My Atlas Coffee Club Review
Is This Coffee Subscription Worth Trying?
Atlas Coffee Club is a coffee subscription service that connects you with specialty-grade coffees from across the globe. Beans are roasted to order, and they ship directly to your door. Coffee from all over the world is featured, and every coffee is packaged in bright, graphic packaging that's inspired by the featured country's landscape and textiles. (I liked the look of the bag so much, I actually left it sitting out on my counter instead of in the cabinet!)
When you sign up for a subscription, you can choose your preferred roast level and grind, how frequently you'd like to receive shipments, and how much coffee you'd like to receive. I always appreciate it when a coffee subscription takes these personal preferences into account. (I love receiving whole beans, and my preference is for light roast coffee.) Want to learn more about the ordering process and find out what I thought about the beans? Read on!
ACTIVE DEAL: Use code MSA50 to Save 50% off your first subscription purchase
Pros & Cons
- This subscription is a world coffee tour in a box. It features high-quality, single-origin beans from micro-lots around the world. (Past shipments have featured beans from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, and Peru.)
- All beans are hand-selected by the Atlas team, so you know they're going to be good.
- Atlas goes above and beyond fair trade standards, ensuring farmers receive well above market rate.
- Beans are roasted to order. (They're the freshest of the fresh.)
- You can choose your roast preference, ideal grind (ground coffee vs. whole bean), and shipping frequency.
- The packaging is beautiful. Bags are decorated with unique designs inspired by the featured country.
- Prefer tea? Atlas also has a tea club.
- It's easy to cancel your subscription online.
- Only one coffee is featured per month, so if you're super picky (like you're only into South American coffee, for instance), you might want to seek out a coffee subscription with a wider variety of options.
- All of the beans you'll receive are roasted by Atlas. If you want to sample a variety of roasters, another subscription might be a better fit.
- At $14 per shipment for a 12 oz. bag (plus $4.95 shipping), this is not the cheapest way to get coffee.
- If you like super dark roast beans or primarily drink espresso, this might not be the subscription for you.
Is It Worth It?
- Do you want to try different coffees from different countries all over the world? Are you okay paying a little bit more for high-quality beans shipped to your front door? Then, yes, I think it's definitely worth it!
About Atlas Coffee
The Subscription: Atlas Coffee Club
- Half bag (6-ounce bag): $9 per shipment + $4.95 shipping
- Full bag (12-ounce bag): $14 per shipment + $4.95 shipping
- Double bag (2 x 12-ounce bags): $28 per shipment + $4.95 shipping
ACTIVE DEAL: Use code MSA50 to Save 50% off your first subscription purchase
- Ships to the U.S. and Canada.
- Shipping costs $4.95 per shipment to the U.S. (Additional charges apply for shipments to Canada and start at $6.)
- Shipping timelines are 3-6 business days to the U.S. and 5-12 business days to Canada.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
How It Works
When you sign up for a subscription to Atlas Coffee Club, you start out by taking a short quiz that asks some basic questions about your preferences and coffee needs.
Every month, the coffee aficionados at Atlas seek out high-quality, micro-lot beans from a different part of the world. Depending on your grind preference and preferred roast types, your shipment will be prepared and sent to your doorstep. I'm a coffee drinker who prefers whole bean coffee with a light to medium roast, and (as you'll see below) I was very satisfied with the beans I received in my shipment. One thing to note: the quiz only provides two options for shipping frequency, every two weeks and every four weeks; however, in their FAQ, Atlas makes a point to say that they can accommodate requests outside of that time frame. If you want a bag delivered every week or only need coffee every two months, they can work with that.
Beans are roasted to order, and once your first bag ships you can expect to receive it in 3-6 days (for U.S. orders). Subsequent shipments are charged, roasted, and shipped on an ongoing basis at the frequency of your choosing. Subscribers can cancel online anytime by logging into their account.
My Atlas Coffee Delivery
Before my box arrived, I did a little homework. These days, there are a lot of coffee companies with subscription options, and I wanted to read up to see how Atlas is different.
As I mentioned previously, they're laser-focused in their approach; every month, one coffee is featured. Single-origin coffee grown on high-quality micro-lots are their bread and butter. Once the Atlas team finds beans they like, they purchase them for a fair price (above market value) that supports sustainable farming practices and helps stabilize supply chains to ensure great beans will continue to be grown for years to come. I really like their ethical approach and dedication to sustainability.
My shipment from Atlas Coffee Club arrived looking (and smelling) great! Inside the box, I found a 12 oz. bag of coffee, a postcard, and an info card.
The info card introduces new coffees and provides information about growing regions, flavor profiles, tasting notes, and ideal brew methods. The postcard provides some additional info about where your coffee of the month is from.
This month's featured coffee is Colombian La Plata. It's from the Huila region and was grown at an altitude of 1500-1900 meters. Atlas outlines the flavor notes thusly:
From a country famous for coffee, our favorite. This coffee is a study in delicate balance – with a creamy sweetness, tea-like body, and a hint of bright lemongrass to finish, this is a standout selection worth sharing.
The beans are lightly roasted, and Atlas recommends using a "clever coffee dripper" (vs. traditional coffee maker or French press) for optimum results. So, I went with my handy-dandy porcelain coffee dripper for the taste test.
As soon as I opened up the bag of beans, I had a feeling I'd love this coffee, and I was not wrong. This is the best coffee I've had in months. Frankly, it has just about everything I look for in a great cup: it's smooth, subtly complex, a little bright, and just plain delicious. I savored this coffee. Really, I loved it.
A Little Something Extra
So, I have to tell you about a funny little mixup that happened when I received these beans because it ended up leading to something awesome. Before I brewed up some coffee or even read the info card that came in my box, I looked up the beans I received on Atlas' website... or at least I thought I looked them up. You see, I found a Colombian coffee on Atlas' site that had the same packaging, but it turned out to be previously-featured coffee from a different part of Colombia. This other coffee was from the Andean Region (not La Plata), and the tasting profile included notes of marshmallow and graham cracker. Well, this had me immediately craving s'mores, and my brain started churning. S'mores are a delicious thing... and chocolate-covered coffee beans are a delicious thing... so what if I combined the two to make COFFEE BEAN S'MORES?
I chopped about two tablespoons of the coffee beans and sprinkled them over some melted chocolate. Once the chocolate solidified, I cut it into squares, stacked it between graham crackers and toasted marshmallows, and voilà!
S'mores are always a fun time, but I was surprised how nicely these showcased the flavor of Atlas' beans. My little experiment turned out to be a fun way to explore their flavor in a new way. With every bite, I got a nice, concentrated coffee punch that was rich, smooth, and a little bright. If you're an uber coffee lover looking for new ways to work coffee into your diet— or perhaps out camping and craving s'mores at breakfast time — I highly recommend giving this mashup a try.
Coffee tends to vary pretty greatly in price depending on what you're getting, but I think it's important to look at the value of an Atlas Coffee Club subscription. First things first, it probably won't come as a shock to hear that a subscription to Atlas is not the cheapest way to get your coffee. Picking up beans at the grocery store is always going to cost less. That said, they won't be this fresh, they won't be delivered to your door, and they (likely) won't be single-origin beans, which of course cost more. Looking at similar coffee subscriptions like Mistobox ($14.95 per bag with $5 shipping) and Trade ($15-$25 per bag with $2 shipping), Atlas' price ($14 per bag with $4.95 shipping) is in the same ballpark. Comparing to my favorite local roasters, French Truck ($14-$20 for a 12-ounce bag of single-origin coffee) and Congregation ($17-$19 for a 12-ounce bag of single-origin coffee), Atlas' prices are also on par.
I really enjoyed my delivery from Atlas Coffee Club. It was nice learning a little bit about Colombian coffee (and the La Plata region), I appreciated the provided brewing instructions, and— most importantly— the coffee was exquisite. From the perfectly roasted beans to the beautiful packaging, I found the entire experience delightful. Better yet, I feel good about this company. I like that Atlas pays above market rate for beans in an effort to support farmers and create a sustainable supply chain. I didn't pay for this particualr box out of my own pocket, but I loved the coffee enough that I'm signing up for a personal subscription. I'm always happy to support a small company with a great ethos, and I think Atlas is doing solid work. I'll still support my local roasters, but I'm happy to pay around the same amount to have coffee from Atlas delivered to my door once per month.
Want to know more about the Atlas Coffee Club?
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