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  • Writer's pictureLesley

Subscription boxes: Coffee!

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

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I have previously written about my coffee machine, so my struggles with coffee beans shouldn't be a surprise.

But first, a story: I will never by coffee beans from Starbucks. This is not only because thy are garbage. It’s also because of a boycott.

I used to buy Starbucks coffee beans. I was living in NYC before the great rise of amazing coffee shops on every corner, and Starbucks was the most convenient way to grab a quick bag. I found the beans to be better then the drip coffee that they sell, because at least I had control over the strength and temperature.

However, in 2009 I had the honor of pacing Kim Smith, a runner that is significantly better than me, in a race that would be the NZ record and the 4th best time ever run indoors for 5,000m at that time. I don’t know where it falls now, but it was blazing fast: 14:39.89. That breaks down to 4:42 miles, which incidentally was my mile personal best at the time. My job was to run that pace and prevent her from making the mistake of going out too fast and ruining her chances of a great time. The result was obviously positive.

A lot of people don’t know this, but being a pacer, AKA rabbit, can be a great side hustle for a runner. The most I have been paid to rabbit a race was $500 to run 600 meters of a mile race. There are rabbits that get paid a lot more. There are also a lot of situations where I rabbited for free. Free rabbiting actually happened quite a bit, whether I was doing someone a favor or if I was doubling back after a race and could write off the job as a good workout.

In this case, I was rabbiting as a favor and because it was an opportunity to be part of a really phenomenal race. However, after the fact, Kim sent me a gift card directly from Starbucks as a thank you.

Well, I never got that gift certificate. It was lost in the mail (probably stollen by the mailman or the mailroom where it was sent). Kim reached out to Starbucks for a replacement and their response was basically: “LOL SOL.” Because of this fantastic customer service, I vowed to never again buy coffee beans from Starbucks. And I haven’t.

That made my life a little more complicated. I had to start remembering to buy beans from Whole Foods while I was grocery shopping, or risk having to go way out of my way to find beans late at night. It was rough, but I survived.

Then I discovered the subscription box.

There are a few subscription boxes out there, but my absolutely favorite is MistoBox. There are several subscription options, but I pay $112 every three months. I get a half pound of coffee every other week, which breaks down to $18.69 per bag. This is right in the middle of what I can pick up at any gourmet coffee shop. It’s not a cost savings, but it is a way to get a wide variety of very good coffee delivered to your doorstep on a regular basis without having to remember to pick coffee up.

I recently added another subscription service to my mix, because I found that one bag every two weeks was just not quite enough for my habit. However, I wasn’t falling short enough to switch to a weekly delivery. So, I added a monthly delivery from Latigo Coffee. Latigo is different than MistoBox in that they roast their own beans and ship them out monthly. MistoBox taps into roasters around the country to deliver a wide variety. Both are great ways to approach the coffee subscription box.

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