When I last reviewed coffee subscriptions in the spring, I showcased companies based on customer type. However, the landscape continues to evolve and grow. Now, given there are a multitude of offerings – nearly 100 – creating a “best of” list proves difficult. Indeed, the market may be nearing a saturation point given Burger King launched a coffee subscription service and many others promote themselves and deliver through Amazon. Still, coffee drinkers need some way to figure out who to try from the wealth of options.
On a side note, the idea of buying coffee from a distant location and shipping it to your home may seem antithetical to the sustainable, local food movement. However, since practically all specialty coffee is farmed and processed in farflung corners of the world’s equatorial belt, final shipment to your home is actually one of the shorter legs in the arduous journey a coffee bean endures to get to your cup.
Previously covered subscription services include Driftaway, Angel’s Cup, Craft, Collected Coffee, Stay Roasted, and Mistobox. Here are four more:
Trade has been in business less than two years, but they entered this competitive space with an impressive offering, from breadth of coverage in roasters to the aesthetic appeal of its site. Customers answer a simple set of introductory questions, and can also browse over 400 different coffees, equipment, and how-to guides. For those who wanted a guided tour through their coffee choices, the site can also use your reactions to tailor a personalized recommendation.
For those who don’t live in southern California, or used to and miss the coffee scene, LA Coffee Club offers the small scale roaster that even denizens of this car-packed sprawling megalopolis are unaware of – or can’t get to due to traffic. Choose from over 40 roasters with subscription deliveries on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.
From the northwest corner of the US, Bean Box specializes in roasters mostly from Seattle, except one in particular (no Starbucks in your delivery box). They’ll offer recommendations and distill the ordering process to just three decisions – 4 mini-bag samplers or coffee of the month; delivery frequency; and payment plan. Though Bean Box previously offered only whole beans, founders changed their stance offer ground coffee, reasoning their precise equipment will beat your spice grinder any day.
Crema helps customers choose coffees based on their preferred flavors by highlighting a particular taste with a photo. Think images of peaches, lemon squares, chocolate squares, and cinnamon sticks to get drinkers excited about a particular coffee. Customers can also select by roast level and process style (e.g., washed versus natural) and there are even decaffeinated options. Crèma sells coffees from over 30 different roasters around the US.