If that bag of Intelligentsia can be picked up at Diesel, or George Howell is on your way home to Arlington, or you work downtown and the latest batch of Counter Culture can be had at Pavement — well, congratulations. You’re among the lucky.
For many of us, finding fresh beans can be a challenge.
Welcome to mail-order coffee. It’s becoming increasingly popular, despite a fairly high price point. Doing coffee in the mail adds shipping costs, but it also expands your range of options. Here are a few places to get your coffee shipped:
Blue Bottle: This is one of the hottest brands in coffee right now, and anyone who has sat in the Mint Plaza store in San Francisco knows why. The store takes extraordinary care. I have been getting its beans sent to my house, and they are fresh as can be. They typically arrive two days after roast.
Craft: The benefit here is customization. A lot of coffee subscriptions provide a range of random — but good — coffees. In this case, you can change what type of roast you want, or how specialized you want the beans to be. You can also get one 12-ounce bag of coffee, or a three-coffee sampler (with 4 ounces of each). Their most popular subscription is $22.50 per month for six months.
Mistobox: The education program at Mistobox is incredible. Its blog is an indispensable resource for anyone wanting to experiment with different brew styles. It also has a really nice selection of beans. The program works like this: Every month you get four small bags of coffee (about 50 grams in each bag, enough for about two or three cups). The downside in my experience is the freshness of the beans. They arrive at my home about 10 days after roasting.
Beanbox: This is a new service that supplies beans from Seattle roasters. It costs $20 a month to subscribe, and you get a shipment of coffee from four roasters. Each bag has about 50 grams of coffee, enough for me to make about three cups. Said another way, you’re paying $20 for less than a half-pound of coffee. Expensive, for sure, but you’re paying for the quality and freshness.Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.