On the spectrum of coffee geekdom, I fall somewhere in the middle. I own a Chemex, but it's still in the box. I grind my beans manually, but my water-to-coffee ratio is pure chaos. I still can’t tell a dark roast from a medium roast, but I do (secretly, unfairly?) dunk on my parents for their unwavering loyalty to Folgers drip coffee (which tastes like a hot cup of heartburn to me). A subscription that lets me expand my coffee horizons without having to think about it too much is just my speed. Which is why, when I first heard about Trade coffee, I perked right up.
What is Trade coffee, and how does it work?
Trade is a subscription coffee service that delivers a unique roast to your door at the frequency of your choosing — but there are quite a few things that set it apart from other subscriptions of its kind. For one thing, your Trade subscription is preceded by a quick but thorough quiz on your coffee preferences and experience level. This helps Trade match you with the perfect bag of beans.
Forever eager and ready for internet quizzes to reveal the deepest truths of my being, I dove right in, coasting through questions like: “how do you usually make coffee at home?” (answer: cold brew) “what is your coffee experience level?” (decidedly intermediate) and “do you put anything in your coffee?” (just my entire face).
I immediately loved that I didn’t need to enter my email or payment info to see my results, so I was able to get a whiff of what a Trade subscription might be like before committing to anything. After some calculations, Trade presented me with my first match: a Brazilian blend from a NYC-based roaster that comes highly recommended for cold brew and features notes of milk chocolate and nuts. I was instantly a believer, and further swayed by Trade’s promise to replace my first coffee for free if I didn’t love it.
Where does Trade get its coffee from?
Another distinction: Trade is all about sustainability and supporting small businesses, which is why it currently works with over 60 locally owned roasters across the U.S. to offer a selection of around 450 coffees — delivered to you straight from the roaster in compostable packaging. There are also several ways to adjust your subscription to make it work for your needs. You can choose the size of your coffee bag (standard or 2-pound) and the frequency of your deliveries (with options ranging from once a week to every six weeks).
You can also view and modify your coffee queue or retake the quiz to update your results at any time. And you can see when your incoming coffee was roasted, so you’ll know exactly how fresh it is. Perhaps most reassuring of all is that you can cancel at any time (I know I’m not the only one who’s been burned by subscriptions I couldn’t keep up with).
As you test-run each coffee match, you can return to the Trade site to rate it, helping to further refine your future recommendations. So essentially, the longer you stick with it, the better your coffee experience will be.
What else does Trade offer?
If you're a total novice or just want to experiment with a new brewing method, the site also has simple how-to guides for making everything from Chemex coffee to cold brew. (I immediately clicked on those cold brew instructions because I think I’m finally ready to be more intentional with my water-to-bean balance).
Trade also works as a thoughtful gift for the coffee lovers or coffee curious in your life — not to mention, a pretty impressive gift for the dads in your life ahead of Father’s Day (I’m seeing an opportunity here to rescue my folks from their decades-long Folgers funk). You can send a subscription or a one-time gift, depending on how generous you’re feeling.
Just in time for Father’s Day, get $30 off and free shipping when you sign up for a Trade coffee subscription
If you’re even the slightest bit curious, go ahead and take the Trade coffee quiz (you’ve got nothing to lose). As for me, I’ve already received my introductory coffee and am ready to prep my next batch of cold brew like a pro.
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