Beanz.com Is a new coffee subscription website from the folks over at Sage or as they’re known in the US, Breville.
The idea isn’t new but Beanz.com has been implemented Extremely well with the support of a reasonable range of roasters that will satisfy A curious coffee Connoisseur for some time to come.
Whether you love or loathe sage coffee machines, they are successful for a reason. the company understands consumers, and build products that are approachable and easy to use. Beanz.com as a website design carries the same ethos. it is fast, clean and simple.
While those of us in the industry will inspect the details before we buy, Beanz.com knows that choosing the right coffee can be off putting to some. For those, there is a “Barista’s Choice’, where the only choices you need to make are:
- Do you want a flavour profile of either:
- How many bags a month do you want.
That’s it. I went through the process and had signed up to two bags a month of beans for a discounted price for the first two months of £12 a month including shipping.
That’s an amazing deal, and that’s where some of my concerns start.
The prices are set, so I presume if a roaster wants to participate in the service, they sign up to the prices set by Sage. That might be OK for now, but we all know prices are volatile, and I don’t know if the roaster is committed to a contract. Even if they’re not, leaving the platform might be hard down the road, if you’ve outsourced your marketing to Sage.
That’s effectively the deal roasters are entering into. Sage does the marketing, and the roasters do what they’re good at – they roast the coffee.
But looking at some of the information about the brands on Beanz.com and much of the differentiation is gone. The bags have different logos and colours, but that’s about it.
Take Dear Green Roasters for example. On their Beanz page, this is what it says about them:
“Our house blend is named after a lane near our first roastery, the term “Goosedubbs” refers to puddles that geese hung out in back in Medieval Glasgow times. As well as being available to buy here, you’ll also find Goosedubbs served up at many of the cafes and restaurants around the traps.”
If you click on the ‘More from this roaster’ link, it expands slightly into two paragraphs.
Compare that to the information you get on their website, and specifically how they are active in the industry and community:
Dear Green Coffee Roasters specialise in:
- Roasting ethically sourced, speciality grade coffee
- Supplying freshly roasted beans for cafes, restaurants, workplaces and homes!
- Equipment advice, sales and installation
- SCA accredited Barista Skills and Sensory Skills training
- Supporting coffee community via local events
Pages are dedicated to how they work with farmers and source their coffee under page titles of ‘people, planet, product, and giving back’.
Their website will still be there even with their coffee being sold on Beanz.com, but I wonder if the future will see a homogenization of the roasting industry, each roasters profile presented at the lowest common denominator.
This isn’t Sage’s fault, they’re bringing a great service to a lot of people who otherwise probably wouldn’t discover some of these great roasters. I just hope that as the service gains in popularity, we find a way to ensure the individualism which makes the roasting industry so unique and wonderful can be maintained.