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Coffee subscription services are the gift that keeps on giving. When you choose a gift coffee subscription for someone, they’ll get a new shipment of coffee every month for three, six, or twelve months. Depending on the service you choose, the coffee may be the same each month – ideal for someone who has found their perfect coffee and doesn’t care to try others – or each shipment may feature a different coffee (or array of coffees). A lot of folks avoid giving coffee subscriptions as gifts because they’re not sure which coffees their friends will enjoy, but it’s not as hard to decide as you might think. You probably know more about your friends’ coffee tastes than you think. Answering these questions will help you choose the best coffee subscription to give as a gift.
One of the most important questions: do they own and use a coffee grinder? While most subscriptions let you choose between whole bean and several different grinds, a few of the most popular ones only deliver whole bean coffee (Hello, Bean Box and Driftaway Coffee, we’re looking at you!) Can there be a worse torture than having amazing coffee – that you can’t drink because you don’t have a grinder? Of course, you could always gift them with a coffee grinder to go with their coffee…
Do they make their coffee in a single cup coffee brewer (Keurig, Nespresso, etc)? If so, that limits your choices a bit – you’ll have to choose a company that ships coffee in a form their machine can use. These are a few choices:
Coffee grind is a key factor in making really great coffee. Every coffee brewing method works best with a particular grind of coffee. If you know what type of coffee maker your recipient uses, you can pick the best grind of coffee for their machine.
Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: Medium grind, sometimes called ADC grind or all purpose grind
Espresso Machine: Fine grind, though a lot of sites will be really nice and label it “espresso grind”
French Press: Coarse grind
Moka Pot: Medium to medium-coarse grind (note: a lot of coffee experts will tell you to use fine or extra fine grind for moka. Don’t do it. Take it from someone who makes coffee with a moka pot every day – fine grind in a moka pot equals bitter coffee)
Percolator: Coarse grind, similar to French press
Manual Drip (coffee cone): Medium-fine grind
Aeropress: Coarse Grind
Cold Brew: Extra Coarse
Chemex: Medium Coarse
Vacuum Pots/Siphon Pots: Extra Fine
Knowing what kind of coffee your friend usually drinks gives you a head start on choosing coffees that they’ll like in their gift subscription. If they have a particular roaster they really like, you may just luck out and find that the roaster offers their own subscription boxes – Blue Bottle Coffee is a fine example. If they’re big Starbucks fans, they’ll probably love the Starbucks Reserve subscription. Adventurous friends will probably enjoy coffee tour subscriptions, that offer different, curated coffee selections every month.
If you’re not sure what kind of coffee they like, many subscription services let gift subscription recipients choose their own coffees, or start them off with a tasting sample so they can figure out what they like. For those, choose Mistobox or Craft Coffee.
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