Disclosure: We received free samples of Atlas Coffee boxes to review. We liked it, so now we’re an affiliate which means we earn a small commission if you click on our link and become a paying customer (this comes at no cost to you).
When I received an email from the good folks at Atlas Coffee Club asking if I wanted to try some free coffee, my attention was immediately captured. After all, free is my favorite price to pay for a cup of coffee…and just about anything else.
Overall, I was impressed with the coffee bags I received, and I realized there’s a lot to like about Atlas Coffee Club — so much so that I’d be remiss to not share it with you. Settle in, Roasty reader, and we’ll walk through the entire experience.
Atlas Coffee Overview
No, Atlas Coffee isn’t a little coffee shop, nor is it your typical coffee company. It’s a monthly coffee subscription service that gives you the luxury of trying a different type of coffee every month. This way, you won’t get bored with your daily cup, and before long, you’ll have a pretty impressive and diverse collection of coffee beans on your hands.
The Austin, Texas-based Atlas Coffee Company, which was co-founded by Michael Shewmake and Jon Miller, introduces itself this way:
“Atlas Coffee Club was founded to tell the story of coffee from around the world. Exploring a new country each month, our coffee subscription is a journey of exotic discovery, highlighting the regional differences in every cup. Curating only the finest coffee, we roast each batch to accentuate tasting profiles distinctive to their native growing region.”
Purchasing an Atlas subscription is like signing up for a tour of exotic coffees from around the world – which is a pretty sweet deal since it gives you something to look forward to each month (plus, the bags of coffee you’ll get on your doorstep will be a surprise, and who doesn’t love surprises?).
A coffee explorer doesn’t even have to leave his house to try new coffees and discover unique and exciting flavor profiles; the beans come to him! Atlas Coffee Club also makes a fantastic gift idea for the coffee lover in your life. Even if you’re unsure of what his or her favorite coffee is, an Atlas subscription is bound to give them java they’ll look forward to brewing every morning.
This may seem too good to be true — quality coffee beans right on your doorstep? Really? Is Atlas Coffee Club legit? The answer is yes, it is. Atlas Coffee Club is the real deal, taking you on an across-the-globe coffee tasting tour from the comfort of your kitchen.
How many countries do you get coffee from?
Part of Atlas Coffee Club’s appeal is that the company showcases coffee from all over the world, with beans sourced from coffee growers in places like Ethiopia (which is the birthplace of coffee), Burundi, and Colombia. With coffee coming from over 50 countries, you and your fellow coffee snobs aren’t likely to get bored anytime soon.
Why does the coffee’s origin matter?
Coffee has over 800 flavor and aromatic compounds, and fresh coffee beans from different locations boast different ones.
But the diversity in coffee flavors likely isn’t new information for you; you’re probably familiar with the coffee flavor wheel, and if you’re not, you should definitely have a look at it. If you’re one of the more serious coffee drinkers among us, you might already be using your own sheet to identify the bold flavors you taste in your brew.
So, in short, the coffee origin matters because that typically determines how your joe will taste. Plus, you’ve got a wide variety of coffee from different countries like El Salvador, Indonesia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Mexico, it’ll be really fun to compare the range of flavors and aromas present in each brew.
How does it work?
You’ll start your Atlas Coffee Club subscription by answering a few simple questions and choosing whether you want your coffee delivered in a six or 12-ounce bag. You can even go up to a double bag (24-ounce) order if you find yourself drinking lots of coffee on a regular basis.
From there, you’ll be prompted with how frequent you want your coffee delivery to be. Choose between once a month or every two weeks. Then, you’ll let the company know which roast types fit your personal preferences.
Finally, you reach the last question: whole bean or pre-ground coffee. The choice is yours, but if you’re serious about maintaining your coffee’s freshness as long as possible, you’re going to want to choose whole beans.
What do you get?
Each subscription includes premium single-origin beans — offerings from within the top five percent of the world’s most amazing coffee — and all of it’s roasted to perfection and delivered fresh. If you’re an Atlas Coffee subscriber, here’s exactly what you get:
- Single-origin coffees that are roasted to order, making the joe as fresh as possible
- Colorful postcards from the beans’ country of origin and a fun Coffee Country information card
- Tasting notes and brewing tips to make sure you bring out the flavor notes in each bag of beans and save you from bland coffee
Online Tools for Subscribers:
- A coffee journal for rating and making notes of all of your favorite beans
- A coffee passport — you earn points for the number of countries you explore through the coffee you drink and for how much money you save by brewing at home instead of buying something from a coffee shop…fun, right?
Plus, upon doing a bit of digging into Atlas Coffee Club, you’ll find the company is gaining quite a reputation for occasionally gifting subscribers some fun surprises like free coffee or cool coffee gear. Because these little freebies are surprises, you shouldn’t count on them being there every time your beans arrive on your doorstep, but they’ll definitely put a smile on your face when they happen to show up.
Atlas was generous enough to send me three different boxes of coffee to give me a better idea of exactly what subscribers can expect. And I have to say, it’s got the cutest packaging, which makes the whole unboxing experience a lot more fun.
Some of my favorite details were the nice postcard from the beans’ country of origin, which I mentioned above, and how the designs on each bag of coffee match the border of the summary card. Of course, those things don’t affect the flavor of the coffee, but the thoughtful little touches show how much time and energy go into your box every month.
Atlas Coffee Club Review: Taste Test
First, I decided to dive into the brand’s Ethiopian coffee, a roast with a beautiful light brown color. Because the suggested brewing method is pour-over, I pulled out my newest toy, the Asobu Insulated Pour-Over Coffee Maker, to make my coffee experience as full as possible.
Then, I loaded my filter and prepared to set off on my journey to Ethiopia. I enlisted the aid of my gooseneck kettle, and just a few minutes later, I was enjoying light berry and chocolate flavors.
I also received two other types of beans: some from San Salvador and a batch from Mantiqueira de Minas.
The coffee from San Salvador layers lots of sweet caramel notes and bright green apple freshness on top of a nougat-like base. Though the coffee was very balanced, it managed to boast fun tasting notes that shone through each cup of the coffee without being overpowering. For a traditional brew, this one has plenty of personality.
The beans from Mantiqueira de Minas had peanut butter and jelly tasting notes, and the process and roast development really allowed these beans to show off their flavors. Kudos to Atlas for bringing this one on.
How to Choose the Right Coffee Subscription
Before you invest in a coffee subscription, you should ask yourself what exactly you hope to get out of your purchase.
How often do you want to get beans on your doorstep, and can the subscription service you’re considering make that happen? How much are you willing to pay? Do you want to choose the amazing coffees you get, or are you fine with getting whatever the company sends you that month?
Beyond looking inward to determine what your coffee subscription non-negotiables are, you should research the company thoroughly to be sure it’s a good match. Do they source beans from growers with sustainable farming practices? Is the coffee selection high quality, or are the products they’re sending no better than the ones you’d find at the grocery store?
If you’re not totally sold on Atlas Coffee Club and want to know what else is out there, check out our coffee subscription roundup. And if possible, you should consider taking advantage of the samples some companies offer before committing to a subscription.
Pros and Cons of Atlas Coffee Club
Things We Like:
- Atlas delivers the coffee on a schedule that works for you, so you can skip or change the delivery date any time you need to.
- The delicious coffee you’ll get from Atlas can’t be found on shelves anywhere else; it’s exclusive to subscribers.
- The company only sends products that are in the top one percent of the world’s coffee, so you know it’s going to be good. Plus, the included brewing tips guarantee you get the most out of your java.
Room for Improvement:
- You don’t get to choose the beans you want every month, and other options for customization are pretty limited. Sure, you know whatever you receive is going to be good, but you can’t narrow down specific details like flavor and tasting notes.
- The bag of beans in the base package, which is only 12 ounces, is a little small if you drink a lot of coffee every day. Unless you opt for the more expensive double bag subscription package, you may run out of beans before your next delivery arrives.
Thanks to the wide variety of single-origin beans, an Atlas Coffee Club subscription can appeal to anyone, from the most discriminating coffee critics to newbies who are just learning what they like. You can even gift subscriptions to the coffee lovers in your life, too, because who doesn’t like having something fun and delicious to look forward to each month?
It’s also important to note that you can cancel an Atlas subscription at any time, but my guess is that you won’t want to.