What if you could have delicious, exotic coffee from around the world delivered straight to your home? Sounds like a dream, right? Well, your dream is about to come true!
Meet Driftaway Coffee. The company has been stealing the coffee scene spotlight lately, and understandably so, as it offers an exceptional coffee subscription and delivery service. Today, Roasty is taking a closer look at Driftaway to determine whether all of the raves are worth the reward in the long run.
Related: The Best Coffee Subscriptions
(Full disclosure: I’ve bought Driftaway Coffee as a gift several times, and I’ve also received free samples from Driftaway so we could review the product.)
The Driftaway Details
Driftaway’s coffee subscription service allows customers to try out authentically grown single-origin coffees from around the world. The company sources coffee beans from a wide variety of farms and coffee farmers, and each producer ensures that only the healthiest beans make it from their farm to your front door.
Driftaway Coffee believes that to fully invest in the creative process behind the coffee delivery service, it should also roast the beans. So, the company also roasts all the beans out of its Brooklyn, New York roastery before shipping them out. This practice ensures that the joe will reach you while it’s still fresh.
With recognition from The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, CNN, Food Network, and us (see our list of the best coffee subscriptions), Driftaway has received much notoriety because of the convenience and accessibility to coffee it gives consumers. It also allows buyers to discover unique coffee flavor profiles and meet the farmers who are behind the cultivation of the java.
Going Back In Time…
Driftaway Coffee co-owners Anu Menon and Suyog Mody created a coffee delivery service because they desired a creative outlet they could share with others. Shortly after getting married, the couple received an espresso machine and a coffee grinder, fueling their coffee addiction by letting them brew it from the comfort of their home.
Since then, they’ve been inspired to create a method for other coffee consumers to easily access delicious and authentic beans from across the globe while giving small-scale farmers a platform in the coffee market. And voila! Driftaway Coffee was born.
The Driftaway motto, “to fuel good work,” reflects the simplicity and efficiency of the company. Likewise, the company has put countless hours of work into its outstanding services while striving to make one-of-a-kind products.
As they obsess over every detail of providing fresh coffee, from mastering roasting techniques and guaranteeing safe shipping, the good folks at Driftaway never settle for subpar services or low-quality products. That kind of dedication is something we can get behind!
How a Driftaway Subscription Works
So, how can you use a Driftaway subscription to fuel your coffee addiction? Great question; we’d love to tell you!
If you’re new to using coffee delivery services, they can be intimidating at first. But have no fear; we’ll walk you through each of the four primary steps of the Driftaway process: tasting, rating, renewing, and reviewing.
Step One: Receiving an Explorer Kit
Since Driftaway believes a taste test is the best way to determine which bean origin, tasting notes, and roast profile you like best, all subscriptions start with a coffee tasting kit.
These sample coffees let you try each kind of joe Driftaway offers (We know your curiosity is piqued, but hang tight; we’ll get to those a little later.) before you decide which beans you want to enjoy on a regular basis.
You can brew each bag of the sample kit’s robust single-origin coffee beans back-to-back or sip them all at your own pace — it’s up to you. Then, after you’ve experienced all of the flavor notes in each type of coffee, choose your favorites.
From there, Driftaway uses your personal preferences to design your future shipments. No grinder at home? No problem; Driftaway doesn’t discriminate. When selecting the kinds of joe you want to receive each delivery, you can decide if you want them delivered as whole beans or ground.
We’re sure you’re dying to know: what coffee samples come in Driftaway’s tasting kit? Well, we’re dying to tell you: Fruity, Classic, Balanced, Bold, and Extra Bold.
These light roasts usually originate from African countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Since they tend to boast vibrant citrus and floral notes plus hints of honey and vanilla, these Fruity coffees tend to be a customer favorite.
Driftaway’s Classic roast beans make a smooth and savory drink. This coffee, which comes from South American countries like Colombia and Brazil, has notes of nuts and cocoa, making it a perfect choice for coffee drinkers who want their morning brew to be sweet.
The third bag in Driftaway’s coffee selection produces a balanced brew — but that makes sense given the joe’s name, doesn’t it?
Balanced beans are grown in Central American countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua and are known to have a delicious combination of citrusy orange and sweet chocolate notes. This is a light-medium roast coffee, so it’s an excellent option for anyone who likes a not-so-intense cup.
Driftaway’s Bold coffees come from countries like Peru, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea. Though these beans have different origins, they’ve got one thing in common: they’re always darker roasts. Expect to find notes of chocolate and nuts and a few sweet, fruity flavors in a Bold cup.
The Driftaway Coffee subscription box used to only include bags that fell into the four categories above. But now, at the request of diehard dark roast lovers, Driftaway added a fifth category, Extra Bold, to the mix. Expect these beans to have hints of chocolate and cola and an aroma reminiscent of some of your favorite baking spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Step Two: Virtual Tasting Experience
After receiving your initial tasting kit, it’s time to rate the beans you tried on your Driftaway account.
Driftaway Coffee’s subscription boxes stand out from others on the market thanks to the Mystery Tasting Experience the company provides. That means the sample bags in your Explorer kit have no identifying information* printed on them — no country of origin, tasting notes, farm names, nothing!
Keeping things mysterious means your opinion of the coffee won’t be swayed by its label; the only way to know what you like is to get to brewing! James McCarthy, 2013 World Brewer’s Champion,
leads virtual tastings via Zoom weekly, walking through the tastes and smells of Explorer box beans. But if you and your taste buds want to go it alone, use the included step-by-step instructions to do a self-guided tasting.
*All this information is hidden inside an envelope, but don’t spoil the experience. Wait until tasting all five batches of beans before learning more about them.
Step Three: Renewing Your Coffee
Once you’ve logged your taste profile on your Driftaway account, the company will start sending your preferred roasts at a frequency of your choice.
Now seems like a good time to mention that Driftaway is not a sampling service, so you’ll be receiving full-sized bags of coffee regularly. Oh, and you won’t be receiving five different kinds of joe with each delivery.
Those five only came with the Explorer kit (a.k.a., your first shipment). Everything that shows up at your doorstep subsequently will be whatever size coffee is on your plan.
Something cool about the Driftaway subscription service is that though you’ll still get the same taste profile you love in each delivery, the company occasionally switches the kinds of beans they send.
This means you’ll get to experience joe from a variety of origins, gain access to crops from many hard-working small-scale farmers around the world, and enjoy tasty joe every morning.
Step Four: Reviewing Your Beans
Don’t forget to rate the beans you receive from small-scale farmers! This lets you order more of the pre-ground or whole bean coffee you love and develop a bond with and appreciation for the farmers who cultivate them.
What About Cold Brewing?
Want to replicate that delicious cold drink you ordered on your last visit to the local coffee shop? Use the beans from Driftaway’s cold brew coffee kits to do it!
Driftaway cold brew subscription kits aren’t too different from the hot brewing ones, except you have three coffees to choose from instead of five. Each of these blends is carefully crafted to provide a unique taste that comes out beautifully during the cold brew method.
These cold brew-worthy beans come ready to brew in sealed mesh bags. Just pour water over the coffee bag, let it steep for 16 hours, and you have an easy-breezy chilled brew that will stay fresh in your fridge for up to a week.
The Cold Brew Tasting Kit
The primary steps for ordering Driftaway cold brew are essentially the same as the ones you’d follow to order a hot coffee subscription: start with a tasting kit, rate the cold brews you receive, and select shipping frequency.
Step one, sampling the tasting kit, means trying out three different flavor profiles: Bright, Balanced, and Bold.
Bright beans are usually African coffees that boast fruity and floral notes. Since they brew such a tasty and refreshing cup, Bright bean lovers suggest enjoying it on a hot, sunny afternoon.
As you probably guessed by their name, Balanced coffee beans have a balanced profile, possessing both chocolatey notes and citrusy acidity. This joe, hailing from Central America, is a light-medium roast.
Last but certainly not least among your samples of coffee are Bold beans. They come from a variety of locations, but each batch has noticeable hints of dark chocolate and cocoa. Of course, you can enjoy this coffee black, but many Bold buyers think it pairs well with milk or sweetener, too.
Other Driftaway Deals
Not only can you purchase Driftaway beans for yourself, but you can also gift subscriptions to your coffee-obsessed loved ones.
You only have to set the shipment details, then choose how much coffee the recipient will receive and how often. There’s even an option for noting whether they’ll receive quality coffee on their doorstep for three months, six months, or an entire year. Oh, and don’t forget to decide whether they’ll be receiving whole or already-ground beans.
You can also order a batch of coffee — classic or cold brew beans, your choice — for your workplace. Don’t forget to select the decaf option if you have colleagues who aren’t too crazy about the jitters that often follow caffeine consumption.
Things We Like
There are several good reasons to let a Driftaway subscription guide you on your coffee journey. We’ve been won over by the company’s dedication to simplicity and efficiency, plus the fact that the good folks at Driftaway do all the hard work for you (no, seriously…the only thing you have to do is brew).
Taking a significant burden off the consumer and providing access to flavorful coffee beans they may not have been able to try otherwise aren’t the only pros of Driftaway:
Driftaway helps out the little man
This company provides a platform for small, local farmers to sell their beans on a larger scale. Each batch of joe comes with a brief description of the coffee origin and info about those who cultivated it, letting each Driftaway buyer meet and appreciate the coffee producers responsible for the delicious cup they’re about to enjoy.
Driftaway gives back globally
Five cents for every pound of coffee purchased are donated to World Coffee Research. As if experiencing a wide variety of coffee from a large pool of small farmers wasn’t enough of a treat, knowing your purchase contributed to a good cause is sweet icing on the cake.
Driftaway guarantees coffee freshness
Since all batches of single-origin beans are roasted every Sunday, you can rest assured knowing every shipment contains recently roasted coffee. Every cup you brew will taste and smell fresh, kicking your day off on the right foot.
Driftaway beans are affordable
We know you can’t always spend a fortune on coffee beans (or coffee gear, for that matter). Neither can we, so we appreciate that Driftaway is one of the more affordable coffee subscription options available today. But bear in mind that the price you pay ultimately depends on how much joe you order and how often you want it delivered.
Driftaway cares about the environment
As if delivering consistently exceptional coffee quality wasn’t good enough, Driftaway’s efforts to eliminate any negative influences on the environment are also worth mentioning.
These include using eco-friendly packaging and shipping out all coffee orders in biodegradable, plastic-free materials. Furthermore, Driftaway makes sure to eradicate as much of its carbon footprint as possible by utilizing carbon-friendly operations by investing in offsets.
Things To Improve
No matter how great something is, there is always room for improvement. Driftaway Coffee delivers an outstanding product to its customers, but there are a few things the company could stand to tweak.
Driftaway doesn’t have any bean blends
We don’t love that Driftaway has no coffee blend options, only single-origin beans. There’s also no roaster variety to experiment with, so all the tasting notes tend to be relatively similar. This factor is no big deal for some coffee drinkers, but those with more adventurous taste preferences probably won’t be too satisfied in the long run.
Driftaway allows no substitutions in the Explorer kit
Everyone has different preferences for their morning coffee. While you may want everything you drink to have a fruity flavor profile, others may enjoy something on the savory side of the flavor spectrum.
But unfortunately, though, you can’t customize your Explorer kit based on your preferred flavor profile. So, even if you already know what you like, you’ll get one of the five types of coffee — Fruity, Classic, Balanced, Bold, and Extra Bold — in your tasting kit.
Things To Consider Before Buying
A Driftaway Coffee subscription — or any coffee subscription, for that matter — is a commitment. So, if you’re unsure whether or not this is a purchase that would enhance your coffee-drinking experience, ask yourself these questions:
- How often do you brew cups of coffee at home?
- Would having coffee shipped to you regularly be convenient for your lifestyle?
- What are your coffee preferences, and does the coffee subscription you are considering offer the kind and roast level of joe you like?
- Do they have both whole bean and pre-ground coffee options? Having a (high-quality) coffee grinder on hand and the ability to add a few extra minutes to your brewing routine means you can go the whole bean route. But if you don’t have a grinder and have no plans to invest in one, subscribe to a service that will send you already-ground coffee.
- What is the service’s selection of coffees like, and how many beans are there to choose from?
A Driftaway subscription may not be the best choice for every coffee lover (sorry, decaf drinkers who want options and coffee lovers who go crazy for a good bean blend). But home baristas looking to spice things up and try fresh beans frequently will get a lot out of this company and its offerings.
In our opinion, this subscription service is one of the best on the market today because of its customizability and convenience. Any java lover, from a seasoned black coffee drinker who knows what’s what in the coffee world to a newbie with a rookie palate trying to understand flavor profiling, will consider Driftaway a great outlet to experiment with.
If the Roasty stamp of approval isn’t enough to persuade you to treat yourself (or someone else) to a Driftaway subscription, purchase one of the company’s single bags of beans first. Then, if you like what you try, go all in!
Driftaway Coffee Review: Worth The Dollar, Or Total Drag?
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