Peet's Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster based in San Francisco, but you've probably seen their coffee on the shelves of your local grocery store, or you may even have a café in your area. In addition to the cups of joe and grounds you can buy locally, Peet's also offers a coffee subscription.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This is a review of the Single Origin Series, for $17 per month + free U.S. shipping.
About Peet's Coffee
The Subscription Box: Peet's Coffee Single Origin Series
The Price: Starts at $17 per month + free U.S. shipping for one 16 oz. bag. Save with higher volumes per delivery.
The Products: High-quality single-origin coffee that has been responsibly sourced from top farmers around the globe.
Ships to: The U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, and PO boxes) for free, Canada starting at $20.25, and internationally starting at $32.00.
Peet's Coffee Single Origin Series November 2020
Since Peet's requires separate sign-ups for its three different subscriptions, you know when you've narrowed your choice down to the Single Origins Series that you'll be receiving a specific region's flavor with each delivery. So, when you sign up, you'll only have to answer two questions: How much coffee you'd like to receive per delivery—and, of course, there are discounts for higher volumes—and then whether you'd like to receive whole beans or grounds. If you opt for grounds, you'll indicate whether you brew your coffee in a drip coffee maker or in a French press or percolator. My family makes our coffee pour-over-style, which isn't indicated here, so I opted for whole beans that we could grind ourselves.
Note: if you're not sure where to begin, you might want to start by taking their 5-question Coffee Finder quiz. The quiz matches you with specific coffees rather than a recommended subscription, but your coffee match might be a good indicator of which subscription could be a good fit for you!
Peet's Aged Sumatra Dark Roast, Whole Bean (16 oz.) - Retail $17.95
This month's single-origin coffee is an Indo-Pacific bean that promises to be "rich and ample-bodied" with "dried fruit sweetness, tropical wood, and herbal notes." Just by the brief description, I could tell this coffee would be more my style than last month's delivery. I also mentioned in my last review that I found myself wishing for more details on the history of the beans I received, and this particular type of bean has a fascinating tale:
It comes to us from the Indo Pacific, but Aged Sumatra is really a gift from the Dutch. The unique and complex flavor of this rich coffee owes its origin to long journeys across the trade routes, when the beans were transported with spices in wooden-hulled ships. Mr. Peet, also of Dutch origin, was instrumental in spreading the wealth of this "spice box of flavors" here. He knew how hard it is to find really good aged coffees. Most exporters aren't willing to endure the lengthy aging process before selling their beans. And not all of those who do it start out with beans good enough to become aged coffee for Peet's customers. The aging process deepens flavors while also mellowing them, accentuating certain notes over others — but it doesn't add flavor to mediocre beans.
After last month's fulfillment mishap of sending grounds when I had requested beans, they sent me a new bag of whole bean coffee to right the error. This month the whole beans arrived without a hitch. How glorious do they look? The smell was incredible.
While last month's dark roast ended up being a bit too heavy for my tastes, this Aged Sumatra was spot-on. You can probably see just by looking at the color of the coffee in my mug that while indeed rich, it has a lightness to it that I found to be wonderfully sippable. Just as before, I followed the brew instructions printed on the side of the bag (2 Tablespoons per 6 oz. of water). To make my usual pour-over-style coffee I measure my water volume in ounces anyway so that's an easy calculation, but this time I used about half of the recommended coffee volume in my pour-over cone based on my experience of the amount of coffee that is typically needed. It's sort of a visual thing more than anything. When I tried Peet's with the full recommended amount in my pour-over cone it just turned out too rich—like, my coffee was opaque.
This time around I also did some classic coffee maker calculations, too, and found that to make "4 cups" on a coffee maker, I'd need 24 ounces of water and 8 Tbsps of Peet's coffee. Of course, a "cup" on a coffee maker is smaller than the traditional coffee mug—a coffee maker cup is 6 oz., whereas the mug I have pictured above is 12 oz. That's equivalent in size to a "tall" from Starbuck's. So in the end I used 8 Tbsp of coffee to make about 2 mugs worth in a coffee maker. The flavor was great, the complexities were present, and while the result of using two different coffee-making tools (coffee maker vs. pour-over in this case) yields a varied result, both were enjoyable. If you're keeping tabs on value, making this coffee pour-over-style uses fewer grounds and therefore will make your bag last longer; that said, not everyone keeps multiple coffee brewing options on hand. If I were someone who made coffee using a coffee maker 100% of the time, I might consider bumping my Peet's subscription up to the 2-bag tier, which is a better per-bag value ($16 per bag as opposed to $17 when you sign up to receive 1 per month).
Verdict: My second bag of coffee from the Peet's Coffee Single Origin Series was a much better fit for me than the first. From my experience with subscriptions that aim to nail a personal preference, giving 1 or 2 months of wiggle room so they can understand your tastes is par for the course, especially since sometimes when I take intro quizzes, I think I like one thing but actually prefer another. I've learned a lot about myself as a coffee-drinker through coffee subscriptions! A value learning this month is that making this coffee pour-over-style is more economical than in a coffee maker since it uses half the amount of grounds per cup (at least when I make it to my tastes, which are standard coffee-drinker tastes; I don't like weak coffee).
Value-wise, a 1-bag subscription costs $17 + free shipping. You're saving yourself $0.95 per bag of coffee + the cost of shipping when you sign up for a Peet's 1-bag subscription. If you are a known fan of Peet's, have more than 1-2 coffee-drinkers in your house, or perhaps if you're using a standard coffee maker every day, you might want to consider signing up for additional bags per delivery. 2 bags per delivery costs $32 (save $2) and 3 bags per delivery costs $45 (save $6). This box doesn't provide a particularly high-value month-to-month experience, but that's not uncommon with food and drink subscriptions. To save the most, consider the 3 bag option and use the coupon below to maximize your savings on your first month.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Given their subscription model, your items may vary based on your survey responses.
Value Breakdown: The cost of one 16 oz. bag of Peet's coffee bought as a one-time purchase is $17.95 + $5 shipping to the continental U.S.*, whereas a single bag purchased through the Single Origin Series subscription costs $17 + free shipping. That means you save $5.95+ when you buy coffee through a Peet's subscription and are paying about $0.94 per ounce of coffee.
*Non-subscription shipping costs $5 to the continental U.S., $10 to Alaska, Hawaii, and PO Boxes, $23.50+ to Canada, and $32+ to the rest of the world.
Looking for similar subscriptions? Visit our Coffee Subscription Box Directory!
Have you tried Peet's Coffee? What's your favorite brew?