In the age of artisanal craftsmanship you shouldn’t be bound to either drinking whatever local swill passes for coffee or buying the so-called “French Roast” grounds of lies that come from one of the big coffee distributors. You should have the option of getting fresh beans from a smaller operation that is delivered right to your door. This is the purpose of coffee subscription services. They want you to have a fresh pot day after day without running to the store or choosing only from the stock that the local market carries. Each one is caffeinated joy, delivered.
We considered several options before we settled on which subscription services were worthy of the nod. They needed to deliver promptly, so that our supply was never cut off, and they needed a lot of buying choices. They also had to supply quality beans, giving the option of whole beans or grounds whenever possible. We sipped and slurped, considering the aptitude of their service reps, and how easy it was to make subscription changes. Once the jitters slowed down and the headaches went away, we had the 10 best coffee subscription services down to a science.
Test Drive: Angels’ Cup has 208 different coffees from which to pick, but it also takes a completely different approach than most taste-makers. Using Angel’s, you can subscribe to either get the coffee you want, or get a set of samples to decide what you prefer. The coffee comes numbered rather than using brand names, so you can find out what you enjoy through blind taste tests, then just order it up for a monthly subscription. It takes the guesswork out of your roast.
Incomparable Import: You wouldn’t expect the land of tea to produce one of the best coffee subscription services out there. Pact comes from the UK, but don’t hold that against them. They work with dedicated farmers and promise to pack your coffee within 7 days of being roasted, which is not a promise you’ll always get. You can make all the changes to your service you want, from frequency to size to flavor, and you’ll only be charged for what you request. The only downside is that it’s going to cost you to ship it overseas.
Old Hat: Craft Coffee has only been on the market since 2010, but that still makes them one of the earliest subscription services for getting beans to those who need them. They do a basic personality assessment to figure out what bean and subscription might be best suited to your tastes and drinking habits. You can get amounts starting at a very basic 4oz going all the way up to 24oz. Couple that with a satisfaction guarantee, and there’s little to lose and a mailbox full of flavor to be gained.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Quality Assured: Blue Bottle began in Oakland, but their philosophy and quality roasting techniques have spread nationwide. The CEO, James Freeman, refuses to let any bean live longer than 48 hours after being roasted before it is served, and those same exacting standards are passed on to the subscription service. The coffee is fresh and delivered according to the size and plan you require, with several options for the casual drinker all the way up to the serious junkie.
Direct Line: Normally we’re pleased when a company keeps their operation domestic. In the case of Vega, we’re happy they’re dug in right in the bean lands of Nicaragua. Vega’s intent is to remove the middleman and act as the sole liaison between consumers and the bean farmers. Every two or four weeks, you’ll receive the shipment you requested, all knowing that Vega is directly responsible for each bean you get, done in the grind you require, Should you have an issue, Vega will help you directly, no passing the buck.
Oddball: Counter Culture has been building relationships and making inroads with coffee growers and roasters since 1995. In more than 20 years of business, they’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You can select whatever delivery schedule works for you, buy your coffee one bag at a time, and enjoy a set of unusual fruity blends or those that offer a taste of Africa, Asia, or whatever nation strikes your fancy.
Fine Flavor: Stumptown began as a brewer out of Portland Oregon in 1999, meaning they’ve managed to survive competing with Starbucks in the Pacific Northwest, where coffee is king. They have some of the finest flavors and blends you’ve ever tasted, or will just send you whatever they’re sipping on if you ask. They do all the roasting in-house, so you’ll always be supporting American business with Stumptown.
Drift Away Coffee
Tech Tracker: Drift Away starts you out with samples to learn what you like and don’t, track your tastes on their app, then send you an arrangement that is sure to please your palette. You’ll get different seasonal varieties all selected by experts who are building a blend to fit your tastes, rather than asking you to adjust your expectations to what they have on hand. It’s always a delicious adventure with Drift Away, since they’re making each bag just for you.
Moustache Coffee Club
Newborn: Moustache Coffee is stamped with a literal drinking date so that you know when it’s going to be at maximum freshness and flavor. The people there follow trends and select beans personally to be roasted and shipped out all on the same day. You won’t be selecting your coffee, but with beans this good, you won’t need to. Trust the ‘stache and it won’t let you down.
Grady’s Brew-It-Yourself Club
Cold Hearted: Grady’s is a little more costly than the others, but that’s because there’s a little more work that goes into each of their bags. Instead of offering you a set of beans or grounds, which are relatively simple, Grady’s gives you a concentrate made for crafting an iced brew, which is mellower, but also requires more bean care to get it right. Anyone who prefers a morning chill to a hot wake-up call should go straight here.