The 7 Best Coffee Subscription Boxes of 2020

Woman drinking from mug in zero waste kitchen

Getty Images/Dougal Waters

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The 7 Best Coffee Subscriptions of 2020

Best Overall: Counter Culture

Counter Culture

Counter Culture 

Since its inception, Counter Culture coffee has been devoted to the health of the natural environment in their pursuit of the perfect coffee bean — even going so far as opening their doors with a bird-friendly coffee line called Sanctuary Coffee, which focused on shade-grown coffees beneficial to migratory birds. Since then, they have sought out lasting relationships with farmers all over the coffee-producing world to bring their organic beans to your doorstep. It’s that specific, 25-year-long interest in farmers and a great product that makes Counter Culture our pick for best overall coffee delivery.

With a detailed plan for quality and sustainability that starts before the harvest begins, Counter Culture has the freedom to experiment with growing practices while guaranteeing predictability of product as well as the financial solvency of their partners by paying farmers and workers more for the work they do. The end result is unique and surprising, organic beans for all of us, completely different from what we may find commercially. Counter Culture has a holistic set of sustainability indicators, intentionally works to reduce their carbon footprint, and actively participates in climate change research to adapt and implement new practices into their production.

Counter Culture offers an impressively extensive myriad of options from around the globe like Idido, an Ethiopian cooperative of member farms throughout seven communities working in high altitude regions. For approximately $16 per 12-ounce bag, Counter Culture brings super sustainable beans to your doorstep. Head to counterculturecoffee.com to start a subscription that delivers up to 4 different bags from different regions each month.

Best Tasting Kit: Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway Coffee was started by husband and wife team Anu Menon and Suyog Mody who tried all of the locally roasted coffees in their Brooklyn neighborhood and couldn’t find their ideal roast. They tasted and tasted and realized the key to finding the right coffee was by allowing their customers the opportunity to try different roasts before digging into their subscription. The result is a subscription that provides time and choices to the discerning coffee drinker.

The tasting kit arrives with 4 different options, which you can brew individually — or, for maximum taste testing — brew them all at once. Then you rate each brew and Driftaway sends you 4 new coffees with your chosen flavor profile for the next month. The rate and review process continues until you find the perfect coffee for your morning Joe.

All coffees come from smallholder coffee farmers and include a letter about the farms and their region. The packaging is also compostable/plant-based — made from sugarcane waste and plant fiber to make sure the coffee remains fresh. The Doppio subscription is about $15 per month (if paying in advance for 6 months) and $17 per month (if paying each month) for 11 ounces of beans, roughly 22 cups coffee. Head to driftawaycoffee.com to begin your subscription.

Best Variety: Mistobox

Mistobox

Mistobox

Mistobox currently features 590 different coffees from 52 roasters. That’s a lot of options. For this reason alone, they stand out among all other subscriptions and own the crown of Best Variety for the discerning coffee drinker. You begin by answering questions about your favorite flavor profiles. Then they match you with a coffee expert, who gets to know your taste and starts suggesting coffees. Based on your preferences, your coffee expert puts suggestions into your Brew Queue. Once there, you can control which coffees are sent to your door.

They work with farmers and cafes dedicated to Fair Trade and sustainable business practices, including small farms and co-ops, so you can be confident that your product is coming from a good place and workers are being paid fair wages. The subscription itself links to your Alexa and is a very quick and easy process to navigate on your device, making them the tech favorite of all coffee subscriptions. Recommended by Goop, Buzzfeed, and LifeHacker, this is a crowd-pleasing option. Head to mistobox.com and start a subscription for around $11 a month.

Best Handmade: Verve

Verve

Verve 

Based in Santa Cruz, these local Californians came together over a shared love of roasting techniques and the perfect cup of brew. Starting at one location in Santa Cruz, they now have 13 throughout California and in Japan. They’ve been honing their skills as small-batch roasters to bring special blends to your doorstep. With a deeply conscious attitude toward fair wages and respect for the work that starts as a seed and becomes liquid in our cup, their direct trade practice exceeds the Fair Trade minimum requirements. With respect for the hands that make the beans, they carefully hand roast all of their beans on vintage Probat roasters, making sure every bean hits their desired level of roast.

Their subscription options are plentiful, allowing you to choose from a region or one of their many patented blends. The flagship espresso blend, Streetlevel, is a chocolatey and sweet blast of expression of the bean. You can choose whole beans or have them grind it one of 3 ways — coarse for French Press, medium for drip, or fine for espresso. One 12 ounce bag costs about $16, two for $32, or $47 for one kilo of your favorite bean. You can also put your coffee delivery on a schedule, once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month. With that level of expertise going into each bean, Verve offers a great opportunity to give a lot of different types of coffee a chance from the comfort of your home.

Best Healthy: Purity Coffee

Purity

Purity 

Purity’s dogmatic approach to making sure their coffee is the healthiest on the market is a testament to their sustained growth since their inception. Founders Amber and Andrew faced health issues and soon found the key after time at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies — it was coffee, specifically coffee that is free from mold, pesticides, and mycotoxins like Ochratoxin A. They test their coffee vigilantly and only source beans that pass. No bean can have a chip or a crack, and all beans must all be uniform and perfectly shaped. Their roasting protocol is unparalleled — to retain antioxidants while avoiding PAH development and reducing the amount of acrylamide. With partnerships with conscientious farmers and all organic beans, how’s that for standards?

For whole beans, their subscription starts around $18 for a 12 ounce bag or $81 for a 5 pound bag. There are only two types of Purity coffee here, standard or dark, available in either regular or decaf. These beans are sure to be the healthiest on the market, as Purity promises that they offer the only coffee that tests for health benefits first. They also have a coffee pod subscription option, which isn’t the most environmentally sound choice given the packaging, but their serving pods are eco-friendly and #5 recyclable. Give them a try and see how your health improves.

Best Instant: Crema Coffee

Crema Coffee

Crema Coffee 

Instant coffee? How can it be? But it’s true, instant coffee is making its way back to the refined palates of our most trusted coffee roasters. And Crema offers a freeze-dried version of their beans that makes an instant cup of brew that captures the elegance and boldness of their whole bean. Their culture of sustainability starts with direct and personal relationships with farmers, with a strong sense of economic vitality, environmental commitment, and social responsibility. They are zero waste and as carbon neutral as you can get, and they give back to the coffee community making sure that their personal devotion reaches beyond the footprint of their wholly self-made brick and mortar locations.

Head to crema-cofffee.com and hit the subscription tab. You can choose how often they deliver — weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Then choose how much you want, either 12 ounces for about $19 a month, 2 pounds for about $43, or 3 pounds for about $64. Also, check out their website for a host of educational resources for understanding the type of roast and brew that best suits you. You can even schedule a consultation, or a Tomsulation, with Tom, their brewing expert and all-round good guy. And finally, you can take a coffee class to get tips from the experts on how to make the perfect brew at home.

Best Vietnamese Style: Copper Cow Coffee

Copper Cow Coffee

Copper Cow Coffee 

Vietnamese coffee is the perfect blend of coffee and creamer that takes you to the other side of latte, the sweeter side. Copper Cow, the brainchild of owner Debbie Wei Mullin of Los Angeles, sends individual packets of single-serve coffee — about the size of a bag of tea. You pour hot water over the packet, let it brew, and then add the creamer packets included with the subscription to create that thick and delicious Vietnamese coffee experience at home. With a completely pesticide- and chemical-free process from soil to roast, and an eye for sustainable and organic farming processes, Copper Cow is an ingenious new product in the coffee subscription market. And don’t worry about the single-use side of their coffee packets — both the filter and grounds are compostable.

Join their Coffee Club at coppercowcoffee.com/pages/coffeeclub by choosing a box, either “just black,” with no condensed milk sweetener packets, “classic,” or “party,” which comes with an assortment of coffees, sweetened condensed milk and coconut creamers, and 2 free samples. Or, for the ultimate in choices, order the “variety” tray which includes non-coffee options like churro, lavender, rose, ginger, and decaf. With a price range starting around $30 to $42 per month, this Vietnamese style coffee will be a growing addiction to your morning cravings.  

How We Chose the Best Coffee Subscriptions

There are many coffee subscriptions available out there. Our choices reflect the most sustainable and most eco-friendly options that also have a passion for taste and accessibility. We tried to find subscriptions created by people who are as obsessed with coffee as a roaster can get — like Driftaway or Misto with their exhaustive coffee options. Or people who care deeply about the science of coffee, like the team at Purity. Or Counter Culture, who believes that the culture of their coffee is a reflection of who they are as humans. These fine companies all exhibit a deep sense of responsibility to coffee and the future of coffee on our planet.