Best coffee subscriptions and monthly clubs to gift in 2021 – CNET

If you’re looking for a great gift for a coffee lover, my advice is to just get straight to the point and saddle them with the good stuff. Coffee, that is. There are other options, but it’s more likely than not they’ll want to choose their own coffee-making device. And if the coffee drinker in your life is anything like me, they’ve already got more mugs than cupboard space. Gifting a coffee subscription to the caffeine consumer on your list will ensure they have good beans month after month for as long as you send them.

Need a gift for your boss, a colleague or a friend? A subscription to one of these coffee clubs is as close to a no-brainer gift as there is. Remember, caffeine stimulates dopamine, which is one of the main chemicals the brain and body use to feel pleasure. So yeah, being responsible for good coffee showing up to a java-loving friend or family member’s door is likely to land you in good graces. 

The benefits of a coffee subscription or coffee-of-the-month club are obvious. For one, they’ll never go without so you’re always looking at it and never looking for it. Then there’s the variety, with beans procured from far-off lands and micro-roasters to deliver truly unique coffee tasting experiences. And if a subscription feels like to much, most of these coffee clubs and retailers offer a one-time send of special beans — ground or whole. Hey, it’s certainly more interesting than a bottle of wine or fruit basket.

There are many coffee delivery services to choose from in 2021, so finding the best coffee subscription or coffee-of-the-month club to gift this holiday takes a little comparison shopping and we’re here to make that easier. Different coffee subscriptions have carved out their niche in the category, whether that means delivering really (really) good and rare coffee beans from small roasters, a fun theme or charitable element or an emphasis on ethical, fair-trade coffee. But the best coffee subscription for you is the one that delivers the beans they love most with the least hassle and also fits within your budget. 

Maybe your giftee is a coffee creature of habit and likes to have the same — or similar — coffee beans sent monthly. Or perhaps they are a more adventurous coffee drinker looking to try as many new styles, blends and roasts as possible. The good news is all of these online coffee delivery outfits let you subscribe without long-term commitments or complicated contracts. Many also have flexible plans or allow you to make one-time purchases if you have a subscription phobia. (I blame those CD clubs from the ’90s.)

Whether it’s a gift for the 2021 holiday season or just for you, read on to learn more about the best popular coffee subscriptions available in 2021. We’ve tested several but not all of these services and made note of the ones we did. As we continue to try more coffee clubs, we’ll update this list with the things we liked and those we didn’t.

Any of these subscriptions can be gifted seamlessly, too. In most cases, all you’ll need is the recipient’s address. Many have curated gift packs and curated sends if you’re going for the one-time send. 

Cream not included.

Read more: Best coffee maker in 2021

crema-coffee-subscription

A coffee subscription ensures you never run out of java.

Crema.co

Mistobox

Some folks can be particular about their coffee beans and Mistobox understands that. Celebrates it, even. When you join this slick coffee subscription club, it’ll take you through a tasting quiz to hone in on exactly what types of coffee you like. You’ll answer questions about the preferred roast level and intensity, blends versus single-origin and more. MistoBox even wants to know how you take your coffee — black, with cream or espresso-style. From there it’ll pull from a roster of over 50 roasters and get the best beans in your hands monthly. The service will then use an algorithm based on what you liked and didn’t like to keep the coffee you do like — and similar roasts — rolling in.

With shipping ($5 per order) a 12-ounce bag of beans will run you in the neighborhood of $15 a bag but you can save a little by paying up front for a longer subscription. I tried this subscription and found it had one of the most impressive rosters of producers including cult favorites such as Methodical, Bixby Brothers and Ritual.

Bean & Bean

If supporting women-owned businesses and drinking good coffee are both important to you, Bean & Bean is the best option for a coffee subscription. This NYC-based roaster sends some of the best organic, fair trade coffee from various regions around the world to you in signature bright purple packaging. Many of the service’s producers are female-owned and you can use a filter to narrow your search to include only those. 

The subscription process starts off with a quick questionnaire in which you can select a specific roast or you can choose to have Bean & Bean send a variety of female-powered coffees each month. They’ll even grind the beans to the exact consistency you want — or they can send whole beans. I tried the organic Peru Las Damas (chocolate lemon and orange notes) and a female-owned Santa Felisha Purple Gesha honey coffee from Guatemala and both were fresh-tasting, complex and flavorful. 

This is one of the pricier services and breaks down to about $19 a bag (inclusive of shipping). But considering it’s mostly organic and fair-trade coffee that supports female-owned businesses and the coffee is all roasted and ground to order, I think it’s worth the extra few bucks a month. Bean & Bean also has an online marketplace with other products like tea, matcha, instant coffee, honey coffee and more.

Atlas Coffee Club

Atlas Coffee Club delivers single origin craft coffee from one of 50-plus countries of independent coffee roasters where amazing coffee is produced. Not only is the coffee high quality — I got two incredible roasts from Peru – but every coffee subscription box delivery comes with a postcard featuring its country of origin, as well as a message with tasting notes and some brewing tips. It’s a feature I loved and makes the subscription service giftable too.

A full bag of coffee costs $14, and a sample shipping cost is $4.95 (to Chicago, for example), making this specialty coffee subscription a bit pricier. But it’s a fun and delicious way to try different coffees with variety and freshness from around the globe.

Trade

With a slick website and fun marketing copy this is the cool kid coffee club, to be certain. The good news is that Trade has some great beans too. If you love traveling around the US, and always check out the local coffee scene when you do, a Trade coffee subscription box is a good one for you. They’ve got all the best coffee roasters from across the country, like Gimme! from the East Coast, Sightglass from the West Coast, Intelligentsia from the third coast and even more artisan coffee roasters. 

As far as types of coffee subscription options go, you can get two 12-ounce bags of classic blends for $25 total per delivery ($12.50 a bag), or a single amazing coffee bag from one of 400 roasters for between $15 and $22 per delivery (shipping included for both options). Trade takes you through a few coffee onboarding questions to suss out your preferred coffee lover roasts, and if you need freshly ground coffee, it even lets you select your usual brew method for the perfect grind size. You can also sign up for a personalized cold brew subscription.

Grounds and Hounds

“Every pound saves a hound,” is the slogan of Grounds and Hounds coffee company, which donates 20% of all profits to dog rescue organizations. With blends like Morning Walk, Paper & Slippers and even a decaf roast called Hush Puppy, this is the perfect subscription for dog lovers. The coffee I had when I tried Ground and Hounds was fresh, smooth and mild. A great roast to please a wide range of coffee drinkers across the spectrum. You won’t find as many niche roasters with this service but what it does send is high-quality and consistently good.

You can join the Grounds and Hounds Coffee Club with a subscription starting at $14 a bag and $2 per shipment. It’s the ideal way to keep a steady supply of coffee at the ready for those post-walk mornings in front of the fireplace, with your best buddy snoozing at your feet.

Jot

Jot is a simple concept but one that works well for all you iced coffee drinkers. It’s quality cold brew concentrate delivered at a frequency of your choosing. From there you just add water and your favorite milk or nut milk (or nothing) and enjoy. The coffee actually tastes pretty good and you have total control over the strength. Honestly, sometimes all you want is a quick and easy cold brew and it don’t get much easier than this.

As a bonus, Jot comes in these chic little apothecary bottles that make a very satisfying glug when you pour them. A 6.8-ounce bottle makes 14 cups and will run you $20 a month but Jot will send the first bottle for 50% off. So give it a whirl if you love cold brew but don’t love paying $5 a cup at the coffee shop.

Just Coffee Co-Op

Completely worker-owned and established with the goal of building strong relationships with the coffee farmers from which they source their beans, Just Coffee Cooperative independent coffee roasters is a great option for those wanting a more sustainable coffee subscription. Shipping is included, and so when you select a 12-month monthly coffee subscription box, you get two 12-ounce bags each month for $26. 

Crema.co

Crema.co puts a fun spin on coffee subscriptions by allowing you to set up your coffee “playlist.” Peruse their list of coffee types or get started with a little guidance based on craft coffee roasts, types of coffee, and flavor notes. As you select coffees, they are added to your playlist to be delivered one at a time at your chosen frequency, with the option to pause deliveries at any time. Bags of roasted and blended coffee range from $15 to $19, and shipping is free. You can also send a flight of three 4-ounce bags for as little as $19.50. Just make sure you have a coffee grinder, as these bags are whole bean only.

Passion House

Passion House embodies what we mean by really, really good beans. Go with the Roaster’s Choice subscription for a different pick of coffee “genre” with each delivery, or keep it blend-free with the Roaster’s Choice Single Origin coffee subscription. Whether you pick weekly, bi-weekly or monthly coffee box delivery, you’re paying $17 per 12-ounce bag for freshly roasted coffee, plus a one-time shipping fee that averages out to be less than a dollar a bag (a single charge of $7.25). For delicious coffee made from beans this flavorful and aromatic, that is money well-spent.

Bean Box

Bean Box highlights renowned Seattle roasters and has two subscription options. The Coffee of the Month Club brings you 12 ounces of freshly roasted, hand-picked whole bean coffee (you choose the roast, or leave it open to all possibilities: light roast, medium, dark, espresso or decaf) with tasting notes and tips for freshly brewing roasted coffee to perfection, plus a sample of artisanal chocolate to enjoy with your joe. Plans start at a very affordable $69 for three months. Or if you like more variety of coffee, the Bean Box coffee sampler includes four 1.8 ounce bags of coffee in whole bean or ground format; again, you can pick your roast preference. You’ll get a caramel with this option, which starts at $24 for one month. In any case, shipping is included and you can pause or skip deliveries at any time if need be.

Sudden Coffee

If you don’t have time to wait for drip coffee or pour-over, or if you want to ensure you have better quality coffee with you at all times (whether at work, on the road or even camping) you’re in luck, because instant coffee has come a long way. Sudden Coffee is a subscription service that specializes in high-quality, single-origin coffee beans that are freeze-dried in small batches and shipped in recyclable, single-serving test tubes, so you can take them with you anywhere you go. Just add hot water (or cold if you want iced brew) and you have a shockingly great cup of amazing coffee. Deliveries come every month but you can adjust your frequency, and you receive a new variety of coffee blend each quarter (but can choose either light or dark roast). The price varies depending on how many servings you want and how frequently, but start at $20 for an 8-cup pack every month. 

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