Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Mistobox is a coffee subscription service offering over 500+ coffees from 50+ different roasters in a variety of frequencies, quantities and tiers. They allow you to select your own coffee through a “Brew Queue”, as well as have coffees selected for you from a personal curator based on your answers to a variety of coffee questions.
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Note: I received 3 shipments from Mistobox for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own. I received no compensation outside of the coffee itself.
Delivery 1 – Colombia Inza Belen (Kickapoo Coffee Roasters)
The Mistobox curator selected the first coffee I received as part of my subscription based on my onboarding questionnaire (learn more about the curators and onboarding process below in the User Experience section).
The coffee was from one of my favorite roasters, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters. It was a very sweet, crisp coffee with notes of apricot, raspberry and dried fruit. At first I was surprised the first selection wasn’t an African coffee given my onboarding questionnaire, but after trying this coffee, it aligned very nicely with my preferences. It was sweet, complex, unique and bursting with acidity. I was quite happy with and surprised by this coffee.
Delivery 2 – Ethiopia Shakiso Natural (Brandywine Coffee Roasters)
I selected the second coffee via the “Brew Queue” feature in my account (learn more about the Brew Queue in the User Experience section below).
Brandywine Coffee Roasters has been on my list to try for awhile, so I thought I would use this opportunity to try them out. It fit the expected mold of a naturally processed Ethiopian coffee perfectly. It was sweet, with notes of strawberries and a sharp acidity. I especially enjoyed it as an iced coffee via the Japanese iced cold brew method.
Delivery 3 – Honduras Edgardo Tinoco Natural (Verve Coffee Roasters)
The third coffee was a combination of the curator and my own choice. I emailed my curator going into more detail with specifically what I was looking for. He sent back five coffees that fit that profile and I selected this one from the set.
I have tried a variety of naturally processed Central American coffees this year and have been so impressed with the results; this naturally processed Honduran coffee from Verve fell right in line. It was incredibly bright, fruit forward and fit my preferences perfectly.
For future shipments, I’ll definitely write my curator asking for a few options and select from them because he showed he can pick coffees perfect for my taste preferences.
While Mistobox does allow you to purchase coffee as one-off bags, they mostly focus around their subscriptions, which are offered in three different tiers: Basic, Deluxe and Exclusive.
- Basic: Basic coffees tend to be blends or medium to dark roasted coffees and range in price from $14-17 per bag
- Deluxe: Deluxe coffees tend to be larger lot single-origin coffees, espresso roasts and medium roasted coffees. Deluxe coffees usually range from $17-20 per bag
- Exclusive: Exclusive coffees tend to be micro-lot single origin coffees, direct trade coffees and coffees from uncommon origins. They generally are brighter coffees and are roasted lighter. Exclusive coffees usually cost $20+ per bag.
These price ranges are estimates and include the $5 shipping charge that is part of every order. When you go through the onboarding quiz, you get placed in one of the tiers and then your price per bag will range from $10.16/bag (basic tier pre-ordering 12 shipments) to $17.95/bag (exclusive tier ordering a single bag). Here is a more detailed price breakdown:
- Basic (1 bag): $11.95/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $16.95 or $1.41 per ounce
- Basic (6 bags): $10.76/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $15.76 or $1.31 per ounce
- Basic (12 bags): $10.16/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $15.16 or $1.26 per ounce
- Deluxe (1 bag): $14.95/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $19.95 or $1.66 per ounce
- Deluxe (6 bags): $13.46/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $18.46 or $1.54 per ounce
- Deluxe (12 bags): $12.71/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $17.71 or $1.48 per ounce
- Exclusive (1 bag): $17.95/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $22.95 or $1.91 per ounce
- Exclusive (6 bags): $16.16/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $21.16 or $1.76 per ounce
- Exclusive (12 bags): $15.26/ 12oz bag + $5 shipping = $20.26 or $1.68 per ounce
I like this pricing model because it allows you to find the style and price range of coffee that you are comfortable with. They offer coffee at the lowest end that is likely one of the most affordable subscription options all the way up to the more specialty coffees that push the higher end of the price range. If you are willing to commit to 12 shipments too, the price becomes very affordable.
Note: Each of the coffees I received above were from the Exclusive tier.
Mistobox offers a variety of support methods including a full knowledge base and the ability to contact their support directly via a contact form. The knowledge base is searchable and fairly robust. I was able to use it to answer a wide variety of my basic questions. I also used their support contact form on two different occasions and received responses within 36 hours in both instances.
From beginning to end, Mistobox has a great user experience. The signup process begins with a questionnaire asking you about your coffee preferences (see Step 1 below). The questions include roast preference, single origin or blend, black or with cream, etc. All of your responses are saved to your profile (and editable at any time) and inform your coffee curator what coffee to select for you.
Coffee curator you ask? Yes, every Mistobox subscription includes a coffee curator who will select your coffee each month based on your preferences (if you don’t already have coffees pre-selected in your queue).
As part of the onboarding process after checkout, you can fill out a survey about how you make coffee. Dynamically based on your responses, your curator sends an email that gives you some tips to improve or affirm your coffee making habits (see email screenshot below). Your connection with your curator isn’t a one-way relationship though. Mistobox gives you the option to share feedback directly with your curator and have a conversation about what you like/don’t like in the coffees and ask for suggestions. I emailed my curator, Connor, for my third delivery and he sent back six coffee options. Three of them I had tried before and they were some of my favorites of the past 4-5 months—affirming he was pointing me in the right direction for my preferences.
While the onboarding process and coffee curator are some of the areas I think Mistobox really shines in their user experience, they also do a lot of other things well, including:
- Emails: They send you emails at each step along the way. You receive an email at signup, a few days before your subscription renews (with the ability to change coffees), etc.
- Robust user profile: The user profile area is incredibly robust—especially compared to other coffee subscriptions I have tried. You can easily change what type of coffee you like, your subscription settings and add coffees to your brew queue.
- Coffee Feedback: They offer an easy way to provide feedback after each coffee. You can simply leave a star rating, but also more detailed notes that get shared with your curator and impacts your future coffees.
Being able to easily customize your coffee subscription (how often coffee ships, the size of your shipment, what’s included, etc.) is one of the most important features a coffee subscription can offer. Mistobox is one of the most flexible and customizable subscriptions I have found. Here are some details about the customizations:
- Pause Subscription: You can pause your subscription at any time for any amount of time (up to one year).
- Shipment size: All of the bags are 12oz, but you can easily add additional bags to your subscription or one-off bags outside of your subscription at any time.
- Shipment frequency: You can choose any frequency between 5 days and 45 days for your subscription.
- Grind: Most of the coffees are only offered as whole bean. They do offer a ground selection, but it is limited to a select number of roasters.
- Coffee: Mistobox offers 500+ coffees—though a subset of that number is available in any of the three tiers. By default your curator will select a coffee for you (based on your onboarding questionnaire and subsequent settings in your profile), but you can pre-select specific coffees at any time using your Brew Queue.
- Roasters: There are 50+ roasters that have coffee on Mistobox.
- Origin: The coffees available are from origins around the world. They are a mix of single origins and blends.
- Additional customization: Mistobox offers you a world of customizations even beyond the above. You can change your coffee tier (which impacts your monthly cost and coffees available), coffee profile settings (which determines what coffees your curator will send you) and easily cancel/delete your subscription at any time.
Through the three coffee tiers (Basic, Deluxe and Exclusive), Mistobox offers a wide range of coffees from lower-end blends to higher-end, unique single origin coffees. Each of the three coffees I tried during my subscription were from the highest tier and were from high-end, specialty roasters. Even the basic tier coffees are from quality roasters, but are their more economic roasts. I’ve rated the coffee quality section fairly high though because if you want the highest quality coffee from some of the best roasters around the country, you can get it with Mistobox.
Each of the coffee shipments arrived within a few days of roasting and arrived on the day it said it would in my profile. Unlike other coffee subscriptions, Mistobox tells you when the coffee will arrive vs. when the order is placed (though they do send you an email before the order so you can pause or make changes if you want). Sometimes there is almost a week between your order and the coffee arriving because of roaster’s roasting schedules and/or shipping time, so simply knowing when it will arrive to you is most important.
With over 500 coffee options from over 50 roasters, Mistobox definitely has coffee variety covered. You’ll be able to find coffee from almost any origin, with any processing and from roasters across the United States.
Coffee Sourcing Standards
Because Mistobox essentially acts as the middle man between the roaster and the consumer, they don’t have a lot of influence on where the coffee is sourced from. They do mention that the Exclusive tier features a variety of direct trade coffees (though I don’t see any way to tell which coffees are direct trade from the coffee listing) and they do include roasters that I know prioritize coffee sourcing standards from my other reviews (i.e. Kickapoo, Ruby, etc.).
I would love to see more filter options within the coffee listing though to filter by fair trade, direct trade, organic, etc. Each of these certifications have issues and limitations, but they do also have some merit and being able to see coffees that meet these criteria would be helpful for the user.
Each coffee is shipped directly from the roaster to the consumer in a branded Mistobox box. It is minimal, but gets the job done. Each coffee box also features a really nice interior sticker that gives a lot of the details about the coffee and a brief summary of the roaster (see The Coffees section above).
While many of the subscription features and setup in Mistobox follow patterns similar to other subscriptions, there were a few areas I thought were unique and helped Mistobox differentiate from its competitors.
- Curator: This is the only coffee subscription that I know of that pairs you with an actual person to help curate your coffee. You can have direct communication with your curator to get coffee suggestions and tips. Especially if you are new to coffee and still exploring what you like, having someone like this to help direct you to the right coffees can be incredibly helpful.
- Tiers: The pricing structure for Mistobox with their three tiers is also unique. It allows you to find the style of coffee that fits your preferences and only pay for that level of coffee (with the ability to go up or down in your tiers at any point)
- Coffee Selection: While there are a few other services that may have slightly larger coffee offerings, Mistobox’s selection of coffees and roasters is quite impressive. The specific set of coffee and roasters they offer is unique to them though.
I have been incredibly impressed with the entire Mistobox experience over these past few months. Their coffee selection, their customer service and their robust customizations make it a great choice to get your regular coffee deliveries.