The simple pleasure of owning a coffee subscription from your favourite roaster is hard to beat. Once you’ve secured a regular supply of fresh, high quality and great-tasting coffee (usually delivered free-of-charge), why buy coffee any other way?
One potential reason is diversity. As wonderful and reliable as many of the UK’s amazing coffee subscription services are, it’s normal to feel the urge to explore more coffee. You may be intrigued by different profiles, roasting methods or producing origins than what your subscription typically offers, for instance.
With that in mind, we explore how the rise of multi-roaster coffee subscriptions is changing the game for at-home coffee drinking—bridging the gap between single roaster coffee clubs and the exciting, but somewhat tiring, challenge of purchasing coffee ad-hoc from multiple specialty coffee companies week-to-week.
Multi-Roaster vs Single Roaster Coffee Subscriptions
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.
Multi-Roaster Subscription Benefits
Discover new profiles and origins
Simplify the challenge of selecting new coffees
Support a wider range of independent businesses
Learn how different roasters approach coffee in their own way
Access more rewards and perks
Be part of a diverse coffee-loving community
The RiSE Multi-Roaster Coffee Subscription
For us, coffee subscriptions are about giving people a fun and exciting way to discover new varieties of specialty coffee from a world of roasters and regions.
We wanted to combine beans from all types of coffee roasters under one plan, giving our members the chance to sample coffees supplied by the smallest micro-roasters situated in remote parts of the countryside in addition to some of London’s most iconic roasting houses.
To do this, we blind taste 25-30 coffees each month with the top 2-4 making it into the box and offer our coffee subscription on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or a bi-monthly basis, as well as offer a decaf option—each offering a rotation of different coffee varieties and flavours.
As our roasting partners are such a central part of what we do, and why we do it, we also make sure to share their stories with you. And for some added fun, we pop in a few extra treats from time to time, supplied by some really exciting up-and-coming UK food and drinks brands.
What We Look For in Our Coffee Partners
A sustainable approach to sourcing
High quality and great-tasting coffee
A genuine passion for coffee
An appreciation of the story behind each bean
Shared values and motivation for improving the coffee sector
Single Roaster Coffee Subscriptions — Our Top Picks
We’ve had the pleasure of sampling coffees from a wide range of different UK roasters over the last few years, as well as meeting many inspiring founders in person. It’s always difficult to compare but below are a few of our top picks for single roaster coffee subscriptions.
Best for Coffee Responsibility – Perky Blenders
We’ve long been fans of Perky Blenders since they started back in 2015 and they were actually one of our first roasting partners, featured in our first ever RiSE coffee box in 2020!
In the time we’ve known owners Adam and Victoria Cozens and their team, it’s been clear that running their business responsibily is a priority for them. We can see this come through at the shop level when visiting their amazing London locations, but also in their approach to sourcing high-grade specialty coffee ethically and sustainably, which you’ll find in their coffee subscription.
Best for Discovery & New Profiles — Assembly Coffee
Doing things slightly differently, Assembly’s subscription is built to offer subscribers a coffee journey that lets you sample an incredibly broad range of coffee flavours and profiles. In what they call ‘The Flavour Index’ they select and share coffees they think present distinct and rare qualities, rotating through different single origins.
As you may already know if you’re familiar with Assembly coffee, the quality they offer is consistently high and the team is committed to sourcing some truly interesting and noteworthy coffees.
Best for Microlots — Bailies Coffee Roasters
One of our favourite specialty coffee roasters from Ireland, Bailies roast and deliver some truly excellent beans from their roastery in Belfast.
We especially love their microlot subscription, which puts focus on smaller batches of seasonal coffee beans that are typically grown in limited quantities and receive added attention-to-detail and distinct processing methods to unleash unique flavour profiles.
How to Choose Your Next Coffee Subscription
Whether you’re choosing from our selection of RiSE coffee subscriptions or browsing the wider world of single roaster subscriptions, below are a few tips that might help you in your decision.
Check producer information
The origin of the coffee and who produced it is just as important as the roaster you buy it from. Knowing exactly where your coffee is produced and how it’s sourced goes a long way in ensuring that it’s sustainable. Most specialty coffee roasters will be quite transparent about the way they source coffee in order to differentiate themselves from others and to justify the higher prices you will generally encounter compared to supermarket coffees.
Check coffee freshness
A coffee subscription is the best way to guarantee your coffee is always fresh. Rather than sitting on shop shelves for any period of time, bags will come directly from the roastery itself. However, it’s always worth double checking the roast date.
Check brewing recommendations and profiles
Buying more expensive coffee subscriptions doesn’t mean you’ll get better coffee. The profile of each bean and its inherent attributes will play the biggest role in whether you’ll actually enjoy them or not. For instance, Geisha coffees are much-loved by filter coffee drinkers yet the sweetness and floral aroma that this varietal offers isn’t to everyone’s taste.
Most coffee subscriptions offer a good amount of flexibility when it comes to pausing, amending or cancelling plans. This is especially useful if you regularly travel for work or your consumption fluctuates season to season.
Essential Multi-Roaster FAQs
How Much Coffee Will I Receive?
Specific volumes may fluctuate slightly between coffee subscriptions, but generally, you should be able to determine how much coffee you receive in weekly, bi-weekly or monthly instalments.
At RiSE, each coffee box contains at least two bags of handpicked, premium coffee from our independent roasting partners. Our bag sizes are 227-250 grams each. Depending on how much coffee you use in each cup, that’s about 20-30 cups of coffee every month if you’re using whole beans, and slightly more if using ground beans.
How Will The Coffee Be Packaged?
Coffee from multi-roaster subscriptions will generally come in its original packaging from the roasting company. At RiSE, we are all about showcasing our roasting partners, their stories and the beans they roast, so never re-bag or package their coffee.
This also keeps it fresher and allows us to be more sustainable with our packaging. If your gifts come in any packaging such as bubble wrap, we never purchase additional wrapping and always re-use materials others have sent to us.
How To Choose A Subscription To Match My Brewing Method?
You can, and should, adjust your multi-roaster coffee subscription to deliver coffee that suits your brewing method.
For instance, you can order ground coffee for French Press if that’s how you enjoy it at home. However, we do recommend buying whole beans if you have a grinder, just to maintain ultimate freshness in your cups.
What Is A Coffee Marketplace?
To work even more collaboratively with our partners and bring better coffee to more people in the UK, we established our very own coffee marketplace to give our members the ability to shop for individual bags of coffee.
This hub brings together offerings from dozens of different roasters we’ve worked with in the past, giving roasting companies big and small another way to connect with coffee fans.