What to look for in a coffee subscription

These days there are hundreds of possible coffee subscriptions to choose from, so how do you choose the best one for you? Here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing a coffee subscription.

1. Quality coffee

All subscriptions give you a convenient supply of coffee, but what’s the point of that if you don’t enjoy drinking it? So quality is the top consideration, or more specifically – roast levels that suit your preference. Find a roaster (or service) where you can try the coffee without subscribing, or that is easy to cancel if the coffee doesn’t suit your taste.


2. Flexibility in quantity

You don’t want to have too much or too little coffee – the cliché sales pitch for any subscription service is “set and forget”. But it’s hard to forget if there’s nothing to drink, or your pantry is overflowing with coffee beans. So a key consideration is getting a coffee subscription that is flexible. There are two main methods of getting quantity right.

Firstly, you can adjust the frequency of delivery. So for example you could find a subscription service that allows you to get 500g delivered every week (if you drink a lot of coffee) or allows you to get 500g delivered every 3 weeks (if you don’t drink as much).

Another way of getting flexibility is for a subscription service to allow for small incremental quantity changes. So for example, rather than forcing a choice between 250g or 1kg per month, a subscription service should allow you to choose between many different quantities.

This is the primary method that Roasted On use to provide flexibility – we sell in 250g increments, although we also provide a choice of delivery frequency – either every 1, 2 or 3 months so that people who don’t drink much can order enough to get free shipping.

3. Per kilo pricing

You want a coffee subscription that allows you to fine tune your quantity (as described above) without punishing your wallet.

For example, let’s say you are finding your 1kg per month deliveries are not quite enough and decide you want to increase your subscription to 1.25kg per month. If the subscription service is selling 1kg bags for $50 and 250g bags for $17 then is it fair that you pay $67 for your 1.25kg? Of course not. At the very least, you should get “per kg” pricing on that extra 250g (and therefore pay $62.50 in this example).

This is why Roasted On charges a flat price of $11.95 per 250g. If one of our customers wants to increase from 1kg ($47.80) to 1.25kg, then they just pay for another 250g (making the total amount $59.75).

4. Fresh deliveries

Most subscription services do an excellent job of providing freshly roasted coffee to their subscribers. This is because they can plan for the orders in advance and schedule appropriate production. As their subscriber base grows, they can confidently invest in larger roasters to handle the demand on a consistent basis.

So provided you are subscribing directly from a roaster (such as Roasted On) then you will get freshly roasted coffee.

It can be a little bit more hit and miss with subscription services that switch between different roasters. Because the roasters may be getting an unusually large quantity of orders when they have been chosen as that month’s supplier, they may start production well in advance so they can handle the demand. It may not be worth increasing their production capacity for those occasional spikes.

5. Perks

Of course, who doesn’t like perks? With so many coffee roasters vying for your subscription, it’s nice to get a little bit extra when you sign up. Naturally, it doesn’t matter how many free sets of steak knives you're getting, if you don’t like the quality of the coffee, or can’t get the quantity right then don’t sign up.

But, assuming those criteria are met, then hunt around for some perks that tickle your fancy. For example, there are some amazing first order discounts that get offered to get you in the door. So switching from one subscription to another can be a great way to save money. But, it does also mean you're spending more time, not less, buying coffee.

So if you’re attracted to a coffee subscription for the convenience take a longer term view than saving a few dollars in your first order. For example, at Roasted On we offer our members exclusive access to our Reusable Packaging Program plus free gift wrapping and automatic entry into major competitions.

So there you have our guide to deciding what coffee subscription is right for you.

If you’d like to give a Roasted On coffee subscription a try and see if it works for you then head over here to read more.