Looking for US market coffee subscription - variety and value - lever machine

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by martinlhoff »

Hi HB crowd!

New around here, and have recently acquired an Europiccola lever machine, and a Mignon Notte grinder. Very happy and exploring local roaster's coffee. While I'm in Miami, not an espresso haven, we do have Cafe Grumpy (from the NYC Grumpy). And Panther Coffee, less notable but pretty good.

I drink quite a bit of espresso. - Easily 3-4 doubles a day, + 1~2 for my wife. Bags of beans empty quickly.

I'm interested in delicious espresso, sampling variety and... some degree of cost control. So I looked into subscriptions (ie: Caffe Lusso) and much to my surprise, I could sign up for weekly deliveries, commit for a year, _and the price doesn't budge one cent_.

So let's split the question in two, I guess:
  • Are there subscriptions that are outstanding in quality and variety?
  • Are there subscriptions that offer good pricing?

Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

What are you looking for in your espresso?

Do you like classic, chocolate and nuts? Blends with naturals that take that and add a bit of warm, "fruit" flavors? Medium roasts? Light roasts with typically little chocolate flavors but more delicate flavors? If in medium or lighter, do you enjoy the flavors of natural processed beans or those of washed (neither is healthier)?

How adventurous are you? How much time are you willing to spend dialing in a new variety?

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#3: Post by tennisman03110 »

Northbound Coffee. They offer a discount for a longer term prepaid subscription.

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#4: Post by daustin777 »

I use these two subscription services:
David Austin


#5: Post by Carmd1281 »

I have subscribed to La Marzocco home espresso since it's start the summer of 2017. They rotate roasters from around the USA and sometimes international roasters. My coffee always arrives fresh, within a week of roasting. It's $40 for two 12oz bags shipped per month. Each shipment comes with a nice card about the beans with shot parameter suggestions and often a discount card to the roast, 10% off your order etc. To supplement the subscription I get local beens such as Cafe Grumpy :wink:

https://home.lamarzoccousa.com/product/ ... scription/
New York, NY


#6: Post by Rustic39 »

Hello martinlhoff,

I'm probably way off base with my response to your question, but since I faced your same dilemma last year, and have found a wonderful solution, I'll offer it up as another option for you to consider.......Why not jump into home roasting your own? It does take a bit of time each week, but I have found it to be very worthwhile, and you can have some of the best coffees the world has to offer, at a fraction of the custom roasters' price. It's not very costly to get started either, as long as you have a few basic appliances. If you do not have room outside, or do not wish to venture out to roast, you will need a very good exhaust system though. I'm fortunate have been able to install a commercial hood and exhaust system in our home, so I indeed do all my roasting inside, but you could just as easily roast outside if you have someplace to set up a gas top or propane burner there. For the actual roaster, I went with this https://hiveroaster.com/. It's a handheld unit, very affordable, but works best over an open flame such as a gas stove. If you don't have gas available, perhaps one of the electric units would be of interest to you.

My experience has been akin to going down the rabbit hole, as far as home roasting goes. I am enjoying trying new single origin beans from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Panama, Kenya, war-torn Yemen, and many others. The Yemeni is one of my favorites, and I've been lucky with obtaining the greens at under $10 a Lb., google roasted Yemeni coffee to see how pricey it can be purchased from a roaster. Most of the high quality greens I consume are running under $7. a Lb. Another advantage in roasting your own, is that you will have the freshest coffee possible, while having complete control of your rotation of beans as needed. No waiting on the mailman, and if you decide you don't particularly care for one batch of beans, just do some more differently. I buy most of my greens from Sweet Maria's, but there are plenty of other places to order them from, and they are easy to store. Of course, you can also try your hand at developing your own blend too. Just a lot more options, all much more economical, and the potential for wonderful coffee is unlimited.

martinlhoff (original poster)

#7: Post by martinlhoff (original poster) »

Rustic39 wrote:Why not jump into home roasting your own?
That's 100 times more involved than I can't currently handle. With kids, family, work and some highly technical/time-consuming sport :)

I'm intrigued that the pricing bracket is so rigid - 15-20$ for 12oz, same price retail or shipped, same price in a subscription. No difference if the subscription is for a constant stream of the same beans or a rotation. Oh well. I'll have to find coffee i like somehow...

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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

I tried Trade for a year and finally cancelled due to boring and too much sameness.

Don't get into home roasting. I used to figure my coffee cost $300/ for all the time and gear. IMO, the coffee scene today does not warrant home roasting as great coffees are a click away. This was not the case 20+ years ago.

If I was a gadfly wanting a different roast every few days, I'd purchase a small chest freezer and lay in a stock of mason jars and order coffees that offer free shipping on 5# as does Caffe Lusso. We've been drinking their Rescue: Freedom Blend and pulled as they suggest, it is a stunner. One of the best coffee ever.

Another option is to purchase single origins, learn their characteristics and create your own blends. About ½ the time, I find an interesting 'Central' and an Ethiopian and mix 60/40, i.e. 3 & 2 pounds. Some roasters will blend and sell at the 5# price.

Other best coast roasters with great coffee & proven track records (years I've been a customer): Wandering Goat (15 years) in Eugene, Columbia River Roasters (8 years) in Astoria, Colorado River Roasters (10 years) in Lost Wages & Caffe Lusso (1 year) in Seattle


#9: Post by tennisman03110 »

I don't think you need a subscription. Rarely is that the cheapest option.

What I do is order a 2 pound bag, or multiple 12 ounce bags, from a variety of roasters. Just change it up each order, usually I get free shipping. I try to make the same bean work for espresso (weekends) and pour over (M-F). You'll learn what you like soon enough.