I’m one of those weirdos who drinks iced coffee all year round. As I gradually researched and invested in all the proper equipment to make my own in my home (cold brew canister, portable burr grinder, gingham bags), I struggled to find coffee worth all that handy run. That’s why when I heard about Trade, a coffee subscription service that uses “data-driven recommendations” to bring you unique, locally roasted coffee based on your specific preferences, it immediately piqued my interest.
How does Trade Coffee subscription work?
As far as coffee subscriptions go, commerce takes a more advanced approach than some of the other popular models. It all starts with a short online quiz that helps Trade learn more about your current coffee routine and your tastes. To me, it seemed like a small functional efficacy test, but for caffeinated drinks (falling off the wrong path just meant I was buying mediocre coffee at the grocery store).
After quickly analyzing my results, Trade searched their catalog of over 450 coffees sourced from dozens of mini roasters to find the perfect coffee beans. The first match in my queue seemed like it was made just for me: a smooth, delicious medium-chocolate roast over ice. Although this wasn’t part of my plan, I was so tempted that I immediately handed over my credit card information (in the name of research, I told myself).
With that said, my first game was on my way straight from the roaster, equipped with Trademark’s signature cherry red can (which, by the way, is compostable). I was eager to see if the Joe Coffee Amsterdam blend was the thing that would finally get me coffee at home.
The Trade website shows roasting schedules for your matches, so I was able to see exactly how fresh the coffee beans are. But, if there are any doubts, I can also tell you of the slightly sweet smell that struck me as soon as I opened the sachet.
To finish the chase, I made my first match. The flavor profile was exactly as the trade described it: smooth and full with a hint of chocolate. And in cold brew form, it’s made easy. In fact, it’s so easy, because I found myself drinking more than I usually do, which I didn’t think was possible.
With a commercial subscription, customization doesn’t end with this preliminary test. Shortly after receiving my first bag, I received an email from Trade inviting me to rate it. The trade uses this feedback to improve future matches and will replace your first bag for free if you don’t like it.
Commerce has a great deal of flexibility in terms of shipping frequency – another advantage that I appreciate. When I first signed up, I could only Choose between every week, every week and a half, or every two weeks. But after setup, I was able to update my shipment distribution preferences by up to six weeks. (I’ve left it set to deliveries twice a month, because I’m an optimist and a bottomless well for cold brewing.) You can also view and edit the coffee queue if there’s anything you don’t feel like.
If it turns out that Trade isn’t for you, it’s easy to cancel your subscription at any time, so it really does feel like a low risk and rewards position.
What else can you get with Trade?
While gift giving isn’t usually an area I shine in, I can’t help noticing that a business subscription would make a very thoughtful gift for a variety of occasions. (Is this the year you finally got a winning Father’s Day gift locked early?) Choose from multiple subscription periods or a one-time “celebration box” with a coordinated flight of coffee, depending on your budget and how much the actual amount is like a person.