We Tried Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription Again + Updated Review

by Crystal Carder

I’ve noticed a lot of you must be interested in Panera Bread’s Unlimited Coffee Subscription and I really can’t blame you! At just $8.99 a month you get unlimited coffee and tea, all month!

For coffee and tea lovers, this sounds too good to be true. But it isn’t! In fact, the terms of Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription you get 1-cup of select coffee or hot tea to-go every 2-hours. Or if you’re dining in, you get unlimited refills while in store.

So, after trying Panera Breads free coffee subscription program last summer, I opened the app and noticed I was being offered another 3-month free trial, so naturally I signed myself and Michael up for it. And, I noticed things have changed since last summer. There’s no longer the free drizzle options and now the only customizable options are basically cream and sugar. Free coffees, free coffee but if you like flavored coffee like you get at other coffee shops, you may not fall in love with the updated Panera Bread subscription program.

Updated Review of Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription

When Michael and I went to California, we were really excited to use this coffee subscription to save a ton of money. But as much as we wanted to love it, we just couldn’t.

Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription offers many types of coffee options, including iced coffee. Users can redeem their free coffee or tea reward for the following:

  • 100% Colombian Dark Roast Coffee (hot)
  • Iced 100% Colombian Dark Roast Coffee
  • Decaf Coffee
  • Cafe Blend Light Roast
  • Hazelnut Coffee
  • Travel Refill
  • Hot Tea – Honey Ginseng, British Breakfast, Ginger Peach, and Orange Ginger Mint 

While you can walk-in for your drinks, most of the time Michael and I choose the rapid pick-up option where they bring the drinks to your car. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a fast pick-up option, rapid pick-up isn’t as fast as it sounds, so be sure to order at least 10-minutes ahead and have time to sit and wait for at least another 10-minutes. Since we tried multiple Panera Bread locations, this seemed to be the standard in almost all of them.

Customizing the Drinks 

I’m the type of person who orders Dunkin coffee with cream, caramel and hazelnut – I love my coffee a little sweet and flavorful. Unfortunately, you can’t get those types of options at Panera Bread. The only free options you can choose are the drink’s cream and sugar types. While you can add caramel syrup, bittersweet chocolate syrup, espresso shot, and Madagascar Vanilla Syrup, these cost up to an extra $1.29 and aren’t included for free. Personally, with already paying for a coffee subscription, I wouldn’t pay extra for these options and would opt to go get Dunkin coffee for just a little more. While its technically not an expensive add-on, the biggest reason for trying this coffee subscription was for the FREE drinks.

How Did Panera Bread’s Coffee Taste?

First off, if you want hot coffee or hot tea, their drinks taste fine. But, if you opt for the iced coffee, Michael and I found a little inconsistency with them. Somedays we would get an iced coffee and it tasted amazing, other times it tasted like water. While a few times it even tasted like iced tea with cream and sugar.

Why I Won’t Be Keeping My Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription

I think the Panera Bread Unlimited Coffee Subscription is an amazing idea. I mean who doesn’t want to save on their everyday coffee? BUTTTTT… in my opinion the inconsistency with the coffee wasn’t worth it. And, when you add in the extremely long wait, its really a lot easier to just go to my favorite coffee shop.

So, I won’t be keeping my coffee subscription from Panera Bread, but if you get a free trial, I highly recommend you try it and let me know what you think. 

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Amber Myers May 12, 2021 - 3:03 pm

I would get this if I liked coffee! I think it would come in handy if you did. I love Panera Bread food 🙂

Ben May 12, 2021 - 4:35 pm

I just can’t do coffee from out, even a subscription like that. I can make it for so much cheaper, and I always brew is so much more strongly.

Terri A Steffes May 12, 2021 - 8:26 pm

I’m going to check this out to see if it is offered at my local Panera. That’s a steal!

Heather May 12, 2021 - 8:34 pm

I can’t believe I didn’t know that they had an unlimited coffee subscription! That’s amazing!

Tasheena May 12, 2021 - 10:11 pm

This sounds like such a great deal. I have to look into getting this.

Richelle Escat May 13, 2021 - 2:59 am

Thanks for the honest review! I would have subscribe if I just see the ads alone.

Gervin Khan May 13, 2021 - 7:35 am

Unlimited coffee subscription for free sounds really good with my husband but he is more preferred to brew his own coffee rather than to buy in coffee shop.

Heather - thedomesticdiva.org May 13, 2021 - 10:34 am

I had no idea this was even a thing. It sound pretty great, honestly, especially for coffee lovers.

Kathy May 13, 2021 - 11:49 am

I didn’t know they had this. I have never been to Panera Bread before though. I have to give them a try sometime.

Briana Baker May 13, 2021 - 12:15 pm

Cool idea and I’d love if Starbucks did it but I think that Panera is not doing so well. I have heard a lot about their inconsistencies, poor customer service and running out of a lot of things.

Louisa May 13, 2021 - 12:45 pm

I am not a big coffee fan, so I will pass on this

MELANIE EDJOURIAN May 13, 2021 - 2:29 pm

It’s a shame that the iced coffees were not all consistant. I do love to try different coffees.

Catalina May 13, 2021 - 2:33 pm

This subscription is for me! I can’t live without coffee!

Rosemary May 13, 2021 - 3:47 pm

Wow, I love that idea of being able to enjoy coffee every couple of hours per day. Really appreciate your honest review about Panera. I’ll stop at the local joint near where I live and give them a try. Thanks for sharing about this.

Vic June 13, 2021 - 5:15 pm

I’m reading this as I’m drinking my free Panera iced coffee and today, it’s watery. I agree completely that the iced coffee is very inconsistent, but when it’s made right it’s really good. In fact, I think Panera iced coffee when it’s made well beats out Dunkin’ and Starbucks for me! I really enjoy it, but today it’s terrible and that makes me sad 🙁


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