I’m not a crazy caffeine fiend – I tend to mainly drink green tea and herbal infusions – but I have gotten into the habit of having a proper coffee each morning (‘proper’, as in ‘not instant’). Until recently, a lot of these came from a mobile coffee van outside work, but in the interests of frugality, I’ve started making my own with a stovetop espresso maker. Sainsburys furnished me with coffee grounds, though I quickly settled on Costa being a little nicer than the own-brand stuff, and away I went.
Enter Pact Coffee, who came to my attention through an advert on Facebook. They deliver freshly roasted coffee (ground or beans) through the post on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The advert on Facebook linked to an offer to get the first pack for £1, with no obligation to continue, so I gave them a try (250g of coffee for £1 is a decent deal in its own right, so there was nothing to lose).
Essentially, in order to keep my custom beyond the first bag, Pact Coffee had to pass three tests…
Obviously if the taste was no better than the stuff I was already drinking, the whole endeavor would be pointless. I’m happy to say that Pact Coffee does make for a tasty drink. I won’t pretend that I can pick out every flavour mentioned in the tasting notes, but they did deliver a smoother and more subtle taste than the mass-produced stuff. Clearly this is going to be down to personal preference; if you like your morning beverage to simply scream “COFFEE!” at you, Sainsburys probably has your back. However, if you want something a little more complex then the freshness does genuinely make a difference.
Paying more for the good stuff makes sense, but only to a point; the whole idea of making my own was to save money. Pact Coffee works out at a little under twice as expensive as the Costa grounds I was buying, which adds about £6-£7 a month to my coffee budget. Again this is going to depend on personal circumstances – if you’re busting through a pack a week, it will add a little more – but overall, they are not unreasonably expensive. Postage and packing is also included, so there are no hidden costs.
The initial account set up was straightforward, with a few simple questions to make sure they deliver coffee to your tastes and requirements. The mobile site is extremely well laid out – I have my account page bookmarked on my phone, so it only takes me a few seconds to see what/when my next delivery will be, with clear options to choose a different variety or change the delivery date.
Overall, my initial impressions are very good. It’s early days, so it will be important to see whether my second pack is as good as the first, but I can see this being the start of a new era of good coffee in the Cockburn household (descending into caffeine fueled madness, culminating in Dawn coming home to discover that I’ve filled the entire kitchen with sacks of beans and an army trained monkeys to grind them).
For those who might want to give Pact Coffee a try, here is the original link that started me off – http://journal.pactcoffee.com/invitation