The subscription box industry is big, and it is growing. According to online statistics company Hitwise, there were nearly 80 million visitors to subscription box websites in 2017/2018, and 2019 is set to surpass that – with consumers continuing to move away from the high street and increasingly into purchasing online.
And it’s hard to argue with them. Subscription services are a neat, convenient and often fun and exciting way to get your favourite things delivered directly to your home. Everyone likes getting surprise packages in the post and now you can arrange for your own little surprises each month.
As coffee fanatics, we are delighted to be seeing an increase in the number and quality of coffee subscription boxes available. Here we have picked out our favourites and explain what they offer and what we love about them.
Neighbourhood are Liverpool’s first specialty coffee roasters and have been selecting, importing and small-batch roasting coffee since 2014. Their subscription service offers a wide variety of choice and customisation.
Firstly, you can pick between a classic collection or a specific bean. The former provides something of a surpsrise element – you pick between coffee for espresso lovers, filter lovers or roasters choice, and you are sent beans that Neighbourhood think you will love. With the latter option – you can pick one of their specific coffees (all with entertainingly puntastic, music-based names such as ‘Espresso Yourself’ and ‘Come on Filter Noize’).
You can then select your delivery frequency (from every week, every two weeks or every month), the amount (either 1kg or 250g bags – a middle-ground of 500g would have been nice) and lastly the grind (as well as wholebean there are a plethora of grinds to choose from – Aeropress, Chemex, V60 and more).
The ‘born sippin’ and ‘espresso yourself’ coffees we tried were both delicious, so the quality is certainly top-notch. And as with all good subscription services you can amend, pause or cancel at any time. At the time of writing there is 50% off your first subscription order (enter coupon code ‘sub50’ at the checkout) so we’d highly recommend giving them a try.More details and sign up at Neighbourhood Coffee »
Pact Coffee, located in Bermondsey, London have been sourcing and roasting coffee since 2012 and have offered a subscription service from day 1. The service is highly customisable, allowing the customer to select from filter, espresso or even pods, regular or decaf, choose the perfect grind, and even select the perfect delivery frequency in days – from a delivery every 1 day, right up to a delivery every 60 days.
The downside of these highly customisable options and the wide variety of choice is a slightly overwhelming purchasing process, although everything is reasonably well explained and illustrated throughout.
The Planalto coffee we tried was excellent – and if you sign up via the link below then your first delivery also comes with a free gift – a Hario V60 dripper – which was a really welcome surprise.More details and sign up at Pact Coffee »
We were big fans of Union anyway, as their coffee is top notch. But we were even bigger fans when we found their Coffee Club subscription box. Prices start from £12.95 monthly, for which you will receive 2 X 200g bags of coffee. You can customise your delivery by choosing your coffee as wholebean or pre-ground and you can adjust your delivery frequency to suit – monthly, fortnightly or weekly.
A couple of really nice features are the option to specifically select the coffees you will receive, specify a genre you like (e.g. nutty/spicy flavour notes) or alternatively just let Union send you whichever coffees they fancy! This last option is my personal favourite as it adds an element of intrigue when your subscription box is due.
The setup process and the website are really slick and getting started is a doddle. Highly recommended.More details and sign up at Union »
The team at Clumsy Goat offer 7 different ‘bags’ of coffee from Honduras to Colombian to Ethiopian Sidamo. They blend the stronger arabica beans to produce an excellent Italian Espresso (£7.40 for a 250g bag). For the jitter-averse, they offer a Peruvian decaf processed using the Organic Swiss Water method – it’s £9.10 for a 250g.
Clumsy Goat’s subscription service is very fresh due to weekly roasting rota’s, the beans are 100% Fair-trade, ethically sourced with next day delivery as standard.
We reckon the coffee is exceptional value vs quality and by subscribing you’re getting 20% off each transaction. You can choose the frequency and quantity of your subscription. It’s a big thumbs up from us at Coffee Bazaar HQ.More details and sign up at Clumsy Goat Coffee »
Based in Southport in Merseyside and aiming to bring the Melbourne coffee scene to the UK, Django also offer a choice of subscriptions plans. The terms here are a little less flexible than Unions and a tad strange as they offer a one month plan delivered weekly, a three month plan delivered fortnightly, a 3 month plan delivered weekly or a rolling subscription. This last option offers the most flexibility as you can choose how frequently you want your delivery and how much coffee you want delivered each time.
The sign up process is a little confusing and at first I thought you had to order the same beans every time. This isn’t the case however, but it does require you to email Django and let them know what your preferences here are – it would have been nice if this was built in to the signup process.
They also offer an office subscription so that you can be sent 1kg bags – which is pretty neat.More details and sign up at Django Coffee »
Perky Blenders in East London have also got into the subscription game and offer a really great range of customisation options which will be right up the street for coffee nerds out there. Firstly you can choose the coffee you want from a single origin coffee to the blend of the month and even a decaf option, as this is becoming increasingly popular (check out our pick of the best Decaf coffee beans here). But also there is a great range of grind options – from whole beans throught to the perfect grinds for cafetiere, chemex and aeropress brewing.
You can even select if you want your coffee delivered on a specific recurring day, and you can also gift a subscription – so perfect for birthday or christmas presents. Absolutely tons of flexibility in this service.More details and sign up at Perky Blenders »
The unique thing about the Hasbean subscription plans is that each coffee comes linked with an online video. Sounds strange I know but stick with me. This video shows you lots of detail about where the coffee comes from, the farmers who grow and harvest the beans and even brewing tips to make the perfect cuppa.
Now this is likely to be way too OTT for the average Joe who just wants some decent coffee through their letterbox each month, but for afficionados and those who are interested in the origin, ethics and sustainability of the coffee they drink, this will be most welcome.More details and sign up at Hasbean Coffee »
Weanie Beans feels like a slightly smaller and more personal subscription service. The details are pretty simple – you get one bag a month and you can choose a 250g or a 500g bag, so no bells and whistles or complicated delivery schedules but I can see the appeal in this for certain customers.
Weanie Beans pick the coffee each month and hand roast it especially for their subscribers, popping a note in the packaging to explain all about the origin and flavours of the coffee. A simple yet personable and warm subscription service.More details and sign up at Weanie Beans »
So there we have it. I’m certain that this isn’t the end of this list as new subscription services are popping up all the time, so we’ll be sure to update this article any time a new plan shows up on our radar. If there are any obvious services that you think we’ve missed then please feel free to yell at us in the comments below and we’ll right (write?) those wrongs.