Our Driftaway Coffee Subscription Review Reveals Something You Should Know...

Do you want to know what’s the best part about waking up in the morning? Opening your front door and finding freshly roasted coffee, packaged neatly just waiting for you to brew it. The sweet, sweet smell of a coffee subscription. Somebody roasts it, someone else delivers it, and all you need to do is grind the beans and enjoy a fresh brew.

You're here because you're considering the Driftaway Coffee subscription. Read our review to find out if its right for you...we bust some myths about this product.

WHY ALL THE HYPE OVER ATLAS COFFEE CLUB?

An overwhelming number of readers have expressed their love for the Atlas coffee club recently. We took a deep dive into seeing what all the fuss was about. If you're considering a coffee subscription, check this out:

>>> Click here now to find out what all the hype is about

The Driftaway experience 'In a Nutshell'

Driftaway Coffee Review
  • Variety of Choice
  • Ease of ordering
  • Value
  • Overall Experience Quality
3.75
a bag of coffee, a cup, and an phone on a flat surface prepared for driftaway coffee reviews
driftaway coffee on table

Driftaway offers you a chance to let your taste buds choose the type of coffee you enjoy the best (​1​​​). After you receive a tasting kit with four coffees, you fill in tasting notes for the coffees in the kit. After that, Driftaway will start sending you coffees that closely match your taste preferences as noted from your first delivery.

How to Choose the Right Coffee Subscription

Not all coffee subscription services are created equal.  With dozens and dozens out there, it can be hard to choose. You need to ask yourself a few questions before committing to one.

How much coffee do you want, and how often?  Some services ship a 12 oz bag of coffee, which you’d expect to buy at a coffee shop. Others will send smaller packs, between 2 and 6 oz with a variety of coffees. Make sure you see how much coffee you will be receiving in total before assuming it’s enough for you (2). 

Most services will allow you to choose your delivery frequency, typically once a week, once every 2 weeks, or once a month.

What types of coffees do you like? Do you like blends for something balanced? Or do you like single origin coffees to taste a lot of variety? You might like the consistency of getting the same coffee each time, but others might want new coffees to mix it up a bit. 

What roast levels are offered? Many services stick to just one roast style and it might not be your favorite. Do they have a ton of variety in the coffees they source, or are they sending the same ones over and over again?

Will they grind it for you or do they only ship whole bean?

Do you have a say in what coffees you will get?  Or are you entrusting your fate to the sole discretion of someone else? Again, neither is wrong and both options exist. You just need to decide what suits you best.

Driftaway coffee reviews - coffee on the table

The Full Driftaway Coffee Subscription Review

When you subscribe, the first order you get is a tasting kit containing 4 different coffees, each roasted to a different degree. The purpose of this sampler is to get you to try different types of coffee and roast levels, so you can determine what you prefer.

"The coffees are all gourmet, single-origin selections that hail from coffee standard-bearers, such as Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, and span multiple continents." - Mara Leighton, Business Insider

Once you taste through all of the 4 coffees, your job is to select your favorite and let them know. From then on, future shipments will be in line with your preferences. If you like a full-bodied, medium roasted coffee with notes of sweet chocolate, you'll receive no more bright, acidic African coffees that taste like fruit punch.

You no longer have to buy entire bags of coffee, not knowing if you will like it or not. Their coffee tasting kit is the perfect starting point of your journey towards coffee perfection and convenience. Driftaway is convenient.

On top of the coffees themselves, the included postcards describing each coffee will have you feel like you are collecting Pokemon cards all over again.

PROS

  • Save money by paying for 6 months up front
  • Includes high quality postcards with each coffee sharing the story of the beans and the farmers.

CONS

  • Only ship whole bean, so you’ll need your own grinder.
  • Sample pack is a total of 8oz coffee, which costs the same amount as each 11 oz bag
  • More expensive than many other similar options.
  • There could be a little variety.

If you're looking for the best overall subscription, be sure to read our 2019 guide to coffee of the month clubs. Click here now to read it.

Coffee Selection: 3/5

driftaway coffee kit on table

The very first shipment, for any customer, is a sample of 4 different coffees. Each of these coffees is noticeably different.

  • Level 1 is the “Fruity Profile.” You guessed it, these coffees taste quite fruity! This profile includes lighter, brighter coffees, typically from Africa, that have sweet, bright fruit notes, a medium to high acidity and a light body.
  • Level 2 is the “Classic Profile.” This is your ‘coffee’ coffee. Expect a full body, a lower acidity and notes of chocolate and caramel.
  • Level 3 is the “Balanced Profile.” The balanced profile combines the first 2 levels to get a coffee that has a medium body, medium acidity, and a delicious blend of subtle fruit and sweet chocolate notes, or something along those lines.
  • Level 4 is the “Bold Profile.” This is the dark roast offering from Driftaway. These coffees aren’t so dark that you can’t taste the coffee itself, but it’s dark enough to appease any loyal dark roast fan.

After tasting, let Driftaway know which level you preferred. They will then start sending you coffee that matches the flavors you selected. However, and this could be significant, you don't have a say in what coffee you receive. And because Driftaway is a small roaster based in Brooklyn, NY, they don't have the range of some of the larger, broker-oriented subscription services like Mistobox or Trade.

Overall Experience: 4/5

driftaway coffee app

After you receive the initial coffee subscription box, which is a sampler pack, this service is not a coffee sampler subscription. You will receive full-size bags of one particular coffee, which suits the taste profile you chose from your initial shipment. 

Choosing your favorite style of coffee means that in future shipments, you only receive coffees that are similar. The coffees will change, but the roast and taste profile will be similar enough they shouldn't surprise you too much.

Membership Options: 5/5

You get control over how much coffee Driftaway sends you. They have 2 sizes, 11 oz, and 16 oz. (If you are on a subscription, as opposed to buying just one bag, their 16 oz is very affordable.)

You can then choose to get the coffee you have chosen every week, every other week, or just once a month.  

If you want Driftaway to be your sole source of coffee, how much you order really comes down to how much coffee you drink during the week.

If you run out of coffee in the middle of the month, that’s on you because Driftaway makes it possible to always have fresh coffee.

Unique Features: 4/5

Want to know why we all really love Driftaway? It’s the postcards! 

They are beautiful, depicting the coffee farmers and farms who produced the coffee you are drinking. On the back is the story of each coffee, where it’s from, who is picking it, and why that coffee is special.

It brings you that much closer to your coffee. It’s not just a source of caffeine in the morning, but it’s a story - and these postcards truly bring you into that story.

UPDATE - if you like the postcard aspect, you have to check out ATLAS coffee club. In terms of coffee education through postcards, they are by far the best. Read our review of Atlas coffee club here.

Not only is Driftaway committed to bringing excellent coffee to anyone in the country, but they also have a passion to improve lives through what they do. For every pound of coffee they roast, $0.05 is donated to World Coffee Research (3).

By investing in research, farmers will ultimately learn how to grow higher quality coffee, keep their coffee safe from pests and drought, and continue to provide for their families and build their lives for generations to come.

You can be a part of that change, simply by drinking great coffee.

Price: 3/5

Their tasting kit contains half a pound of coffee for you to choose your favorite. However, it's priced close to a full bag. Even compared to other specialty coffee subscription services, Driftaway is at the upper end of the price scale. 

Offsetting this is their freshness. Driftaway roasts every Sunday and ships within hours. If you place an order by 5 PM Eastern time, Driftaway will ship that day. They send reminders 24 hours before shipment so you can make changes in your order.

Driftaway is alright, but we prefer these subscriptions:

As popular as Driftaway is with customers, a subscription service is ultimately as personal as the coffee you drink. Here are our other two customer favorites for 2019:

The Atlas Coffee Club subscription - Atlas sends a different micro-lot artisan coffee each month. Their subscription comes with information on how to brew, flavor profiles, and even a postcard from the region of interest. Their flexible preferences also allow you to control the roast, grind, and quantity of coffee flowing to your door on a regular basis from all over the globe.

“They’re bona fide experts on both bean and beverage.” - The Austin American Statesman

Read our full review of Atlas Coffee Club here.

The Angels' Cup subscription -  If the hundreds of choices are just too overwhelming, consider signing up for an Angels’ Cup subscription. Each box contains blind tastings of various artisan coffees, and you can use their app to record the details and personal notes of each tasting, and join the conversation with a larger coffee community.

"True coffee nerds are always looking for their next great sip. Angels' Cup makes it easy." - Uncrate

Read our full review of Angels' Cup here.

THE VERDICT - Final Thoughts on Driftaway

The Driftaway subscription is great for those who prioritize coffee freshness above everything. They have a policy to ship within 6 hours of roasting, which is great.

The only drawbacks are: with the increasing amount of competition, freshly shipped coffee has now become standard in the coffee subscription industry. Either way, this subscription is a great choice if you're considering great coffee beans. Here's another list of amazing coffee beans.


References

  1. Coffee Subscription, Coffee Gift & Cold Brew Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/
  2. Brueck, H. (2018, June 22). Science Finds Exactly the Right Amount of Coffee You Should Drink a Day. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/business-insider/coffee-caffeine-heart-health-how-much-should-you-drink-healhty.html
  3. Word Coffee Research (n.d.). Retrieved from https://worldcoffeeresearch.org/
  • Alex
  • September 13, 2019
Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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