Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the web’s best products. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Our editorial team is independent and only endorses products we believe in.
I’ve had a recent insomniac phase – an acute bout that’s kept me up til the wee hours of the morning. While not unusual, it is unfortunate to lie awake counting down my sleep (“If I fall asleep right this second, I can get five hours and thirty-six minutes.”) I’m hyper aware of the focus and the joy I miss out on by not being adequately rested.
While staring at my bedroom ceiling, I’ve had one persistent thought that keeps me ready to gun it at the beginning of my workday: at least I get my cup of coffee.
No matter how exhausted I may be, I always look forward to my first sip. (I’m not ashamed to say I recently moved my coffee maker to my bedside table so I can pour a mug before getting out of bed.) I’m a “little things” person, and I’m always grateful for my reminder to slow and savor my morning — if only for eight ounces.
I’m not alone. Like me, 64% of Americans consume coffee every day. We drink about 146 billion cups of coffee per year. But, as I recently learned, most of them are stale.
Your Coffee Is Probably Stale
If you make a pot of coffee at home, your grounds are likely months old. Your coffee blend has been sitting on that grocery store shelf – and sitting on a truck, and sitting in a warehouse – for long enough to have lost a lot of its special flavor.
Whether you’re an espresso aficionado or could care less about the chocolate-y nuances in your bean, there’s a significant difference in the luxury of your at-home pot and that $5 latte you pick up at the café on the corner – and one is directly related to freshness.
This coffee subscription addresses the staleness issue by partnering with small roasters and cult-favorite producers that ship directly to your door. Your coffee grounds are roasted and shipped out the same day (immediately fresh and flavorful), plus the brand offers dozens of chemical-free and naturally processed decaf roasts.
As a consumer, I prefer to support small and local brands, so I love that Trade makes it possible to discover independent roasteries I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Even better, Trade Coffee’s timely roasting and shipping ensures I can actually notice and appreciate the uniqueness of each cup. I used to think most coffees tasted similar because they were all stale.
I picked up on the difference in my first cup: a noticeably bolder, more enjoyable experience nestled in the earliest minutes of my day. I’d been missing out.
A Personalization Quiz Matched My Taste Against 450+ Varieties
I don’t actually drink a lot of coffee, despite my morning reliance. I might have two total before I hit the 2 P.M. cutoff I’ve determined for myself.
My go-to before Trade was a household-wide drip coffee maker and a Costco batch of Dunkin.
Because Trade offers similar convenience, I was willing to give it a shot. I didn’t want to lift a finger post-setup; I wanted to operate on the same autopilot as my current model. For onboarding, I went to the brand’s website and took the coffee matchmaking quiz. I was expecting an interrogation about my preferred flavor profile, full of aromas and specificity.
Instead, the quiz was surprisingly straightforward. It asked me about my general familiarity with coffee, how I made it, how I took it (splash of half and half at some times, black at others), and if I had any preference for roast levels. When in doubt, I deferred to Trade’s recommendation.
I opted for the “coffee that tastes like coffee” option instead of “surprising and unconventional” because I figured I’d oh-so-generously please the household. My pot would be for at least two other people, and I couldn’t be sure how they’d react to anything inventive.
Trade matched me with a blend that was rated positively by more than 90% of people like me, and for under $16 it was a better deal than the decent coffees I used to buy at the grocery store.
The Moment Of Truth: My First Bag
My first bag was the Enchanted Dark Roast by Alma Coffee in Canton, Georgia, which is veteran and woman-owned. I love the amount of backstory and information Trade provides about my assigned type (“Comforting and Rich”), including when the next roast date would be. It was mailed immediately, arriving only a few days after I finished the quiz.
I thought I was a light roast gal, as those have more caffeine; a Trade's customer experience member (who is actually judging a national coffee competition this year) encouraged me to try this dark-roasted blend with notes of milk chocolate, pecan, and molasses. I'm glad she did: the taste is bold and pleasant, ideal both for drinking black and with cream.
I upvoted it on my profile, which further strengthened the accuracy of my future recommendations. (Trade also has a field where you can input any notes to adjust future orders.)
I’ve taken a peek at my upcoming subscription delivery, and the “sweet and smooth” variety has a surprising undercurrent of rose. In my cocktails, I appreciate a botanical undercurrent, so I’m eager to try the flavor in coffee. Rarely do I ever have the opportunity to deep dive and diversify my coffee palette, although I’m used to adventuring with wine.
I Adjusted My Next Batch – And Was Pleasantly Surprised.
When I checked in on the delivery date of this next batch, I was delighted to find that my next order was set to deliver shortly. By the time I finished my pot, the next shipment had arrived.
The effortless nature of the subscription has made it an easy swap for me. I can adjust my delivery dates and cancel any time, and shipping is always free. Why wouldn’t I go with the ethical, sustainable, locally produced coffee I now have access to?
The precision of the taste alignment – and an assurance that Trade’s predictions will adapt with my preferences over time – turns an already enjoyable part of my day into a sensory experience worth savoring. Knowing all the smallest details about the blend and the local business responsible for each makes me feel like a coffee connoisseur.
Should I choose to change my format (perhaps trying a French press, or I have my eye on the cold brew option), my blends will adjust with me for optimal flavor, although my subscription will remain as easy as always.
With the intelligence and detail of its business model, it’s no surprise that Trade has shipped over five million coffee bags to date. Soon enough, I’ll be responsible for a large chunk of those!
5 Reasons To Love Trade Coffee’s Subscription:
1. With its hundreds of roasteries and beans, Trade Coffee is confident you’ll find the magical combo that gets you out of bed in the morning. Its First Match Guarantee ensures that if you don’t like their initial choice, your next bag’s on them.
2. Trade Coffee partners with small, local, independent roasters across the country who pour expertise into their craft.
3. Trade’s model adjusts over time as you rank the bags you receive, pinpointing the tastes, flavors, and roasteries that are most appealing and necessary to your lifestyle.
4. The automatic subscription means you’ll always have coffee on hand.
5. Shipping is always free – in a backyard compostable bag!