The 7 best coffee subscriptions in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Coffee subscriptions ensure that your favorite brew is always around.
  • They can also be a great way to try new flavors, origins, and roasters.
  • Our picks include Trade, Blue Bottle, and a cold brew subscription from La Colombe.

Coffee subscriptions offer a unique luxury: never having to wake up, shuffle to the kitchen, and realize in horror that there’s no coffee in the house. For many of us, a morning caffeine boost is non-negotiable, and the peace of mind in knowing that you have a steady stream of coffee coming makes a coffee subscription worthwhile.

And, there’s really a coffee subscription for everyone. Maybe you like switching up what you’re drinking each time, or maybe you want someone to curate your brew for you. Maybe you want a subscription for cold brew; either bags to make your own, or simply a cold brew gallon delivered each month. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the outstanding offerings below.

Here are the best coffee subscriptions of 2021

Our methodology

I’ve been working in the specialty food world since 2015, eating, drinking, learning, teaching. For these rankings, I tasted through the available coffee subscriptions, both from roasters and otherwise. This is what I was looking for:

Flavor and quality of the beans: Tastes vary, but there are some objective flaws in coffee beans, such as beans tasting burnt. This was less about how much I liked each selection personally and more about how balanced the coffees were and whether they matched their flavor notes. 

Ease of setup: Coffee should make our lives easier, as should subscription services. If a subscription was confusing to set up, or to understand when and what coffee was coming, that knocked off a few points. The best subscriptions also offered notes on preparing the coffees they sent. 

Ease of customization: If you’re traveling, slowing down on caffeine, or simply don’t want to continue your subscription, that should not require three emails and a phone call. Subscriptions were prioritized that made it easy to pause or cancel a subscription. Extra points were also given to subscription services that allowed the subscriber to customize the beans they received based on flavor profile and preferred method of brewing.

The best coffee subscription overall

a red ribbon runs between bags of coffee, a thermos, and a box with Trade coffee’s logo on it as part of the best coffee subscription in 2021

Trade’s coffee subscription service designed to turn coffee drinkers into coffee lovers.

Pros: Huge variety, easy to customize the coffee and shipping 

Cons: All the choices could be overwhelming for some 

We think Trade‘s subscription is the best of all worlds. Its mission is to “unite the nation’s top roasters directly with drinkers,” with more than 400 coffees available from roasters such as Joe, Atomic, and Broadstreet. 

As you’re setting up your subscription, you tell Trade how you prefer to brew your coffee, how you take it, your ideal roast and flavor profile, and the company matches you with your ideal beans. You know exactly what’s coming, the roaster’s schedule for roasting, when your bag was roasted (probably within the past few days), and why you were matched with it. 

It’s easy to adjust your delivery schedule, the exact beans you’re getting, and discover new favorites. Trade makes exploring coffee a fun, zero-headache adventure.

Read our full review of Trade Coffee.

The best coffee subscription gift

coffee grounds from Driftaway spill out of a brown bag onto a table with a cup of coffee and a pour over brewer as part of the best coffee subscription service in 2021

Driftaway is a tiny, sustainability-focused roaster, offering personalized coffee subscription boxes.

Pros: Easy to set up, lots of information about each origin

Cons: Just one roaster to choose from

The tricky thing with choosing a subscription gift is that it’s often hard to pinpoint the recipient’s preferences. For that reason, Driftaway makes an excellent gift. Every new subscriber gets a Coffee Explorer Kit, consisting of four 1-oz bags. Your recipient ranks each coffee, giving Driftaway insight into their preferences for future deliveries. 

The gifter chooses between a one-year, six-month, or three-month subscription, delivering either every month or every two weeks (there are more options if you’re subscribing for yourself). The size of each delivery can be 8 ounces, 12 ounces, or 1 pound, and they can set up either a whole bean subscription, a ground subscription, a cold brew bag subscription, or a “Mystery Kit” where the names are hidden (don’t worry, they can find out what they’re drinking at the weekly virtual tastings). 

The recipient also gets an account from which they can pause their shipment, change their address, or whatever else, and the bags even come with their name on it. 

Read our full review of Driftaway Coffee.

The best coffee subscription for flexibility

A box containing bags of Blue Bottle coffee sits open next to two cups of coffee as part of the best coffee subscription boxes in 2021

Blue Bottle is one of the largest specialty coffee roasters, offering consistency and flexibility.

Pros: Lots of coffee to choose from, seasonal blends

Cons: Just one roaster to choose from

If you’re a little wary of the idea of subscriptions, try Blue Bottle‘s. For one thing, it offers a way to try it at little cost — the first bag is free and you only pay the $5 shipping. You can try any of its three subscription offerings this way: the single-origin, blend, or espresso assortments. 

Your subscription can be as little as a six-ounce bag, each of which is freshly roasted, and the brand offers lots of information on how each coffee should be prepared. It’s easy to pause or cancel your subscription if you choose not to move forward.

Read our full review of Blue Bottle.

The best coffee subscription for beginners

bags and cups of coffee from Atlas Coffee Club sit on a world map as part of the best coffee subscription in 2021

Atlas Coffee Club makes specialty coffee easy, fun, and accessible.

Pros: Explore coffees from around the world, lots of information about origins and brewing

Cons: Just one roaster to choose from

With Atlas‘s subscription, you’ll learn a lot about different regions, their typical coffee flavor profiles, and what makes each one special. Each month, you receive 6 to 24 ounces of freshly-roasted coffee, flavor notes, a postcard, and brewing tips. 

As you’re setting up your subscription, you choose how much coffee you want per shipment, whether you want it every two or four weeks, your roast preferences, and whether you want it ground or not. It’s a great way for new, enthusiastic coffee drinkers to dip their toe into the specialty coffee world in an accessible, fun way. The website offers clear, illustrated guides on topics from “how to make coffee with a French press” to “how to make coffee without a coffee maker.”

Read our full review of Atlas Coffee Club.

The best small-batch coffee subscription

A box containing bags of coffee from crema.co sits open next to a plant as part of the best coffee subscription in 2021

Crema.co is community-focused subscription service offering 57 independent roasters from across the country.

Pros: Try a wide range of craft coffees, find coffee tailored to your preferences

Cons: Fewer roasters offered than some other services

Crema.co offers a lot of great features that overlap with some of our other picks: their first shipment to you is a Discovery Kit — where you figure out your preferences by tasting through a selection — and the subscription is easy to customize. 

The initial quiz is a little more interactive, asking for specific tasting notes you like and letting you know your percentage match with each brew it’s recommending. But, two unique things about Crema.co are a) its focus on tiny independent roasters b) you can take the quiz to be matched with your perfect coffee and order it by the bag, rather than setting up a subscription. 

It also has a personality-driven, informative newsletter and is proudly not on social media. If you like to feel like you’re supporting cool humans, rather than a corporation, Crema.co is a great choice.

The best coffee subscription for freshness

hands hold a bag of devocion coffee as part of the best coffee subscriptions in 2021

Devoción is 1 Brooklyn-based roaster who takes its beans from origin to roast in 10 days.

Pros: Some of the freshest coffee on the market, explore Colombian coffee terroir

Cons: Just one roaster to choose from, can only subscribe to one blend at once

If you’re committed to (or even a little obsessive about) your produce and meat being as fresh as possible, why should your coffee be any different? Brooklyn-based roaster Devoción works with Colombian growers, who harvest coffee year-round and claims “faster transport from origin to cup than any other purveyor,” which can be in as little as 10 days. 

Devoción’s coffees are flavorful, balanced, and unlike anything else on the market, thanks to its unique supplier relationships. The subscriptions are to individual blends (you can take a quiz on your preferences to be matched to your ideal blend), unlike other roasters offering subscriptions with more variety, but the coffee is next-level enough that it’s worth considering.

The best coffee subscription for cold brew

Packages of La Colombe cold brew on tap sit in a fridge as part of the best coffee subscriptions in 2021

La Colombe is one of the country’s best-known roasters, offering a wide range of products.

Pros: Always have pre-made cold brew in the fridge

Cons: Can only try one cold brew blend with that subscription

Thanks to its smooth flavor and higher caffeine content, cold brew is a staple for many coffee drinkers, especially in the summer. If keeping cold brew around is high on your priority list, consider the cold brew subscription from La Colombe

A one-gallon box with a push-button spigot will be delivered every one, two, three, or four weeks and your subscription can be paused or canceled at any time. The airtight box has a shelf life of 30 days, so if you end up with a little extra as you’re figuring out your ideal timing, it should last until you get through it. 

The La Colombe cold brew is made from dark-roasted Brazilian beans, known for their chocolatey, rich flavor.

Read the original article on Business Insider