Coffee subscriptions - are they worth it?

The short answer is YES!

Are you a coffee lover like us? Do you enjoying drinking coffee most days? Bored of the same over roasted supermarket coffee? Want to buy responsibly sourced and ethical beans? Then a subscription could be for you! A coffee club or subscription allows you to have better coffee delivered straight to your door, so you don’t have to worry about running out! Here, RiSE coffee box talks about the top 5 benefits of a subscription, some top tips to look out for when searching for the best subscription and a few of our favourite roasters.

One thing you will notice, is there is a wide variety of subscriptions available, whether that be a small independent local coffee roaster, a large nationwide coffee company that you may already be familiar with (such as Gentleman Baristas) or a multi roaster subscription like RiSE coffee box that allows you to try a variety of coffee from various roasters! They all offer different variety of beans, flavours and origins so finding the right one for you can be challenging!

There are a few other things you should consider when choosing a subscription?

Frequency is important. The most popular at RiSE coffee box is the Monthly whole bean subscription which is around 35-40 cup of coffee a month, one a day! Like us, many subscriptions also offer weekly, monthly or fortnightly options, and others offer bigger boxes for the caffeine addicts or smaller tasting sets for those who just enjoy the occasional good coffee. Many subscriptions also now offer office boxes for teams and staff.

Grind type. Most good subscriptions should allow you to choose the grind that works for you, whether it is cafetiere, V60 or espresso. At RiSE coffee box, we offer all grind types but do encourage members to order whole bean coffee as this ensures the coffee stays fresher for longer. Read more about this here

BENEFITS OF A MULTI ROASTER SUBSCRIPTION VS ORDERING DIRECT

A multi-roaster subscription service supplies its members with beans that are curated from a variety of different roasters, all under a single plan. 

While many coffee roasters will offer a certain level of diversity in the coffee they offer, sourcing beans from a range of producing origins from Colombia to Kenya, they will also typically approach coffee in their own unique way. 

For instance, they may lean more towards lighter or darker roaster profiles, which can dramatically impact the final flavours that are released from a batch of beans.

Each coffee roaster will also have its own sourcing practices. Some will import the majority of its coffees from a select few producers who offer them preferential rates, or countries where they have the most local contacts, while others will work with a multitude of smallholder producers across the globe. 

Multi-roaster subscriptions essentially allow you to sample coffees from a much wider pool—bringing together coffee from several roasters and contributing to even more coffee diversity in your ongoing coffee box. 

RISE COFFEE BOX DOESN’T REPACKAGE COFFEE

One thing to look out for when joining a coffee club or subscription is whether they send you coffee packaged in their own branding or the roasters. At RiSE coffee box, we believe the independent roasters should be front and centre of the box and an integral part of the character when drinking their coffee. The packaging tells you a lot about their ethos, their personality and story and we believe their coffee should remain in their packaging. If you see a subscription which re bags the coffee into their own labelled packaging, we would consider thinking twice.

RISE COFFEE BOX INCLUDES LOTS OF EXTRAS:

The great thing about a RiSE coffee box subscription is that it is more than just coffee being delivered to your door. Each box contains 2 x 250g of freshly roasted coffee but also a booklet to read while your coffee brews so you can learn about the featured roaster, find out where the coffee originates from and the farmer who has produced it. Each box also contains brew guides, tips and recipes so you can improve your at home coffee game every month.

To add to this, every box has an extra food and drink treat include, and July 2023 we have 1L of Oat Milk from Moma! Other guest treats have included Jimmys Iced Coffee and Montezuma’s chocolate

TOP 5 REASNS YOU NEED A COFFEE BEAN SUBSCRIPTION:

1. BETTER COFFEE

The number one reason you need a subscription is simple - better coffee. We genuinely believe that buying specialty coffee from independent roasters is far superior in terms of quality vs buying at the supermarket where the coffee isn’t fresh, usually in plastic packaging and generally a poor quality bean from commodity coffee. Read more here about the differences

Specialty coffee usually score above 80 (majority of ours are 84 plus) and are from higher grade Arabica coffee which produces outstanding flavour and smoothness compared to commodity grade coffee.

The artisan nature of speciality coffees mean the coffee cherries are carefully looked after throughout their journey from where it is grown, harvested and processed through to roasting and packaging. Speciality coffee buyers tend to only buy red cherries which are ripe and full of flavour and pay a premium for this quality. Often you may see pictures of green or yellow cherries which are not yet ripened and produce poor quality coffees.

2. FRESHLY ROASTED COFFEE

Subscription and coffee clubs are usually designed to deliver the beans to you as fresh as possible meaning the coffee has been roasted to order, especially for you. At RiSE we ensure all coffee has been roasted as close to your order date as possible. Most specialty coffee does need 7-14 days to de gas and settle before being drunk, so also bear this in mind.

Most supermarket coffee or in your local grocery deli will likely have been on the shop for some time, and in the supermarket this may even be up to 2 years old.

Some subscriptions take this more seriously than others. We ensure the coffee is incredibly fresh when it is sent out, so always look out for the roast date on the bag when you receive it to see how fresh the coffee is.

3. TAKES AWAY THE FUSS

Do you find yourself running low on coffee and scrambling about trying to find where your next dose of caffeine is coming from. Or revert to instant because you forgot to pick up a bag of specialty coffee from your local cafe. A coffee subscription is a great way to feel rest assured that you will always have enough good coffee in the house.

4. TRY DOZENS OF NEW ROASTERS AND VARIETIES

There are 650 specialty coffee roasters in the UK. Yes, 650!! Can you believe that? At RiSE coffee box we believe that coffee is all about discovery. There is a huge range of coffee beans you can drink from different origins and regions, processed in different ways (natural or washed) with different tasting notes and flavour profiles. Generally, if you order direct from a roaster, you know what you are getting and you end up drinking the same coffee everyday. At RiSE coffee box, we change that! Drink something new and exciting everyday! Always a high standard, quality coffee thats versatile and delicious. Every roaster has a story to tell and we enjoy discovering new roasters with new missions every month!

5. LEARN HOW TO BECOME A BARISTA AT HOME

A subscription is more than just coffee arriving to your door. We provide monthly brew tips, guides and recipes for you to try and help up your at home coffee game. Getting coffee everyday at your local cafe can add up quickly, so why not learn how to brew like a barista at home. You don’t need all the fancy equipment. Good coffee is a good place to start.

 

SO HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUBSCRIPTION? HERE ARE SOME POINTERS WITH THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

 

HOW TO CHOOSE A COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION?

Below we have given a few hints and tips of things to look out for when you are deciding which subscription to pick! Things to consider are frequency of box, what type of coffee you will receive, whether it is whole bean or ground and what extra does it offer! RiSE includes treats like oat milk and iced coffee. Look out for their sustainable initiatives, the quality of the coffee partners they work with and how good their reviews are!

DO YOU LIKE DISCOVERY AND EXPLORING NEW THINGS?

A coffee subscription could be great for you if you want to discover the world of coffee. With so much variety out there, why drink the same coffee every day? Thats our philosophy anyway! If you are the adventurous type this could be perfect for you. Learn about new origins, hear the farmers stories and enjoy an additional treat (such as Moma oat milk this July!) in every box. Coffee subscriptions should be fun!

WHAT FREQUENCY SHOULD I ORDER COFFEE?

It ultimately depends how much coffee you drink per week. Depending on how you brew, each coffee will be around 14 grams. In a 250g bag this will make around 18 cups of coffee. In each RiSE coffee box containing 500g of coffee this would make around 36 cups of coffee (about 60p per cup) or just over one a day. If you drink twice a day you may want to think about a fortnightly option or if you drink just on special occasions the bi monthly option may suit you best.

IS A COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION GOOD FOR MY OFFICE?

We all know about those water cooler moments, where you stand around chatting grabbing a glass of water. Well with a coffee subscription why not do this while your coffee brews. RiSE coffee box includes information on where the coffee comes from, read about the farmers and learn about its journey and sustainability credentials. This makes your coffee breaks a lot more exciting.

It depends how many employees you have and how much coffee is consumed and this will determine whether an office subscription is worthwhile. RiSE has a number of companies on board and our most popular is 1KG every two weeks. 

When ordering, choose your grind type carefully. Most offices will have a whole bean machine making things much simpler, but cafetiere are also really popular in the office!

WHERE TO FIND A GIFT COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION?

Many subscriptions will allow you to buy the subscription as a gift for a loved one, but only a few personalise them and have a variety of options. At RISE coffee box every gift order comes with a hand written gift note and can be bought for a set period of time, i.e. 3 months with an auto cancel so you don’t have to worry about logging in and remember to cancel. If you are feeling generous there is also a 6 and 12 month option which also auto cancel. We would recommend ordering form a subscription that has a dedicated gift section as this will be a more personalised approach to gifting.

SHOULD I CHECK THE REVIEWS OF COFFEE SUBSCRIPTIONS?

The quick answer here is yes. You will see how people feel about the product, the quality and whether it is value for money. You will also get an idea on how good their customer service is. Customer service is key for us at RiSE coffee box and we ensure that every customer is a happy customer! We are rated 4.84 stars on Trust Pilot with 99% 5* as well as being the most rated.

SHOULD I BUY WHOLE BEANS OR GROUND COFFEE SUBSCRIPTIONS?

At RiSE coffee box, we always encourage people to buy whole bean coffee as this ensures the coffee is kept fresher for longer - read more about this here. This will require you to have your own grinder, such as this Wilfa Svart but you will really see the difference. Most subscriptions will offer whole bean or ground as options to choose from.

ARE SUBSCRIPTIONS ECO FRIENDLY?

One of the core principles behind RiSE coffee box is sustainability and reducing the impact we have on the planet. We have always cared about fair wages for farmers and since meeting with farmers in Uganda, fair wages has become a core mission of ours. A high priced product allows farmers to receive a fair piece of the pie. A recent dispatches investigation highlighted that 1p from every £2.50 reaches the region it was produced.

We would suggest you look for those who really care about the planet and are trying to make a difference when it comes to things like packaging, waste and paying a fair price.

CAN YOU CANCEL A COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION?

When signing up for a subscription, people want to feel comfortable hat they can cancel or pause their subscription whenever they like. Some subscription do ask for a minimum of 3 months but others are incredibly flexible. Always look in the FAQs and see how easy it is. At RiSE coffee box you can login via the link in your order and cancel whenever you like. Or drop us an email and we responds right away!

DO COFFEE SUBSCRIPTIONS OFFER COFFEE PODS FOR NESPRESSO MACHINES?

At RiSE coffee box we don’t offer coffee pods as we don’t enjoy the taste of the product and do not find them that sustainable as a single use product. We wrote a blog on whether we think coffee pods are environmentally friendly here

You would need to find a specialty coffee provider who does pods and order on subscription. Most specialty coffee clubs focus on whole bean or ground coffee.

ARE COFFEE SUBSCRIPTIONS BETTER THAN INSTANT COFFEE?

If you are still drinking instant coffee we recommend the upgrade to a freshly roasted specialty coffee subscription. You will never look back!


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