Please note: I received 3 shipments of Driftaway Coffee in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation outside of the product itself. Please also note that some of the items below contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy one of the items, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission on each sale. I only promote products or services that I have investigated and truly feel deliver value to you, regardless of the compensation I may receive. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or they will help you make better coffee at home.
There is no shortage of coffee subscriptions available here in the U.S., and today I've got a review of another one that is ever-so-slightly different from the others.
This is Driftaway Coffee, a coffee subscription service that delivers freshly roasted coffee customized to your taste preferences.
What Makes Drift Away Coffee Different?
Before writing this review, I had already received three shipments from Driftaway. Here's a breakdown of my experience with each of the three deliveries, as well as what separates this coffee subscription from the rest.
The first delivery is what separates Driftaway from most coffee subscription services out there.
Basically, before a full bag of coffee is ever sent to you, a flight of four small coffee samples is what's contained in the first delivery.
The four samples vary in origin and in roast level, and are labeled as follows:
The samplers themselves each contain about 2 ounces of coffee, which is good for about a cup or two of brewed coffee.
Once you brew the coffee, you're expected to rate the coffee on the Driftaway website or app (available for iOS only). It's a pretty straightforward process, but even my technologically savvy self couldn't find where to rate the coffee on first glance.
I eventually found the rating area under “taste profile” in the sidebar when I was logged into the website.
Overall, I didn't think any of the coffee samples were that memorable. But I was still able to determine my preferences for all future deliveries.
I enjoyed the fruity, classic, and balanced versions, which was consistent with the preferences I already knew I had (i.e. I'm a light and medium roast coffee lover).
The second delivery was my first “full” bag of coffee, which contained 11 ounces of coffee classified as the “classic” taste profile.
The coffee bag was simply-designed and included the Driftaway logo at the top, a small white label with some basic information about the coffee, as well as my name (nice touch)!
The coffee itself is roasted by Driftaway and my first bag arrived within a week of the roast date.
As for the coffee's taste: it was quite good, though not very memorable for any particular flavor profiles outside of the typical “coffee” or “chocolate” notes we're also accustomed too.
Overall, a straightforward bag of coffee without any surprises.
My third delivery was more of the same, and I'd be lying if I said it tasted much different from my second delivery.
It was the “balanced” taste profile this time around, which basically means medium-dark roast coffee.
In all honesty, if I blindly sampled both the coffees from my second and third deliveries respectively, I'm pretty confident I wouldn't be able to tell you which coffee was which.
Again, the coffee tasted good…but I think I was secretly hoping for a bit more complexity out of these medium roasts.
So what do you need to know about the coffee that sets it apart from other coffee subscriptions?
First thing you should know is that the coffee comes from various origins and producers, but is roasted exclusively by Driftaway before eventually being shipped to customers.
All the coffee you receive is from a single origin, and there are no blends or decaf options at the time of this review (October, 2018). So if either of these things are what you're looking for, you might as well look into other options.
Check out my Ultimate Guide To Coffee Subscriptions for guidance.
In terms of taste, I found that all of the coffee I've tried from Driftaway has tasted good. While none of the coffee tasted amazing or particularly discerning, it got the job done.
I found Driftaway to be reasonably-priced when compared to other coffee subscription services out there. But the real test requires breaking down the cost per ounce.
The price of course also depends on the amount of coffee you want shipped, and the frequency in which you choose to receive it.
The price of each size breaks down as follows if you pay per shipment:
- 7oz bag – $12 or $1.71 per ounce
- 11oz bag – $16 or $1.45 per ounce
- 16oz (1lb) bag – $22 or $1.38 per ounce
- 32oz (2lbs) – $34 or $1.06 per ounce
You can have the coffee shipped to you on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
You can alco choose to pay for 6 months up-front, which can save you between $14 and $136, depending on the size and frequency of your order.
So there are definitely ways to make Driftaway one of the more affordable coffee subscriptions out there.
Shipping was very speedy, as pretty much all the coffee I received came a mere 3-5 days after it was roasted.
Driftaway was also very good about keeping me informed about when my coffee was shipped and delivered.
Some might find this a little bit excessive for their email inboxes, but you can always update your notification preferences through the website or app.
As far as packaging goes, the coffee sampling kit arrived in a simple brown envelope, while the 11oz bags arrived in a box.
All the coffee bags are re-sealable, a nice plus if you choose to not store your coffee in an airtight container.
Website User Experience
It may be trivial to many, but I think that the overall user/customer experience is very important when considering a coffee subscription.
The subscription experience should not only be a straightforward process from the start, but also over the course of one's entire membership, especially when changes need to be made.
As I mentioned earlier, the only brief trouble I had with the website was when I was trying to figure out where to rate the initial coffees from the sampler kit. I don't recall that there were any specific instructions on where to rate the coffees, so this is something that could have been improved in the overall experience.
If you're totally turned off by the idea of having to rate coffees on a website or app, this may not be the coffee club for you.
App User Experience
I didn't use the iOS app as frequently as I used the web-based interface, but in my limited experience I actually liked it better.
As far as navigation goes, it's basically a mini version of the web-based app, but slightly quicker to use. I can see how this would be beneficial if you're drinking your morning coffee away from the computer.
Some instances of the app are merely mobile versions of the website itself, but I'm sure the app will eventually have its own native interface.
In the end, it isn't the app that would keep me subscribed to Driftaway, so I'm not sure how much of a benefit it truly is.
I will say that I did like the “coffee personality” card that is part of the app. It doesn't appear to be visible in the web-based app at the time of this review.
Driftaway Coffee is a great choice as a coffee subscription service if you are looking for freshly roasted coffee that is customizable to your tastebuds.
For those who aren't sure what type of coffee they enjoy drinking on a regular basis, or those who have never tried drinking their coffee without cream or sugar before, Driftaway offers an enjoyable solution.
No need to guess your preferences, since the tasting kit will help give you a lot of clarity.
If however, you're the kind of coffee-drinker who already knows what they like it terms of roast and origin, there isn't much point in subscribing to Driftaway Coffee (unless there were a way to bypass the tasting kit).
You also wouldn't benefit from this subscription if you're looking for decaf or blend options, as all of the coffee is single-origin and fully-caffeinated!
Finally, if you like to try out new roasters you're out of luck, since Driftaway roasts all of the coffee that they send out to subscribers.
I personally don't see myself staying subscribed, as I like to discover new roasters and origins. At the moment, Mistobox is still the subscription service that best meets my needs for these purposes.
Get Your Tasting Kit for Free
If you're interested in giving Driftaway Coffee a try, you can get your tasting kit for free by using code coffeeconcierge at checkout:
Tried Driftaway Coffee?
If you've tried or are currently subscribed to Driftaway Coffee we'd love to hear from you. Leave your comments and reviews below!
Similarly, if you have any questions about the subscription, leave 'em below.