Coffee subscription services – fresh, different variations of coffee, delivered regularly right to your door. It seems like a dream come true, right?
The problem is, though, that it’s tough to know which service to go with. There are so many options, and all of their ads are quite compelling.
I’ve resolved to try all of the coffee subscription services I can find and share my reviews with you, so that you can more easily decide which one is right for you.
Today, I’m reviewing the Atlas Coffee Club. The Concept
Atlas Coffee Club is a coffee subscription service that aims to bring you coffee to try from various countries around the world. They point out that over fifty countries produce coffee, though it’s unclear if they actually deliver coffee from all of these countries. They advertise themselves as ‘coffee tour tasting guides’ and boast that they pay above market prices and that their coffee is all high-quality and ethically sustainable.
You can sign up for the monthly subscription, which delivers a 12oz bag of coffee from a surprise country for you to try each month. Your other option is to browse their collection and product descriptions, and order the coffee you want to try at your leisure.
Sign Up & Delivery
I signed up for their monthly coffee subscription service, and sign up was extremely easy. The website had me take a very simple, short questionnaire where I decided if I wanted a half-bag, a whole bag, or two bags per box. It also had me reveal my roast preferences (light-to medium, medium to dark, or a mix of all), my preferred delivery frequency (every month or every two weeks), and if I wanted whole-bean or pre-ground coffee.
Delivery was timely, and the packaging was simple and cute, coming in a clearly-labeled box with a picture of a map in the background.
I opened my box to find a very bright, patterned bag of coffee that immediately made me think of the desert and reminded me a bit of traditional Mexican attire. I lifted the bag out and was not surprised to find that I had been correct in guessing their inspiration source. There was a postcard from Mexico that depicted a picture of an ancient Mayan pyramid (Chichén Itzá, I think?) with a starry night sky backdrop.
On the back of the post card, there was a paragraph listing fun, adventurous-sounding tourist attractions in Mexico, like touring tequila factories in Tequila, checking out pink salt pools and ancient Mayan cities, and exploring the world’s largest underwater cave system. It also instructed me to send the post card to a friend so that they could use the discount code attached and get 50% off their first order when they subscribe.
The next card included was a profile overview of the coffee, claiming that it contained ‘tasting notes’ of hazelnut, milk chocolate, and orange. It told me to try it with a ‘clever coffee dripper’ under a picture of a pour-over, and told me that it was a medium roast coffee. The back of the card contained a short-but-very-informative blurb on Mexico’s history with coffee, information on its growing region, and a more detailed description of the roast’s flavor.
I didn’t brew my Atlas coffee as they recommended, in a pour over, since I was mid-move when I tried it. I brewed it simply in a drip coffee pot. It didn’t appear too watery or too strong, and it smelled delicious, so I was optimistic despite my slight trepidation over the inclusion of orange flavor.
I took a sip and immediately noticed the hazelnut flavor, but not the chocolate or orange. I took another drink and let it sit in my mouth for a second, and that’s when I started to notice a very subtle chocolate flavor in the mix. It wasn’t until I swirled the coffee around a bit that I started to taste an even subtler orangey-flavor. It was quite pleasant.
I read the more detailed flavor description on the back of the second card at this point, and it confirmed my own experience – it claimed that it started with the hazelnut taste, that the body had chocolate-esque profile, and that the end notes contained just a touch of orange. However, had I not read that the roast was supposed to contain those three flavors prior to drinking it, I’m not sure I would have been able to pinpoint the subtle orange and chocolate flavors.
Incentives & Rewards
Atlas Coffee Club does offer an incentive program wherein you can receive $10 off for every person you refer who also signs up – and that person gets $10 off of their first order too, for being referred by you.
It might not be too terribly motivating, but if you have a lot of coffee-drinking friends who you know would also love the service, this could be worth noting and taking advantage of.
They do also have a rewards program, where each purchase you make results in the accumulation of points, which you can eventually cash in for things like discounts and store credit.
Canceling the subscription was very straightforward. I didn’t have to talk to anyone in person, which was a bonus, and it also had the option to pause the subscription for various lengths of time. I appreciated this.
Atlas Coffee Club’s subscription program isn’t very personalized to customers’ tastes, but I think it makes up for that by picking high-quality coffee from diverse locations. The fact that they make such a point to be ethically sourced and sustainable is also a major plus in my book.
However, I do wish it came with a bigger variety of coffee to try in one box, rather than just the one flavor in a full-sized box. This coffee was really good, but I have no doubt that it doesn’t represent the flavor of all coffee in Mexico, and I’d like to try more than one kind. Also, if I were to continue this subscription and get a flavor that I really didn’t like, I’d be stuck drinking a whole, regular-sized bag of it or having to waste it all instead of just disliking a cup or two.
Overall, I really like the coffee. I surprised to find myself enjoying the orange flavor, but it was just subtle enough to be good. I did order a second box before canceling, and I look forward to comparing that roast with this one. Despite my qualms with the lack of variety/sample size, and the lack of individualization, I’d definitely consider trying them again at the end of my subscription-testing rotation and bean tasting.