Did you know there’s a world of coffee just waiting for you to find it?
Want to try some new or different coffees but you just don’t have the time to visit every coffee shop around?
Or maybe there’s a coffee fan on your gift list that loves experimenting with new tastes and flavors.
Want to know a secret?
You need a coffee subscription box, one of the latest cool and popular offerings in the java world.
How so, you’re asking?
Because a coffee subscription is your ticket to a much wider world of coffee than you or your coffee fan is experiencing now.
There are quite a few choices available. From specialty coffee roasters to coffee clubs to services that curate beans from multiple sources.
Travel the World in Your Coffee Cup
Travel the World in Your Coffee Cup
Convenience is a big factor in a coffee subscription or sampler box. Order online and the coffee is delivered to your door.
You’ve got a lot of options. And maybe you’ve got some questions.
Let’s look at both of them, shall we?
Questions first. . .
What’s the Difference Between a Sampler and a Subscription?
A sampler is a selection of coffee and could be a one-time deal. A subscription, on the other hand, is a delivery of a different sampler pack every month.
This could be as small as a few bags of a few ounces up to a single bag of 10 to 16 ounces.
We recommend staying with the smaller sizes unless you’re either very sure of what you want or you’re a real coffee fiend.
Even though the individual packets are small, get too many and you could end up wasting coffee because, after a while, it does go stale.
Finding a new favorite bean from another country could be a pretty exciting change your morning cup, wouldn’t’ it?
A coffee subscription helps you do that a lot more easily, and less expensively, than just buying a single bag at a time.
Best of all, tasting new coffee from various countries gives you the chance to savor all of the different tastes and flavors that coffee has to offer.
What Comes in the Box?
Most options are to sample from either a few regions, bean types or countries at a time. This type of selection lets you try the broadest range of coffees at one time.
A subscription service like Bean Box offer selections from different coffee roasters.
In Bean Box’s case, they specialize on Seattle roasters. Going with a service like this means you get a wider variety of coffee styles.
Each roaster has a slightly different way of roasting a bean. Three roasters could get totally different results from the same bean. This way, you find a favorite roaster and bean.
How Often Do They Come and How Long Is the Coffee Subscription?
Coffee subscriptions run from as often as once a week to a monthly box. Generally, they can be purchased in three, six, and 12 month subscriptions. We suggest 3 months to start. You can always upgrade.
Be aware of open-ended subscriptions, or pay as you go, though. You may wind up getting charged when you actually wanted to quit if you’re not watching.
Which brings us too. . .
How Do I Get Them and Do I Get to Choose?
You sign up at the merchant of your choice, Amazon for example. All the selections in this post are on Amazon but you can go to the vendor’s site too.
For a subscription, you usually fill out a small questionnaire to:
- Help guide the vendor in delivering the coffee you’d be interested in if you choose their curating service.
- Help them put together a list so that you can self-curate.
- Or, compare what you already drink to what the specialty roaster has as their like roast.
Another option available allows you to choose your beans every time without needing a questionnaire.
A sampler will ordinarily be a pre-set selection of 3-5 bags of coffee. Some samplers and subscriptions are built around what kind of coffee you drink and when you drink it.
Once you place your order, the beans are collected and roasted. In some cases, they can be shipped to you the same day as they’ve been roasted.
Shipping is usually via USPS, UPS or FedEx. Most sampler and subscription services do charge a shipping fee though some do build it into the price.
If you order on Amazon, make certain to meet the new free shipping requirements.
How Much Coffee Do I Get?
The coffee bag or packet sizes can vary and are usually enough to make at least 3 cups to as much as a couple of 8 cup pots of coffee.
If you get the kind of sampler that sends one bag of coffee at a time, those are usually the standard 10 to 16 ounce bags. Some samplers have ground coffee in vacuum packed 2-3oz packets.
How many cups any of those actually make really depends on how much coffee you use per serving.
Are the Beans Are Ground or Pre-Ground?
The majority of coffee subscriptions and samplers allow you to choose between whole bean and pre-ground. Though there are a few specialty roasters who only offer whole bean as an option.
Their, and our, recommendation is to get whole beans and grind them yourself. You’re assured of the best tasting coffee that way.
Some vendors offer blends though most roasters are strictly single origin.
How Much Does a Coffee Subscription Cost?
Samplers range in price depending on size. We took a look at a few popular ones and they range from $21-$89. Of course, there are others below and above but that seems to be about a general price range.
Coffee subscriptions can vary as well. Look for a range of $17-$48 and possibly more if you have more than one delivery per month.
Next up, let’s see where you can get hooked up. . .
Where Do I Buy?
CoffeeAM offers samplers that focus on four major regions. For example, the African Sampler, with four ½ pound bags, covers 4 countries and beans. They are the Burundi AA Kirimiro, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Kenya AA, and Tanzania Peaberry.
The South American sampler covers the Brazil Santos, Brazil Moreninha Formosa, Organic Peru, and Columbia Supremo.
CoffeeAM also offer selections from Central America and Indonesia.
The CoffeeAM samplers have star ratings of between 4 to 5 stars on Amazon
Bean Box offers their World Coffee Tour Gourmet Sampler which includes 16 bags of coffee. Each bag represents a different country as well as coming from a different roaster. This kit lets you try out 16 different roasters as well as 16 different beans.
All of these are roasted by local Seattle area roasters. The selections are from countries such as Indonesia, Ethiopia, Columbia, Kenya, Guatemala, and the US’s very own Kona from Hawai’i.
The Bean Box World Coffee Tour Gourmet Sampler gets five stars.
For a different view on how coffee should be consumed, try the Whole Bean Coffee Variety Pack, a three sampler pack from Raven’s Brew. These are whole bean coffees and do have some pretty unique characteristics to them.
According to Raven’s Brew, these are designed for different occasions, different times of day and even different levels of caffeine content.
This particular sampler pack includes three bags that are 12 ounces each. All are a dark roast so you’re going to get a bold cup of coffee. They do have single bag selections of their other varieties.
If Deadman’s Reach doesn’t raise curiosity, I’m not sure what will.
It’s a pretty popular selection. It gets 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, so people are pretty happy with it.
Kicking Horse is one of Canada’s popular specialty coffee roasters. This sampler is a whole bean variety pack of three flavors: Three Sister, Kick Ass and 454 Horsepower.
The bags are 10 ounces each and they’re certified organic, certified fair trade and they’re premium Arabica beans.
The coffees in this three pack from Kicking Horse lean towards the dark roast style. A lot of users found they work very well in a French press.
The Kicking Horse sampler gets an average customer review of 4.5 stars and is available on Amazon.
Angel’s Cup has something slightly different to offer. This sampler is a tasting kit they bill as their 3rd-Wave Variety Sampler and Blind Tasting Gift Box which allows you to do your coffee tasting without the bean type influencing your choice.
The coffee bags themselves aren’t labeled but they are numbered. Once you do your tasting and comparing, you check the sheet to see which kind of coffee you just tried.
You might be surprised and that’s kind of the idea. Right?
All coffees are 100% Arabica, single origin and are a light to medium roast. Each sample is 2.75 ounces and there are four samples per kit.
The Angel’s Cup offering is variation on the monthly coffee subscription theme. You can opt to get a box weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
These coffees will be good for French Press, AeroPress, Chemex, V60, and Kalita Wave.
The Angel’s Cup tasting kit gets an average Amazon customer review of four stars.
Lavanta Coffee Roasters
The next coffee up is from Lavanta Coffee Roasters. This is their A Taste Around the World sample pack that has thirteen 2 ounce bags.
These selections are all full city roasts. The sampler includes several countries: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica.
This particular package covers several of the top 10 coffee producers of 2016 while catching some of the minor players as well.
Their selections are available as whole bean and pre-ground.
The sample pack from Lavanta Roasters gets an average customer review of four stars on Amazon.
Aloha Island Coffee
If you’re looking for something that is US grown, look for coffee that is Hawaiian grown. Kona is one of the most preferred coffees. The Kona Hawaiian coffee gift sampler includes five 2 ounce bags of ground coffee.
Packed in an attractive gift box, this is their platinum collection and includes their most popular roasts and beans.
The coffees are blends of 100% pure Kona with pure Hawaiian and certified organic rain forest coffee.
Of these five packages, you get a light roast, medium roast, a dark roast and a breakfast blend. So you get a chance to test out the different blends as well as different roasts.
Unfortunately the coffee is pre-ground. It’s not our preferred method, but this is an Ok way to try out Kona coffee.
Kona is one of our favorites.
The Kona Hawaiian coffee gift sampler on Amazon gets 4.5 stars.
Oh, and maybe just one more . . .
Design It Yourself Gift Baskets
If you’re a DIY’er or just can’t find something suitable, design your own! Design It Yourself Gift Baskets lets you put together your own special treat and gives you 10% off. Use the promo code SAVEME10.
The best part? You can mix coffee, chocolate, wine, snacks — you name it.
Bookmark this page for those other special days when a gift basket is the perfect answer.
What’s the Final Verdict?
For someone new to coffee, these samplers and subscriptions are a great way to get their feet wet. You can try different beans, different roasters, and experience different coffee growing locations around the world.
For the gift giver, we would recommend a sampler to start unless you’re pretty sure of the recipient’s coffee drinking habits. If they like to indulge in their coffee experience, a subscription may be the better way to go.
If it’s for you, then it really is a great gift because now you can easily and inexpensively experience a world of different coffee.
And if you’ve got someone looking for a gift for you, just give them a link to this page.
There’s one caveat we want to bring up. . .
On a coffee subscription or sampler, make sure that the receiver has a grinder to grind their own beans.
Because we heartily recommend people grind their own.
Look, it’s the only way to get the best tasting coffee.
Pre-ground coffee is okay in a pinch. If the recipient doesn’t have a grinder, then this is the only way to go.
Then again, you can always give them a grinder with the beans. . .
So, if you or a loved one is ready to travel the globe via your coffee cup, try a sampler or subscription. Taste and enjoy the huge variety of flavors and aromas the world’s coffee has to offer.
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