Updates: All future Subscription Coffee reviews can be found at SubscriptionCoffee.org, which will also house a full on bold as heck coffee blog. Over the past few years I've subscribed to a number of coffee to your door delivery services. It started in 2012, a good few months before my interview with the founder of one such service, Kopi / Phil Wilkinson. Since then I've been luck enough to subscribe to many other services and trial out new services to the UK market in my quest for the best coffee subscription services in the UK. This post is an over view as to a few services I've tried and my thoughts on them - in the coming weeks details from each will be posted along with a table of detail for comparing coffee subscription services.
Handpicked by CafeDirect - Premium Coffee to Your Door
The new name for Kopi Coffee, Handpicked picks up where the old brand left off - offering a true gourmet taste of the world via your coffee cup. At £8.95 per 250g bag, the average cup of perfect coffee is just 35p - which is fantastic value for the amazing cup of coffee you will get each and every time.
Get your first month free via this link or use code PZPTSYKH
You can read my full review on the Subscription Coffee Review website.
Kopi Coffee are now called Handpicked, please see review above or click here.
I started with Kopi and I remain with Kopi - ultimately the quality Kopi have delivered every month to my coffee cup is astounding. They were one of the first such services in the UK and are in my view the best today (still). Kopi specialise in single origin coffee, they work with some of the best growers in the world and on average a cup of Kopi coffee is just 35p (according to their website). Travelling around the world with seasonality, each month Kopi delivers coffee to your house in box which will fit through any letterbox (inside the box is your coffee in a bag you can use for storage and details about the coffee and guidance on brewing this months coffee). Kopi Coffee costs £8.95 a month, for that you get 250g of the single origin coffee of the month and free delivery within the UK. So that is 2 or 3 coffees in your favorite high street store for around £9 or somewhere between 20 and 25 amazing brews from Kopi - I know which I prefer.
Brown Bear - Gourmet Coffee
Brown Bear was first mentioned to me a few months back and I had been meaning to try it since then. Let me assure you the wait was worth it, Brown Bear coffee is fantastic. It's up there with the Coffee Factory and actually Kopi.
Brown Bear is at the mid-range of cost, starting at £6.99 - you get lots of choice with Brown Bear coffee, you can choose a favourite coffee, a mixed coffee selection etc - its really a nice system. You can also choose how often you want coffee to be delivered, including bi-monthly (which is something many dont offer). It's so flexible its fantastic - I'd urge you to give the site a look even if its just for a look at these options.
If you love a certain type or roast of coffee, and that is what you really want, then Brown Bear is the one for you - if you want a trip around the world with a fresh roast then Kopi is for you... if you'd like the best of both go for the Coffee Factory.
Read my full review on this coffee subscription service here.
The Coffee Roasters
The Coffee Roasters is a different type of offering to others monthly subscription coffee services on this page, yes it's a monthly subscription but it is a personalised subscription. Signing up is really easy, complete the simple form with what you do and don't like & how you tend to brew and the master artisians behind TCR will suggest some amazing coffee's for you.
With prices from just £8.50 a month, The Coffee Roasters is a great offering - it takes the best coffee from 16 small batch roasters - thats over 90 coffees - to find you the best match... and trust me they choose AMAZING coffee!
Get a personalised subscription from The Coffee Roasters Get your first month half price using code "SEOAndy"
Bottle & Bean
Unique in our reviews of Bottle and Bean, a subscription coffee service that also delivers amazing craft beers to your doorstep - plus live tasting sessions!
Each month they work with a new gourmet coffee provider and a new craft beer supplier, all UK based artisans making a name for themselves through amazing produce.
The Subscription Coffee (only) option is £11 a month, it includes 2 coffees from that months provider and includes the live tasting session (plus free delivery). You can also get the craft beer subscription too, or the bundle subscription which is only £35 a month (8 beers, 2 coffees and 2 tasting sessions, plus free delivery), not a bad deal.
For me the coffee and beer from Bottle and Bean was amazing, literally you couldn't fault it and if you want to fall in love with a new brew (of coffee or beer) each month this is likely the place you want to subscribe too.
Read the Full Bottle & Bean Subscription Service Review here.
Coffee can be quite a specific want, each person's taste buds may want something else. 8point9 are different to Kopi and most other providers in this respect, instead of sending their single-origin coffee or a blend made by the company you choose your blend as per your desire.
This means if you find something you love you can keep getting that same blend every month, it costs £5.95 for a 150g bag. This is about on par with Kopi, however if you are having your own blend made is pretty good value.
For me the coffee from eightpointnine was good quality and ok value. I did feel that they were trying to attract a different audience to me, an audience who wants the same good blend each time and who weren't willing to pay a little more for better quality. (though let me be clear this is good quality, but my preference to single-origin means blends aren't for me when it comes to subscription coffee).
Grab a free 150g bag of your coffee blend by using the code 24X89N2 on the 8point9 website.
Bean And Ground
Offering 2 different coffees in each delivery, with a choice of when your next batch is due (anywhere from one week to six weeks spacing) makes Bean and Ground fairly unique in this market of coffee lovers. The pack size is 125g of each variety of coffee, as with Kopi each coffee comes with a back story and brew guide.
Bean and Ground subscription coffee costs £7.95 a month, which for 250g of good quality coffee is pretty good value for money - and with flexibility built in it's clear to see why Bean and Ground are a big player in the market.
For me Bean and Ground are perfect for anyone who wants to try something new each month and have plenty of variety, it's always fresh and always nice.
Give Bean and Ground a trial, once signed up email matt@beanandground(dot)co.uk quoting 'SEOANDY' to get your second bag free! Sign Up Here.
Our fourth coffee subscription services overview is for Pact Coffee, a service which aims to deliver great coffee and then to make it amazingly easy for you to reorder (because they know you will love the coffee!).
At £6.95 per 250g bag of fresh coffee, again with free shipping, Pact stands firmly with bean and ground in the middle ground of general coffee subscription services in the UK. The quality is comparable with bean and ground, though in my view not with Kopi who tops that league table.
For mean Pact Coffee is for the professional who wants something far superior to supermarket coffee but isn't sure whether subscription coffee services can offer the great coffee they want. Pact is the perfect recession busting coffee subscription offering.
Get Started with Pact for £1 use code "OURCOFFEELOVE" when clicking here.
(Devon's) Coffee Factory
The Coffee Factory are a family run business, they employ friends and family to ensure quality of coffee each and every dispatch. I tasted the Black Bear and Big Red, the later a seasonal offering. Both were truly delicious, I loved Big Red - hand's down one of the best brew's I've had this year.
As with many other coffee subscription services, Coffee Factory offer 2 levels of subscription - the two bag mixed offer (like I had) or a single artisan roast - orders are roasted and sent within 24 hours making the brew ultra fresh! A single bag (250g) per month is only £7.50 ith a dual subscription at £14.95 per month - you can select multiple single bags if you are a heavy drinker like me!
Overall, the coffee from Devon's Coffee Factory is fantastic value and makes a brilliant brew. If you want a constant great brew with the occasional seasonal surprise coffee then the Coffee Factory is the place for you. My advice is to try out the Factory's coffee before you subscribe, daily brew's start from just £4.
Grab a brew with Devon's Coffee Factory
Square Mile Coffee Roasters
What I can only describe as a prestige offering, Square Mile Coffee are an award winning roaster based in East London.
There are two things which seperate Sq Mile from others in this list of great subscription coffee offerings. 1) You can buy only 2 types of subscription - these are espresso and filter 2) these are paid for every six or twelve months. Regardless of which you choose its around £12.50 for espresso each month and £10 for filter. Looking at filter this puts it in the same ball park as Kopi for price.
In terms of quality and taste, I have to say Square Mile is up there for me and competes with Kopi and the Coffee Factory - however Sq Mile only offers beans which as many know can be a pain, especially if you want a good brew at work! This said it can ensure a really fresh brew - so it's 'swings and roundabouts'. For me the six month subscription is it's stumbling block, I know it is great for them and keeps them afloat and means they can do more - but for joe bloggs subscribing to coffee should be easy and not about a big outlay. The answer here is try before you subscribe, my advice is to try a featured coffee from their range - at £11 it will tell you whether you want to put your eggs into this prestige basket.
Try Prestige Coffee Susbcription from Square Mile.
Has Bean Coffee
Since I began my rounds of the coffee subscription world, Has Bean Coffee has been mentioned again and again to me. They are apparently "the people to beat" in the subscription coffee arena.
The services and offerings seem to cover most levels of want, you can have weekly or monthly coffee and for as long or as short time period as you want - if you go weekly you also get a video for each coffee from InMyMug which is a cool feature, though honestly doesn't do more than the info sheets you get with most of the above subscription offerings. For me it's not worth it for this alone, but for others these 'tid bits' of information are gold.
A simple (none inmymug) monthly subscription is £6.50 a month with weekly InMyMug offerings more expensive at £5.50 a week! Uniquely HasBean offer payment by direct debit, this has it's pro's and con's but shouldn't change your mind either way.
Ultimately the coffee I had from HasBean was quite nice, but I wouldn't rank it above Kopi, Coffee Factory, B&G or Sq Mile - it really is middle of the road and the monthly price reflects this. Whether the weekly premium offering is better, I will have to find out - but for now...
Try HasBean Coffee for yourself here.
Porter's Coffee - Premium Monthly Coffee Subscription
Porters offers a taste from around the world through its flame roasted coffee monthly subscription service. Like Brown Bear I waited a while to try Porters, and again this is a service worth waiting for.
The cost of Porters is fairly high compared with others, but if you take a 12 month subscription it costs just £8.25 a box which is a little cheaper than Kopi, but if you go to monthly only its a cost of £9.95. Is the premium cost of this coffee truly showing through the taste of the coffee - in short: YES!
Porters is a star for taste in these rankings, though the cost for the subscription when paying for a month at a time is a little off putting. This said, Porters is good value for money even if a little more expensive than others - for me Porters wins on Value and Kopi on sheer Taste.
There is also a regular blog and Porters are active on social media, its the same with most of the above, but I just love the porters blog!
So GetPorters today and give it a try use code 'Twitter40' to get 40% off in your first month
Press Coffeehouse - Curating the Best Coffee
Unlike most others in this list, Press Coffeehouse are curators of great coffee. They look for other roasters to supply only the best coffee to them so they can pass it on to you (and no they don't open and repackage, or buy wholesale and bag it up). Thie freshness of the coffee is super and being that they aren't stuck on one type of coffee or provider you can pretty much guarentee an awesome brew.
Along with each months coffee subscription you get tasting cards, idea cards and little treats (such as handmade sweets from artisans local to Press Coffeehouse). This small and unique touch shows how much they care about their subscribers, each month something new coffee-wise and treat wise.
If one 250g bag isn't enough (and it never is for me) then you can choose to have 2 bags per month, you can also choose which regions you'd like it from and (uniquely) you can opt to roast the beans yourself. Awesome!
Monthly subscription to this coffee service (roasted) is from £9.75, which for the quality is pretty good.
Grab some Press Coffeehouse today, use code 'seoandy' to get 30% off your first month.
Aroamaah! - Selection of Artisan Coffee
As with the above provider, Aroamaah! offers a selection of artisan coffees each month. 2 or 3 curated coffees delievered each month, during the first week, selected from coffees around the world and packaged with their own tasting notes. Always indepenant roasters, ethically sourced and good drinking.
The selection I tried was really nice, there was a nice selection from across the globe and tasting variations. This is obviously something for someone who wants a taste of the world and a great taste at that, this said I personally prefer a single coffee each month to focus on - but this is a preference. I would happily subscribe to Aroamaah as the cost to quality is fantastic (with a packages starting at £7 + P&P each month). Enjoy a selection of coffees with Aroamaah! today.
Bean Heroes - Supporting Local Hero Causes
Mr Angry Bean, founder of Bean Heroes is an amazing guy and he knows his coffee - when he mentioned he was setting up Bean Heroes, where you get great coffee and support local heroes I said I'd be one of the first to give the subscription a try.
Whether you opt for the weekly, bi-weekly or monthly coffee delivery it costs only £5.95 per delivery. For this you get 190g of single origin coffee, background origin notes, tasting notes and of course you can choose ground or beans. This is another taste the world offering but offering your local heroes a little support here in the UK. It's well worth a try. Try Bean Heroes today.
Other Coffee Subscription Services
Above are a few of my favorite services, there are indeed many others though. Over the coming weeks and months I will be posting about those here too and posting interviews with some of the top brands.
If you would like to hear my views on a given service, or would like to know which service is going to best suit you - tweet me @andykinsey or leave a comment below.
9/7/15 - Tonx removed, they are now part of Blue Bottle who do not offer subscription coffee in the UK (as yet). Also Added Bottle & Bean