Driftaway Coffee

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Subscription Model

Do you remember a few decades back we had Movie, DVD, and CD subscriptions? We could rent movies and return them after we were done. It made for a great share-model service where everyone could benefit from just one product. I am not sure why no one thought the same for a coffee subscription model during those times and even much later.

Thankfully, various start-ups around the globe do just that. And today, we will give a review of one of them.

A Few Details About Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway is a Brooklyn-based start-up that wants to help you narrow down the perfect choice of coffee for you and provide you the same taste and flavor every time you order. It offers customized coffee varieties that suit individual needs.

They are very environmentally and socially conscious company that also does the following:

  • The huge importance is put on ethics in their operations by having a Price Transparency Pledge wherein you will be able to see exactly how much they pay for their coffees on their website.
  • They offset their carbon emissions by contributing to the Alto Mayo Protection forest.
  • The shipments are packed into plastic-free compostable material.
  • They have a farmer feedback program, where you can share feedback with the farmers.

The Subscription Driftaway Coffee

Imagine the best part of waking up is to taste that wonderful cup or mug of coffee as you laze around the bed or the house waiting for the senses to kick in and the brain to get into full-active mode for the day.

The best part about coffee is that it comes in a variety of versions. From the regions, country, and state, the taste and flavor of the coffee will change. Even the way it is treated and the way it is roasted will also bring about and a lot of different tastes in the end. This is the beauty of coffee and what’s most admitted by coffee lovers.

But we have to all admit that coffee ships in specific sizes and quantities. So when you want to enjoy something for only a few drinks, you still have to end up buying that whole packet and keep using it till it’s finished or let it gather dust in some corner of the kitchen while you move on to something else.

driftaway coffee packs
Photo from Driftaway Coffee

The Tasting Kit

Driftaway Coffee is a cool solution for that problem. It provides a coffee on a subscription model, which lets you enjoy a wide assortment of coffees for a subscription-based fee. It gives you a chance for your taste buds to choose the coffee they love the best.

You will receive a four coffee-based testing kit first, and you are expected to share your feedback about them. Each of these coffees is different and also roasted to a different degree. The feedback you give will help them identify the preferences that closely match your tastes. Thereafter they will keep sending those coffees which you prefer.

The first step involving the sampler is a genius way to understanding what you need. Let us understand the 4 different coffee’s in more detail below.

Level 1

These are Fruity Profile coffee beans with an undeniably strong fruity taste, medium to high acidity, and light body.

Level 2

These involve the Classic Profile coffee beans that involve Lower acidity and notes of charcoal and caramel.

Level 3

This involves the Balanced Profile coffee beans, essentially a balance of above two levels and so the medium body, medium acidity, and other taste and features of the above levels.

Level 4

This involves Bold Profile coffee beans that involve dark roasts while still retaining the original taste of the coffee.

Your Feedback to Driftaway

Once you submit your feedback, they will start to send you beans that match your preferences, but you do not get to select anything but just accept what Driftaway will send you.

It’s important to note that only the first box that you will receive is a coffee sampler. When they actually start shipping you, they send full bags of any one type of coffee that meets your preferences.

Another point worth noting is that, in the future, you will only receive coffee that matches your original preference. So positively, there won’t really be any surprises coming your way. You do still have control over the amount of coffee that can be ordered, and there are four options here: The 7 ounces, the 11 ounces, the 16 ounces, and the 32-ounce packs.

driftaway coffee
Screenshot of the Driftaway Coffee Website

Delivery

The coffee can be delivered every week, every two weeks, or monthly. Driftaway will inform you by email about the contents of the package they will be sending over a few days before shipping. From the details in the email, you can preview and make changes as you want.

Billing

You can also choose the billing frequency to 6 months membership or every shipment as preferred by you. Due to this, the subscription price will vary for every individual. Paying upfront for 6 months has its advantages over the final price, and you will see heavy discounts.

We have found that their 16-ounce packages are really affordable, so go for the 16-ounce ones if you love them. So as you can see, it’s a very standard process once you are done with the initial sampling.

Unique Part of Driftaway Coffee

However, the one unique thing that sets it quite apart is the wonderful postcards that you receive with every package. They are indicative of the coffee world and take you back to the farms where the coffee grows and is initially processed and the farmers involved in the farming.

Also, there is a short story that covers the information on the coffee, its origins, and who picked it for you. So the coffee that you receive now becomes a whole experience wherein you can understand and connect back the dots to where it all began. Wonderful right?

Community Service

Driftaway also does wonderful community service in which they put back $0.05 per pound of coffee roasted into World Coffee Research to help farmers learn and earn more, all the while delivering great quality coffee beans.

In addition, the postcards let you connect to the origins of the coffee, understand where exactly your coffee comes from, who grew the coffee plants and how, the stories about the farmers themselves, and more.

Driftaway Coffee Price Compared to Value

Driftaway coffee products are on the higher end definitely of the price spectrum compared to other similar services. Even their 0.5-pound tasting coffee is priced almost that of a full-pound one! However, the freshness of the coffee is amazing. They have a pre-set schedule for roasting, which is completing the beans roasting on Sundays, packing it instantly, and shipping it fresh within 6 hours. So it’s unbeatable when it comes to freshness.

Enhanced User Experience

To enhance the user experience further, Driftaway will also pack a handy little guide for making the best cup of coffee from their beans. The advice will include how and when to grind the beans, the correct temperature of the water, and more. The guide will be full of a lot of information that you will find very useful in making that perfect cup of coffee.

Types of Driftaway Coffee Shipped

Their coffee beans originate from countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ethiopia. These are the standard coffee bearers and are from different continents and regions, thereby differing in taste and flavor. These coffees can be defined as the single-origin and gourmet class.

Pros

  • Innovative concept and much needed by a lot of people.
  • Cheap if you pay upfront for several months at a time
  • The shipments come with colorful postcards, highlighting the story behind each coffee.
  • They ship beans, so leave a lot of room for experimentation w.r.t the amount of grinding you can actually do.
  • Eco-friendly packing and support sustainability and research for farmers.

Cons

  • Beans need to be ground to your preference. So you need to invest in a grinder.
  • More expensive when compared to other similar services
  • There is the possibility of little variety in their coffee beans
  • You are locked into a “Flavour Profile” according to the initial sampling kit they send. So there is less chance to try out something new.

Do You Really Need Such a Service?

With several subscription services out there, all of them are more than eager to get you on board their customer list. Before you go in for any subscription-based model services, you have to ask yourself these questions to understand if the service is really for you or not.

Amount of Coffee Consumption

Certain services will ship you whole 12 ounce packs of coffee, which can be too much depending on your consumption levels, while others can send you several smaller samples which you can use and also experiment with till the next package arrives.

Varieties of Coffee Preferred

Being a personal choice, it depends upon you. Do you like different varieties from different origins? Do you prefer consistency and balanced tastes?

Levels of Roasting and Grinding Available

Since they have to cater to several customers and quite a lot of packages, they may not be able to have a lot of roasting and grinding options available. Many ship entire beans and leave the grinding to the customers. At the same time, others may also not have different roasting styles.

They may stick to a few or just one. Over it’s a business that needs to be quick and cost-effective. Also, it’s not an over-the-top customized package which usually costs a lot more for personalization. So there will be trade-offs in the options available to customers.

Option to Have a Personal Choice

Ideally, you must have the option to order what suits your tastes, preferences, and needs. You may feel like experimenting and trying out some new varieties. Does the coffee provider give you an option to choose, or are you going to be entirely at the mercy of their selection even after paying?

All the above are valid and practical points to be considered before enrolling and also while choosing the best service for you.

Managing Your Subscription With Driftaway Coffee

You can manage your subscription on their website or the Driftaway app. It will let you review your coffee choices and selection, change your taste profile, and also send over a few questions of your choice to understand a little more about the process. You will also be able to the following on the app and the website.

  • Track your orders and their shipments.
  • Change frequency of the orders.
  • Change your addresses and cards.
  • Refer friends.
  • Order and send gift coffee packs.

Is This Service Really Meant for You?

Coffee is like a miracle, but it is not easy to figure out the varieties of coffee you will enjoy. If coffee freshness is all you care about, this service is meant to be for you.

The fact that they roast, pack and dispatch in 6 hours is superb and ensures none of the aromas has escaped. The moment you open the packet, you get to smell the exact smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. This is essential if you want to make full use of the coffee beans.

However, with increasing competition on the coffee subscription model business, a lot of players have also started to ship it fresh. So, in the long run, all of them would be on par with Driftaway, and it will have to look for something unique, service, or feature to justify its high price.

In the end, these coffee providers do all the groundwork for you and help you choose what your personal preferences actually are. So there’s no harm in trying out because, in the end, you do get some delicious beans to enjoy. I hope this information has been helpful, and you will enjoy your coffee subscription.

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