Trade Coffee is one of the more popular coffee subscription services out there today. But with all of the other possible coffee subscriptions you could sign up for, is Trade Coffee the best option for you?
In this Trade Coffee review post, I share my honest thoughts on my experience with Trade. Read on, then decide for yourself!
About Trade Coffee Subscription
Trade believes that every cup you make should be your best ever — no matter how you take your coffee! Their mission is to unite the nation’s top roasters directly with drinkers, offering 400+ coffees that are roasted only when you put your order in. You can’t get fresher than that!
Trade uses its fancy coffee-matching algorithm to match you to the perfect roast and flavor based on your coffee profile. You can opt to receive a new bag of coffee as early as every week or as late as every 6 weeks. The best part is that each time your subscription renews, you’ll be getting a different bag of coffee so you’ll continue discovering the latest and the greatest.
Frequency: Every 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 weeks
Cost: $15-22 per month, depending on the coffee you match to and select
Ships To: US for free
Skip or pause subscription feature: Yes, you can pause your subscription for three, six, or nine weeks.
- One of the largest selections of any coffee subscription service (400+ coffees)
- You have the final choice on which coffees get delivered to you.
- Roasted-to-order and shipped fresh, within 24 hours of roasting.
- Blends and single origin options available.
- First Match Guarantee perk: if you don’t like your first match, Trade will replace it for free.
- All featured coffee roasters are vetted by the Trade team, so you don’t have to worry about getting low-quality coffees.
- Pause your subscription or skip a month based on your convenience.
- Trade’s website features great illustrated brewing guides to help you brew your best cup of coffee each time.
- The shipment packaging is lacking, especially for a first delivery (no welcome card or anything).
- No exact ship date; depends on the roaster’s shipping schedule
- The most affordable bag they carry is around $15, but you’ll probably want the good stuff, which will likely be priced above $20. This could be a lot to commit to, especially for a coffee you’ve never tried.
Trade Coffee Subscription: My Honest Review
I had recently just run out of all the bags of coffee I had brought home from my trip to Portland, OR. Among my stockpile were various bags of coffee from local artisan roasters such as Coava Coffee, Seven Virtues, and more. Instead of heading to the grocery store to pick up something I’d be familiar with, I decided to try something new. After all, I had such a good experience with the Portland coffees, I wanted to keep the coffee exploration going!
When I found Trade Coffee, I was sold on their business model. I liked the idea of having some flexibility (choosing one coffee among the few I was matched to), but not too much flexibility to the point where it would be too overwhelming to settle on one.
The Signup Process
I found that the entire sign up process was seamless and simple, and extremely user-friendly.
Upon clicking the ‘Get Matched’ button, I was taken to a short quiz that consists of just 7 questions all about my coffee preferences. The questions will differ depending on your level of experience with coffee. I chose ‘I’m at an intermediate stage’ and the the questions I got were:
- What is your coffee experience level? (New, Intermediate; Advanced; Total Coffee Nerd)
- How do you usually make coffee at home? (Coffee maker; French Press; Pour Over; AeroPress; Percolator; Chemex; Cold Brew; Espresso Machine; Moka Pot; Refillable Pods)
- Do you add anything to your coffee? (Milk; Non-dairy milk; Black; Sugar or sweetener; Flavored Creamer or syrups; a mixture of these choices)
- What roast level do you typically enjoy?
- How do you like your coffee to taste? (Classic and traditional; hints of something different; surprising and unconventional; I defer to you)
- Do you buy ground coffee, whole bean coffee, or both?
- What type of coffee do you drink? (Regular; Decaf)
Upon completing my flavor profile, I was matched to one main coffee, Huckleberry’s Guatemala Atitlan el Grano, with two additional choices to choose from. After reading the tasting notes, I went with the one that the algorithm matched me to. A day later, I received my “Your Coffee Is Roasting” email.
The website is super simple to use. I was easily able to change my shipment frequency (every 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 weeks), see when my next shipment was, and see which coffees I had on deck. I wasn’t interested in the Madcap coffee, so I switched it and opted to get the Verve coffee next.
The Delivery Process
Every roaster that Trade offers has its own schedule, which is listed under the description of each bean. Shipment is handled by the individual roaster (Huckleberry, in this instance), and is expected to occur within 24 hours of roasting. Trade sends emails along the way to keep you updated on what’s happening with your coffee.
A few other email notifications later, my bag of coffee finally arrived! Huckleberry delivered it within 3 days of receiving my order confirmation. That was pretty quick, and I was so thankful because I’d been drinking pretty unbearable Folger’s coffee in the interim. But what was most impressive was that the coffee’s roast date was only two days old! I checked the shipping label and confirmed that the coffee was shipped straight from Huckleberry’s coffee shop. Talk about fresh coffee right to your doorstep!
What I wasn’t too impressed with was how the coffee was packaged and delivered. My bag of coffee was delivered all by its lonesome, in a very flimsy and thin red plastic bag, which means there wasn’t too much protection around the coffee. The bag of coffee also felt like it had been tossed around a few times (clearly by package handlers in transit). I guess it saves over excessive use of plastic, which I’m not mad about. But as this was my first delivery, I was expecting something a little more–even a simple welcome card would have been nice.
Back to the coffee itself. Huckleberry’s coffee bag design was so colorful and the coffee smelled so good from the moment I picked it up to examine it! They were definitely freshly roasted beans. I had opted for them pre-ground since my coffee grinder was located in storage at the time of subscribing.
The coffee was everything I had expected, “Sweet and Inviting”. Overall, I was very pleased with the coffee itself. I’m not a fan of coffees with too much acidity, and this bag had a fine balance of chocolatey, hazelnut notes, and citrus flavors. Trade did awesome at matching me with something I liked–and on the first try! How impressive.
All in all, getting a new bag of coffee by mail every month is super exciting. I’m really looking forward to finishing this bag so I can try other coffees by different roasters across the country! I’m already looking forward to next month’s match, Verve’s Costa Rica Jose Alvarado, described as Chocolaty & Sweet. I can’t wait!
The Verdict – Is Trade Coffee Worth It?
With 400+ coffees available at your fingertips and an awesome matching algorithm that sorts through all those coffees for you, Trade is really great of people who want to explore new coffees with every shipment. They provide the perfect balance of choice and service.
Trade Coffee Subscription is also great if you want to be in control of how often you receive your beans. If you need the flexibility to pause your shipment or change the frequency in which you receive them, Trade is great for that. If you tend to travel a lot like I do, getting coffee every 2 or 4 weeks might be “too consistent”. Not a problem with Trade’s flexible subscription options!
If you want to discover new coffee businesses and roasts, and you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks for fresh specialty coffee, then Trade is an all-around great subscription! If you’ve found your perfect coffee match and want the same bag every time, they have a subscription for you too!
We hope this review has helped you to decide whether or not to sign up for a Trade coffee subscription. Hoping you discover the bean of your dreams!
Looking for even more coffee subscriptions to consider? Read our full roundup of coffee subscriptions to find the right fit for your coffee needs.
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