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 this figure has only grown as the years have progressed – 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.
We like the ethos of this company, who adopt the Direct Trade method of procuring coffee. From the farmer to the picker, the Blue Coffee Box staff ensure the pick-to-pack process works within International Labour Laws. They also visit the farms to check social and environmental standards. They’re a pure-play coffee subscription company, so you can expect high-quality luxurious gourmet coffee and top service with lots of choice each month (or fortnightly if you’re thirsty!). There is free delivery throughout the UK and they guarantee it’ll fit through your letter box.
Subscribers have a choice of bean, coarse grind for cafetière, medium grind for drippers/Aeropress and very fine for espresso and stove tops. You then have a choice of roast depth (light to dark and decaf) and finally a frequency decision – fortnightly, monthly or every 2 months. A gift box option to arrive on a birthday or special occasion is also available.
The Blue Coffee Box guys have given Coffee Bazaar readers a whopping 50% off their first bag or box, just enter promo code TCB5 at the checkout. For example, an £8.99 bag/box in month 1 with the TCB5 discount code would be £4.50. Bags start at £7.99 and larger boxes start at £15.49USE CODE TCB5 AT CHECKOUT FOR 50% OFF 1st BAG »
One of Batch Coffee’s customers left a testimonial “I actually skip downstairs in the morning now”, whilst another quipped “It was like having a blind date with coffee.” May be that’s down to the unique business model Batch employs. They don’t roast themselves but instead have Coffee experts who sniff, slurp and stir coffee’s from independent roasters across the UK to ensure there is quality and variety each in every subscription package. Every 2 or 4 weeks (your choice) you’ll be sent 2 x 200g bags of coffee according to your grind and strength preferences, it works out to 57p per cup!
We tasted a ‘batch’ from Norwich based roasting company, Symposium, the quality was there in all it’s sweet, nutty, berry-toned glory!
Down to the details…you’ll choose from whole bean, cafetiere, pour-over, Aeropress, stovetop or finely ground for espresso machines. To give you an idea of price, 1 box every fortnight (with 2 x200g of coffee inside) would be £16.99, the next deal up would be 6 deliveries over 12 weeks so the total over 3 months would be £89.94 for some well researched, top quality, expertly roasted coffee.
The Batch ethos is simple – smaller micro-roastery’s with little budget for marketing are much harder to sniff out, so Batch does the homework for you, by sourcing the best of the smaller coffee roasters who thrive on attention to detail in their processing.
You’ll get 10% of your first Batch Coffee box by signing up for a discount code on the Batch Coffee site.Sign up on BatchCoffee.co.uk for 10% off »
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 »
Clumsy Goat’s “Roast of the Month” subscriptions are a great choice for anyone looking to try (or gift!) a selection of exciting new coffees. You receive a different Clumsy Goat roast each month, along with a handy origin guide with each delivery. They offer whole beans and a variety of grind options too.
Clumsy Goat’s subscription service is very fresh due to weekly roasting rota’s, the beans are 100% Fairtrade, ethically sourced and with letterbox friendly next day delivery as standard.
We reckon the coffee is exceptional value vs quality at £8.95 per bag. You also get free shipping and 10% off your first order. You can choose from weekly, fortnightly or monthly deliveries and can adjust, pause or cancel at any time.
Their gift subscriptions are also really popular – you can pre-pay for a set period and the lucky recipient receives a nice guide to the subscription and details of who it’s from. 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.