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Last updated: September 06, 2021

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: September 06, 2021
Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Ideal for:
  • Gourmet coffee newbies
  • Gourmet coffee veterans
  • Those who want fully customizable coffee subscriptions
  • US citizens
Main features:
  • Customizable subscriptions
  • Multiple roasters offering 500+ coffee options
  • A personalized coffee curator
  • Fresh roasts
Editor's Rating
?
CoffeeScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
9.7
out of 10
  • Coffee variety 9.8
  • Coffee quality 9.8
  • Customer service 9.6
  • Website user experience 9.9
  • Price 9.3
Users’ Rating
4.2
out of 5
  • 112 Users’ Ratings rating rating rating rating rating
    rating
    rating rating rating rating rating
    4.2
    out of
    5
    112 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      33%
    • 4 stars
      60%
    • 3 stars
      5%
    • 2 stars
      2%
    • 1 stars
      0%
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Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Mistobox is one of a variety of coffee subscription options available for American citizens. It makes a couple of impressive claims, and more often than not, the customer is happy with the product and service. However, it’s also competing against some very impressive opponents as well. As such, a Mistobox Coffee review is necessary for you, as a potential subscriber, to make your mind up about it. 

Some of the claims include a wide variety of coffee options in configurations that cater to most coffee lovers and drinkers. Another is the ability to provide coffee suggestions to newbies and veterans that they are bound to like. We verify what’s true and what’s not in the Mistobox Coffee review below.

Specifications

Based
San Francisco, California
Shipping location
The US
Bag sizes
12 oz.
Price
From $10.95
Shipping frequency
Every 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks
Shipping time
Up to 7 days
Shipping cost
$5
Roast type
Whole bean, pre-ground
Coffee origin
Single-origin, blends, espresso, decaf
Roast types
Light, medium, dark

About the company

Mistobox is the brainchild of Samantha Meis and Connor Riley, and the management consists of two other individuals, namely Nick Chang and Bailey Schultz. Like other coffee subscription companies, Mistobox Coffee provides a service where they look at the various roasters in the country, test their products, and then provide you with the options they think are good enough.

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

Mistobox company was founded by Samantha Meis and Connor Riley

As a coffee drinker, these are things that you likely don’t have the resources to do. As such, the subscription service can help you out in this regard. Nevertheless, the big question remains whether the company is good enough at its job to give you coffee options that are perfect for you, hence the review below. 

Mistobox coffee subscription review

Mistobox Coffee has 500+ coffee options collected over close to a decade of trying and experimenting with new coffees from roasters all around the US. These coffees are available to you at a variety of prices as well as subscription options. Notably, not many other subscription services can boast of such a wide variety, even though a few come pretty close. 

The service works for aficionados who know what they want in their coffee, experienced drinkers who are willing to experiment with new options, and even new coffee lovers who are not quite sure of their palate preferences just yet.  

Notably, more than 50 highly talented and revered roasters are included in the service with their varied roasting schedules. However, Mistobox Coffee just doesn’t pick the roaster and all their products. They have to test them first to ensure they’re worth sending to the consumer. 

Also, the coffee is seemingly always fresh as it gets to you no longer than seven days after roasting. If you make the purchase with the roaster’s schedule in mind, you likely won’t have to wait as long. Some features like the personal curator are pretty unique. 

The user profile also seems like one of the highlights of the subscription service. In short, many of the consumer’s and coffee lover’s needs have been considered and incorporated into Mistobox. 

Nevertheless, the subscription is not perfect. Our Mistobox review should reveal some of the flaws, although they’re few.

How it works

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

To get the subscription you’ll have to answer several questions about your coffee preference in terms of the brew, flavoring, the roast, frequency, and budget

Mistobox coffee works a lot like most other coffee subscription services, where the first step is to get on their website’s home page. However, you don’t just jump to the coffee options if you want to subscribe. There’s a process for getting there that includes a few questions. 

These questions generally ask for details like your coffee preference in terms of the brew, flavoring, the roast, frequency, and budget. Furthermore, there’s a selection of plans to choose from at the end, and the information you provide may be crucial to matching you up with your ideal coffee. 

One key difference between Mistobox and other subscription services is in the matchup service. Instead of using an algorithm like some of their competition, they use a coffee expert. As such, you’ll get a personalized curator who should also be a coffee expert.
They will take your information and provide you with options, suggestions, and even some extra information that might be useful to your coffee experience.

500+ options is not something that you can go through easily, especially if you don’t have whole days to compare and contrast the coffees. On the other hand, the expert curator has had time, and the resources to compare and taste-test the beans. As such, they can minimize your options to a manageable number for testing.

More often than not, the options recommended by the curator are the options that most drinkers stick with. However, this does not mean that you have to stick with the same varieties, varietals, roasters, or blends indefinitely. These are all adjustable details that you can tweak as long as you’re a subscriber. 

In fact, you get a subscriber profile as you get onto the service that you can tweak or adjust at any point. This includes upgrading or downgrading the membership, changing coffee orders, changing the roaster, coffee roast, and more. Nevertheless, there is the option of canceling the subscription or even pausing it at your convenience. 

Membership options 

If you’ve considered joining Mistobox coffee as a member, you can pick from three options. The first, most basic membership option is the “Basic.” This option is likely what you’ll choose if gourmet coffee is something you’re trying out for the first time. It’s also what you’ll pick if your coffee budget is limited. 

The coffees under the Basic membership option range between medium and dark roasted, and the prices are some of the cheapest on offer. The typical price range is between $10 and $12. Nonetheless, with these economical prices, you’ll likely only get blends.

You can, however, get something better with the Deluxe membership option. The coffees on offer here mainly come from large lot single origins and are likely medium roasted. This is in addition to the advantage of espresso options.

An extra step up, and you find the Deluxe membership options. This option gives you access to single-origin coffees from micro-lots which makes it easier to ensure quality. You can get some unique and exotic flavors with this variation, which is why the beans are often lightly roasted. As such, you’ll receive the full brunt of the flavor once you’ve brewed the caffeinated beverages. 

Making one coffee purchase at a time is also an option. 

Bag sizes

As we noticed from our Mistobox review, one reasonably big con of the service is the lack of coffee bag size options. Each coffee on offer by the subscription service weighs 12 oz which means there’s just enough coffee for slightly over 20 cups. 

There aren’t any bigger or smaller bags to better match the needs of individual coffee drinkers. The possibility of buying more than one bag at a time is there, but again, it can be challenging to match the exact extent of your needs without a smaller bag option.  

Shipping location, time, and costs

Non-US residents who’d like the Mistobox subscription are out of luck since the service doesn’t ship products to any location outside the country. However, residents can get any one of the 500+ coffees they pick at their door in a matter of days. 

If you’ve already confirmed and paid for your coffee beans, the longest you can go without receiving the product is six days. However, this duration is relatively long compared to other roasters that guarantee a five-day maximum shipping period. 

Nevertheless, most shipments will arrive in less than the stipulated time. One possible reason your delivery constantly gets to you on the seventh day may be that your timetable is not in line with the roaster’s schedule. As such, it’s possible to correct the situation, so you receive the beans sooner. 

The service allows you to check the roaster’s schedule. Since the beans are roasted to order, you can tweak your subscription so that your order goes to the roaster just before their scheduled roasting time. If your order goes through just after the scheduled roast time, you’ll have to wait till the next roast before the product can be shipped hence the longer wait time. 

Also, shipping isn’t free. You’ll pay a $5 fee for each shipment, whether it consists of one or multiple bags. That said, you can lower the subscription cost if you commit to either six or twelve shipments at the point of purchase.  

Coffee variety, taste, and quality

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

For the single-origin option, the flavor from the location will be quite pronounced

Coffee variety is not something you lack as a subscriber of Mistobox Coffee. As we’ve mentioned severally in the sections above, the Mistobox collection consists of more than 500 coffees. The roasters that provide these coffees are also more than 50. There are also other aspects of the varieties, e.g., the roast types, the origin, and whether the coffee is provided ground or as whole beans. 

For experienced coffee drinkers, the taste is something they emphasize when picking their bag options. Notably, various aspects can affect the taste of each bag. They include the origin, whether a blend or a single-origin option, how fresh the beans are, and the roast type. 

Starting from the back of that list, there are three major roast types, i.e., light, medium, and dark. Darker roasts have most of the bean’s flavor and acidity stripped by the prolonged exposure to heat. They are also more oily. 

On the other end of the roasting extreme, light roasts tend to keep most of their embedded flavor profile according to their source. This is where fruity, acidic, nutty, and other flavors shine. For example, according to Trusted Source Aromas and flavors. The sensory map of Peruvian coffee by PROMPERÚ Exportaciones - Issuu A sensory map is the representation of a set of elements or categories that have been perceived by human
senses. In the case of coffee, a sensory map captures its aromas, flavors, tastes, and textures.
issuu.com
, Peruvian coffees have a floral, chocolaty, nutty, spicy, sweet, and acidic sensory map. 

Coffees from all over the world also have unique sensory maps that are unique to their location. Another example is that information provided by the Trusted Source African Coffee Bean: Vivid flavors from Ethiopia & Kenya Start exploring African coffees! Learn about Kenya and Ethiopia, coffee origins that produce some of the most unique and interesting coffees. www.baristainstitute.com shows the sensory map of Kenyan coffees to be acidic while including berry, citrus, and sometimes winey flavors. These flavors are best enjoyed when the beans are lightly roasted. 

If the beans are blends, the flavors will represent the coffees from the different locations. If the coffee is a single-origin option, the flavor from the location will be quite pronounced, and you have many possible origins to choose from. 

As for the quality, the pricing may affect that. The Exclusive subscription offering, for instance, has top-of-the-line single-origin coffees available. However, even the coffees available at the Basic membership have a minimum quality threshold to pass before being included in the subscription service. 

Customization

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

You can customize your subscription in terms of roast level, pricing, whole bean or ground alternatives, shipping frequency, etc.

Despite the lack of variable bag sizes, the customization of the subscription service still qualifies as top-notch. Some of the customizability features you have control over include the roast level, pricing, whole bean or ground alternatives, shipping frequency, whether to pay for multiple shipments upfront, etc. 

You set these parameters at the beginning of your subscription and can revisit and change them at any time. 

Certifications

Although there’s not much in the way of certifications, some of the coffees are direct trade options. Some beans are sourced directly from the grower by the roaster rather than through a middle man. As such, there is little chance of the farmer being taken advantage of. 

Nevertheless, this only applies to a limited number of coffees in the Exclusive membership option making it one of the disadvantages of the service. 

Price 

On the price front, coffee lovers from all walks of life can get an option that works for them, and again this ties back to the membership options available. Remember, you can get a subsidized price for the coffees by paying for a couple of shipments upfront. However, you’ll likely have to pay full price for shipping rated at $5. 

Customer service

Our Mistobox review revealed that customer service isn’t bad but isn’t the best either. There is a knowledge base that can likely answer most of your questions incorporated into the Mistobox website. However, for personal questions, you’ll have to fill a contact form. 

Getting the response may take a while but usually not more than 48 hours.

There are a few upsides to the customer service as well. One example is the personalized curator, who can recommend new coffees to try time and time again. They can also tell you how best to extract the coffee flavors. 

Additionally, you get regular emails each time your beans are about to ship out. This allows you to make some changes just in case you forgot. Also, you can pause the subscription or cancel it at this juncture if you want to.

Packaging

Mistobox Coffee Review: Can It Beat the Competition?

The beans come in functional Mistobox branded packages

Packaging is minimal and functional but not out of this world. It gets the job of protecting the coffee during shipping quite well. It’s also Mistobox branded. You can get more out of the coffee’s shelf-life by investing in a high-quality container and transferring the beans as soon as they arrive. 

Nevertheless, the included sticker with details about the coffee and roaster is a touch of class. 

Website and user experience

As shown above, by the “how it works” section, the website offers a top-tier user experience. The guided steps are easy to follow, and even if you were to ignore them and go straight to the coffee options, the website is still intuitive enough to breeze through. This includes navigating to the knowledge base where you can read blog posts and learn a thing or two about effective brewing. 

Other features

Mistobox offers a few extra and unique features to note as well. One suitable example is the brew queue. If you’re the experimental type or want to get different coffees at your next shipment, you can add the beans to your brew queue. Mistobox will do the rest and ensure you get the coffee you listed. Of course, the email that comes a few days before your shipment can serve to confirm that. 

Another feature not included above is the gifting option. You can gift your loved ones a prepaid subscription which gives them more or less the same benefits as you. This includes the complete repertoire of coffees available. 

There are some extras, e.g., you know when they get their first or last shipment, you can include personalized messages, and you can add coffees to the brew queue or ask for updates at your convenience. 

PROS CONS
  • The coffee subscription is completely customizable
  • Works for different budgets
  • The brew queue can be pretty handy
  • The user experience is top-notch
  • You get a free knowledge base on most of what you need to know about coffee
  • The variety in terms of roasters and coffees is impressive
  • The personalized curator is a nice touch
  • The replies to querries are not the most prompt
  • The certifications in the coffee bean options are few and far between
  • The packaging works but isn’t very impressive
  • The $5 shipping cost for every shipment is relatively high
  • Bag sizes are limited to 12 oz options

 

Conclusion

As per our Mistobox Coffee review, the subscription service is one of the most impressive out there and gets an exceptional score on our ten-point review scale. It will also certainly work for a lot of coffee lovers, no matter their preferences. If all the highlighted benefits are up your alley, it’s worth ignoring the few and far between negatives.

References

1.
Aromas and flavors. The sensory map of Peruvian coffee by PROMPERÚ Exportaciones - Issuu
A sensory map is the representation of a set of elements or categories that have been perceived by human
senses. In the case of coffee, a sensory map captures its aromas, flavors, tastes, and textures.
2.
African Coffee Bean: Vivid flavors from Ethiopia & Kenya
Start exploring African coffees! Learn about Kenya and Ethiopia, coffee origins that produce some of the most unique and interesting coffees.
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