Bean Box Review
Everything You Need to Know About This Coffee Subscription
- Bean Box brings independent roasters and small-batch microlot coffees from around the globe to your morning routine.
- We received our shipment quickly, within just a couple days of placing the order.
- There is a lot of variety in the products, especially if you love all roasts and styles of coffee.
- Each box includes some extra samples and coupons.
- Shipping is free for subscription boxes.
- The company offers a variety of roasts as well as espresso and decaf options.
The cost is higher than what you might find for local roasters.
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.)
All About Bean Box
Bean Box has set out to make us all morning people. This subscription box company sources small-batch coffees from roasters around the U.S. The company started in 2014 when two software engineers, Matthew and Ryan, wanted to share their passion for locally roasted Seattle coffees with people around the country. Now, the company has expanded to offer a variety of subscription boxes as well as gift boxes, standalone coffee products, teas, and convenient boxed cold brews. No matter your coffee preferences, you’re sure to find something to love at Bean Box.
How does Bean Box work?
The Bean Box subscription is a simple process. You choose your subscription preferences, outlined below. The Bean Box team chooses unique roasts each month, then ships them to you according to your subscription choices.
How does billing work?
You are billed the Thursday before your box ships, and Bean Box sends a renewal reminder email 8 days prior to the renewal date. Prepaid subscriptions are billed the Friday before the first shipment.
Can I reorder my favorites?
Bean Box keeps track of every roast you receive in the “Your Coffees” tab. From there, you can just hit the heart icon next to your favorite roasts, which you can also reorder bags of from this page, too.
Are the coffees fair-trade?
The company partners with independent, small-batch roasters, but it says the fair-trade and organic labels for coffee don’t always mean what you think. Instead, Bean Box says it prefers to evaluate its partners for ethical sourcing itself and outlines its concerns about fair-trade labels in a blog post.
Is it easy to cancel?
You don’t have to track down a phone number or hop on a chat within certain working hours to cancel. You can cancel your subscription from your account page by selecting the items or subscriptions you’d like to cancel. You must cancel before 5 p.m. PT on the Thursday one week prior to your next scheduled shipment to avoid being charged.
How to Subscribe to Bean Box
To subscribe, you’ll visit the Bean Box website, then click “Coffee Subscriptions” in the top menu. From there:
- Choose your preparation, either whole bean or ground.
- Choose your roast preference. Options include all roasts, light roasts, medium roasts, dark roasts, espressos, or decaf.
- Pick a plan. You can go for a Coffee Tasting box, which includes four 1.8-ounce bags of coffee delivered monthly. The other option is the Coffee Bag subscription, which has one 12-ounce bag of coffee delivered either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
What I Loved About Bean Box
As someone who drinks coffee nearly every morning, I had high hopes for this subscription box. Luckily, Bean Box delivered.
Exciting Flavor Profiles
One of the first coffees I noticed in my box was described to taste like cookie dough. Yum! Other options had fruity notes and cacao-and-caramel notes, all of which are right up my alley.
Variety of Options
There are a lot of options for each subscription. You can choose to receive expertly curated beans of all roasts, which I did, or you can choose your favorite: light roasts only, medium roasts only, dark roasts only, espresso beans only, or decaf options only. You can get ground or whole bean. I opted for whole bean, as I prefer the fresher flavor of grinding my own beans just before I make the coffee. Finally, you have the option to go for a Coffee Tasting box, which includes four 1.8-ounce bags of coffee delivered monthly, or a Coffee Bag subscription, which includes one 12-ounce bag of coffee delivered either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. You can really tailor the subscription to your preferences, but you still get the surprise of having someone else pick out coffees for you to try.
I was expecting to just receive the small bags of coffee in my Coffee Tasting box, but I also received some samples of a caramel candy, 8greens dietary supplements, and a coupon for another subscription box.
Room for Improvement
Cost of Coffee Bags
The sampler is a pretty great deal at $16.50. I was able to get about four cups of coffee per bag, for a total of 16 cups of coffee at just over a dollar each. Plus, it was fun to test so many different types of coffee in one box. But looking at the price for the Coffee Bag subscription, it’s definitely pricier than some of my favorite local (Los Angeles) and U.S.-based roasters, which charge about $14 for a 12-ounce bag. I also searched for the cost of some of the bags I received, and they were less money for larger bags of coffee if you buy directly from the roasters. For the Coffee Bag subscription, the costs are $20 for the weekly subscription, $22 for biweekly, or $24 for monthly. Shipping is free though, so you do save there.
What to Expect in a Bean Box Delivery
If you’re thinking of signing up for Bean Box, here’s what to expect in your weekly, biweekly, or monthly boxes.
The cost for a Coffee Tasting box is $16.50 per month. The Coffee Bag subscription is $20 per weekly shipment, $22 for biweekly shipments, or $24 monthly. All subscriptions come with free shipping.
The packaging is minimal. You’ll have a small cardboard box that is just the right size for the coffee inside, so you don’t have to recycle an excessive amount of packaging. You’ll also find a couple samples or partner offers for discounted products. My box included two 8greens samples, a piece of candy, and a coupon for Green Chef.
The Coffee Tasting box will include four 1.8-ounce bags of coffee in your choice of roast and whole bean or ground. The Coffee Bag box includes one 12-ounce bag of coffee, again in your preferred roast and either whole bean or ground. All artisan coffees are hand-selected by Bean Box’s own expert curators.
Our Test Delivery in July 2021
For July 2021, I received the “Coffee Tasting Subscription”. It arrived in one small box with incredibly fast shipping. It arrived just a couple days after the order was placed.
I received the sampler subscription, which included four small packages of whole bean coffee. I opted for a variety of light, medium, and dark roasts, so I received one light, one dark, and two medium roast options. I also received two samples of 8greens, which are dietary supplements made with greens like spinach, kale, spirulina, and other nutritious ingredients. The subscription box included a coupon for Green Chef as well as a small piece of candy.
How We Used It
I tested each coffee in the same way. I first ground the whole beans, then added them to a French press. I tried each coffee plain, black first, then with some oat milk, my preferred method of drinking coffee at home.
What We Thought
Overall, I enjoyed all the coffees I tested. Although I typically prefer dark roast coffees, the light and medium roasts were impressive. I also loved that each package included a roast number and QR code, so I can easily reorder my favorites.
Brazil Canaan Estate from Middle Fork Roasters: The first coffee I tested is a medium roast nicknamed the “cookie dough coffee”. It smells rich and chocolatey right out of the package. It wasn’t too strong or too weak. I didn’t really get a cookie dough flavor, but I did enjoy the notes of nuts and chocolate. It was good black and with oat milk. Sometimes, adding oat milk can really dilute the flavor of coffee, but that was not the case for this roast.
Colombia Proyecto Recolectores by True North: This lighter roast has notes of red plum, cantaloupe, papaya, and spices. Upon opening, I could smell some of those fruitier notes. The taste was more subtle and best enjoyed as-is. Adding oat milk overpowered the subtle flavor. This coffee was also very smooth; I didn’t really detect any bitterness.
Costa Rica Reserve by The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie: This medium roast was my favorite of the bunch. It’s said to have notes of toasted nuts, caramel, and cacao nibs. The nutty flavor was strong, and this coffee was a little more bitter than the first two. I enjoy a stronger, bitter coffee, so I loved the flavor plain. But I enjoyed it even more with oat milk, which didn’t overpower the delicious notes but gave the coffee a smoother, creamier finish.
Roaster’s Choice by Lighthouse Roasters: This coffee is a dark roast blend of Ethiopian, Latin, and Sumatran beans. The coffee is the strongest of the bunch with a bitter but clean flavor and little to no aftertaste. Despite its bold flavor, adding oat milk really masked the flavor, so I’d recommend drinking this one black or with a very small amount of milk.
Is Bean Box worth it?
If you’re looking for a coffee subscription box that both surprises you with each order but still takes your preferences into account, Bean Box is worth a shot. The Coffee Tasting is an especially good deal and perfect for those hoping to just find new favorite coffees from around the country. But if you’ve found a few favorites that you want to stick with, it’s probably cheaper to buy directly from the roasters. This box is best for people looking to continuously try new coffees rather than repurchasing a few favorites on a regular basis.