(Note: I may earn a small commission from purchases made through product links in this article at no extra cost to you. Additionally, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)
If I were to ask what comes to mind when you think of Seattle, coffee would no doubt be one of the top responses (along with rain and grunge music?). Seattle is renown for it’s coffee. Bean Box, a subscription company that focuses on Seattle area coffee roasters, sent me a sample of their subscription service (and more goodies- keep reading). I enjoy experiencing different coffee subscriptions and was excited to try out the service. Here are my thoughts on the Bean Box subscription service as well as their one time purchase “World Coffee Tour” which they also sent me.
What is Bean Box?
As I mentioned above, Bean Box is a coffee subscription service that ships out Seattle (and Portland) area coffee on a monthly basis. You select a roast preference, a size preference (Four 1.8 oz tastes or one 12 oz bag) and receive coffee that is a scant few days out of the roaster.
The site also features quite a few one-time coffee purchase options. These coffee bundles range from one-time small sampler tastings to the impressive World Coffee Tour Box, which features 16 coffees from around the world.
Bean box boast a line up of 27 coffee roasters. Some of my favorites that they represent are Roseline, Kuma and Slate. There are also many other notable names like Coava, Dapper and Wise, Blue Beard… (you can find the entire list about halfway down their homepage).
Having a large pool of roasters to draw from creates a chance for the consumer to experience variety and different takes on coffee roasting. They even offer a Seattle Coffee Tour which, similar to the World Coffee Tour, features coffee from 16 different Seattle roasters.
While there are quite a few companies that curate coffees and have them shipped to you super fresh, Bean Box’s subscription model gives them a leg up on delivery speed and personal touch. Because all of the coffees they ship are sourced locally, they can personally ship the coffee to you. With whole bags of coffee, this isn’t a huge difference but with the sample packs this means you may be getting your coffee several days to a week sooner than a company that has roasted coffee shipped to them, then repackages it and sends it out.
If you are looking for a subscription company that delivers coffee quickly after it is roasted and like getting a variety of small samples, Bean Box should peak your interest.
The Bean Box Sampler Subscription
The Bean Box sampler features 4 bags each containing 1.8 ounces of coffee (7.2 ounces total) and the choice of light (roast), medium, dark, all roast levels, espresso or decaf. It is shipped on a monthly basis. The first month is five dollars then it is $19.00 a month after that.
I sampled both the medium roast and the light roast of the Bean Box Sampler (I did a couple rounds of the light roast subscription actually). I found both the light and the medium roast to contain high quality coffee with a good variety.
While the medium roast sampler contained some great coffee, it definitely runs a little darker than my preference. The light roasted sampler lined up with my usual coffee fare.
The coffee arrived quickly, about four to five days off of roast (to the midwest), which as I mentioned above is pretty quick for a sampler pack featuring different roasters.
During my Bean Box sampler experience, I found a coffee that I really enjoyed and wanted to try again. Bean Box makes it super easy to reorder coffee. (You can basically just text them a code from your phone as you are sitting there enjoying your coffee and reading the information on the bag.)
The coffee that I wanted to brew more of was Velton’s Papua New Guinea Bebes A/X. The ordering process was easy and the coffee arrived fast. It was enjoyable and the experience was overall great.
The World Coffee Tour Box
Bean Box’s World Coffee Tour sampler was my favorite thing I sampled (they also have Seattle roaster tours).
The World Coffee Tour contains 16 coffees from various coffee growing regions (and various roasters). Since I wrote my post on coffee origins in 2014, I have wished a product like this was available.
One thing to mention about the World Coffee Tour— because of the different origins that need to be sourced for the box, there is a wide variety of roast levels. The explanation for this is simple—It would increase the difficultly of putting this sampler together significantly to limit the roast levels as well as include all 16 origin selections. Therefore, you will get a wide variety of roast levels (which is kind of fun because you get to experience each coffee roasted as the company thinks makes it best shine). This could be a barrier if you are exclusively a light, medium or dark roast coffee drinker.
The World Coffee Tour is a little on the expensive side (89 dollars for 1.8 pounds of coffee) but there is plenty of room to be creative. It would be fun to host a coffee origins party and have several coffee fanatics help defray the cost (and share the fun). A night (or several nights) of tasting coffees that typify different origins and talking about it is a great way to get friends together and consume some caffeine.
This would also make a great gift for a coffee lover who already has all the gadgets, someone who is going on a trip (honeymoons or remote vacations), or anyone who is curious about the impact geography has on the flavor profiles of coffee.
Summary of Bean Box
At first glance, you might think that a subscription service that solely ships coffee from one city would be limiting, but honestly, I think there is enough variety and good quality roasters in the Bean Box line-up to keep things lively in perpetuity.
Because Bean Box can simply go pick up their coffee for the sample subscriptions and ship soon after, it is a great choice if you really care about your coffee being close to the roast date. Bean Box also does a great job with added extras to make the subscription feel luxurious (I thoroughly enjoyed the pieces of Seattle Chocolates that were included).
The prices on the Bean Box samplers may seem a little steep for the amount of coffee that you are getting but it is actually pretty typical when I checked some of the other sampler boxes. As is the case with most luxury items (nice coffee is a luxury) the least expensive price point isn’t always the objective.
Buying twelve ounce bags from them “a la carte” is very reasonable with free shipping when you spend 30 dollars or more.
There are a lot of companies that will curate coffees and “drop ship” them to you (and the number seems to be growing) but there really are not too many places to find quality coffee subscriptions shipped in sampler packs. If you are looking to sample a variety of coffee roasting perspectives each month (i.e. different roasters) and get the coffee delivered quickly after it is roasted, Bean Box may be for you.
Additionally, I really enjoyed the World Tour Sampler. Even though there was quite the roasting spectrum represented (several were quite a bit darker than I will typically drink), it was fun and presented really well. While I simply consumed all the coffee myself (between my wife and I), I think that the price point is perfect for hosting a coffee tasting event with some friends.
If Bean Box seems like something you would like to try, use this link to grab your first sample for 30 % off as well as support the blog. Let me know what you think!