Good quality coffee is an elixir procured in time-honoured tradition, requiring much patience and care to produce an aromatic hug in a mug.
You can nuke an instant coffee in a microwave in less than a minute but what a tragic end to such a precious gift from Mother Nature!
Given that coffee trees take up to five years to produce flowering fruit (coffee cherries), we should at least take the time to make a proper brew so we can really appreciate the full flavour of the beans.
Why coffee subscriptions are superior to mass-produced supermarket coffees
Even if you buy vacuum-packed whole coffee beans or ground coffee from the supermarket, you’re still missing out on the full-bodied flavours you can enjoy with coffee subscriptions sourced from independent importers and roasters. Here’s why:
Coffee harvesting is traditionally done only once a year, allowing the coffee beans to reach full maturity. Mass coffee producers often push farmers to harvest twice a year, resulting in inferior beans.
When harvesting is done by hand, the pickers select only the ripest coffee cherries, whereas all the fruits are stripped off the branches regardless of their ripeness when harvesting is done by machine.
To produce just 20 pounds of coffee beans about 100 pounds of coffee cherries have to be processed. They are either dried in the sun or fermented and then mechanically dried.
The beans are then milled, exported, roasted and ground. For the very best flavour and freshness, roasting and grinding should be left as late as possible before brewing.
Most of the coffee subscription suppliers listed here roast and grind the coffee beans just before delivery to give you a much fresher brew than coffee kept for months in warehouses and on supermarket shelves.
Read on to see our updated list of the 10 best coffee subscriptions available in the UK. If you are not a coffee person but prefer a cup of tea for a subtle pick-me-up, have a look at our list of the best tea subscription boxes.
10 best coffee subscription boxes in the UK
- Pact Coffee
- Union Hand Roasted Coffee
- Kiss The Hippo at Home
- Rave Coffee
- Weanie Beans
- Perky Blenders
- Clumsy Goat
- Batch Coffee
- Dog & Hat Coffee Lovers Club
- Gold Goat Tribe Coffee Beans
Best ethical coffee subscription
Buying directly from farmers in 8 countries across 3 continents, Pact coffee is all about bringing fair-trade coffee to conscientious consumers in the UK that want to know the origins of their coffee are from ethical sources.
In fact, Pact Coffee claims that you can trace each bean back to the person who grew it and that the farmers are paid more than 55% above the average fair trade base price.
Make a plan to get ground or whole bean coffee by the bag (250g) or 25 Nespresso-compatible pods. Select your preferred roast, grind size and coffee range based on your choices.
Union Hand Roasted Coffee
Best freshly ground coffee subscription
The coffee from Union Hand is hand-roasted on the day your subscription is posted in airtight, letterbox-friendly packages delivered directly to your door so it gets our vote for the ‘best freshly ground coffee subscription’.
Choose from 20 speciality coffees from around the world including house blends, single-origin coffees and Microlot coffees, which are limited parcels of rare and unique coffees.
The coffees are categorized in four key flavour profiles: Chocolate & Caramels; Floral & Citrus; Nuts & Spices; Fruit.
Kiss The Hippo at Home
Best coffee subscription directly from growers
With a focus on sustainability, Kiss The Hippo sources coffee beans directly from growers, mostly in Brazil, and pays their farmers at least 50% more than the Fairtrade price.
To ensure freshness, the coffee beans are sourced seasonally. They roasted in small batches 24-48 hours before delivery.
You can choose single origin or blends to be delivered through your letterbox in 250g or 1kg bags weekly, every two weeks or monthly. And you get up to 15% off with annual subscriptions.
Rave Coffee Subscription
Best barista training coffee subscription
The aptly named Rave Coffee subscription schools you in everything you need to know about coffee from planting to brewing so you can rave about it like a genuine coffee connoisseur.
In a monthly subscription box you get ethically sourced beans bought at fair prices plus booklets on coffee bean growing, roasting, grinding and brewing to help you really appreciate tasting the dark nectar.
Subscribe for 3, 6 or 12 months from £23.85 or just under £8 per month. If you are buying a subscription for someone else they’ll gift wrap the box for you.
Best coffee subscription for the office
For stocking up on a monthly supply of good coffee to keep you perked up and focused at the office we recommend the Weanie Beans Office Coffee Subscription.
Their coffee packs a powerful punch with two espresso blends to choose from. For £20 you get a 1kg bag of Scout espresso blend or the stronger, more traditional Citizen Kane blend.
You can also choose whether to have your coffee delivered as whole beans or freshly ground specifically for brewing strong espressos.
Perky Blenders 4-Week Variety Club
Best coffee blends
Perky Blenders gives you a tempting variety of coffee blends to chose from but if you don’t want to procrastinate over deciding between their forest, acacia and sow blends, among others, spend £26 to try all the blends with four weekly deliveries.
With this simple coffee subscription you get a different blend of freshly-roasted coffee each week. The eco-friendly boxes fit through your letterbox and contain a 200g bag of coffee, which is enough for about 11 double shots.
Chose from seven choices of grind when you order. Postage is included.
Clumsy Goat Coffee Home Subscription
Best surprise premium roast
Clumsy Goat Coffee is a one-stop-shop for home and commercial coffee brewing. They supply premium beans, machines and catering equipment to retailers and wholesalers but they also offer a simple personal coffee bean subscription for everyday coffee lovers at home.
With this subscription you don’t have the rigmarole of choosing your coffee bean. They’ll supply you with a surprise premium roast each month of 250g bags of single-origin or whole bean coffee.
The only decisions you have to make are the type of grind you want, depending on your coffee brewing contraption, and whether you want weekly, fortnightly or monthly deliveries.
Best coffee for connoisseurs
Batch Coffee sources speciality coffee from independent coffee roasters all over the world. We consider these batches best for coffee connoisseurs because each batch is meticulously reviewed with flavour notes and detailed information about the coffee’s origin, including details such as variety, process and elevation.
You can choose whether to have your coffee subscription delivered every fortnight with a recurring payment or you can make the following one-off payments: 3 deliveries over 6 weeks; 6 deliveries over 3 months; 12 deliveries over 6 months.
The more coffee batches you buy at a time, the more you save. Each batch comprises two 200g bags of coffee (about 25 cups), which you can choose to be delivered as whole beans or ground to suit your brewing preference.
Dog & Hat Coffee Lovers Club
Best coffee gift subscription
The Dog & Hat Coffee Lovers Club is an excellent source of whole-bean coffee as well as some unique coffee-related gifts.
We love the hand-crafted ceramic espresso cups from a trio of esteemed British potters made exclusively for this coffee club’s gift subscriptions.
As the coffee club is certified by the Speciality Coffee Association you can expect quality coffee with the assurance of expertly sourced beans and roasts from around the world.
Monthly subscription options include delivery of two, three or four 250g bags of coffee each month.
Gold Goat Tribe Coffee Beans
Best deal for long-term subscriptions
Gold Goat Tribe Coffee gives you a full-bodied Italian espresso style blend of coffee beans from Brazil, Columbia and Uganda at a very affordable price of £7.50 for a 227g bag (enough for about 30 cups). You also save 10% when you buy a subscription for three, six or twelve months at a time.
The Tribe blend is a medium roast of dark Arabica and Robusta beans accompanied by tasting notes.
Coffee subscription boxes: The verdict
The best subscription for you depends on your particular taste and caffeine tolerance levels, which you can easily decide based on the three main types of coffee bean.
If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee with a hefty caffeine kick you should go for a subscription of coffee made from Robusta beans, which has the most caffeine compared to other coffee types; about 2.26 grams of caffeine in every 100 grams of coffee.
Arabica is the most widely used coffee bean. It has a lower caffeine content than Robusta, containing about 1.61 grams of caffeine in every 100g of coffee.
If you are looking for a premium brew then look for a subscription with Liberica beans, which are rarer, smoother and contain the least caffeine out of the three main types of coffee bean – about 1.23 grams of caffeine per 100g.
Originally native to western and central Africa (Liberia, Uganda and Angola), Liberica beans are now also grown in Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Seychelles, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Malaysia. The lower yield of Liberica beans makes them pricier than the others, putting them on the premium shelf.
We are continually adding new coffee subscriptions and other products to The Box Hut. See the latest on our Box List.