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Searching for the perfect roast? A coffee subscription is the ideal way of ensuring your daily (or - let’s be honest - four times daily) cup is delivered direct to your door.
Increasingly popular within the UK, a good coffee subscription service will either deliver your favourite roast regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly), or, if you’re after interesting new blends from speciality roasters, it will curate a collection aimed to delight and intrigue.
What variety should you look for?
If you aren’t the coffee aficionado you want to be yet, the best thing to look for in a coffee subscription is one that provides plenty of variety with every delivery so you can develop your palette.
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Look for varieties of light, medium and dark roast, caffeinated (for when you need a caffeine pick-me up) and decaffeinated (for late night coffees without the late nights).
Check the tasting notes on site, for different tasting notes from chocolate and caramel, to fruity. Trust your own tastes when picking a blend that’s right for you.
How do you take your grounds?
How you make your coffee will depend on the grind of coffee you need to order from a potential coffee subscription service.
There are several types of grinds for different methods of coffee making, each offering a unique taste: coarse grounds for cafetieres; medium grounds for Aeropress, V60 or Chemex coffee makers; fine grounds for espresso machines; and whole beans - if you have the means to grind your own coffee and you like to experiment with different ways to make your coffee.
In most cases services also offer coffee pods for espresso machines.
How much coffee do you drink each week?
Before throwing yourself straight into a subscription, think about how much coffee you actually drink. A majority of the services on this list offer coffee packages on a monthly basis starting from the price of a bag at £5.95 to complete gift boxes up to £24.99. If you’re a genuine caffeine junkie, you can up the frequency to once a week.
Make sure the company has solid ethics
Some coffee brands are dedicated to limiting their use of single use plastics, instead opting for recyclable packaging. The coffee subscriptions listed here all have impressive sustainability and ethical standards, meaning you can drink your java knowing you aren’t exploiting workers and farmers.
Volcano Coffee Works
Volcano Coffee Works is a small batch roastery in South London. For their service, Volcano offers 10 different specialty coffee subscriptions, either as beans or grinds (filter or espresso), and 4 different types of pod subscriptions.
Standard coffee subscriptions start from £12 per month for 2 x 200g bags - or £12 a week for the same, just more frequently.
Their selection is curated from farmers all over the world, through partners who engage with community-based improvements and fair trade.
Taste wise, they opt towards a more mellow roast than the explosive name might suggest. Instead, their blends are frequently nutty and sweet, with a strength of 3 out 5 - ideal for everyday drinking. They’re ideal if you like a smooth blend, offering coffees with notes of hazelnut, honeycomb and milky chocolate.
They have an intro offer of 20 per cent off your first standard subscription and 50 per cent off your first roaster’s choice subscription if sign up. You can cancel at any time and shipping is free.
As well as a regular subscription, Volcano also sell bundles of coffees giving you the option to try first or gift to someone else
Craft Coffee Club
Freshly roasted and bursting with flavour, Craft Coffee Club is ideal if you’re after delicious variety, and additional goodies alongside your cup of joe.
What you get in every box: world class, single-blend coffee (beans or grinds), artisan foodie treats, and a coffee-enthusiast magazine. Better yet, your subscription means you are supporting coffee farmers and their communities with a focus on single-origin coffee: with every subscription, a proportion will go straight back to supporting the communities that provide us the artisan coffee delivered to your door.
You can opt for monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscriptions starting from £24.95. You’ll have the option to cancel at any time.
While you can’t pick the coffee or treats you receive, it is ideal for someone who likes a mystery and surprise. Thankfully, the beans sent that we’ve trialled have been invariably delicious.
Blue Coffee Box
Ethos-wise, Blue Coffee Box can’t be beat. They have a direct trade agreement in place, and follow the process from the farmer through to packaging. Every step of the coffee harvesting process follows strict International Labour Laws. In addition, they visit the farms regularly to ensure they adhere to environmental and social standards.
A letterbox subscription service, they offer free UK wide delivery - and every pack fits through your letterbox, so no schlepping to the post office to pick up missed packages.
There is free delivery throughout the UK and they guarantee it’ll fit through your letter box.
You can sign up to receive a single bag monthly from £7.99 or two bags of coffee in Blue Coffee Box’s signature monthly box for £15.49.
All of their packaging is 100% plastic free.
You can select a specific roast that you may be in the mood for or ask Blue Coffee Box to surprise you if you are wanting to try something different.
There’s also a host of frequency options from three, six and 12 monthly subscriptions which give even more savings.
And as to the taste? Rich, intense, strong: this is ideal if you’re after a hefty, tasty coffee kick.
Rave are coffee roasters themselves. They’ve worked to make subscriptions simple: they offer high quality, affordable coffee, without the frills of hi-falutin’ packaging. Instead, they’ve opted for something slick and environmentally friendly, including compostable coffee pods.
Their coffee is curated from around the world to a high standard with 1 per cent of all their sales going towards environmental causes.
New monthly subscription customers can enjoy 15 per cent off when registering, where you will be sent the roaster’s choice along with a monthly tuition pack as you learn more about tasting your new coffee.
You can also save 10 per cent on orders when subscribing to specific coffee products on their website - which is really easy to use and helpful to narrow down a coffee to your taste based on flavour and roast.
Hot tip: if you like a coffee that kicks like a mule, go for the Italian Job, otherwise their Signature Blend is chocolatey, smooth, and easy to drink.
Rise Coffee Box
Rise Coffee curates a selection of independent UK coffee roasters, finding the best and brightest, including the much vaunted Perky Blenders and Origin.
Founders Alice and Ben launching the company via Kickstarter (during lockdown, no less - points for difficulty!)
They provide the complete coffee loving experience with their coffee boxes.
In each one, you will receive 2 bags of coffee (choose your grind) with an extra tasty treat, monthly recipe cards, and extra content about the UK roasters who make your coffee.
All for a neat and simple £16.99 a box at a frequency of your choice - so you will never have too much or too little coffee - and something new with every box .