Cadence: 1–4 bags/month
Our order: Most Popular Collection, featuring fan-favorite coffees like the candy bar-sweet Compass blend from Common Voice in Nashville, TN, and easy-drinking medium roast Kickstart from Greater Goods in Austin, TX
Atlas’s coffee of the month club is the most affordable subscription on the list—a monthly half bag, which makes about 15 cups of coffee, is $9. It’s also the one for someone who is curious about trying new coffee but not obsessive about their brew routine, as the information included in each box focuses more on destination than on flavor details. Each month, Atlas ships out a bag of single-origin beans from a different country, each with a little card about the growing region and brewing tips. Think of it as a thoughtful gift for that friend who is not embarrassed to put “wanderlust” in their IG bio. Choose whole bean, ground, or coffee pods (yes, Atlas makes Keurig-compatible cups), type of roast, and frequency, then sit tight as your beans are roasted to order in Austin, TX before being shipped to your doorstep. —L.J.
Price: $9/6-oz. bag, $14/12-oz. bag
Cadence: every 2 or 4 weeks
Our order: The selection rotates, but the Colombia roast—with notes of toasted graham cracker and marshmallow—is a definite highlight
MistoBox also curates hundreds of varieties of quality coffees from small roasters around the US. To narrow down those 600 options from 60 roasters, you’ll complete a quiz on your coffee preferences, then choose a subscription that starts at $12.71/bag. Signing up for a larger subscription will snag you a discount—a dozen bags of coffee come at 15% off. Each bag is roasted to order and either arrives whole or ground. (The grind’s fineness is ideal for drip coffee.)
Similarly to Trade, above, and Luna, Counter Culture, and Equator below, MistoBox places an emphasis on direct trade coffee—coffee with as short a supply chain as possible so that there are few (if any) middlemen between grower and roaster. There’s no regulating body (or even universal terminology!) within the industry for direct trade, and levels of transparency, sustainability, and, frankly, ethics, can vary from roaster to roaster. Still, MistoBox does a good job of setting the bar above that of the mass coffee market. A few roasters on MistoBox to look out for in particular: Olympia Coffee and Onyx Coffee, which both publish annual reports detailing how much they pay farmers for their beans. —L.J.
Price: starting at $12.71/bag
Cadence: every 1–4 weeks
Our order: Personalized coffee subscription
For Anyone Who Wants the Choosing Done for Them
If you’re more the variety-is-the-stuff-of-stress type, sit back and let these expert small-scale roasters choose for you.
Yes Plz co-founders Sumi Ali and Tony (Tonx) Konecny have been figures in the West Coast coffee world for years, with their collective careers spanning Victrola, Intelligentsia, and G&B. Their second venture together, Yes Plz, has stayed small and focused on one simple goal: to send out the very best coffee to home drinkers, plain and simple. There isn’t a breadth of options here. Actually, there are no options here, save for caf or decaf and frequency of shipments. One Yes Plz release goes out at a time—either blend or single origin, all roasted in LA—and blends are never repeated twice. It’s the ideal coffee subscription for anyone who orders “bartender’s choice” at a cocktail bar. You won’t learn a ton about each bag when it arrives; this is a drinking experience, not an educational experience. I tried a blend using beans from Mexico, Peru, and Ethiopia called “Creamy Dreamy.” It smelled like an oat cappuccino, right out of the bag, and had a luscious, silky finish that made me wish I could reorder. Alas, sometimes the best things in life are fleeting. —L.J.