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August 16, 2020

What are the Best Coffee Subscription Boxes? Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

There’s nothing like a freshly-brewed cup of coffee to start the day. There’s also nothing like getting a box every month with a new brew to try. Coffee subscription boxes are the best alternative to your favorite coffee shop and help you save money over time.

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular monthly coffee subscription brands available online, along with their pros and cons. Our goal is to help you find the best subscription service based on your tastes and personal preferences.

Our Top Coffee Subscriptions Delivery (2020 UPDATED)

1 - Bean Box(Editor's Choice)

Best match for: the minimalist coffee drinker

Bean Box is a Seattle-based company that sells fantastic coffee grown by roasters in the Pacific Northwest.

The main focus is on the coffee itself, so you won’t find other products sold on the site.

You can choose the sampler box with four different coffee types or opt for a Coffee of the Month subscription. You can also select the coffees you want to include in the sampler, so you always get the roast and beans you prefer.

Bean Box guarantees the freshness of its coffee and roasts beans within five days of shipment. They also go out of their way to keep customers happy, such as offering returns on samples that you don’t like.

PROS

  • Coffees have no added flavors
  • Different subscription options based on coffee consumption
  • Subscriptions come with free shipping
  • Espresso and decaf varieties available

Cons

  • Bean Box can’t guarantee a delivery date

2 - Hawaii Coffee Company

Best match for: authentic Hawaiian coffee enthusiasts

The Hawaii Coffee Company is a partnership of different Hawaiian coffee roasters and has been around for over a hundred years.

Today, the company is the official coffee provider for Hawaiian Airlines, and you can sample some of their amazing coffee every month with their helpful subscription.

You also get a taste of the delicious Kona bean, well-known for its distinctive flavor profile and quality.

The case subscription is ideal for heavy coffee drinkers, but you can opt for single-serving coffee pod packs if you want smaller quantities.

The coffee is freshly roasted and ships to the mainland US without hassle. Even if there isn’t a sampler coffee subscription box, you can select one or more of your favorites for recurring delivery.

PROS

  • 100% locally-grown Hawaiian coffee
  • A variety of coffee flavors and types
  • Blends created by famous Hawaiian chefs
  • Multipack single-serve options

Cons

  • No monthly subscription box

3 - Drift Away Coffee

Best match for: people who like to try new brews

Driftaway Coffee started with the simple goal of connecting delicious, sustainable, and freshly roasted coffee to its customers.

Its founders are genuine coffee lovers and help demystify the selection process with a unique approach: try it first.

You receive your first box with different samples.

After you try the flavors, there’s a survey to fill out that further narrows down your taste preferences.

Then, the company matches you with different, new coffee delivered every month based on your taste preference. Although the beans are from around the world, Driftaway uses its own roasters, ensuring a fresh batch delivered every time.

PROS

  • The first box helps you decide, not guess the coffees you want
  • Freshly-roasted coffee from more than one country
  • Coffee beans are single origin, and each batch is traceable
  • A great emphasis on sustainability and fair trade

Cons

  • You cannot choose specific coffees with your subscription

4 - Tayst

Best match for: those who like the Hipster aesthetic

Straightforward, delicious, and with an overall friendly vibe, Tayst is a great company that lets you personalize your coffee experience and flavor profile.

Tayst helps you pick your coffee subscription box based on how many cups you drink.

The selection process is simple, and it’s not hard to narrow down which type of coffee product is right for you.

Although there aren’t a lot of coffee varieties, the quality of the beans is excellent. The company also sources its beans from farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance, so your cup of coffee is sustainable and prepared by responsible roasters.

PROS

  • High-quality coffee pods that work with Keurig K-Cup brewers
  • Sustainable and sourced ethically
  • Biodegradable pods that don’t harm the environment
  • You can choose the flavors you want per box, as well as how many

Cons

  • Limited coffee options compared to other sellers

5 - Humblemaker Coffee

Best match for: someone who prefers organic, fair-trade coffee

Humblemaker Coffee Co. is a beloved California-based brand that has over 300 stores throughout the US.

Like other roasters, the company offers many of its classic brews online for customers to enjoy wherever they are.

Its coffee subscription options include recurring deliveries of cold brew coffee shots (8-packs) or whole coffee beans fresh from their coffee roasters. If you try a single monthly coffee product, you’ll receive something new for one year.

Humblemaker donates 10% of its annual profit to support children with autism. Serious about sustainability and fair trade, the company only works with ethical coffee sources and cares about its environmental impact.

Humblemaker uses traditional drum roasting techniques and fluid bottom processes to prepare its beans before shipment.

PROS

  • 100% organic coffee blends
  • The company commits to helping the world
  • They are transparent about their coffee sources
  • Uses both traditional and innovative roasting methods

Cons

  • Subscriptions are for single products

6 - Koa Coffee

Best match for: uncompromising Kona bean connoisseurs

Koa Coffee sells premium Hawaiian coffee made from Kona and Mokka beans that are native to the islands.

Kona beans are grown from the soil of the Mauna Loa volcano, making them a valuable and sought-after delicacy.

Unfortunately, many roasters claim that their Kona blends are pure and then sell beans of lesser quality. This isn’t the case with Koa Coffee.

The company takes pride in and guarantees the authenticity of its premium Kona beans and coffees. Koa doesn’t have a subscription box with new different coffees to try every month because their products are limited. It does offer a coffee delivery service and multi-pack samplers if you want to try the limited varieties that Koa sells.

PROS

  • Coffees come in either 8 oz. or 1 lb. bags based on preference
  • Award-winning, authentic Hawaiian Kona and Mokka beans
  • Coffees are not blended, a sign of authenticity
  • Speedy shipping to the mainland US

Cons

  • Limited coffee variety

7 - Peet’s Coffee

Best match for: the global coffee enthusiast

Peet’s Coffee is a San Francisco based coffee house that’s been in business since the mid-1960s.

Peet’s has several coffee subscription box options to choose from based on roast preference, consumption habits, and bean origin. Subscription options include frequent brewer, small-batch, single origin, and signature blend coffees.

To determine your best coffee match, you fill out a survey. It asks about the type of coffee you prefer, roast, brew, and from what region in the world you’d like your coffee.

Based on your choices, you get multiple coffee recommendations from the blends they sell. Peet’s packaging is gorgeous, and other than their amazing coffee, the entire customer experience is flawless from the selection process to the first box you get.

PROS

  • A wide selection to choose from
  • Four subscription box options based on your preference
  • Artisan, small-batch coffees
  • A rich coffee brewing legacy spanning decades

Cons

  • Some subscriptions don’t come with free shipping

8 - The Coffee Shopping Network

Best match for: people who prefer classic and familiar coffee brands

The Coffee Shopping Network is a distributor that ships a wide range of familiar coffee brands and products.

You can think of it as the Amazon of the coffee world. The company sells coffee products from major brands like Starbucks, Nescafe, Maxwell House, and Green Mountain.

Although subscription box services aren’t available, their delivery is quick and reliable. You even get the convenience of same-day shipping on the brands you love. Coffees range from whole bean, to ground, cold brew, and K-Cups. The Coffee Shopping Network is a useful resource for a family of classic coffee drinkers.

PROS

  • Large variety of products
  • Flexible and rapid shipping options
  • Uncomplicated, classic favorites
  • Coupons and discount codes available

Cons

  • Some coffees are not fresh or premium quality

9 - Volanica Coffee

Best match for: the gourmet coffee lover

Volanica Coffee is a retailer that sells high-quality, amazing coffee from specific regions of the world.

Mainly, places that are at a high altitude and grown with mineral-rich, volcanic soil giving the coffee its distinct notes.

They have a vast selection of coffees filtered by category. Options include organic, low-acid, shade-grown, cold brew, and fair-trade coffees.

Volanica’s mission is simple: to bring high-caliber coffee to those who have a deep appreciation for it. The company also donates some of its proceeds to water initiatives and charities every year. Volanica doesn’t have a subscription box option but does offer a delivery service.

PROS

  • Premium, single-origin gourmet coffee
  • A wide selection of online coffee beans
  • Reliable delivery service
  • Thousands of happy customers

Cons

  • No monthly coffee subscription box

10 - Atlas Coffee Club

Best match for: a student of the world of coffee

Perhaps among the best-known coffee subscription box companies, Atlas promises a new coffee adventure every month.

Although the emphasis is on the single source coffee you get, the experience of an Atlas subscription is just as important.

Each box comes with high-quality coffee curated for you based on your profile and taste preferences.

Your coffee subscription also comes with brewing tips, flavor profiles, and one postcard every month from the country that your coffee came from. You’ll feel like a friend is sending you a box from a new destination, not a coffee subscription service.

PROS

  • Simple registration process
  • Rated as one of the best coffee clubs online
  • Offers single-origin, high-quality coffees
  • Thoughtfully-prepared coffee subscription boxes

Cons

  • Free shipping not available

What are the Varieties of Coffee you can get Through a Delivery Service?

Coffee companies that offer subscriptions tend to market, source, and sell their beans depending on their clients’ needs.

The quality, origin, and taste of coffee is a touchy subject for some people who prefer sustainable solutions and want to avoid farmer exploitation. Some coffee lovers prefer a single type of bean, and others aren’t sure what they like yet but are open to new experiences.

From this chaos came coffee subscriptions, a great way to discover the different kinds of coffee people drink around the world.

Most coffees come from four main bean types: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica. Arabica has a smooth flavor with lower caffeine. Robusta, as its name suggests, is stronger and has a higher caffeine percentage. Liberica is rare and has a fruity taste, while Liberica is more subtle and is a great bean for blending with others.

Most coffees fall under these categories, and blends of the different types are also common.

In terms of variety, a delivery service lets you sample the type of coffee you’ve always wanted to try or go back to a favorite brand or blend. Like tea and wine, the world of coffee is vast.

High-quality beans have excellent health benefits and unique flavor notes based on their source and origin. If you’ve only tried chain store coffee brands and you’re seeking a different experience, a coffee subscription is a great way to start exploring.

The different varieties you can get through a delivery service include:

One of the best reasons to get a coffee subscription is due to the fact that most of the roasters who cater to the US market have lost the art of serving good coffee and instead focus on profit.

You might get your daily dose of caffeine, but in terms of taste, you’re getting a bitter mouthful that needs copious amounts of sugar and cream to digest. To satisfy mass consumption, these coffees are marketed as an experience, but they are anything but that.

Delivery services are different. You get fresh, delicious coffee from places that do not have beans in your local store. From the soil they’re grown in, to the effort it took to cultivate rare beans, the coffee variety you get from a coffee subscription is hard to match.

Plus, many of the subscription companies work with social/environmental causes, so you can feel good about paying for your daily cup of joe.

You can begin with a subscription that changes the coffee type every month.

If you know that you have a preference but still want to try a new flavor, you can go with a service that lets you choose your preference. That way, you’ll still try new brands and flavors but stay within the variety you like.

If you prefer nutty, rich flavors characteristic of South American coffees, for example, choose a company that sources whole bean coffees from Brazil or Colombia. You’ve probably noted that the rarer coffees such as Kona beans don’t usually come as a coffee subscription with other products.

What’s great about the companies that sell higher-quality beans is that they don’t force you to purchase larger quantities. You’re able to purchase smaller batches to try and pick them yourself.

If you’re looking for pure, single-source coffees and not blends, there are plenty of higher-end coffee subscriptions for a single type. Some people like to use their own coffee roasters, but this won’t work with all beans.

Those looking to try different types of coffee can go with the coffee subscriptions that have a Coffee of the Month club. These clubs let you try different varieties of their coffees, and you won’t have to stick with the same old brew.

One of the benefits of a delivery service is that you can choose the timing of your deliveries. Instead of getting a monthly subscription, your box can be delivered every two weeks or even on the same day.

You might not be the type who drinks coffee frequently but still like a good quality cup from time to time. Single origin, small batches are the best option in this case and are available through a subscription.

The varieties you choose depend on your lifestyle, the causes you care about, and your taste preference.

Do Coffee Subscription Boxes Offer Sustainable, Fair Trade, and Artisan Brews?

Yes! Several of the coffee subscription services in this list encourage sustainable, fair trade practices, and that’s one of the reasons why we love them. Gourmet roasters like Peet’s Coffee offer artisan brews in-store and with every coffee bean online. When you buy from a company that cares about its craft, the quality of the coffee shines through.

Coffee subscription boxes are changing the industry, and even large corporations are paying attention. Consumers are increasingly choosing to buy their brews from companies that give back. Today’s aficionados demand a better sense of social responsibility and transparent sources. They choose companies engaging in ethical trade practices and maintaining the quality of their brews.

Why Fair Trade Matters

This practice is essential because many people are unaware that the industry has a dark underbelly that involves the exploitation of people, land, and even animals.

Workers in large coffee farms don’t get paid fair wages by many companies, and unethical practices take place for the sake of profit. One example of this is the lengths that some businesses go to satisfy the demand of Kopi Luwak coffee, the most expensive in the world. Since beans must be digested by the Asian palm civet to get their distinct taste, these animals are being captured and force-fed beans.

Other unethical actions include waste discharge from coffee companies that get dumped into rivers. A great deal of effort goes into getting the average person a cup of coffee, but it harms everyone in the process.

Fair-trade coffee means that the company pays growers a fair wage and commits to improving the quality of the communities from which they source their coffee. For this reason, many people think coffee subscriptions taste better when they’re ethical.

High-quality, select beans are not easy to grow and manage. Many companies mass-buy their coffees, and as a result, they pay farmers less than what they deserve.

Not only are the farmers short-changed, but so are the consumers who get lower-quality brews. Luckily, new and better standards are emerging.

How Consumers are Helping

Consumers are fueling the change in the industry by not supporting unethical companies.

The modern coffee drinker is better informed and has more access to information than before. With the power of the internet, coffee lovers are finding better ways to enjoy their brew without guilt.

Consumers also want to expand their horizons when it comes to finding the most delicious batch or source available. Others just want better-tasting coffee than what’s locally available in the US.

Small batch coffees and artisan brews are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for the modern coffee drinker. When you taste the difference, it’ll be challenging to go back to instant coffee or the one from your local corner store. Artisan brews go back to the basics, using traditional roasting methods in small batches.

It’s the perfect time to start exploring and find a coffee subscription that combines taste, ethical practices, and sustainability in one cup.

Can you use Coffee Delivery Services as Gifts to Others?

Every company on this list has either a gift card or offers some form of gift service for its customers. If you’re not a coffee enthusiast and you’re looking for the best coffee subscription as a gift, you have some options depending on how well you know their preferences.

You can choose a subscription box that sends the recipient a new type of coffee every month like Atlas Coffee Club. That way, you won’t have to worry if they don’t like the type. You can order a sampler package like the ones sold by Driftaway, and the recipient chooses the coffees they’d like to continue to receive. This option works if you know what type the recipient prefers.

If the options are too overwhelming, you can choose a specific brand first. Then, see if they have a gift card option that the recipient redeems through an email code. It’s the safest way to ensure that they enjoy a great brew on their terms.

FAQ

What is the Best Coffee Subscription?

Based on the quality of the coffee, the experience, and what you get with every subscription box, Atlas Coffee Club is our pick for the best coffee subscription boxes. They have delicious coffee delivered from around the world and connect you to the country from which you’re getting your daily brew. If you don’t want a subscription and like a specific type of batch, you can purchase single orders.

Is There a Coffee of the Month club?

Atlas Coffee Club has a Coffee of the Month membership. It’s the most popular option when it comes to coffee lovers with adventurous palates. You get to select favorites from a new place every month and learn how to brew your coffee based on its type and characteristics. Customers love the service and look forward to a unique experience every month.

Which Service Should You Choose?

We hope you’ve found inspiration from this list and that you’re ready to go on a new coffee adventure. If monthly memberships aren’t for you, many of these sellers deliver every two weeks or on-demand.

Transform your morning brewing routine from “meh” to “mmm” with beans that were hand-picked with love and help people improve their lives.

Bean Box

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Coffees have no added flavors
  • Different subscription options based on coffee consumption
  • Subscriptions come with free shipping
  • Espresso and decaf varieties available

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