We have reached our final chapter in Sprudge’s Festival of Guides for 2015. And being the last installment, we wanted to make sure we had something for the last minute shopper. Sure you’re lazy and absent-minded, but that doesn’t mean you don’t care. Our final list is all about the quick and easy but awesome gift: the coffee subscription. These are literally the gifts that keeps on giving, in that coffee will continue to be delivered to the recipient well after the holidays are over. And as a gift giver, subscriptions allow you to give thoughtful presents without knowing boo about coffee; you just sign your loved one up and let the experts do the picking. Easy peasy lemon squeazy.
But you—you astute reader you—are no doubt asking, “Well, assuming I know nothing about coffee, how would I even know from which roaster to buy a subscription?” To which I say, first, your grammar is on point, and second, we’ve got you covered. There are many, many really excellent options from a host of equally awesome roasters, but here are 10 subscription options from around the world that will no doubt make you the best gift giver in the family. (Which, if you are reading this right now for gift ideas, you’re probably the worst gift giver in the family, and you should take this as an opportunity for change.)
Kaffe Box: $18/month
The Scandinavians know their coffee, and Kaffe Box selects from a constantly changing roster of some of Scandinavia’s—arguably the world’s—best roasters. $18 a month will get you 250g (around nine ounces) of coffee from the likes of Tim Wendleboe, Coffee Collective, Supreme Roastworks, and Koppi, amongst others. International flare at a pretty reasonable price. You can’t go wrong.
ReAnimator Coffee Six-Month Roaster’s Choice Subscription: $115
Philadelphia’s ReAnimator has some of the most distinct branding out there. Named after the works of H.P. Lovecraft (you read our series of coffee name origin stories, right?), ReAnimator has the coffee to match their awesome imagery. For only $115, they will send 12 ounces of coffee a month for six months to the lucky person of your choosing.
Heart Roasters Bi-Monthly Coffee Subscription: $254
Heart has consistently been one of my favorite roasters for years now. For $254, the Portland roaster will send a full pound of coffee every other week for 24 weeks, which is half of a year.
Counter Culture Coffee “Apollo” Subscription: $15.75/delivery
Made only of Ethiopian components, Counter Culture’s Apollo blend has always been a crowd pleaser (and my favorite of their blends). The Apollo originated as a seasonal espresso blend meant to showcase the brighter, more citrus-forward side of coffee. But with Counter Culture’s #AnyCoffeeAnyBrew campaign, Apollo has dropped the “espresso” portion of the title, and it is a truly versatile coffee, making it a great gift. You can choose the delivery frequency, from every one to four weeks.
Craft Coffee 3-Coffee Single Origin Sampler: $24.99/month
Can’t commit to a single roaster or just looking to try a little bit of everything from around the country? Craft Coffee’s 3-Coffee single origin sampler pack is a solid choice. They select some of the nation’s top roasters and ship coffee just a few days off roast, which is surprisingly rare among subscription services of this ilk. They also offer a variety of subscriptions based upon desired roast level. Maybe not everyone wants super light coffee; Craft Coffee has subscriptions to offer the best representation of any particular roast style.
Los Angeles Coffee Club Subscription: $19/delivery
L.A. has one of the most robust coffee scenes in the United States right now, and a subscription to the LA Coffee Club will take the recipient on a thoughtfully guided coffee tour through the City of Angels. For only $19 a delivery, the LACC will send 12 ounces of coffee from one of the 40+ roasters in the city limits at increments of one, two, or four weeks. It’s a great way to try national powerhouses like Intelligentsia, Stumptown, and Portola, while still getting familiar with smaller outfits like Compelling & Rich and Bar Nine.
Ceremony Coffee Roasters 20-Week Single Origin Subscription: $195
One of the things I love the most about subscriptions is that you get to try a little bit of everything from the roaster, and Annapolis’ Ceremony Coffee takes it one step further. Instead of getting one 12 ounce bag every other week, Ceremony will send two six ounce bags from their current single origin line up every other week, allowing you to try more of their coffees and compare them side by side.
Share Coffee Weekly Subscription: $19/delivery
What if you like the variety, but want in on a weekly basis? Share Coffee has you covered. After you choose the roast style and flavor profiles you prefer, Share will send you two six ounce bags of coffee each week based upon those preferences. And Share ships their coffees on the same day as they were roasted, so you’ll always be getting the freshest coffee possible.
La Colombe Workshop Gift Subscription: $240 for the year
This is the perfect subscription to get your parents. They already know who Todd Carmichael is because they watch Dangerous Grounds. With this subscription, they can taste the coffees he is traveling around the world to find at a click of one 12 ounce bag per month for an entire year. It’ll give them an entry point into the specialty coffee world, and they’ll be drinking really good coffee at the same time—Workshop is La Colombe's single origin lineup, which is a good term for your parents to learn now that they're into coffee. Everybody wins.
This article concludes our 2015 Festival Of Guides.