It can be difficult to rely on coffee subscription services simply because of the risks and delays that come with shipping and handling. Sometimes you can receive coffee that’s stale, lack-luster, and dull to the taste. However, that’s not the case for the Blue Bottle Coffee Company.
Specializing in creating the most well-roasted, robust, and fresh coffee beans possible, Blue Bottle is where speed, efficiency, and quality intertwine. The primary motivation behind Blue Bottle is roasting each batch of coffee to perfection, and then shipping it to you ASAP. Read our full review of this coffee subscription roaster and subscription service below!
Meet Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Blue Bottle is more than just a coffee subscription service, it’s a passion for roasting coffee that has cultural and traditional foundations. Created by what Blue Bottle calls “a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic,” the company is named after an impressive historical and cultural foundation.
The Big History Behind The Brand
In fact, the original Blue Bottle Coffee shop originates from the historic conflict between the Turkish and the Viennese after the Turkish invaded Vienna in the late 1600s. Franz George Kolshitsky, an Austrian emissary skilled in speaking both Austrian and Turkish, successfully crossed enemy Turkish lines to deliver a message to Polish troops.
Thanks to his diplomacy and bravery, the Polish troops were able to assist the Austrians in driving back the Turkish forces. According to the story, Kolshitsky discovered a package of Turkish coffee left behind and used it to open Central Europe’s first coffee shop–and he named it Blue Bottle Coffee!
Nowadays, the Blue Bottle Coffee company is no longer primarily based out of Central Europe. You can locate it in Oakland, California, with a network of cafes across the United States, as well as in Japan and Korea. Blue Bottle was established in 2002 with the passion of making sure that coffee lovers everywhere.
The Mission Behind Blue Bottle
Two words: freshness and quality. Blue Bottle is concerned with making good things great, which is why they have a smaller selection of roasts and blends that are concentrated with professionally crafted flavor–with a consistent, crisp amount of freshness to match.
Blue Bottle wants to ensure that every box of small-batch perfectly roasted coffee reaches every coffee lover as a fresh, succulent, ready-to-brew bag of coffee. The subscription game has changed significantly with this company’s dedication to doing whatever is needed to ensure that your coffee arrives fresh and ready to brew, unlike some subscriptions that ship their coffee several days or weeks after the roasting date.
In fact, all coffee that you receive in your coffee subscription is shipped out to you no more than 24 hours after it’s roasted–a characteristic of this company that we are thoroughly impressed by.
How A Subscription Works
Since the subscription is the prized product offered by Blue Bottle Coffee Company, we want to give you a brief rundown on how Blue Bottle’s subscription works. After all, 3 months of exquisitely cultivated and roasted coffee and the complimentary brewing tools to match can seem too unbelievable to be true–so that’s why we reviewed it just for you!
Take The Quiz
Before you even have coffee coming to your front door, Blue Bottle has a unique coffee quiz that will help decide which roasts may work best for you. Easy, simple, and quick, it will help Blue Bottle recommend the best blends and roasts to accommodate your taste buds. Blue Bottle will ask you questions such as which brewing methods you prefer, what extra ingredients you put into your coffee, what flavors you most enjoy (floral, earthy, sweet, fruity, etc.), and more.
Choose Your Frequency
Once you’ve decided which coffees you’d like to try, you then must decide how much and how frequently you’d like to receive it. This step is usually the standard step for coffee subscriptions in general, but it’s important to consider how often you regularly brew and drink coffee at home–that way you’ll never run out.
Blue Bottle gives you the option to choose bags that are half bag (6oz), standard bag (12oz), double bag (24oz), and triple bag (36oz). In addition, you also select how often you wish to receive coffee, and the range includes anything from every week to every four weeks.
Get The Coffee
Based on the results of your quiz, Blue Bottle will send you coffee-based off of your desired amount and frequency, but will actually select the different blends that you will receive themselves. Blue Bottle will decide the order of the roasts/blends of coffee you receive, primarily because they have their own schedule of sourcing and collecting their coffee from different farmers and growers around the world.
Blue Bottle’s espresso and blends are actually rotated between four options that the company sells year-round. As far as single-origin options are concerned, Blue Bottle fluctuates their single-origin coffees on a two-week rotation.
Beans, Blends, and Brews
So what kinds of delicious coffee does Blue Bottle offer, anyway? Not only can you purchase different roasts and kinds of coffee (light, dark, cold brew, espresso, fully-washed process coffee, organic, etc.), but you can also purchase assortments, subscriptions, and regular ole’ individual bags of coffee themselves.
The Regular Roasts: The Individual Bags
We won’t go into extreme detail about the different qualities if every single roast that Blue Bottle has to offer, but we will briefly explain them overall. The first thing we enjoyed as we scrolled through Blue Bottle’s website is the arrangement of the different coffees on the website.
All of these coffees can be filtered by coffee type (espresso, decaf, single-origin, blend, and organic), region (Central America, South America, Asia, and East Africa), and even processing method (natural, washed, honey/pulp natural, and experimental).
Blue Bottle Assortments: Starting A Subscription
Blue Bottle constructs its subscription service is through the assortment or arrangement of different kinds of coffee. They make it simple by categorizing their coffee for you to choose what kinds you’d like to experiment with based on your knowledge, palette, and brewing experience and preferences
The Single-Origin Assortment
If you’re looking to taste the different flavors of the world, don’t waste all of your cash on plane tickets! Blue Bottle’s Single-Origin Assortment is specifically designed for those with stronger, more complex coffee palates. Focusing primarily on specific highlights of flavor that occur in specific regions of the world, single-origin roasts are ideal if you’re looking to get a succulent roast of coffee from some of your favorite places across the globe.
The Blend Assortment
For the coffee lover who needs a harmonious balance of flavors within each sip, the blend assortment is succulent and mouthwatering–filled with all the flavors you need to get you through the day. Blue Bottle actually roasts their blends a little on the darker side to bring out the natural sweetness hidden within the beans. With this in mind, you can rest assured that every blend you receive is a balance between succulent flavors, and is accompanied by a sweetness that will leave you craving more with every sip.
The Espresso Assortment
Offering a combination of single origins and blends, this espresso assortment by Blue Bottle is engineered to satisfy and any hard-core caffeine craving you may have. If you enjoy a latte or cappuccino in the morning, then you may want to enjoy one out of these four espresso blends by Blue Bottle and a single-origin blend of that is specifically chosen by Blue Bottle.
Extra Goodies Offered: Brewing Equipment
Blue Bottle offers other products for brewing to make sure you have everything you need to make the most delicious cup of coffee possible. From cold brew kits to coffee carafes, Blue Bottle provides a variety of tools to complement any method of brewing you prefer. For example, some of the items offered are Hario Cold Brew Bottles, New Orleans-style iced coffee kits, pour-over coffee drippers, coffee brewers, coffee filters, grinders, kettles, and more.
Extra Subscription Options
When it comes to flexibility and subscription options, Blue Bottle offers you multiple options that best suit your coffee needs. Here’s a quick rundown on the differences between Blue Bottle’s popular subscription options.
The Standard Subscription
Blue Bottle offers a regular subscription that is simple and easy to order and try. This consists of pretty much everything we’ve already covered: deciding which coffee to try, choosing your frequency, and waiting by the door for your delicious coffee to arrive!
The Welcome Kit Subscription
However, Blue Bottle doesn’t just send you a bag of coffee for you to brew and figure it out on your own, they also properly equip you to brew your coffee too! In addition to the regular subscription that Blue Bottle has, the Welcome Kit subscription is the same, just decked out with all of the coffee brewing equipment that you could ever dream of. In each Welcome Kit, you receive a coffee dripper, coffee filters, and even a Blue Bottle tote bag! Altogether, this package is about a $185 value, but you can get it for $119.
Finally, the perfect gift to give to all of the coffee fanatics in your life! These subscriptions by Blue Bottle also make the perfect gift ideas for the coffee lovers in your life. You can choose either a 3-month subscription, 6-month (the most popular choice), or completely customize a subscription for your loved one yourself! You can decide how much coffee they receive and how often, ranging from every week to every four weeks.
The Free Trial
Blue Bottle also offers a trial subscription that will let you sample their coffee before you decide to commit to a full subscription. When you sign up, you’ll choose between the Single-Origin, Blends, or Espresso options and Blue Bottle will send you a recently roasted bag of coffee. The trial lasts for 10 days, after which it will turn into a subscription. Of course, you can cancel or pause your subscription at any point in time during those 10 days.
What We Love
Finally, the last characteristic of Blue Bottle that we enjoy is the dedication that goes into ensuring that every batch of coffee is roasted to perfection and that each product is made well. Blue Bottle has a team designated specifically to testing out and trying the products offered just to ensure that they remain of the highest quality possible.
How Customizable It Is
The original goal behind Blue Bottle is to introduce you to some of the most high-quality, well-grown, intentionally cultivated coffee beans that money can buy. If you enjoy coffee, you should be able to enjoy it exactly the way YOU like it, and Blue Bottle’s primary goal is to make sure that your coffee experience is as catered to your tastebuds as possible.
As if Blue Bottle doesn’t already do a fantastic job of making your coffee subscription as convenient as possible, they ensure that all shipping costs are covered for you! No extra hassle, no extra fees. Due to this, you can have the peace of mind knowing that there are no extra hoops to jump through that stand in the way between you and your Blue Bottle coffee.
Blue Bottle doesn’t just leave you high and dry. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your coffee product or subscription, Blue Bottle has exceptional customer service to put your concerns at ease. You can send all of your concerns to [email protected]
Things To Improve
One thing we noticed is that in comparison to other subscriptions is that there are significantly fewer options to choose from when it comes to roasts and blends to try. We’ve reviewed subscription services with dozens of roasts to decide upon, but we were surprised at the limited selection that Blue Bottle has to offer. Most likely, this is due to the fact that Blue Bottle is mostly concerned with quality over quantity.
When you do the math, sometimes a Blue Bottle subscription can be a little more than your wallet bargains for. Though it may be pricier in comparison to other subscription services on the market, you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to freshness and quality.
However, we recommend that before you commit to a Blue Bottle subscription to make sure that you drink coffee regularly and brew at home frequently enough to warrant committing to the price tag that comes along with a subscription.
No Ground Coffee Options
Though historically Blue Bottle has refused to sell ground coffee due to the fact that its freshness decreases rapidly, the company started selling ground coffee in stores and online.
After a while of breaking their most sacred rule of not selling ground coffee, the company discontinued the product and reverted back to only selling whole bean coffee. Though this is great because it preserves the freshness and quality of the coffee, it may be difficult for those who don’t have access to a grinder at home to break down the beans. So if you’re looking to begin a Blue Bottle subscription, you’ll need to invest in a decent-level coffee grinder.
No Fair Trade Certification
Though Blue Bottle tries to purchase coffee from Fair Trade certified cooperatives, not all of the coffee bought by Blue Bottle is certified. Instead, Blue Bottle rather focuses its attention on advances in the quality coffee itself instead of putting money forward to become certified.
According to Blue Bottle, the company likes to factor in a coffee producer’s efforts toward environmental and economic responsibility into their decision to purchase the coffee. For the coffee lovers who care about drinking coffee that is held to the Fair Trade Certified standard, this can pose to be a bummer of sorts.
Blue Bottle is designed for those who crave the freshest coffee possible. When it comes to the quality of their beans and the amount of dedication put into the roasting process and overall freshness preservation, Blue Bottle is hard to beat. We recommend Blue Bottle for those coffee lovers who may already have an experienced palate when it comes to coffee flavor profiling and is looking to kick their coffee game up a notch.
So have fun experimenting with Blue Bottle and as always,