/>
X
Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The 5 best coffee subscription services: Get beans delivered

What's the best coffee subscription service? Trade Coffee is ZDNet's top choice. We researched and compared subscription costs as well as factors like the number of roasters features and customizability to determine our top pick as well as other honorable mentions.
laura-leavitt.jpg
Written by Laura Leavitt on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

It's no fun having to figure out where the coffee is the night before, or worse, the morning that you need it. The best coffee subscriptions have emerged in part because it is convenient to have delicious, curated coffee show up on your doorstep without you having to stop by a local roaster every week to get your fresh, tasty beans.

We find that coffee subscriptions create value in a few ways beyond convenience. They also curate, in that they have someone with an expert palate evaluate each roast and make sure that it is up to the standards they want to hold for their subscribers. Coffee subscriptions also provide attunement in that some of them help you evaluate and choose a coffee that will taste great with cream and sugar or when brewed with a particular device like a Chemex. Finally, many people enjoy the tasting experience, trying something new and learning to sense all the complexity and the novelty, trying coffees roasted in different ways from all over the world.

When you choose any of our top 5 best coffee subscriptions, you or a gift recipient can enjoy all the services that are packed into these tasty shipments. While each company offers common options, like offering light, medium, and dark roasts as well as decaf, these five distinguish themselves in areas like reliable quality, sustainability, giftability, or tasting variety. 

Must read: 

Trade Coffee Company review | best coffee subscription service
Trade Coffee Company

Features:

  • Wide variety of options for making the subscription your own.
  • 100,000+ satisfied customers and lots of customer reviews.
  • More than 450 individual coffees available.

Trade Coffee has become the go-to subscription for those who want to try different kinds of coffee that fits their profile of coffee style, all while supporting great roasters all over the United States. Their system has cataloged whether any of the 450+ coffees they can access will be best with cream and sugar or best as espresso taken black, and they quickly ship coffee to you from their roaster network in a compostable bag that keeps waste packaging to a minimum while delivering highly fresh coffee. The quality is consistent enough and the flavors attuned enough to literally get them 100,000 subscribers over time. 

Pros:

  • High customer satisfaction via their many reviews.
  • Many options for roasters and coffee types.
  • Simple, compostable packaging minimizes waste and gets you coffee while it's fresh.

Cons: 

  • One of the simpler packages/designs, making it a little less gift-like than other subscriptions we feature.

Also: Best coffee grinder

MistoBox review | best coffee subscription service
MistoBox

Features:

  • Best known for their effective questionnaire to pair you with coffee
  • Classy, simple packaging for strong giftability
  • 60+ roasters means you get long-term variety

There's a trend in subscription boxes of all kinds to make it truly personalized to your tastes, be it a wine club or a shampoo and conditioner subscription. MistoBox is the coffee subscription for the person in your life who loves an extremely specific kind of coffee, brewed one way, and served at their exacting specifications. The reviews show that this box's questionnaire does a good job connecting to particular coffees, and they adjust the algorithm if you don't actually like a coffee, helping to narrow down your preferences. Between that and the classy packaging, you're sure to please your own palate and maybe even discover a new favorite.

Pros:

  • Highly-attuned questionnaire for finding your preferences
  • Recyclable packaging
  • 60+ award winning roasters supplying the beans

Cons:

  • When you see the prices on the site, factor in a $5 per shipment shipping cost

Also: Best coffee maker: The perfect brew at home

Just Coffee Cooperative review | best coffee subscription service
Just Coffee Cooperative

Features:

  • Worker-owned coffee collective with strong focus on sourcing ethical beans
  • 24+ roast options
  • Simple subscription options at affordable price point

While many roasters are committed to fair sourcing and getting everyone in the supply chain a fair deal, Just Coffee Co-Op has really taken their motto, "justice from the grounds up," to heart. You can read about the farmers they work with on their website, and they source both for quality and taste as well as to make sure that their chosen farmers make a just living from the coffee. The roastery in Madison, Wisconsin is owned by its workers, so there's no upper-level admin getting rich off your roasts, and as a result, their subscription cost is one of the lowest on our list. They have roasts from light to dark and decaf, and with a subscription, it's easy to fill your coffee pot every day and feel great about it.

Pros:

  • Ethical sourcing from farmer all the way to the people who work to pack your subscription.
  • Highly-regarded roasts in a variety of flavor profiles.
  • Affordable price point makes for great daily coffee use.

Cons:

  • Single roaster subscription, so variety is a little lower on this one.

Also: Best burr coffee grinders

Angels' Cup review | best coffee subscription service
Angels' Cup

Features:

  • Each box arrives with blind tasting samples to try
  • App allows you to guess the tasting notes then learn about the coffee
  • Sourced from hundreds of roasters for endless variety

Angels' Cup boasts the highest variety of roasters of all of the coffee subscriptions we feature, and they claim to be trying thousands of coffees a year, trying to find new tasty blends to use in their tasting flights. Their core product is a box that contains four unmarked coffees, each one with a unique number code that you can input into the free Angels' Cup app. This app allows you to brew the coffee and submit things like flavor notes and roasting profile, trying to evaluate the coffee's full subtlety. After you submit your evaluation, you can see how close you got, learn more about the coffee and read other reviews and leave your own review. Angels' Cup makes any coffee break into a combination of a wine tasting class and a party game, which makes it a unique and fun concept that can make coffee fun for everything from advanced coffee brewers to newbies who just like the caffeine and novelty.

Pros:

  • Blind tasting app makes coffee a fun game or conversation starter
  • Hundreds of roasters featured for wide-ranging options
  • 12 ounce bag delivery option if you find a new favorite

Cons:

    • One of the more expensive services per coffee serving

Also: Best single serve coffee maker

Bean Box review | best coffee subscription service
Bean Box

Features:

  • Shipments available of small samples and large bags in varying quantities
  • Coffee and sweets pairings for the sweet tooth in your life
  • Portland and Seattle roaster focus

Bean Box has a variety of subscriptions, from the coffee of the month to sampler packs that help people find their new favorite coffee from the many high-end coffee roasters in Seattle and Portland. The thoughtful touches make this subscription: Bean Box coffee comes lovingly nestled in a box with tissue paper and, in some cases, a little vanilla caramel or other treat added with the coffee. Sourcing treats from high-end bakeries and candy makers; Bean Box makes some great biscotti and coffee or chocolate and coffee treat boxes, creating a gift box that goes beyond the typical delivery of coffee. 

Pros:

  • Small and large coffee bags
  • High-end, high-quality beans from Seattle and Portland roasters
  • Variety packs with biscotti, candies, and more available

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive options on our list.
  • Less sustainable than buying local if you're living far from Seattle/Portland.

What's the best coffee subscription service?

The best coffee subscription for you may depend on the use you want: for instance, Trade Coffee's pricing is far better when you choose to buy multiple months at once for your subscription, and Just Coffee Co-Op offers only two-bag subscriptions, which are very affordable but may or may not deliver more coffee than you can use, depending on how much you typically drink. To find the best option for you, consider going through the sign-up process for each one and seeing what your ideal subscription would actually cost since most of the subscriptions have a lot of customization options that change the price. 

Coffee subscription service

Price for 12 ounces of coffee beans, including shipping

Roasters Featured

Customizable Via Survey?

Trade Coffee

$20-$25 (discounts for long-term subscriptions)

50+

Yes

MistoBox

$17-$20

60+

Yes

Just Coffee Cooperative

$14 (as part of a two-bag subscription)

1 (is a roaster, but with 24+ varieties)

No

Angels' Cup

$22.50

Hundreds

No

Bean Box

$24

30+

No

Which is the right coffee subscription service for you?

Because there are people who want to give a thoughtful wedding gift subscription, people who just want to fill their coffee pot each morning with ethical beans, and those who want to say they've tried hundreds of coffee, we set up a decision chart to help you pick the perfect coffee subscription for you. 

Choose this coffee subscription service…

If you want or are…

Trade Coffee

A tried-and-true, high-variety coffee service with compostable packaging.

MistoBox

An elegant way to get a variety of coffees that fit exactly your flavor palate.

Just Coffee Cooperative

A simple, affordable source of ethical coffee from a worker-owned company.

Angels' Cup

A gamified way to learn more about tasting notes and find your next favorite micro-roaster.

Bean Box

Fun and variety for Seattle/Portland coffee gifts.

How did we choose these coffee subscription services?

While many coffee subscriptions meet the basic goals of sending coffee while it is fresh and flavorful on a schedule, these five coffee subscriptions were selected based on their features as well as positive product reviews, as well as the reviewer's personal experiences trying the coffees. Trade Coffee, for example, has garnered thousands of positive product reviews, lending credence to the idea that they have mastered an effective supply chain that sources and sends excellent quality coffee quickly enough to get a great brew. 

Unique product offerings, like Angels' Cup's tasting flights that have a blind tasting option with an app to evaluate your coffee tasting notes, also were factored in, and product reviews that mentioned that a service like MistoBox really was able to figure out their coffee taste and send great-fit coffee were also considered.

Finally, we made sure that the coffee subscriptions had an option in the $14-$30 price range, making them comparable to buying a bag of high-quality coffee at a coffee shop, rather than selecting only bargain coffees or highly-selective, high-priced coffees. In every case, you'll pay less for a serving of coffee than you'd pay in most coffee shops, all while getting the same kind of quality, variety, and freshness that characterizes a coffee shop experience. 

What is the difference between whole bean and ground coffee subscription services?

With whole bean coffee subscriptions, the roaster completes the bean's roast and then packages the coffee, with the subscription company then mailing it out as soon as possible. With ground coffee subscriptions, the roaster then grinds the coffee, sometimes coarse or fine depending on how you'll use it, and ships it to you while it is still fresh in packaging that preserves the flavor.

What is a light roast or a dark roast in a coffee subscription?

A light roast is a bean that has been roasted for less time or to a lighter color, while a dark roast in a coffee subscription is a darker colored bean that has been given higher heat or longer duration or both in the roaster. Light roasts tend to be more floral and have a lighter flavor, with darker roasts getting more malty, chocolate-y tones and being bolder. 

What is the best coffee subscription service for decaf drinkers?

All our coffee subscription choices have great decaf options. Your best bet is to try the decaf coffee subscription that fits your other goals, like a coffee subscription with an ethical focus or a coffee subscription-like Bean Box that allows you to add sweet treats as well. Coffee subscriptions can be a great way to find a decaf coffee that actually matches your palate since they often source from many roasters and may offer better options than the decaf available in your local stores. 

Are there alternative coffee subscriptions worth considering?

A variety of excellent coffee subscriptions offer particularly great services. Many local roasters also have their own simple coffee subscription, so if you know a roaster that always knocks it out of the park, you can arrange a simple shipment from them once a month or at your given frequency.

Editorial standards

Related

The 5 best book subscription services: Get great reads delivered monthly
A pile of books stacked vertically on a bed

The 5 best book subscription services: Get great reads delivered monthly

The 5 best cheap meal delivery services: Grocery store optional
Placeholder product image alt text

The 5 best cheap meal delivery services: Grocery store optional

The 5 best car rental apps and services: Get cruising faster
Placeholder product image alt text

The 5 best car rental apps and services: Get cruising faster