Reviewed by Jane Warwick
An opportunity to review coffee was an offer I could not refuse! We have had a coffee machine for years which is still going strong and before that we use to regularly grind coffee beans to put into our cafetiere which we first got over 40 years ago.
The idea of a coffee subscription appeals to me. The coffee arrived in a die cut small parcel size brown cardboard box with the company’s logo RISE and website clear on the top of the box. My address and the Royal mail postage stamp were found on the bottom of the box. Nowadays, it is essential to have green credentials of some sort so packaging which is 100% recyclable is excellent and other companies should follow suit, so it becomes the norm. Before I opened the box, I noticed that the company can be followed via twitter, Facebook and Instagram. On the side of the box before removing the cardboard tucks to open the box are the words “Wake up to better coffee” and the sticker sealing the box is the only bit of colour. This is in the company’s colours- pink, yellow and black with the company’s name RISE.
On opening the box, I was greeted with two bags of coffee beans (I had requested beans rather than ground), a packet of dark chocolate peanuts by Doisy and Dam which contain no palm oil, a handwritten welcome note (with notes on the back to explain where to find more information on the coffee varieties); and a recipe card to make popcorn cookies. The recipe says you can use the popcorn you were given. Where is the popcorn? Strange for a coffee subscription to have a recipe with no coffee as part of the ingredients. The recipe card is an extra like the peanuts which is a bit of a gimmick that you either like or hate.
Let us look at the coffee! The coffee beans are ones you do not normally find in your local supermarkets but come from independent roasters. In my box I had a packet of LOST SHEEP COFFEE “Brazil” from a farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The coffee beans (220g) come in a yellow plastic fully recyclable sealable bag with a cartoon sheep on the front together with what flavours are present. This company buys directly from family farms and recommends this coffee to be drunk as a filtered coffee. Following these instructions, I ground the coffee beans having dug out my cafetiere. Having noted the flavours, I decided that I had better try the coffee black. I was surprised there was an apricot flavour which had been mentioned and it was also sweet (also mentioned), which I like particularly when drinking black coffee. Unfortunately, my taste buds are not good enough to detect the melon flavour. A few days later I tried the coffee again and this time added milk. As a result of the milk, I was not able to detect the apricot taste as markedly, but it had a smooth creamy sweet taste which I liked. Certainly, a different coffee to one we would normally have. Today I decided to try the other bag of coffee beans. This is from another independent coffee house, Lincoln, based in Twyford, Berkshire. This coffee comes in a white resealable pouch and the weight and roast date are handwritten. In my case the coffee weight was 250g and roast date 20th September. It mentioned that the coffee is best within three months of this date. The cup score for this coffee is 85. Now this number puzzled me, so I had to look it up to find out what it meant. It is basically a score given to coffee as a result of its flavours, acidity, sweetness to name a few. Commodity coffee and instant coffee found in supermarkets have a cup score below 80 whilst Speciality coffees have cup scores of 80 plus so 85 shows it is a very good coffee. (I checked the Lost Sheep coffee and there was no cup score mentioned on the packet only on the notes that came with the coffee, and this was also 85). The coffee beans are a blend from Brazil and Rwanda. The label mentions this coffee as boozy, tropical liquor and dark chocolate. I made an Americano. It tasted like I was having an Irish coffee but there is no alcohol present, and I could also detect a chocolatey flavour. My husband liked it as it was not sweet. I then made a flat white and I could still detect the boozy element and the richness which comes with dark chocolate, but the milk masked the bitterness which made it preferable to me. I looked up the history of the company and found it only was set up during lockdown in 2020. Despite this, when I opened my November Good Housekeeping magazine, I found it was considered the best coffee subscription by its panel out of 21 coffee subscriptions tasted. Impressive but there seems to be a discrepancy on price per month with Good Housekeeping saying £16.99/month whereas the company’s website states £19.99, and you buy it directly from the website.
It certainly would make an interesting gift for someone who enjoys Coffee at Christmas
And you can get other gift ideas from the company such as cafetiere starter kits or coffee with a mug. I have still to open the bag of dark chocolate peanuts.
Value for money – 3/5 It is a luxurious treat.
Recommend – 4/5 if you can afford this treat.
£20 for a trial box.
This product can be purchased from the Rise Coffee Box website here.