Dipping my toes into the exciting world of subscription coffee
I just received my first package from Pact, a subscription coffee company, and it's rather nice.
I'm proud to say that I'm one of those stingy types that signs up for free trial periods and discounted first months only to cancel shortly after. I've enjoyed heavily discounted first orders from wine subscriptions, beer subscriptions and online supermarket services. I guess it's my own little way of telling companies that I'm not so easily won over while getting free and discounted goods in the process.
This month, I signed up to another subscription service, but to be quite honest I'm strongly considering letting it roll over to next month. I signed up to Pact, a company that send you specialty coffee through the letterbox each month (or however regularly you choose). On the whole, their coffee works out around £8 for a 250g bag, which is very normal for high quality stuff.
Their enticing opening offer sucked me in: they send a free V60 with your first bag. I needed more coffee anyway, and thought that if I was going to shell out for coffee, I might as well get a free thing thrown in too.
A quick browse of James Hoffman's youtube and I was brewing like a champ, literally.
It arrived two or three days ago, and I've been really enjoying getting to grips with the V60. It's a fantastic addition to my coffee equipment collection, and I'm honestly not sure how I've gone this long without one. It's taken me a few attempts to get the grind size right, but having made about 6 coffees they're starting to come out very nicely indeed.
Also in the box is an aesthetically pleasing but surprisingly empty book. It's got lots of quite empty pages with very generic information about coffee supply chains and tasting notes. I would have thought that the average specialty coffee customer would know most of this stuff already. Pact missed an opportunity here to make something really informative and fun to read; this is more like an unnecessarily long promo leaflet.
pretty, but pretty useless.
This month, I got a rather delicious Kavutiri. It's a light and fruity coffee that really appeals to my taste for bright, acidic coffees. Each month you can either choose your beans or have the Pact people send you one at random. I opted for the latter, thinking this might be a good opportunity to try some new things.
I usually buy my beans from local coffee shops. My favourite place to get them is Climpsons and Sons, which is a five minute walk from my house. Second to that is Allpress, whose roastery is also just down the road, and if I fancy a change I'll go to Dark Arts, 5 minutes in the other direction. Hackney really is full of roasteries; walking around the streets you often get the delicious, chocolatey whiff of roasting beans from an innocuous looking industrial unit.
oh baby, tasty tasty! Lovely cups, right? They were a gift.
As cool as it is having nice coffee to your door, I wonder whether I might start to miss the trips to go and buy coffee. It's one of those domestic tasks that is simply quite pleasant: the walk; the smell inside the coffee shop; the hubbub of conversation and cups clinking on saucers; the conversations with the barista about which of their beans would suit my tastes.
I suppose this product works best for people who don't live in places where micro-roasteries are as common as corner shops, but for the time being I'll stick with it and see how I get on.