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Mistobox Review: A Respected Coffee Subscription, But Is It Worth It?

Coffee subscriptions are a dime-a-dozen—and most of them are the exact same. Freshly roasted coffee, specialty beans, delivered to your door… we’d heard it all before. But when we came across Mistobox, we could sense something was different, and we wanted to see for ourselves what it was.

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Mistobox is one of the original coffee subscription services. It was started back in 2012 as a school project, but picked up traffic quickly. The founders even got a deal with Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank

It’s the biggest coffee subscription service out there (as far as we know), but even after browsing the beautiful website, we were still left wondering: is Mistobox the best place to get specialty coffee, or is it just like all the other subscription services after all… just with a nicer website?

Let’s break down how Mistobox is different and find out.

How Mistobox’s Coffee Subscription Works

Mistobox doesn’t roast its own coffee. Instead, it partners with 50 different roasters around the country to provide a huge range of options—you have nearly 500 coffee options to pick from.

It’s overwhelming to look through them all (of course), so Mistobox has a quiz that helps narrow down options that’ll match your unique tastes, asking about your favorite roast levels, flavor profiles, blends vs single origins, espresso, and more.

Mistobox subscription quiz

Once the quiz is complete (takes about 3 minutes), you can access your dashboard and “Brew Queue”, a line of subscription shipments where you can insert and switch around coffees. And there are a few ways you can go about choosing coffees:

  • Let Mistobox pros choose for you. If you do nothing, your Mistobox representative will select a bean for you based on your quiz results.
  • Discover recommended beans. You can also look at a list of beans that Mistobox suggests based on your results—usually somewhere around 20-50.
  • Journey through the 500+ bean database. If you’re really brave or in the mood for something unusual, you can browse all the coffees, sorting by tons of variables, like country of origin or flavor.
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Bags of coffee beans are also sorted according to three tiers:

  • Basic — $14-17 price range, featuring primarily well-rounded dark and medium roasts.
  • Deluxe — $17-20 price range, featuring larger single-lot origins, espresso blends, and more nuanced medium roast coffees.
  • Exclusive — $20-25 range, featuring micro-lots, special releases, exotic light roasts, and direct trade beans.

(Don’t forget about the $5 flat rate shipping fee.)

We Tried Three Mistobox Coffees… Here’s How It Went

We had three coffees shipped to us—one bag per month—to see if the Mistobox coffee subscription is everything is claims to be.

We chose two of the coffees and let Mistobox choose the third according to our quiz results. Here’s how it all went.

Ethiopia Beriti, Topeca Coffee Roasters

mistobox topeca coffee roasters

Coming from Topeca Coffee Roasters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this Ethiopia Beriti was natural processed, which means the beans dried inside the coffee fruit for a few days. This usually leads to an extra fruity flavor.

We brewed coffee in a pour over cone, in a french press, and even in a moka pot—we really wanted to give it a thorough review. And it delivered every time.

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This medium-light roast coffee had a wild blueberry aroma that permeated every sip. It was unbelievable—the kind of flavor you can only get in the top 1% of coffees.

There was also a smooth chocolate flavor that acted as the base of the remaining flavor, which included a juicy sweetness and subtle tang

Simply put, this was the exotic-tasting coffee we were hoping for. It was rich, smooth, and that blueberry aroma was exciting and inspiring.

Organic Guatemala Concepcion, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters

mistobox kickapoo coffee roasters

We let Mistobox pick this coffee for us, according to our quiz results. And we weren’t disappointed.

Roasted in Viroqua, Wisconsin by Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, this bean was wash processed, meaning the beans were removed from the fruit and fermented in large tanks of water. It normally leads to a really clean, crisp flavor.

guatemala coffee mistobox

Upon each sip, we were instantly met with a mild lemonade flavor, a brown sugar sweetness, and gentle citrus tang.

It was balanced, pleasant—the kind of coffee that could make anyone smile. And despite the lemony notes, it didn’t taste anything like the lemony bitterness of old, stale beans. It was exceptional!

Burundi Karyenda, Intelligentsia Coffee

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Chicago-based Intelligentsia is well-known for its exceptional (and more expensive) coffees, so we picked this one out for ourselves.

We loved the mild orange sweetness, which paired perfectly with the mild plum-like tang. The coffee was light-bodied, smooth, and had a subtle, sweet fruity aroma.

Overall, this one was more of a straight-shooter. Not too exotic, but still a wonderfully pleasant, balanced, and sweet coffee!

The Positives of Mistobox

It was very clear, just from the website, why Mistobox has become so popular. And once we got our coffees in over the course of three months, we were pulled into the hype.

  • There are 500+ coffees to choose from. There’s no shortage of single origins, blends, roast levels of all kinds, flavors—from dark and spicy to sweet and fruity—and beyond. If you can imagine it, Mistobox sells it.
  • Discover roasters from around the country. With over 50 roasting partners around the nation, Mistobox offers you the easiest path to exploring the coffees that people drink in other areas of the US.
  • 100% specialty-grade beans. All of the coffees meet the minimum quality threshold of being graded as “specialty” (85 points or above, according to a certified quality grader).
  • A fantastic, simple interface. The quiz was helpful for narrowing down coffees that would be a fit, but it’s also really easy to sort through all the beans if you’re looking for something in particular. The “brew queue” was simple and user-friendly, and we were never confused about shipment dates, coffee selection, or payments.
  • Roasted to order beans. The coffee bags don’t ship from a Mistobox warehouse somewhere—they come directly from the roasters, which means you’re coffee is roasted just days before it gets to your house.

The real key here is the variety. Offering hundreds of coffees, there’s no better place on the internet to see such a wide variety of beans.

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The Negatives of Mistobox

Of course, Mistobox isn’t perfect. There are a few negatives worth mentioning.

  • No flavored or french roast beans. Mistobox only sells specialty-grade beans—and specialty beans aren’t the kind of beans you add flavor oils to or roast so dark they taste like ash. These are beans that have wild, incredible flavors naturally, so if you like uber-dark or flavored coffee, Mistobox may not have what you tend to like.
  • It may be [slightly] more expensive than buying local. At $20 + $5 shipping for their highest-quality beans, Mistobox likely comes out a few dollars more than local roasters. The trade-off, of course, is that Mistobox offers unrivaled variety and allows you to try roasters from all over the country.
  • Hit or miss customer service. Mistobox’s growth has caused a lot of people to complain about slow customer service over the last year or two. Thankfully, with a website that’s very intuitive and easy to navigate, you shouldn’t need to contact a rep.

These negatives, in our mind, are hardly negatives. They’re a bummer if you like french roast coffee, but if you’re after a high-quality, balanced flavor experience, that negative of not selling lower-grade beans turns into a positive.

The Verdict: Is Mistobox’s Coffee Subscription Worth It?

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Let’s be clear: we’ve tried many amazing coffee companies on the internet… but Mistobox’s way of doing things is not the same-old, same old.

With 50 roasters, 500+ coffees, and an online interface that’s really easy to use and fun to explore, Mistobox offers a complete coffee experience that’s smooth, diverse, and great for all kinds of coffee lovers.

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The convenience factor was great. We knew we had A+ coffee arriving at our door—and if we knew we were going to run out of beans faster than expected, we could easily move up our next shipment date.

The quality was stunning. All three beans were exceptional—Mistobox only works with the best. And we were never left looking at the website wishing there were more options (like we do with most other companies).

Mistobox is one of the top places to buy specialty coffee online, offering an unrivaled experience both in diversity, flavor, and ease of use. 

Ready to discover a massive world of flavorful coffee?

(Get 25% Off the first shipment when you click on the below link)

Try Mistobox at a Discount →

Not Sold? Here Are A Few Alternatives To Mistobox

Mistobox isn’t the only high-performer in the coffee subscription space. Here are a few other services we like to suggest:

Atlas Coffee Club

Atlas focuses on finding the best coffee they can from each coffee producing country, then offering a “travel the world” experience via your daily cup of coffee. It’s a fun, lighthearted way to perk up in the mornings.

Crema.co

Crema’s big thing is connecting you with the farmer that grows you coffee. Each bag of beans can be traced back to an individual person or farm, making it the most origin-focused subscription out there.

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Coffee subscriptions are fantastic ways to enjoy more diverse and flavorful beans, and we happen to think Mistobox is the overall best for most people. Try Mistobox out and let us know how it goes!

Avatar for Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden is a coffee expert and former manager of Yellow House Coffee, TX. He loves exploring the intersection of food, cooking, and technology. When he's not writing about a cool new gadget or coffee, he can usually be found experimenting in the kitchen.

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