Pros / It limits your daily matches, which makes you consider profiles more carefully.
Cons / There is no desktop version of the service.
Verdict / Coffee Meets Bagel is a well-designed free app great for people seeking meaningful relationships.
Setting up a profile took our testers about 10 minutes, which was average among the dating services we tested. This entailed answering some questions about physical appearance, writing six brief phrases about yourself and then writing out three things you want in a date. A Facebook account is required to set up an account, as well as a cell phone number. Coffee Meets Bagel uses your Facebook friends to improve your matches because, according to their website, relationships are more likely to succeed if the two people have a mutual friend.
The information displayed on a person’s profile includes their education, job, location, height, ethnicity and several other things. Users can also upload up to six photos to their profile. Names, however, are not shown unless two users mutually like each other. Online dating can seem dangerous since you really never know who is on the other side of the screen until you meet in person, so we liked this extra level of security. This way, your real first name and photo aren’t floating around for strangers to screenshot and share.
Coffee Meets Bagel has some similarities to Tinder but is more like Bumble in that women are given the power to respond to or ignore their matches. Every day, male users are given up to 21 potential matches to like or pass on. Women in turn can see which men have liked them and then decide whether to like them back and start a conversation. Viewing profiles and messaging are both free, but it’s up to the female user to like a male user back. Once two people like each other, either party can start a conversation. LGBTQ accounts for both men and women get multiple potential matches each day. This is all done solely over a mobile app, as there is no desktop version of the site.
Originally launched in 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel's #LadiesChoice initiative didn't happen until 2016, according the site's blog. The switch was made because the site's research showed that men like having a large selection and women are simultaneously more selective and want more control over their dating experience. While women might really enjoy this aspect of the app, we realize some men might not want to wait for their bagels to like them back. If that's the case for you, we'd recommend Tinder instead.
The app is intuitive and designed to look modern and casual. Your matches are referred to as "bagels" and you are referred to as "coffee," and this theme is consistent throughout the app. Accessing certain features requires using "beans" as currency. You can either win beans by doing certain things, like logging in daily, or buy them.
The maximum number of users you can “like” for free in a 24-hour period is five. This can seem limiting, but we appreciate that this forces you to slow down and consider each profile carefully instead of hurrying through them. With Tinder, you can essentially like every single user you come across, only to end up with an unmanageable stack of matches. In our tests, our three fake profiles averaged three matches and three messages in 24 hours. We also found blocking and reporting inappropriate behavior was easy to access, should you need to use that feature.
Removing your profile is easy if you decide you no longer are in the mood for coffee or bagels. This app really seems to cater toward people looking for sustained, meaningful relationships and does a good job of making the online dating process fun.