneurs are using social media and online networking to pursue their professional dreams. In the hot and sunny Arizona deserts, MistoBox is a brand spankin’ new subscription company. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, MistoBox launched in early 2012 and is garnering a lot of attention from the coffee industry. The investment funding they received from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank didn’t hurt, either.
How It Works: Much like Craft Coffee, MistoBox sends subscribers a collection of various coffees from around the country. Instead of three, though, MistoBox sends four two ounce samples.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: For an incredibly low cost of $15 per month, you receive four 1.7 ounce samples. For $30 per month, you receive four 3.4 ounce samples. You can also receive packages twice per month at $30 for eight 1.7 ounce samples, or $60 for eight 3.4 ounce samples. Each delivery also includes coffee tasting notes and roaster bios. If there’s a coffee you particularly love, pick up the full sized bag in MistoBox’s online store and they’ll send it to you with free shipping!
What It Is: Citizen Bean is a subscription-based company based in the City by the Bay, San Francisco. The name is a play on the incredible film Citizen Kane and an homage to their hometown’s incredible coffee culture.
How It Works: Citizen Bean functions on a Coffee of the Month Club model—they select one coffee to send to their customers each month from an acclaimed roaster within a couple days of roast date.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: $80 gets you a three-month subscription, $130 gets you six months, and $220 gets you a full year plus either three months of free shipping or a $20 welcome box (which includes a Bodum French Press, a timer, and a few other surprises. Subscribers also receive discounts on hardware and gear in the Citizen Bean online store.
How It Works: Subscribers create their own subscription parameters by submitting their preferences (flavor profile and origin), selecting their desired size (either 12 ounces or five pounds), and shipping frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).
What You Get and How Much It Costs: You can purchase specific coffees in their webstore for varying prices, or you can choose to have individual coffees mailed to your doorstep weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for $16 per shipment.
What It Is: L.A. Coffee Club is a Los Angeles-based coffee subscription service and coffee education provider.
How It Works: Subscribers receive either one or two 12 ounce packages of freshly roasted, locally sourced coffee per month.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: Get one 12 ounce package of freshly roasted Los Angeles coffee monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly for $19.
How It Works: Subscribers receive coffees in bags that don’t list who the roaster is or where the coffee’s from. Subscribers can then sample the coffee without bias and decide for themselves what you like. The only marking on the bag is a number, which helps to identify the coffee after you’ve tried it. You can also download the Angels’ Cup mobile app to record your observations about the coffee and compare notes with its roaster.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: The Cupping Flight—which includes four smaller bags of coffee—is priced at $8.99, and The Black Box—which includes four larger bags of coffee—is priced at $21.99. Subscribers can opt for whole bean or pre-ground coffee in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly shipments.
How It Works: Subscribers take a palate profiling survey to help BeanGenius become a “smarter” service. After taking the survey, BeanGenius sends you coffees that are chosen specifically for your palate. After tasting each coffee, log in to your account and let them know what you think. Your feedback on the initial blind three bag taster and each subsequent delivery will help their algorithm learn your preferences and make smarter recommendations month after month. The more you use it, the smarter BeanGenius gets.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: BeanGenius has several package tiers available to subscribers, but the two basic plans are one 12 ounce bag of coffee, delivered monthly for $22, or two twelve ounce bags for $44.
How It Works: Subscribers—in Canada and the United States—receive three four ounce bags of coffee from different independent roasters all over Canada. In addition to the coffees, subscribers also receive tasting notes, coffee bios, and extra goodies. For example, most recently, subscribers also received coffee cherry tea in their shipments.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: The Roaster’s Pack has four monthly payment options: one month for $29.95, three months for $28.95 per month, six months for $27.95, or one full year for $26.95.
How It Works: Subscribers receive coffees from some of the best roasters in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. The coffee they ship is roasted specifically for KaffeBox. The micro-roasteries roast the coffee per our order and ship it to us immediately after, so freshness isn’t compromised. You choose the grind settings, amount of coffee, and coffee type, and, each month, Kaffebox chooses a unique specialty coffee from one of Scandinavia’s top micro-roasteries for you. The micro-roastery and coffee type varies every month, giving you a chance to try and discover a wide variety of beans and roasters.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: Kaffebox has four tiers available for subscribers to choose from: four 250g bags of coffee for $14, three for $14, two for $15, and one for $17 per month.
How It Works: Each month you will receive a 250 grams (20-25 cups) of coffee that has been flame roasted by hand and chosen from around the world by their master roaster, a little booklet describing the coffee, tasting notes, and a few hints and tips; you can also select to have your coffee arrive whole bean or ground at a specific setting. If, on the other hand, tea is your thing, you can also get two bags of quality loose leaf tea. Their teas come in various sizes depending on the variety, but you will receive a minimum of 125 grams every month. They even post outside of the UK.
What You Get and How Much It Costs: Whether you prefer coffee or tea, you receive 250g of coffee OR two bags of loose leaf tea (125g minimum) every month for £9; you can also pay in advance at a discounted rate (£23.35 for three months, £47.70 for six months, or £83.40 for a whole year).
Single Roaster Coffee Subscription Services
What is your favorite coffee subscription service? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below. Also remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!