One of the ultimate joys of the modern age is the wealth of online delivery services, promising to bring all manner of goodies straight to your door.
Want wine without having to go to the corner shop in the rain? Done. Want a gourmet dinner’s worth of ingredients, ready-sliced and prepped for a week night date? Sorted. Want the convenience (and kick) of your favourite coffee shop beverage without having to peel yourself off the sofa and change out of your pyjamas? Bingo.
There are a lot of coffee subscription services out there, all of which do pretty much what they say on the tin: freshly roasted coffee, delivered to your door for a small monthly fee – but only a handful of them are exceptional.
Here are six of the best.
Pact is probably the most well-known of the UK’s coffee subscription services, and for good reason.
With a mid-range price tag of £7 per month and a solid selection of beans, this is the perfect subscription for those who want high quality, easy-to-order coffee for their office Aeropress or morning pour-over – but for whom the geekery stops there.
Ordering is incredibly easy, and even enjoyable: its website is beautifully mapped out, and the small touches (50 per cent off your first order, addressing you by your first name throughout the order process) are just the right side of familiar.
The initial survey you fill in is comprehensive, so expect your delivery to be tailored to your needs.
Kopi describes itself as a “gourmet coffee club”, and gourmet it is – from the impeccably designed packaging (its sleek black bags and super-informative, fold-out leaflets on the coffee’s origin are worth the subscription price alone) to the breadth of its single-origin sourcing, these guys mean business.
It’s a simple premise: choose filter or espresso, then pay either monthly or in pre-assigned blocks of time (three months, six months or annually). What marks Kopi out from an already strong crowd is the quality of the beans – and the roast itself.
Each month you’ll receive beans from a different territory and, guaranteed, there’s never a dud batch. For just £8 per month, that’s a pretty solid bet.
With a £7 per month price tag, Brown Bear is the friendly, neighbourhood cafe of the group, to Kopi’s uber-minimalist, Antipodean geek hub.
Not only do they have adorable branding (how could you resist that face?), clean, bright packaging and a user friendly website, but they offer the widest range of choice. Pick from a number of (excellent) blends, fresh beans or ground coffee, and the frequency with which they’re delivered.
Of course, this much choice is only good if you know what you want. If you’re looking for more of a guided tour through the world’s best beans, stick with Kopi.
Square Mile is the godfather of the UK coffee scene – the caffeinated Al Pacino, if you will – and this subscription will only appeal to the truly die-hard coffee aficionados.
You can choose between espresso and filter, and either a six or twelve month subscription, but that’s about it. Beans will arrive whole and ready for you to grind, and you can choose a weekly or monthly delivery.
What they do offer, however, is quality of the highest order. Globally sourced beans and delicately handled roasts are on the menu here, and they’re unlikely to disappoint.
The price tag is high – £12 for filter, £16 for espresso – but worth every penny.
Bottle & Bean
Because sometimes caffeine just isn’t enough. Bottle and Bean’s ingenious subscription service seems to be aptly designed for a night of partying – and the resulting hangover.
For £35 a month (yep, this kind of convenience doesn’t come cheap), you’ll receive two types of coffee and eight craft beers to your door, all sourced from independent UK suppliers.
The coffee-only subscription is a cheaper (but still hefty) £11 per month, and it’s definitely worth the outlay. The beans and roast are both strong, and the addition of two live online tasting sessions turn this into coffee geek heaven.
The Coffee Roasters
If you’re the kind of person who loves a spot of routine, and the likes of Kopi and Square Mile seem too risky, you’re going to love The Coffee Roasters.
It’s a highly personalised service, boasting choices between beans suitable for Aeropress, flat whites and espresso, as well as coffee from over 21 roasters, including Climpson & Sons (totalling 90+ different types of coffee).
Prices start at around £8.50 per month, which is certainly reasonable for the quality of their beans, and you can amend your order or cancel at any time.