Delivery options: two or four weeks
Best for blind taste tests
Of all the coffee subscriptions we’ve tried, Angel’s Cup has my favorite twist: the blind taste test. Every time a coffee arrives, it’s in an unmarked black bag. Once you’ve decided if you like a coffee or not, you can look it up in the Angel’s Cup app, that’s when you’ll find out what you’re drinking. It’s a great way to see what you really like without any preconceived notions.
Angel’s Cup looks more like a distance coffee school than a cash subscription service. WIRED senior reviewer Scott Gilbertson strongly recommends that you try Black Box subscription. You’ll learn what you like and what you don’t like about coffee, along with a little education through the app, toaster notes, and notes from other tasters.
Delivery options: one, two, three or four weeks
Best for faster and fresher delivery
Blue Bottle is one of the oldest coffee subscriptions. It’s still fantastic, though its selection isn’t as extensive as some of the newcomers. Where Blue Bottle stands out is freshness: the company promises to ship your coffee within 24 hours of roasting.
Blue Bottle has a 10-question survey that you use to combine with the coffee you will love. His questions are not just about coffee; they ask you about your favorite chocolate and even your salad dressing. It may sound weird, but it works. WIRED senior reviewer Scott Gilbertson got excellent pairings that were among the best coffees he has tried for this guide. Blue Bottle also has a decaffeinated option.
Delivery options: one, two, three or four weeks
Best for animal lovers (Yes)
Grounds and Hounds offers roasted blends in small batches and uniquely sourced coffee, with 20 percent of its profits benefiting from animal shelters. The brand has some of my favorite coffees, especially the dark roasts. (Try the snow day winter roast when available.)
At Grounds and Hounds there are two types of subscription: a traditional plan where you choose what you want to try and a gift plan if you are shopping for someone else. We tried the first one, opting for the whole bean (ground pods and a single serving are also options), and their “Roaster’s Select” beans, which allow us to taste some different varieties. As soon as we found what we liked, we changed the subscription to this bean.
When you register, Grounds and Hounds will tell you how your money helps at animal shelters. In the case of a single bag, a weekly subscription provides approximately 800 meals a year to shelters.
Delivery options: one, two, four or eight weeks
Great coffee to reduce heartburn
Trücup is not a traditional subscription service and you really shouldn’t be on this list. But it has a very low acid content. This makes it a great choice for coffee lovers with sensitive stomachs suffering from gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn. However, if you have been diagnosed with GERD, talk to your doctor before trying Trücup.
Trücup is worth your time, even if you are lucky enough to have a stomach that can withstand normal coffee. It is one of the best options for drinking in the afternoon and evening as it is gentle and easier for the stomach. You can subscribe to the box after choosing a bag or making it a one-time purchase.
Delivery options: one to 12 weeks
Subscription Beans Vs. Locally roasted beans
All of these subscription services produce killer coffee beans and they all taste good. But none of them taste better than locally roasted coffee. To get the tastiest coffee that has a direct impact on your community, will serve you best if you’re looking for local coffee roasters, whether it’s a coffee shop in the same city, state, or geographic region.
The coffee is at its best shortly after roasting. The longer it is on a shelf or in a delivery truck, the less tasty it will be. In addition, ordering coffee locally minimizes the environmental impact of sending things from all over the country (or continent). The best way to do this is to head to your local coffee shop and take a look at the coffee they serve. (They can even roast and sell theirs!)
How we tried it and how you should do it
To test these subscriptions, we crafted each bag in different ways to see which grains were best suited to which method of making. It’s worth doing the same if you have access to different brewing methods, especially if you opt for a subscription that offers a lot of variety. A toast that makes a good espresso shot doesn’t necessarily make the best coffee to pour.
Along the same lines, take notes on what you like and what you don’t. Several of these services have very nice websites where you can record your notes and mark specific coffees that you liked. Take advantage of these features, because you’ll probably forget about it. Coffee keeps coming with these subscriptions, which is both a blessing and a curse. If you want more tips, be sure to read our guide to making the best coffee at home.
We destigmatize decaffeinated
Coffee lovers are a fickle group and people like to drink decaffeinated. But here’s the thing: decaffeinated can be good. Yes, the decaffeination process changes the flavor, and yes, delicate floral notes are often lost. It’s unfair to rule out that people enjoy coffee, period and point, and talking about decaffeinated coffee can also be helpful. Drinking caffeinated coffee all day can seriously affect your sleep, and some people may not tolerate caffeine for medical reasons or simply don’t like the way it makes them feel or the way it interacts with certain medications.
Coffee is for everyone! There is such a thing as bo decaffeinated and three of our favorite services on this list offer a selection of decaffeinated coffee (Trade, Mistobox and Cometeer). Even if you’re a caffeine demon, it can be nice to relax with a cup of decaffeinated in the evening; it is especially suitable for mixed espresso drinks, where the typically daring chocolate and smoky notes can bring a mocha to life. Even in a French press or pouring context, decaffeinated (or a mixture of decaffeinated and caffeinated beans) is a good choice for afternoon coffee service. You don’t have to worry about nervousness or afternoon insomnia.