The first rule of coffee club is to tell everybody how delicious your latest delivery of ethically sourced, freshly roasted beans is.
At least that’s exactly what happened when Coffee Bazaar Towers recently tried out Union Hand-Roasted Coffee’s subscription service – Coffeeclub.
There is a growing number of speciality subscription services on the market and the majority give avid drinkers the chance to brew up a kaleidoscopic array of delicious and atypical coffees. On that front Union’s Coffeeclub is no exception.
If there are so many, why should I go with Union?
Well, one of the standout features of Union’s service is that it gives you the chance to regularly support small-scale coffee growers in the global bean belt. These producers are committed to farming coffee using sustainable methods.
Since 2001, Union has forged relationships with global cultivators and buys raw beans direct from farmers with which it has long-term agreements. This model means the company bypasses brokers, sheltering growers from the effects of bean price volatility at global coffee exchanges.
The company also gives its suppliers a living wage and last year Union traded at rates 50 percent higher than minimum Fairtrade prices. All of this sits very well with us at The Coffee Baazar. As avid consumers of the magic bean we want to do what we can to take an, albeit small, role in the production process, in such a way as to…
Enough already! It’s good and ethical… I Get it. But What does it cost and what do I get for my cash?
They have two plans available. One is priced at £12.95 per delivery which will provide you with Joe from a 14-strong list of different coffees. The other plan comes in at £14.95 but means you are sent rare and limited-edition ‘microlots’ of coffee, grown by a 15-strong lineup of small producers around the world.
Each delivery consists of two bags, each weighing 200 grams. This will roughly make 40 coffees, meaning the subscription comes in at between 32 and 37 pence per cup.
You can take a ‘pick and mix’ approach to selection by listing your flavour preferences and Union will match the delivery to suit your tastes. Alternatively, you can automatically select which coffees you want.
You can sign up for monthly, weekly or fortnightly deliveries and can choose whether you want to receive the coffee in whole beans or ground. Different options for grind coarseness are offered if choosing to get your beans pre-milled.
The product is sent out in an attractive letterbox-friendly parcel and each coffee is packaged in an attractive, resealable pouch with plenty of info about its taste profile and origin that really help you get the maximum enjoyment out of what you are drinking.
Further details about each type and how it is produced are available on the company’s website, where a plethora of tips on brewing are also listed.
Sounds fancy but is the coffee any good?
Well there are 29 coffees in their product list. We tried out ‘Bobolink‘ from Brazil, which is included in the standard subscription package and the limited micro-lot ‘Finca Santuario‘ from Colombia which comes with the £14.95 version.
They were both splendid, far sweeter and more aromatic than the common or garden varieties of coffee that you get at the supermarket.
At Union they roast raw beans using artisan methods in super small batches. The stuff we got landed on our desk a couple of days after the beans had come out of the oven. This probably goes a long way to account for the superb cleanliness of the final cup.
The Brazilian was deep smooth and bold, and the limited-edition Colombian was really unique. It is grown at high altitudes according to organic methods and comes from young plants. Finca Santuario has strong tangerine notes which give each cup a beguiling finish reminiscent of marmalade.
The coffee’s packaging did a good job of keeping it fresh for the few days it took us to polish it all off. We brewed it up using a number of different methods and it really was delicious every time, black, white, short, long – you name it.
The superiority of the flavour was in all honesty worth paying the extra money for and that’s to say nothing of the ethical factor and the convenience of the deliveries….
Fair enough, but what if I don’t feel like subscribing?Well, you can still buy one off orders separately from their website.
You can also pay a low-risk £5 to get a tasting sample kit containing four sample packs and see what you think. The cost of the tasting kit can be redeemed against your first Coffeclub order if you decide to subscribe.
Anything Else?That about does it. You remember the first rule of Coffeeclub don’t you?
4.8 out of 5