Pact Coffee Review
Subscription coffee services are becoming more and more popular around the world. It’s not difficult to work out why – as the increase in popularity of coffee shows no signs of letting up, coupled with a more ‘on-demand’ culture, we want great coffee and we don’t want to wait for it.
With a subscription service, you can be sure that you never run out of your favourite coffee, and you never need to worry about where you are going to get it from. When you need it, it will be delivered to your door – what more could you possibly want?
Pact Coffee are one of these subscription service coffee providers. Ever since they were founded in 2012, they have been committed to providing customers with the highest quality, and freshest, coffee that they can, and have grown steadily to become one of the UK’s most popular subscription services. Although they don’t like the term ‘subscription’ as it seems too inflexible – they have plans which you have complete control over, and can change at any point. Let me explain…
Pact Coffee – How It Works
If you have never looked into signing up to a service like this, it can seem a little bit daunting – but I’m here to tell you that the entire process is incredibly simple. There is nothing to worry about, and when I signed up, I found it quite a fun experience! I’ll walk you through the process now:
The key thing that the Pact Coffee service offers you is choice. First of all, you get to choose what sort of roast that you would like, with the options being Regular (best for a filter coffee machine), Espresso (most suited for espresso machines and bean-to-cup machines) and Decaf (which is recommended for any brewing method). This just refers to the way that the beans are roasted – generally espresso roasts are darker than regular roasts.
Next, it’s time to select your preferred grind size. For this there are five different options:
- Whole bean: For grinding at home or use in the bean-to-cup machine
- Fine: The best grind size for an espresso machine
- Medium-fine: This is best for the manual coffee machines, like AeroPress, stovetop coffee makers and moka pots.
- Medium: Which is perfect for filter coffee machines, V60 and Chemex
- Coarse: You’ll want a larger grain for cafetiére, cold brew and clever drippers
Once you’ve settled on that, it’s time for probably the biggest decision of the lot – what sort of ‘Coffee Range’ you would like. What they mean by this is the quality of the coffee, and there are three options at different price points. First up you have the ‘House’ range. As you have probably guessed, this is the cheapest option. You always get the same, a chocolatey flavoured coffee that is high in quality.
The second option is the ‘Select’ range, which is in the middle of the three options in terms of price. If you were to go for this selection, you would receive a different coffee every time, and you even get the chance to rate each one so that you only ever receive coffees that they think you’ll love.
Finally, we have the most expensive range that Pact Coffee offer on subscription, the ‘Micro-Lot’ range. This offers their customers something a little bit different as they are the most rare, yet premium and unique tasting coffees that they stock – definitely the option for the coffee connoisseur, and the option I have gone for! These are the most highly rated coffees on their site.
Once you have made all of these selections, you can pick which specific coffee you would like to be your first. Pact Coffee will have narrowed down the options based on your preferences outlined from the above options, and then you are to pick. They will give you the following information to help: Name (which is always the farm that the beans were grown), Origin, Hints Of (what sort of flavours you can expect), Roast Profile (how dark the roast is), Grown By (which farmers have produced the beans), Variety (what sort of beans they are) and Process (whether they were processed using the washed, honey or natural process).
You’re not quite done yet though – for now you need to iron out the logistics. The most crucial aspect of this is the frequency at which you would like a new delivery of coffee. To work this out, they ask you how many cups of coffee you drink a week, and they recommend how long it will be before you need a new pack. You can change this at any stage though, so don’t worry if you find that you haven’t quite got this correct at your first estimate.
The only other thing that you don’t need to do, but would be sensible to do, is rate your coffee once it arrives. This is the best way to ensure that you only get coffees that you’re really going to enjoy.
What Makes Pact Coffee So Special?
It’s a good question. Right now, the subscription coffee industry is growing every day, and there are plenty of decent options out there. I have been fortunate enough to trial many of these, through my work as a coffee writer, and I can say that there are many wonderful companies out there that provide consumers with really great coffee. So what is special about Pact Coffee?
Well, let’s start with the flexibility that a subscription with Pact Coffee affords you. You have full control over all aspects of your coffee delivery – what sort of coffee you order (including roast and grain size etc), and crucially how often it is delivered. If you find you are racing through a pack, perhaps you’ve had guests come and stay, or are just really enjoying one so getting through it very quickly, you can just bring forward your next delivery. Conversely, if you find that you still have plenty of coffee left by the time your next delivery is due, you can just delay it by a week or so.
I’m sure that I’m not alone in this, but I have always been slightly wary of subscription services in general because some seemed to make it a real chore to cancel – it usually involved a lengthy phone call, and being on hold for hours listening to god-awful hold music… Well, that really isn’t the case with Pact Coffee – you can pause your deliveries at any time, and delete a plan just by logging in to the website. It takes seconds. Obviously, the plan is that you won’t want to cancel, but I find it very reassuring that it is a simple process, should your circumstances change.
The user experience is great. There’s more though – Pact really care about their impact, both on the environment and the communities from which they source their beans. They have a 33 page document available on their website detailing exactly how seriously they take their responsibilities in fact!
They source their coffee directly, and in 2020 alone purchased 124 farms across 9 different areas, paying 25% above the Fairtrade base price, and average pay even higher than this. Their ‘transparency report’ details the average price that they pay per lb of coffee in each of the 9 countries – in Kenya they pay 195% above the Fairtrade best price. In short – this is an area in which they do not just talk the talk, they walk the walk.
Similarly, they have made massive commitments to lessening their environmental impact. They never encourage their farmers to increase production when it would result in deforestation and work with many partners that are truly committed to conservation. It all stems from them being paid a fair price for their goods – they don’t need to expand their farmland in order to survive.
This is all great, but as I often say – this is a coffee review site, so it wouldn’t count for much if the coffee wasn’t any good, right? Well, I can assure you that you get some truly fantastic coffees with a Pact Coffee subscription. As I alluded to earlier, I have been a long-term customer with the Micro-Lot plan, which is the most expensive option. I have had some of my favourite ever coffees delivered to my door.
The key thing is though, that you get a new one every couple of weeks, so you never get bored, and you’re constantly trying new coffees. Even if you come across a coffee that you’re not so keen on, it won’t be long until the next one arrives, although I should emphasise here I have never had a coffee that I have not liked. Some were better than others, of course, but every single one has been good.
The rating system is great, and I urge all of their customers to use it frequently. It really helps, not just other customers, but yourself when it comes to receiving new packs. They seem to have this knack of latching on to your tastes and nailing it every time!
If you love trying new coffee, then I would strongly urge you to give a Pact Coffee subscription a go. You don’t need to commit, and it is incredibly simple to change or cancel your plan if you’re not happy. For the price though, not to mention the convenience, I am sure that you will be more than happy to keep that subscription running.