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Bean and Bean Coffee Subscription Review – Pros and Cons

If you’ve poked around the Roasty Coffee website before, you’ve probably read about some of our favorite coffee subscription companies, like Atlas Coffee Club or Blue Bottle Coffee. Now, we’re highlighting Bean & Bean’s coffee service and explaining why you might want to give it a go.


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While some love the challenge of finding good coffee beans, others wish amazing coffee would magically show up on their doorsteps.

That’s where coffee subscription services come in. If you’ve visited our site before, you already know we’re pretty fond of these. And why wouldn’t we be? They’re amazingly convenient.

You can check out a list of what we’ve deemed the best coffee subscriptions (spoiler alert: Atlas Coffee Club is our number one pick), but for now, our focus is on one company, Bean & Bean Coffee, and its offerings.

We’re telling you whether or not we think this coffee company’s subscription service is worth trying and spilling the beans (pun 100 percent intended) on what kinds of joe you can choose and how it tastes.

Bean and Bean Coffee Subscription Review

What Is a Coffee Subscription?

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Bean and Bean Subscription
Our rating:

We’re Rachel + Jiyoon Han, the Mother Daughter Q Grader Duo™ behind every coffee that gets served at Bean & Bean. Since opening the first shop on Rector & Broadway in 2008, we’ve grown Bean & Bean to four locations, now with a roastery in Queens, New York.

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Before we get into the specifics of Bean & Bean and whether or not the company’s subscription service will add to your coffee-brewing experience, we have to break down what a coffee subscription service is.

Coffee subscription services ship fresh beans to your mailbox on a pre-determined basis.

Delivery frequencies vary from company to company, but with most, you can expect to receive bags of coffee weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

There are two primary types of coffee subscriptions: single-roaster and multi-roaster.

Single-Roaster

Coffee enthusiasts will discover that single roaster subscriptions give them a more limited selection, as all of the beans come from the same company.

These subscription services are best for those already partial to a brand based on past experiences.

Multi-Roaster

More adventurous coffee drinkers are more likely to enjoy a multi-roaster subscription.

The fresh coffee beans that come with this kind of subscription are sourced from more than one company, allowing you to sample from an extensive library of coffee and experience flavor profiles and roast levels you may not have tried otherwise.

The upside of multi-roaster services is that they create opportunities for you to uncover hidden gems.

However, the downside is that you have a bigger chance of occasionally receiving joe you don’t like.

Bean & Bean’s Backstory

Bean and Bean Coffee

Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters was born in 2008 when mother-daughter team Rachel and Jiyoon Han opened their first coffee shop on Rector and Broadway in New York City.

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Creating something average wasn’t enough for the Q Grader* duo; their goal was to make a difference for women in the coffee industry.

Women make up more than half of the coffee workforce, but they don’t make as much money or have access to the same resources their male counterparts do.

This unfairness is why Bean & Bean’s goal is what it is: so that the women responsible for producing the beans sold get everything they’ve worked so hard to earn.

Now, more than a decade after its foundation, Bean & Bean has four brick-and-mortar locations, including a roastery in Queens. Plus, over half of the company’s coffee is female-powered!

*A Q Grader is to java what a sommelier is to wine. These licensed coffee experts evaluate and score beans based on rigorous sensory tests. So, it’s safe to say they know almost everything about flavor profiles and high-quality coffee.

Partnership with The Sloth Institute

Something else worth mentioning about this coffee company is that it recognizes its responsibility not only to be considerate of the people who produce the beans but also of the environment in which the coffee grows and the creatures that live there.

That’s why Bean & Bean partners with and donates one percent of its online sales to The Sloth Institute, an organization dedicated to caring for sloths affected by deforestation.

Roasty’s Bean & Bean Subscription Review

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Bean and Bean Subscription
Our rating:

We’re Rachel + Jiyoon Han, the Mother Daughter Q Grader Duo™ behind every coffee that gets served at Bean & Bean. Since opening the first shop on Rector & Broadway in 2008, we’ve grown Bean & Bean to four locations, now with a roastery in Queens, New York.

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A Brief Overview

Things We Like

  • The company is committed to ethical coffee sourcing and furthering gender equality in the coffee community.
  • There are both blends and single-origin beans. We tend to be more partial to single-origin joe, but some undeniably amazing blends are out there, and Bean & Bean allows subscribers to try one.
  • Each bag of beans comes in recyclable, compostable packaging. We appreciate that — Mother Earth does, too.
  • You can skip shipments or put your subscription on pause if you need to.

Room for Improvement

  • Your options for decaffeinated coffee are limited. Yes, Bean & Bean offers more decaf beans than some other companies do, but still, the selection is somewhat small. 

How Does a Bean & Bean Coffee Subscription Plan Work?

  1. Pick a coffee bag size. You have two choices for how large your bags of beans are: three pounds or 11 ounces.
  2. Settle on the best frequency of coffee delivery. There are four delivery frequency options for customers. Choose to receive fresh coffee beans biweekly with the Monthly Surprise Me tier or monthly for a three, six, or twelve-month period.
  3. Pick your grind size. This step is easy. All you have to do is decide whether you want your coffee to arrive on your doorstep in whole bean or pre-ground form. (If you have a coffee grinder at home, make sure you pick whole beans over the ready-ground option; grinding the beans yourself makes your cups of coffee taste fresher and more flavorful.)
  4. Enjoy fresh coffee! After not-so-patiently waiting, there’s only one thing left to do when your beans arrive: pull out your preferred method of brewing coffee and do some taste-testing!

What Are Bean & Bean’s Options for Delivery Frequencies?

Since Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters has plenty of options for delivery frequencies, you’re bound to find something that accommodates your coffee-drinking needs. Pick one of the following:

Monthly Surprise Subscription

Despite being marketed as a monthly shipment, the “Surprise Me” package, an excellent option for curious coffee drinkers eager to discover something new, arrives in your mailbox once every two weeks. You get no say in what you get beyond deciding whether you receive pre-ground or whole bean coffee. The rest is up to Rachel and Jiyoon; they choose what kind of coffee to send in these shipments.

Three-Month Subscription

If this is the frequency of coffee delivery you select, you’ll receive monthly shipments of Bean & Bean’s joe. Choose between one of the company’s bestsellers, or if you’re an indecisive coffee lover with braver taste buds, opt for each delivery to be a surprise.

Six-Month Subscription

Buying a six-month subscription is a lot like the shorter three-month option, as you can pick the bestseller of your choice or choose to be surprised. The only difference between the two plans is that, with this one, you get bags of beans for half a year. But based on the plan’s name, that was a given.

One-Year Subscription

This is the coffee subscription company’s priciest option. But, since you (or a java-drinking loved one, should you decide to gift someone a coffee-tasting experience) get a monthly delivery of delicious coffee for 12 consecutive months, the higher price tag makes sense. The variety of coffee available at this tier is the same as the three and six-month levels; choose among the four bestsellers or let yourself be surprised each time you unbox your beans.

Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters’ Bestselling Beans

Panama Gesha Lot 290 coffee

There are all kinds of premium coffees for you to choose from if you’re making a standalone purchase from Bean & Bean, like Hawaiian Kona, Santa Felisa Gesha, and Guatemalan Orange Honey to name a few.

You’ll also find instant coffee and decaf options on the company’s product roster!

However, purchasing a subscription plan limits your choices. Only four bags of beans are available to subscribers: the Downtown Blend, Peru Las Damas, Indonesia Sumatra, and Ethiopia Sidamo.

Limited options aren’t ideal, but since these are Bean & Bean’s bestsellers, you can rest assured that these four are top-notch contenders for use in your drip coffee maker, pour-over, or another brewer of choice.

Downtown Blend

Bean & Bean Downtown Blend

The Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters Downtown Blend is, in our opinion, the best choice for a coffee aficionado in search of something good for pulling rich espresso shots.

We tried this joe as espresso, and the result — packed with nutty and woodsy cedar flavor notes — was spectacular.

This medium roast is Bean & Bean’s signature House Blend, so this bag of beans is a lovely introduction to the company and its products.

These coffees hail from three different parts of the world, and each region lends its unique flavor characteristics to the brew.

The coffee’s fruity acidity and subtle sweetness are courtesy of Latin American beans, while African coffee adds floral goodness to the mix. Rounding out the trio is Asian java, which brings a bit of earthiness to your cup.

Peru Las Damas

Bean & Bean Peru Las Damas

It’s easy to overlook Peruvian beans and reach for beans from its larger coffee-growing competitors like Brazil or Guatemala.

But devoted single-origin coffee geeks know Peru’s coffee beans are worth brewing. Bean & Bean’s Peru Las Damas joe is proof.

These beans produce a fruity coffee brew with notes of caramel, peach, and tangerine, and they hail from the progressive, gender equality-championing Cooperativa Agraria Frontera San Ignacio (COOPAFSI).

Like Bean & Bean, this coffee is female-powered, and every producer involved in moving these beans from the plant to your mug is a woman. Hence, the joe’s name, Las Damas (it means “the women” in Spanish).

Thanks to Las Damas beans’ subtle sweetness, it’s the perfect coffee choice for someone interested in drinking their joe black but unsure where to start.

Indonesia Sumatra

Next up on Bean & Bean’s bestseller list is an exceptional option for those who favor complex, full-bodied, and earthy flavor profiles: the Indonesia Sumatra offering.

These beans, produced by a local group of expert coffee producers called Gayo Mandiri, underwent the traditional Indonesian wet hulling process (a.k.a. Giling Basah).

This method helps them retain their naturally juicy and earthy flavors, and when those pair with the java’s nuttiness and cherry and cinnamon notes, the result is a simply stunning cup.

Ethiopia Sidamo

The last — but certainly not least! — product in the lineup of Bean & Bean’s bestselling bags of beans comes from the birthplace of coffee: Ethiopia. More specifically, from some of the Telano Cooperative’s family-owned farms in the Sidamo region.

Single-origin coffee lovers will notice right away that these high-quality coffee beans taste typically Ethiopian with a silky mouthfeel, jasmine-like aroma, and notes of honey and lemon.

When you put these beans into your brewer (we recommend pairing them with a pour-over), the resulting joe is well-balanced and smooth.

Is a Coffee Subscription Service Worth It?

Man tries Bean & Bean Coffee

Coffee subscriptions have java lovers divided. While some say they aren’t worth it, reasoning that you can easily purchase high-quality beans from your local grocery store or coffee shop, others defend coffee subscription service companies.

They offer perks local establishments can’t provide, including:

Convenience

If you have a subscription, you don’t need to leave your house to find artisan coffees.

So, you can spend less time perusing the coffee aisle and more time doing other more important things, like experimenting with brewing methods or mastering the art of making creamer at home.

Variety

Your hometown bean vendor may offer different coffee types, but it likely doesn’t have the same array of high-quality gourmet coffee a popular coffee subscription service might.

Buying from one of these companies, particularly one that sources joe from multiple roasters, grants you access to a more extensive coffee library and gives you products you probably won’t find on the shelves at Whole Foods or Target.

Consistency

Most services leave you in charge of how often you receive beans.

So, you can schedule deliveries based on your coffee-drinking habits, slimming your chances of running out of beans to filter through your coffee machine.

By the time one bag is nearly empty, another is already on the way.

These are positives for sure, but still, coffee subscription services have room to improve, especially when it comes to their:

Lack Of Customer Control

While some plans let you customize deliveries based on your flavor preferences or preferred roast level, others don’t give you that freedom; you get whatever the brand wants to send you.

That lack of or limited control means you’ll likely end up with bags of coffee that don’t agree with your taste buds from time to time, and that can be a disappointment.

Competition With Local Businesses

Your hometown vendor probably doesn’t have the same wide variety of beans a subscription service might, but we’re willing to bet its beans are still top-notch.

Sure, coffee subscription boxes are convenient and let you try exotic options you might not have otherwise. But spending your money there instead of with the small, independent coffee roasters down the street doesn’t do the local guys any favors.

Consider these advantages and disadvantages when deciding where to get the coffee bags you’ll use to brew your morning cup.

These factors can help you answer the “is it worth it?” question.

Be sure to thoroughly research every coffee company you’re interested in before settling on one; you want to know if it ticks all your boxes before spending any money.

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Bean and Bean Subscription
Our rating:

We’re Rachel + Jiyoon Han, the Mother Daughter Q Grader Duo™ behind every coffee that gets served at Bean & Bean. Since opening the first shop on Rector & Broadway in 2008, we’ve grown Bean & Bean to four locations, now with a roastery in Queens, New York.

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Alternative Coffee Services to Subscribe To

We’re fans of Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters and its subscription service overall.

However, we realize you may feel differently. Maybe there isn’t a wide enough coffee variety for you, or perhaps you want to try beans from a country of origin not offered here.

Whatever your reason, you’ve found that you and Bean & Bean aren’t exactly a perfect match. Bummer, but that’s OK; the coffee subscription game is full of trustworthy names, so it’s unlikely that you won’t be able to find one that works for you.

Roasty’s ranking of our favorite services (linked in this article’s introduction, by the way) is a good place to start your search for an alternative to Bean & Bean.

There, you’ll find out about the coffee subscriptions offered by Driftaway Coffee, Bean Box, Trade Coffee, Peet’s Coffee, and more.

Happy Caffeinating!

Bean and Bean Coffee Subscription Review – Pros and Cons
Bean and Bean Coffee Subscription Review

Explore our article regarding Bean and Bean Coffee Subscription Review - we take through the pros and cons so you can make up your mind!

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