You can often expect big results from equally sizable changes. That’s especially true when you’re making investments, whether you’re buying equipment to overhaul a home gym, smarter staples to build a better wardrobe, or a commuter bike to instill a healthier lifestyle. The same goes for brewing coffee at home. Even non-coffee nerds will see a dramatic improvement in flavor, plus long-term money savings, by using fresh, whole beans and getting some choices pieces of equipment. It’s a reasonably priced one-two punch. We recommend choosing among top-rated coffee subscriptions. These services send unique beans on the regular so you’re never in short supply.
While some subscription services can be costly, most are about the same as bags from big-name supermarkets. But we’d argue it’s money well spent when you consider a cup of black coffee from any chain will start at about $3. While it’s possible—but unlikely—to screw up fresh beans so bad it ruins the coffee’s taste, you’d need a miracle to get decent java from stale beans. If you crave consistency, look for a subscription service that roasts its own. On the other hand, if you like surprises each month, subscribe to a service that acts as a middleman between you and smaller regional roasters from around the country.
We tested a medley of services to find what we deem to be the best coffee subscriptions available now—plus makers, machines, and accessories to become your own barista.
Best Coffee Subscriptions and Gear for Better Home Brewing
Best for: Aspiring coffee nerds
From its Brooklyn headquarters, Driftaway ships beans within 48 hours of roasting in-house, pulling beans from India, Africa, South America, and Asia. While you can’t get the same coffee month to month, Driftaway uses a clever “flavor wheel” to help you hone in on what coffee notes you like so you can keep receiving those. Tastings—done over Zoom—help you understand the different flavors that come within the multi-coffee Explorer Box, which kicks off the subscription service.
[From $14.40 for 8 ounces; driftaway.coffee]