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Coffees of the world are full of nuanced flavors. Do you know the differences between Ethiopian and Sumatran coffee? Are you longing to try new coffee beans but don’t know where to start? A coffee subscription from Atlas Coffee Club might be what you’re looking for.
Some coffee subscriptions simply deliver the same coffee beans over and over. Even when you love a particular coffee, drinking the same thing day after day after day can get boring. Others present you with a seemingly endless variety of coffees for you to choose from.
Then you’ll find clubs like Atlas Coffee Club. They keep things fresh by continually bringing you new coffees to try. And they do it one country, and one coffee, at a time. In this Atlas Coffee Club review, we’ll look at the features that set this coffee delivery service apart. We’ll also take a deeper look into two of their coffees that we tried.
If you’re longing for coffee adventures without leaving the comfort of your home, this coffee box service is worth trying. Each month, they ship a unique, micro-lot, single-origin coffee – sort of the coffee of the month.
Think of the coffee experts at Atlas Coffee Club as coffee curators. They travel the world to select the best coffees then expertly roast them. The freshly roasted coffee is delivered to your door.
Atlas Coffee Club pays above the going rate to get the best beans. You will get coffees that are not available anywhere else. It’s the next best thing to actually traveling to each location and sampling the local harvests.
Subscribing to Atlas Coffee Club is also an educational experience. Each shipment comes with a wealth of information about the location, history of coffee there, tasting notes, and suggestions for the best way to brew those particular beans. It seems like no detail is beneath their notice. Even the packaging is carefully created using local motifs.
While the specific origin of the coffee is chosen for you, you still have some control. The service has flexible scheduling and you choose how much coffee, type of grind, and roast level. You can easily change your preferences at any time.
Atlas Coffee Club is available ONLY through subscription.
Each month, your coffee subscription box will have a coffee from a unique micro-lot. Over time, you’ll try coffee from a wide variety of regions with different flavor profiles. If you love trying new coffees, this is great.
The sign-up process is simple. The website is well-designed and easy to navigate. You choose how much coffee you want with each coffee delivery. You also get to choose how often to get your coffee delivered.
Atlas Coffee Club roasts to order, so getting a delivery every two instead of every four weeks guarantees fresher coffee. Other choices include roast preference and grind type. We’ll get deeper into the details later.
Besides amazing coffee from exotic locations, you also get a cultural experience. When you open each box, the first thing you’ll notice is the colorful packaging. The artwork on the bags is inspired by the culture of origin.
Underneath the coffee, you’ll find a postcard and an information card. The postcard has a picture that captures the region the coffee is from. You’ll also find information about the country of origin. When you give the postcard to friends or family, they get a discount code to save on their first order.
The information card gives details about the specific coffee. It covers the history of coffee in that region as well as tasting notes. It also suggests which method will give the best results for that batch.
As much as we appreciate the variation in the world of coffee beans from around the globe, Atlas’ coffee box may not be for everyone. If you know what you like and don’t want to stray from that, this isn’t the subscription for you.
If you want to virtually tour the world of coffee through your favorite drink, Atlas Coffee Club will give you that. We already mentioned the packaging: the decorated bag, the postcard, and the information card. Here, we’ll break down other aspects of their service so you can make an informed choice.
Admittedly, Atlas Coffee Club doesn’t have the range of customization that many other subscription services offer. Some services allow you to indicate your preferred flavor profile and will send a different coffee each month based on your choices. Others allow you to choose a specific coffee each month.
But what is limiting to some is a godsend to others. One of the biggest advantages of this club is that they curate their offerings, bringing you only the best. Atlas is designed for people who want to try all kinds of coffee and want someone else to figure out which ones are worth trying.
Atlas Coffee Club gives you a number of choices when it comes to how much coffee you want with each delivery. Their standard selections are a half bag, a full bag, or two bags. A half-bag is 6 ounces or about 15 cups of coffee. A full bag is 12 ounces and yields about 30 cups.
If you want more, you can click “Need More?” This brings up choices to receive either three or four bags per delivery. This also brings up a choice to create a custom plan. You’ll then contact customer support to set up the details.
Next, you choose the frequency of delivery. When first signing up, you can get a delivery every two or every four weeks. For the freshest coffee, you can get it delivered every two weeks.
But know that each delivery has a shipping fee. Also, remember that the coffee origin only changes monthly. If you opt for coffee every two weeks, you will get the same coffee for two shipments in a row.
According to the company’s FAQ page, you have even more choices for frequency. You can get fresh coffee as often as weekly or you can opt for every other month. The problem with getting coffee every two months is that you will miss half of the coffees they offer.
You can skip a shipment at any time. You are also able to change your delivery date if you need to. All of these options are easy to access once you join.
You can choose to receive a light-to-medium roast or a medium-to-dark roast. Lighter roasts bring out the fruitier qualities of the bean while darker roasts develop bolder, deeper flavors.
You can also choose “All Roast Types.” This last option lets you take advantage of the roasters’ expertise. Some coffees do best with a lighter roast to highlight the brighter notes.
Others do best with a darker roast to enhance the nutty and chocolaty notes. This option lets the experts choose which roast is best for the particular coffee.
You can choose whole bean or ground. Of course, we always recommend getting whole bean coffee. Once ground, coffee loses freshness quickly.
Buying whole ground lets you take advantage of the best qualities of a coffee. Each coffee comes with a recommended brewing method. This isn’t random but is based on careful roasting and tasting. Grinding your own allows you to choose the exact grind size for the particular brewing method. Our Coffee Grind Chart and Guide can support you in the process.
If you prefer to get pre-ground coffee, unfortunately, you cannot choose a specific grind size. It comes in a standard grind size for a regular drip coffee maker.
One thing to note about these bags is that they are not vacuum sealed. There is not a one-way valve that you commonly see on higher-end coffees. But that doesn’t mean that the coffee isn’t fresh. Atlas Coffee Club roasts to order, so they package and ship the coffee immediately after roasting. Sometimes the same day.
Freshness matters, but you don’t want to brew coffee the minute it comes out of the roaster. CO2 builds up during the roasting process and is released rapidly over the first few days. Coffee also degasses when it is ground and when it’s brewed.
If you’ve made pour-over or press pot coffee, you’ve seen this process. With those brewing methods, it’s important to pour a little water in and let the coffee “bloom” for about 30 seconds. Those bubbles come from the natural release of CO2.
But if there is too much CO2 in the beans during brewing, it can release large gas bubbles even after the bloom period. This can create air pockets in the grounds, which means water is not in direct contact with the coffee grounds. That results in uneven extraction and an inferior cup of coffee.
The travel time from the roaster to your door is equivalent to the time coffee needs to degas before brewing. You should note that these bags do not have a resealable zipper. If you use the coffee within a week or two, the bag it comes in should be enough to keep the coffee fresh. If the beans will be kept longer, you’ll want to transfer them into an airtight, moisture-proof container that keeps light out.
When you go to subscribe to Atlas Coffee Club, it’s easy to miss the option for decaf. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have it. When choosing how many bags you want per shipment, underneath the picture of the bags you’ll find a link that says “Need Decaf?” Click that and you can enroll in the decaf subscription plan. They use a water process to decaffeinate the beans.
There is one important difference in the decaf subscription. Decaf coffees are rotated seasonally and not monthly. That means you won’t get to experience the same coffee tour you get with the regular subscription. But if you need decaf and want to sample specialty coffees from around the world, this is still a win. It’ll just take a bit longer to check off all the world of coffee-growing regions.
Atlas Coffee Club keeps the theme of a world coffee tour with its rewards program. You get points based on what they call “miles traveled,” as in how far the coffee has traveled. You get points for the countries you have “visited.” You also earn points for buying gift subscriptions and referrals.
You are automatically enrolled in the rewards program when you subscribe. Once you accumulate points, you can trade them in for things like store credit and free shipping.
For this Atlas Coffee Club review, we received two coffees: Peruvian decaf and Ecuadoran. They were both a medium roast, but the one from Peru was slightly darker.
Both coffees I tried as a pour-over, press pot, and regular drip coffee maker. I’ll admit, I do like a little milk with my coffee. Both of these stood up well to milk and held their bold flavor.
Atlas recommended the v60 pour-over method, and I agree. The tasting notes on the card stated honey, almond butter, and cantaloupe.
The first thing I noticed was the strong, earthy fragrance. Brewing produced a bright, acidic aroma with a slightly smoky undertone.
The coffee was fresh and produced a lively bloom with a tawny foam. With all three brewing methods, I enjoyed the rich, full body and could pick up the nutty flavor.
When made with a basic drip machine, the taste was a little flat without the fruity notes. When brewed with a pour-over method, the flavor was deeper and it brought out the sweetness. The French press gave a silky quality to the brew, and the honey notes came out.
Overall, this was an enjoyable coffee with the qualities you would expect from a South American origin.
Atlas recommended the Aeropress, but I don’t have one. I substituted the French press with favorable results. The tasting notes for the Ecuador coffee include grapefruit, raisin, and black tea. The fragrance of the Ecuador was noticeably sweeter than Peru.
Again, the freshness was evident in the full flavors and vibrant bloom activity. The body was lighter and very satisfying. I enjoyed all three brew methods but found the French press to perform the best. It had the most complex profile and the raisin quality stepped forward.
Overall, I found this to be more satisfying than many other South American coffees I have tried.
When thinking about the best coffee subscription to fit your needs, ask yourself if you’re looking to try new things. Atlas club delivers the unique experience of tasting a variety of coffees from all over the world. You can choose if you prefer lighter or darker roasts, and that’s about it. You have no control over the origins and flavor profiles of the coffee delivered.
Throughout the life of your subscription, you’ll taste coffee from regions you might not have known about. That’s great if your intention is to expand your coffee horizons. But, if you have a strong preference for a particular region, you may want to look for a different coffee subscription box.
The Atlas Coffee Club subscription service lends itself well to gifting. You don’t have to know the coffee lover’s particular preference. If they are excited about coffee from different origins, they can’t help but love to receive this as a gift.
Coffee from Atlas is a high-quality specialty-grade coffee. It is ethically sourced from small farmers around the world. The coffee arrives fresh or they will replace it.
The company is based in Austin, TX. But their coffee comes from all over the world. They import and roast their own coffee so it arrives fresh at your door.
Below is the current breakdown. Remember that each shipment in the U.S. has an additional flat rate shipping fee of around $5. Orders to Canada have a shipping fee of $6.
1/2 bag (6 ounces) = $9 plus $5 shipping ($2.33/ounce)
Full bag (12 ounces) = $14 plus $5 shipping ($1.58/ounce)
Two bags (24 ounces) = $28 plus $5 shipping ($1.38/ounce)
Three bags (36 ounces) = $39 plus $5 shipping ($1.22/ounce)
Four bags (48 ounces) = $49 plus $5 shipping ($1.13/ounce)
An Atlas Coffee Club subscription is a great way to get to know different coffees from around the world. The extras in the box create an immersive cultural experience beyond just the drink. We feel it’s the best coffee subscription for the adventurous spirit.
The sign-up process is simple. With their customer portal, you can easily change any of your preferences at any time.
The recommendation for brewing methods is particularly helpful. You won’t have to waste coffee by brewing in a manner that is not complementary to that particular bean. Perhaps the best thing about this club is that you’ll taste coffees you might otherwise never have known about. How do you know you like something unless you try it? After touring the world through coffee, you just might find your new favorite.