Delivery options: One, two, three or four weeks
For the fastest, freshest delivery
Blue Chai is one of the older coffee subscriptions. It’s still great, though its selection isn’t as extensive as some newcomers. The highlight of Blue Bottle is freshness—the company promises to ship your coffee within 24 hours of roasting.
Blue Chai has a 10-question survey that it uses to match you with your favorite coffee. Its question is not just about coffee; they ask about your favorite chocolate and even salad dressing. It seems weird, but it works. Scott Gilbertson, senior reviewer of WIRED, has great pairings, among the best coffees he’s tried for this guide. Blue Bottle also has a decaf option.
Delivery options: One, two, three or four weeks
Grounds and Hounds offers small batch roast and single origin coffees, with 20% of the company’s profits going to benefit animal camps. This brand has some of my personal favorites, especially the dark roast. (Try the Snowy Day Winter Barbecue when available.)
There are two types of subscriptions at Grounds and Hounds—a traditional plan where you choose what you want to try, and a gift pack if you buy it for someone else. We tested the former, opting for the whole bean (ground powder and single-serving nut are also options) and its “Roaster’s Select” bean, which allowed us to sample several different varieties. As soon as we found something we liked, we switched the subscription to that bean.
When you sign up, Grounds and Hounds will let you know how your money is helping animal shelters. In the case of a single bag, the weekly subscription provides about 800 meals per year to the shelter.
Delivery options: One, two, four or eight weeks
Coffee is great for heartburn relief
Trücup is not a traditional subscription service and really shouldn’t be on this list. But it has a very low acid content. That makes it a great choice for coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs, those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease or heartburn. If you have been diagnosed with GERDHowever, talk to your doctor before you try Trucup.
Trücup is worth your time even if you’re lucky enough to have a stomach that can handle normal coffee. It’s a top choice for afternoon and evening drinks, as it’s more mellow and easier to digest. You can subscribe at checkout after choosing a bag or make a one-time purchase.
Delivery options: One to 12 weeks
Registered Beans vs Local Roasted Beans
All of these subscription services make great beans, and they all taste great. But nothing tastes better than locally roasted coffee. For the best coffee that has a direct impact on your community, you’ll be best served by looking up local coffee roasters–whether it’s a coffee shop in the same city. , state or geographic area.
Coffee tastes best right after roasting. The longer it sits on a shelf or on a delivery truck, the less flavorful it will be. Additionally, ordering coffee locally minimizes the environmental impact of shipping goods from across the country (or across the continent). The best way to do that is to go to your local coffee shop and see what kind of coffee they serve. (They can even roast and sell their own!)
How we tested it and how should you do it
To test these subscriptions, we incubated each bag in different ways to see which beans were best suited to which brewing method. You should do the same thing if you have access to different brewing methods, especially if you choose a subscription that offers multiple varieties. One roasting way to make a great espresso doesn’t necessarily make for the best pour.
Likewise, jot down your likes and dislikes. Some of these services have very nice websites where you can jot down your notes and bookmark specific coffees you like. Take advantage of these features, because you will probably forget. Coffee never stops coming to these subscriptions, which is both a blessing and a curse. If you want some more suggestions, be sure to read our guide to Make better coffee at home.
Let’s distinguish Decaf
Coffee aficionados are a fickle group, and they tend to enjoy latte with decaffeinated coffee drinkers. But the point is: Decaf can be good. Yes, the decaffeination process changes the flavor, and yes, you often miss the subtle floral notes. It’s not fair to exclude people from enjoying coffee, time and decaf coffee can be blasphemy as well. Drinking caffeinated coffee all day can seriously affect your sleep, and some people can’t tolerate caffeine for medical reasons or don’t like how it feels or how it interacts with certain medications.
Coffee for everyone! There is such a thing as good decaf and three of our favorites on this list offer a selection of decaffeinated coffee (Trade, Mistobox, and Cometeer). Even if you’re a coffee addict, you can relax with a cup of decaf in the evening — it goes especially well with espresso drinks, which often have a strong chocolate and smoky flavor. can really bring life to a glass of mocha. Even in the context of French press or pouring coffee, decaf (or a blend of decaf and caffeinated beans) is a good choice for an afternoon coffee service. No need to worry about afternoon restlessness or insomnia.