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- Trade Coffee Co. is our favorite coffee subscription service.
- When you take its online quiz, you get matched against 400+ roasters across the country to find your perfect brew.
- There are frequent discounts; currently, you can take 15% off your first bag and get free shipping too.
If you want to learn how to profile your ideal cuppa (and maybe self, while you’re at it), there may be no better way than with the help of Trade Coffee.
Trade is a coffee subscription service (our top-rated one, in fact) that matches your coffee preferences with more than 400 coffee brands and roasters to create a curated subscription of beans you’ll love. You answer a seven question quiz about how you like your coffee, and Trade matches you with roasters around the country that fit your ideal profile.
Depending on your profile, Trade may match you with The Classics, which is their best value plan at $25 for two 12-ounce bags. Then there’s The Hookup for those seeking something “surprising and unconventional” at $15 to $22 per 12-ounce bag. While the prices are more expensive than what you might be used to, Trade runs a good amount of discounts – right now, it’s offering 15% off your first bag, and shipping is always free.
How it works
The process, intimidating at the outset, perhaps, is so thoroughly yet tidily detailed that it’s a breeze.
What we like most about the selection and customization process is how unassuming it is. You don’t feel like you’re diving in headfirst with a sommelier who’s just out to make you feel uninformed. Instead, you get a clean page layout with four options to identify your level of java snob-hood from newbie to nerd.
Some of us on the team tested Trade’s coffee, others tried equipment. Below is a short roundup of what each of us tested along with our findings and tasting notes.
Petunias Espresso by Revelator Coffee Co.
I went for the “surprising and unconventional” choice because you only live once, as they say. I’m rarely able to place undertones within things like coffee, wine, or beer. “Enjoyable” and “not enjoyable” are my usual descriptors, and to each our own, I always believe, but this was something I could savor, and did I ever.
A bitter, velvety dark chocolate tone was punctuated by hints of red stonefruit (cherry, I suppose) as vividly as any beverage ever delivered flavor to my palate. Okay, maybe it wasn’t all that distinct (at least not for me), but it was different, and each and every morning, while the bag lasted, the thought of that thick crema greeting my tongue was enough for me to peel off the sheets and (almost) make it to work on time. Now that’s something.
I’d be happy to wake with this sensation every morning for the rest of my life, and therein am seriously considering one of these subscriptions for myself. My benevolent overlords might appreciate this motion, too, should it continue to deliver me to work on time. — Owen Burke, senior reporter
Leftist Espresso by Gimme!
I rarely go a day without coffee but typically settle for the brew in our office. The Gimme! Leftist Espresso was a nice change to my routine and provided a strong and sweet batch of coffee. I received the whole bean bag and decided to grind it into medium grounds to use with my French press.
Since it’s a light-medium roast, it was smooth and had a higher level of caffeine — meaning that I only had to have one cup to get through my morning to-do list. The actual coffee was a treat, plus I felt like it was made especially for me after using the “Get Matched” quiz on the Trade website. — Megan Foster, former editorial fellow
Cold Brew Coffee Bags by Trade Coffee Co.
Typically, I use this cheap, utility-first plastic cold brew bottle to make a quart of cold brew at home, so I decided to try this on-the-go option. One reusable Trade Cold Brew Bag can make up to five batches per 12-ounce bag of coffee (and $9.50 gets you 20 bags).
Pretty much all you need is the Trade cold brew bag, some coffee, and a glass on hand (the company notes that mason jars work well, and I’d agree). You’ll still have to wait 12 to 18 hours for your cold brew, but it’s easy, mobile, and the bags are made from corn-based fiber and blessedly compostable. — Mara Leighton, senior reporter
The bottom line
If you’re already spending $10 to $15 on a 12-ounce bag of coffee and you want to learn how to pull a better shot of espresso, make cold brew, or just learn a bit (or a lot) more about making coffee in general, then Trade Coffee might be for you.
It also makes an excellent gift for the coffee lover in your life (or soon-to-be coffee lover, once they get matched by Trade to their ideal roast).
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