When I launched Tonx Coffee (R.I.P.) back in 2011, a coffee subscription service felt both novel and like an obvious thing that needed to exist. The “third wave” coffee scene was still the hot new thing — people were curious and culinary credibility was increasing. But most of what sat on grocery shelves was still mediocre and stale. The handful of good shops that existed then — if your town even had one — were (and remain) focused more on making beverages than selling beans for your kitchen. Meanwhile the overpriced capsule coffee juggernauts of K-Cups and Nespresso racked up *tens of billions* in sales while our irritatingly small niche of coffee nerds was busy telling people that baristas should be treated more like Michelin-starred chefs, blocking your access to cream and sugar, and convincing customers and critics alike that a superhuman palate was a prerequisite for declaring if a cup of coffee tasted good or not.
Now, with a hardly a decade of distance, the landscape has shifted considerably. The early leading lights of coffee’s third wave movement have largely been gobbled up by conglomerates or private equity, shifting focus to canned coffee products, traditional grocery, and squeezing their suppliers (coffee farmers) with onerous terms. Competent Indie coffee bars have been become ubiquitous in every city (yay!). And there are now dozens of coffee subscription services competing to reach your kitchen by way of your mailbox.
But do you really even need a coffee subscription?
Well let’s first look at the alternatives to using a coffee subscription service:
Buying coffee at the grocery store
Pros: you’re already going there pretty regularly and that’s where you get all the other stuff for your kitchen
Cons: most of it is still not very fresh, the selection is narrow and far from the highest quality.
Buying beans from a third wave shop
Pros: This can be a good option if you have one close to you that you love and frequent often. The coffee will be fresher, and sometimes you can even even try before you buy (as with our Yes Plz Free Taste offer)
Cons: waiting in lines, you might have a crush on your barista.
Get one of those Keurig or Nespresso machines
Pros: Ummm. I guess you could put it on a credit card and earn some air miles or something? They’re supposedly easy and convenient, saving you the 2 minutes it might take to learn how to use a real coffee brewer (pro tip: making coffee is actually easy).
Cons: you’ll be paying upwards of $50/lb for the shitty coffee they fill those capsules with, they’re bad for the environment, and the machines are absurdly overpriced for what they actually do.
Have other people brew your coffee (at a shop, at the office, at a bodega…)
Pros: Adds a social aspect to your day.
Cons: Waiting in lines, rolling the dice on quality, the superhuman feat of getting dressed and out of your home without any caffeine in your system.
Stop drinking coffee altogether
Pros: One less drug to be addicted to.
Cons: Lethargy, anhedonia, withdrawal headaches.
Given this analysis, might we suggest you sign up for the best coffee subscription: Yes Plz. Great beans to you door, pause/cancel anytime, no hassle. We think making coffee at home should be easy, fun, and absolutely delicious — and helping you get there is our main mission. Give it a shot!