Bitbrew is an online retailer that sells a good variety of coffees and teas exclusively for Bitcoins. This sort of business is great for the growing Bitcoin economy. We need online Bitcoin stores that sell everyday items, just like the many websites that accept fiat currency. BitBrew has plenty of room to grow and improve, but it is still quite an exciting and useful service.
The BitBrew storefront is not quite as seamless as Walmart's website, but it is still completely functional. It is easy to explore the broad selection of coffees and you can simply add whatever you like to your cart. Remember to visit the "Teas, Too!" section as well. I almost missed the tea on my first visit but it is easily one of the best things I ordered.
When you are ready to checkout, you have to generate a Bitcoin address which gets added to your shopping cart as if it was a product. This is not how most stores are designed which might make your first purchase a bit confusing, but it does work when you do it right. I did not handle this correctly the first time and had to contact the administrator, but the customer service was wonderful and everything was sorted out quickly.
Both of my orders took well over a week to arrive at my door, so the shipping at BitBrew is not perfect either, but the great product made it worth the wait. Coffee can be ordered as either whole beans or pre-ground. The teas are all loose leaf and I enjoyed them the most. Nothing beats a good cup of chamomile made from the real little yellow flowers.
One of my favorite things about BitBrew is the fact that the prices there are not completely based on the exchange rate to dollars. Of course, the prices have to be updated occasionally but they do not change in real-time. It might still take awhile, but I long for the day when we can ignore the dollar completely and the price of coffee and other goods will be directly based on Bitcoin. I think BitBrew has taken a significant step in this direction.
BitBrew is not perfect, but it still works and I love the store's commitment to Bitcoin. I also enjoy coffee and tea very much which means it is very likely that I will be a returning customer. I am excited for the future of the service as well as the future of the Bitcoin economy as a whole.
Many people unfamiliar with cryptocurrency ask me what can be bought with Bitcoin. Telling them that I have used it to buy coffee and tea often leaves a somewhat surprised expression on their face as they begin to realize that this new digital currency is not as complicated and "out there" as they thought. "It's just money," I want to tell them, "It's extra useful money, but you don't have to be afraid of it." Kudos to BitBrew for helping people understand.