Rosanna Rothery roadtests the speciality coffee subscription service from Food Magazine’s sister company Indy Coffee Box
What is it?
A monthly delivery of top-notch coffee beans from an ever-changing selection of the UK’s finest indie roasteries.
The speciality coffee scene has alerted the nation’s palate to what really good coffee tastes like and, in turn, exposed the insipid banality of supermarket coffee and high-street chains. And, with lockdown forcing the temporary closure of cafes across the country, the caffeine conscious are having to get their speciality coffee fix at home.
Rising to the task of expertly caffeinating the sofa workforce and reluctant “teachers” of home-schooled kids, Indy Coffee Box sends subscribers a monthly curation of some of the best coffee roasted in the UK.
There are lots of different options, so coffee fans can tailor their subscription to their caffeine habits.
First, choose between a two-, three- or four-bag box depending on how many cups you usually sink in a day (we went all-out with a four-bag box as we’re a two-a-day household). Then select your preferred brew style: filter or espresso (we brew using a cafetiere so opted for filter) to receive beans which have been roasted just a few days previously to yield maximum deliciousness when brewed via your selected method.
It’s a whole-bean only set-up so if you don’t already have a grinder you’ll need to get one. It may sound like a time-consuming step in your morning routine, but if you thought switching from supermarket to speciality beans was a lightbulb moment, wait until you start grinding on demand. Plus, it only takes around 30 seconds to do – definitely worth it for the waft of freshly ground coffee filling the kitchen.
The beans arrive in an eye-catching box plastered with the promise that you’ll ‘never have a bad coffee again’. In our November box we received beans from Voyager in Devon, North Wales’ Poblado, Yallah in Cornwall and Scotland’s Unorthodox Roasters
With a pick ‘n’ mix of bags to choose from, selecting the first one to tear into was a challenge. Turns out we didn’t need to fret as every bean in the box was utterly delicious. Also included in each month’s delivery is a copy of Brew, Indy Coffee Box’s magazine, which is packed with tasting notes for the beans, interesting features and coffee-themed recipes.
Subscriptions start at £19.99 a month for two bags. This may sound steep but it actually works out at around 40p per cup which is a considerable saving compared to the £2-£3 you’d spend on a flat white at a cafe.
The cardboard box is widely recyclable, and many of the roasters package their beans in compostable bags. The beans are in their original bags (other subscription services often wastefully repackage into own-branded versions) so you also get to see the roasteries’ creative artwork and branding.
Recommend to a friend?
100% – there’s also a selection of Indy Coffee Box giftboxes which make a great pick-me-up to send to a friend.