Coffee, like wine, is a beverage that reflects where it’s grown. There are varieties specific to a place, like kapeng barako from the Philippines, as well as styles specific to a place, like a perfected cup of Vietnamese coffee. But you don’t have to go traversing the world to get a taste of the coffees of the world. Instead, let coffee subscriptions bring the flavors of the world to you.
These coffee subscriptions make it easy to make a cup from beans that originated wherever you desire. Plus, most have a sustainability focus — both environmental sustainability and livelihood sustainability for the people who grow the coffee we love so much.
As you might gather from the name of the brand, Volcanica Coffee focuses on coffee sourced from more than 150 volcanic regions around the world. And, as coffee nerds know, volcanic regions are perfect for coffee trees. The owners were inspired by the coffee from Costa Rica (a volcanic region you can buy beans from through Volcanica), and today the brand’s focus is on single-origin and estate coffees that have a sense of place. Volcanica is also where you can find peaberry coffee, which comes from a mutation in the tree that causes one bean, rather than two, in each coffee cherry.
The coffee is roasted on demand in Atlanta, and the roasting date is printed on the bag so you know you’re getting it fresh. The beans themselves are sourced from coffee farms and local cooperatives, and are sorted by four general regions: Africa and Arabia, Americas, Caribbean, and Indonesia and Pacific. Maybe that means you opt for a Costa Rican peaberry that’s grown at an elevation of 5,200 feet, or perhaps it’s a Tanzanian coffee grown in the Ngorongoro Crater. Whatever your preferences, you can change up your subscriptions or layer various weekly subscriptions to fit what you enjoy.
As part of its mission to give back, one percent of retail sales is donated to charity: water to support the organizations clean water initiatives.
Subscription cost: 10 percent off purchases, which start at $16.99 per 16-ounce bag
Atlas Coffee Club
If you’re looking for a worldly coffee subscription that has an equally worldly name, look no further than Atlas Coffee Club. The brand’s coffee of the month club ships a 12-ounce bag of coffee that originates in countries like Colombia, Kenya, the western highland of Papua New Guinea, Honduras, and more — each month features a different country, so you can set your morning taste buds to a different spot every four weeks (or two weeks if you choose the more frequent shipping option).
Along with the coffee, each shipment comes with a postcard of the location, flavor notes, and brewing tips. There’s a lot to choose from, and you can narrow your selection down by whether you prefer whole bean or ground coffee, as well as by your roast preference.
Subscription cost: $28 per shipment, and half price for your first order
Red Bay Coffee
Keba Konte started Red Bay Coffee Roasters in Oakland in 2014. Diversity, inclusion, and social and economic restoration are at the heart of the company’s ethos. The coffees include options like the Coltrane (a single-origin Colombian coffee), the Motherland (a single-origin Burundi coffee), and the Gondo (a single-origin Kenyan coffee). You can choose a subscription option when you purchase for a 10 percent discount on each 12-ounce bag that arrives weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Subscription cost: 10 percent discount on each 12-ounce bag
The first thing you need to know about Gento Coffee and the brand’s coffee subscription is that it starts, and for the most part stays, in Guatemala. The coffee comes straight from the coffee farms it’s grown and roasted on (shipments go out within 24 hours of being roasted). The farms are shade-grown and farmed in high-altitude volcanic soil. Gento works directly with the producers, meaning that the people who make the farmer-roasted, high-quality coffees get higher pay than fair-trade prices in the extremely volatile coffee market. This way you know the money you’re spending actually stays with the people who put in the work rather than a large chunk going to middlemen.
Gento’s subscription comes with bi-weekly or monthly shipment options. With the Roaster’s Choice subscription, different varieties from varying regions (both single-origin and blends) let the subscriber experience some of the best in Guatemalan coffee. Plus, 10 percent of profits go to Guatemalan food security and education programs.
Subscription cost: 12-ounce bags start at about $15, and you save 20 percent on each bag with a subscription
With Kurasu Coffee’s partner roaster plan, the brand works with a different specialty roaster in Japan each month to give a taste of what Japanese roasters are making across the country. The exact variety and roast type depends on the roaster, meaning you get what you get so that each producer can show off what they want to highlight. The Kurasu roast plan picks from what the company is particularly into at the time, including subscription exclusives — typically this means light roasts, and all are designed for filter coffee. Shipments also include information on the roaster and recipe.
Kurasu started in 2013 as a way to get homegoods from Japan to Australia. Japanese coffee culture was a hit, and it became the main focus of Kurasu (which means “lifestyle” in Japanese). Today, the Kyoto-based subscription service is an easy way to get a taste of Japanese coffee regardless of where you live.
Subscription cost: $31 per month
Trade Coffee delivers beans and grounds from 22 countries, ranging from Burundi to Cameroon to El Salvador to Yemen. Even for the well-traveled coffee brands on this list, that’s a lot — and many of the countries listed are places you can’t easily find coffee from at the store or online. Trade Coffee offers more than 400 roasted-to-order coffees in all.
Starting a subscription starts with an eight-question survey about the types of coffee you typically drink and how you typically prepare it. From there, you can customize the order frequency and amount, and you can always swap something else in before the order ships.
Subscription cost: Plans vary, but start at about $12.50 per 12-ounce bag
Like others listed here, Driftaway is a coffee company with a mission to help the people who so often are left out of the conversation: the farmers. The Brooklyn-based brand roasts the coffees that are grown in Peru, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere. Subscription plans start with a tasting kit to dial in on the subscriber’s personal preferences. The four options are rated with notes on Driftaway’s app, and then shipments of the coffee that is a best match are sent either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The packaging it comes in is 100 percent compostable, 5 cents for every pound is donated to the World Coffee Research, and 100 percent of shipping and operations emissions are offset.
Subscription cost: From $17.10 per 12-ounce bag, with options for a one-pound bag that starts at $21.60 each and a two-pound bag that starts at $32.40 each
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