More time home spent at home working with your family means, yup, more coffee. Your coffeemaker or French press or whatever you use is very likely working overtime lately, and chewing through beans and grounds on an epic scale.
And, of course, your access to the stores is limited. So suddenly coffee subscription services are popping up like mad. One of the more innovative ones is Bottomless, which instead of sending you new coffee on a regular schedule, knows when you are about to run out and gets another bag out to you.
Huh? What sorcery is this? Hidden camera? No, it’s the WiFi-enabled scale Bottomless sends you when you sign up. Small (3.5 in x 5 in x 0.5 in), unobtrusive, and easy to set up, you keep your coffee supply on the scale, and when it gets too light, it alerts Bottomless to get the reserves in the mail. You can keep your own coffee container, you just need to put it on the scale and zero it out as you would with any food scale.
Bottomless is a Seattle startup (of course) created by coffee lover and entrepreneur Michael Mayer, and it’s a great concept aimed squarely at java junkies. The home-delivery aspect boosts it even more, as does the lack of a fixed schedule.
Bottomless offers a wide range of fresh-roasted coffees in both bean and ground form, and guides you through a quiz to determine your tastes and match you up with the brews best suited for you. So far so good, right?
Yes and no. There’s a lot to like about a truly, well, bottomless supply of coffee, especially these days. The scale system is frankly ingenious. And the wide selection — easily sortable by county of origin, process and pretty much every single tasting note under the sun — is great. And you can stick with one you like, or shoot the moon and get a different one every time.
The catch? Well, it’s not cheap. The lowest-priced 12-ounce bag on their menu was $12.86, the highest $23.40. If there’s one or two people in your home hitting the joe, that might be manageable. But more than that, and the costs roll up big and fast. The $5.99 monthly fee is flat, regardless of how many bags you get, and it does cover shipping. Still, this is a service that seems geared toward small-demand homes or deep pockets.
Further still, we found ourselves wondering if it was really necessary. Sure, it’s easy to setup and forget about, but do we need our coffee magically sent to us? If you find yourself only realizing you’re out of coffee on your very last scoop, this is a service worth trying. If, however, you’re looking to automate part of your life for the sake of doing it, you may as well find a coffee brand you like best, and stick to ordering that at your own leisure.