is nearly upon us, and it's never too early to start ticking people off the list. If the idea of picking out shirts or sneakers for another person makes you sweat, I don't blame you. There are more failproof gift options that aren't a bottle of wine (no offense to wine), and a coffee subscription or membership to a monthly coffee club is as good as any. For coffee drinkers not too set in their ways, a coffee subscription is an excellent way for them to try new roasts from small producers and expand their horizons when it comes to this mandatory morning beverage.
And if you're seeking a great gift for your boss or colleague, a subscription to one of our favorite coffee clubs (or) will have you in good graces, and perhaps in the running for a raise, too.
Why a coffee subscription makes a great gift
The benefits of a coffee subscription or coffee-of-the-month club are obvious. Coffee can be one of those groceries you forget to chuck in the cart, and it's never fun when you do. A coffee subscription ensures good beans are always on hand. Then there's the matter of variety, with beans procured from far-off lands and micro-roasters to deliver truly unique coffee-tasting experiences. And if a subscription feels like too much, most coffee clubs and online coffee retailers offer a one-time send of beans -- ground or whole. Hey, it's certainly more interesting than a basket of fruit.
The best coffee clubs and subscriptions to give as gifts
While some subscriptions had some misses together with the hits, I tried Equator Coffee for a few months and there wasn't a bad bean in the bunch. Yes, taste is subjective, but for me, this was the most consistent coffee subscription service, sending fresh, flavorful and interesting whole beans from places like Ethiopia and Colombia.
Curated blend subscriptions start at $16 and will net you one 12-ounce bag of coffee per month (free shipping). The single-origin subscription is $19 a month. If you don't want to commit to a subscription, Equator has an entire shop of fabulous coffee available for a one-time send. Shipping is free over $40.
This might be the most giftable of the coffee subscriptions simply because each send feels very much like a friend sent it from the other side of the world.
Atlas Coffee Club delivers single origin craft coffee from more than 50 countries and draws from 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.
Some folks can be particular about their coffee beans and Mistobox understands that. Celebrates it, even.
This is another coffee club we tried and it really does feel like a club. 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.
This is one of the smartest coffee subscriptions I tried. Trade has taste algorithms down to a science and just about every coffee I had delivered was right in my flavor wheelhouse.
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.
"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 but perhaps a little less exciting than some of the other clubs. A great subscription to please a wide range of coffee drinkers with nothing that will scare away a person with a less adventurous palate. You also 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.
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.
In a trial run of Bean & Bean, I got some of the most interesting coffees of any club on the list. 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.
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.
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 doesn'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.
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 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.
Coffee clubs and subscriptions FAQs
What are the benefits of a coffee club subscription?
The biggest benefits of joining a coffee club are convenience, variety, quality and freshness. Because you can tailor your coffee delivery to the amount you use, you'll likely never be without it. As they say, "it's better to be looking at it than looking for it."
The best coffee clubs and subscriptions offer high-quality single-origin and blended roasts from small roasters around the world. If you're keen on trying new and interesting coffee, a coffee subscription is one of the easiest ways to do it. With regards to freshness, coffee clubs are often roasted just before they're sent to you and many will provide the roast date ahead of time -- the same can't be said for buying beans in the grocery store.
Can you change the subscription frequency?
Yes. Nearly every coffee club we tested allows for flexibility in how much coffee you'll receive, even after you sign up. You might want to do a little quick math in your head to estimate how much coffee you consume in a given month, but many of the coffee vendors help you do that in the initial quiz or questionnaire to help you find a perfect coffee cadence.
Most services offer a month-to-month plan (easy to change or cancel) but also three, six or 12-month commitments at a discounted monthly price The latter may be more difficult to change, so be sure to read the fine print before signing up for a longer coffee subscription contract.
Is a coffee club subscription worth it?
Coffee subscriptions and monthly clubs are great for having coffee always in stock, securing extremely high-quality and freshly roasted beans and also trying new types of coffee, but most aren't going to save you money over budget, store-bought coffee. If you're happy drinking Folgers or Cafe Bustelo, a coffee club may be a pricier option and not worth it. If you're more of a coffee connoisseur type who tends to opt for high-end beans at the market, a coffee club won't be as big of a splurge.
Can you gift a coffee club or subscription?
Great gifts for coffee drinkers are abundant these days. There are coffee grinders, mugs and the actual coffee maker itself, of course -- although that last one may be best left for someone to choose themselves. What a coffee drinker can never have enough of is beans, which is why giving a coffee subscription that delivers high-quality and unique coffee is about as foolproof as it gets.
Most services allow you to send a one-time delivery of coffee to a loved one, or you can sign them for for a three-, six or 12-month subscription and keep them caffeinated with good beans all year. Most also offer a gift certificate option so the recipient can pick the beans themselves.