A coffee subscription allows you to have the coffee you like delivered to your door. Some offer weekly, monthly or fortnightly options. Some services sell in larger quantities for bigger households and others offer smaller packs as part of a tasting set.
You might find your favourite and stick with it like clockwork, or allow the roasters to make the choices for you – letting you go on a taste adventure through coffees from all over the world.
On a simply practical level, if you’re the sort of person who notices they’re running low on coffee whilst bleary-eyed brewing up a cup in the morning, but then forget to pick any up the rest of the day, then a subscription is an ideal way to ensure you never run out.
Most places will also grind the coffee for you, and do so to suit the brewing method you use, or you can purchase the beans to grind yourself.
We sampled sixteen different brands, tasting at least two types of coffee from each. These were delivered as whole beans and tested in a home setting, using the same grind, water type, water temperature and brewing method across all samples.
Read on to discover the best coffee subscriptions to buy online. For more like this, visit our reviews section to find 400+ buyer’s guides, including gifts for coffee lovers and a guide to finding the best coffee machine for you.
10 of the best coffee subscription boxes for 2020
Caravan Coffee Roasters
Best for coffee blends and easy ordering
About: each bag of coffee from London-based Caravan Coffee Roasters comes with a card highlighting detailed tasting notes, a brewing guide and background information on the blend or the producers.
Value for money: 1 x 250g bag every month for three months = £9.50 per month (£28.50 total).
Packaging: the white paper bags are plastic lined with a resealable top, making it easy to keep your coffee fresh without needing to decant it into another container. On the front of each bag there are details of where the coffee is from and brief tasting notes.
Subscribing: a simple, step-by-step ordering process. Choose between 250g or 1kg bags, whole or ground, filter or espresso and either a three, six or 12-month subscription.
We tried Caravan’s Special Brü and picked up tasting notes of blackcurrant and cream with low acidity. It’s an easy-going coffee which transported us to a modern, city coffee shop, and would be perfectly partnered with a fried egg on a brioche bun for brunch. The Market Blend scored well too – a decent, straightforward but great quality coffee.
Blue Coffee Box
Best for gourmet coffee
About: Blue Coffee Box puts its emphasis on speciality coffee – prepare to be surprised and delighted by the flavour. Each pack comes with a detailed card telling you about the coffee variety, process, region and flavour profile ,plus more details about the producer and traceability.
Value for money: 1 x 227g bag is £7.99 per month or 3 x 155g bags = £16.99 per month. They offer savings if you sign up for longer subscription plans.
Packaging: the coffee is delivered in cardboard envelopes and the coffee bags are resealable, foil lined bags.
Subscribing: choose from one type of coffee per month or a three-variety selection box. You also get the option of choosing the roast: light, medium, dark or their choice. Your subscription can arrive either every two weeks, every month or every two months.
We tried Oporapa campbell & syme and found lemon and caramel flavours. It’s complex, with a lot of flavours going on, but has a good, smooth finish. We think it would pair beautifully with a sweet/savoury modern brunch dish. In the Women of Huehue coffee, the beans have a toasted hazelnuts aroma, while the brewed coffee has a rich plum sweetness and smoothness with low acidity, followed by a little anise prickle. Surprising and pleasing.
Monmouth Coffee Company
Best for expertly curated coffee
About: each coffee comes with a postcard of information about where it’s from, how it was processed and tasting notes.
Value for money: 1 x 250g bag coffee every month for three months = £31.00.
Packaging: the coffee comes in chic, brown, biodegradable/compostable paper bags with a simple, coloured tag at the top which tells you who and where your coffee comes from. Subscription boxes are delivered in a neat, letterbox friendly cardboard box.
Subscribing: the site’s subscription page is easy to navigate and offers the option of either 1 or 2 x 250g bags that can be whole or ground specifically for your chosen brewing method. Choose from three, six or 12-month subscription plans.
The coffee we tasted was outstanding. We tried a bag of Finca Perla Del Valle, which we describe as a strong, punchy, dark roast which is creamy, with hints of tobacco. It has light and dry sweetness and is incredibly drinkable – it would be a dream with a cinnamon bun in hand. We also tasted Fazenda Santa Lucia.
This is super strong – a deep, dark roast, almost acrid, but with a really full delicious flavour. This is everything you would need from a coffee to get you through an unbearably early morning. Delicious and very, very awakening. Both examples got top marks for flavour in our taste test.
Best for never running out
About: Grind started as a café-bar in East London and now comprises eleven locations, including espresso bars, cocktail bars, restaurants, a coffee roastery and a recording studio. Grind’s subscription service provides you with access to its house blends which can be bought as beans, ground or as compostable pods for a coffee machine.
Value for money: 2 x 227g compostable refill pouches* for their branded coffee tins = £13 per box.
(*purchase a £9 tin of whole coffee beans first to use then store the new coffee in)
Packaging: two refill pouches in the delivery is a neat idea, keeping the second half fresher for longer and helping you to never run out. Grind’s tins are in a cheerful yet stylish pale pink with a tight-fitting lid so are worth purchasing first before subscribing to the bags.
Subscribing: choose your quantity, delivery frequency between one to eight weeks and whether you want their house blend, black blend or decaf.
We tasted the Black Blend, which we found to be smooth with a touch of smoke and a hint of fresh hazelnuts. It’s very easy drinking and has been thoughtfully blended to be enjoyed without milk. We also tried the House Blend, which has an incredibly rich and complex aroma. This is a well-balanced coffee drink, ideal for everyday drinking and designed to work as well with milk as without.
Horsham Coffee Roasters
Best for ethically-sourced, environmentally-responsibly-made coffee
About: Horsham Coffee Roasters is a small business based in Sussex, focussing on ethical standards through its ‘relationship coffee’, whereby it works directly with the producers. It also uses a low emissions roaster and is part of a tree-planting initiative. Each pack of coffee comes with information about the coffee, tasting notes and how and when your coffee was roasted.
Value for money: 1 x 250g bag = £8.50.
Packaging: coffee arrives in resealable white plastic pouches. If you have problems recycling them in your area, you’re invited to send them back to the roastery where they will ensure the bag is recycled for you.
Subscribing: select from blends or single origin coffees or their choice, and whether you’d like one or two 250g bags per month. Select how you want it ground and they also do a direct debit or pre-paid option. You can also buy 1kg packs of beans through subscribing if you want to buy in bulk.
Horsham Coffee Roasters’ Nova blend is delightful, with lots of milk chocolate and hazelnut notes and lovely dark roast aftertaste. We wanted to dunk a biscotti in it immediately! The Workhorse Blend is lovely and smooth, with a pang of acidity that’s balanced by sweetness and a gentle bitterness at the end.
They say chocolate, orange and caramel. We agree but feel that doesn’t do it justice – think really good chocolate and the freshest orange zest, then a complex caramel with hints of very fresh hazelnuts and almonds. It’s complex but soothing – like a posh bubble bath!
Square Mile Coffee Roasters
Best for professional-grade coffee
About: Square Mile is focussed on wholesale and making sure its coffee tastes as good as possible when it gets to the cup, so has lots of technical advice and information on its blog.
Value for money: 1 x 350g bag monthly to UK = £14.00.
Packaging: slightly bigger pack sizes here (350g instead of the more common 250g). Their black plastic bags are printed with a faint map design from their signature map of a square mile of London from the 1700s. Each also displays a sticker of the name of the coffee, tasting hints and a short sentence about the coffee, where it’s from and the process used. As their packs are larger you will find their bags and boxes don’t yet fit through the letterbox, but they’re working on ironing that out.
Subscribing: choose from a blend, their choice or decaf and whether you want to use it for filter or espresso coffee. You get an option of 350g or 1kg quantities and whether you want it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The website walks you through the process seamlessly.
On tasting we found the Huye Mountain coffee very acidic, smooth and with high bitterness, like a 90% dark chocolate – not for the faint hearted. With the Muungano, we got the gooseberry straight away. There’s an oiliness too that balances well, like gooseberries and custard. Superb.
Best for an easy introduction to learning about coffee
About: Stafford-based Hasbean is focussed on the different flavours that coffee can produce. They source beans from loads of places – Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Thailand – so you can really travel the world with this subscription.
Value for money: 1 x 250g bag = £7.50.
Packaging: their coffee comes in foil-lined resealable plastic poaches, stating the region, name, tasting notes and roasting date. These bags are not easy to recycle but you can send them back to Hasbean where they will arrange and pay for recycling for you.
Subscribing: the ordering set up on their site is super easy – choose to pay by direct debit or up front for weekly, fortnightly or monthly subscriptions. They choose the coffee, which is great if you don’t really know what you like yet, plus for each coffee, a new tasting video is uploaded to their site so you can learn about the coffee you’re drinking directly from founder Stephen Leighton. The videos are informative but relaxed with extra info in the text below so you can get as nerdy as you like!
Doi Pangkhon tastes packed with cocoa nibs and smooth caramel notes but ends with a sour acidity. It would be a great partner to a spicy brunch like sweetcorn fritters, poached eggs and sriracha. The Fazenda Cachoeira da Grama is chocolatey-smooth but with good bitterness from almond skin. A great easy-drinking coffee for lazy days.
Perky Blenders Specialty Coffee
Best for good value and a focus on sustainability
About: this company started as a family business and has a clear focus on sustainability, as well as a definite sense of fun. You can personalise a bag of coffee as a birthday gift or ‘intricate prank’. Their website also sells merchandise and accessories, including a collaboration between them and Soapsmith in the form of a coffee body scrub.
Value for money: 1 x 200g bag = £6.50-£8.50
Packaging: Perky Blenders coffee comes in biodegradable, lined paper bags – you just have to cut out the valve on the bag before recycling and remove the sticky label. Alternatively, if you live near their Leyton branch you can bring your own container and pay for your coffee beans by the gram and go fully packaging-free. Their subscription packs fit through the letterbox too.
Subscribing: Perky Blenders have a range of different ‘clubs’ as their equivalent to subscriptions. There’s a six-week club where you get a 200g bag delivered every week for six weeks. Their flexi club is a rolling subscription of either weekly or monthly deliveries. They also do three, six, and 12-month subscriptions.
The blend of the month ‘A New Hope’ really did match its tasting notes description of raspberry, grapefruit and chocolate. Smooth and delightful, it’s a ‘brighten up a drizzly afternoon’ kind of coffee. We also tried the Forest blend – the initial taste is smooth, but it’s got some seriously strong bitterness that really lingers. I’m awake now…and a little afraid. Great stuff.
North Star Coffee Roasters
Best for positive impact coffee
About: each coffee comes with an info card, detailing location, owner, preparation and flavour profile. They also list the best brew method for that blend and a well written description of the region that is really transporting.
Value for money: a three month subscription, where you receive a 250g bag every fortnight for three months = £54, which works out as £9 per bag.
Packaging: North Star bags have all the information about the coffee on a recyclable cardboard sleeve and the coffee itself is in a recyclable, resealable plastic bag which they state has a ‘totally neutral carbon footprint thanks to responsible processing techniques’.
Subscribing: You can choose either a three month or six month subscription with North Star. Within those you can choose espresso or filter and whether you want to be buying in 1kg or 250g packs.
The Colombia blend we found to be rich, smooth and slightly sour, with a good balance of sweetness. The Ethiopian blend is very complex and not for the faint hearted. It has dark chocolate flavours with acidity, and a savoury note. We think it would be pretty spectacular with a sweeter chocolate dessert or a custard tart.
Best for a simple subscription offering blends and single origin coffee
About: a note card with each coffee gives details of the coffee, the farm, the processes etc but also has a space on the back for you to pick out your tasting notes and give your own rating. The cards are small and easy to keep hold of, allowing you to build up a vocabulary of what coffee you really like.
Value for money: 1 x 250g bag = £7.95.
Packaging: the coffee comes in a biodegradable, resealable bag. Affixed to the bag with a bulldog clip is a card about that coffee.
Subscribing: choose from traditional or discovery coffees, how you want to brew it and whether you want one, two, three or four bags a month. The subscription process is very simple to use.
We tasted a couple of Rave’s single origin coffees; the Guatemala san jeronimo Miramar coffee we thought was a bit more of a darker roast than we expected. It has quite a lot of bitterness but it’s smooth, nicely balanced and easy drinking. Initial miso notes give way to red apple skin (red apple is a tasting note they give which we agree with) and a nice chocolate aftertaste unfolds. Their El Salvador, Los Pirineos coffee has a good balance of richness and acidity, with hints of complexity. It tranports you to a cosy café.
This review was last updated in May 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.