We are in the golden age of the subscription...
and you can get nearly any item you want on one. There's pet toys, beard oil, yoga pants, pickles and of course coffee. In theory the idea of a coffee subscription is great. You can stay stocked without thinking about it and try quality roasters from all over the country, or the world, and all of it happens without you thinking much about it. But behind the scenes these third party coffee subscriptions aren't all good news, and the most popular option, Trade Coffee, is one the worst offenders.
With nine million dollars in funding from investment firms and the international coffee conglomerate JAB Holdings, they are like trying to fit a circle in a square in terms of fitting into the standards specialty coffee is pushing towards. So in this video I get into why I think Trade, and in general third-party coffee subscription services are just glorified drop shippers lining their pockets off the backs of hard working roastery and production staff...among other things.
So hit play on the video above for the full breakdown of Trade, its investment partners, and why I'm committed to promoting coffee lovers to buy their coffee direct.
June 26, 2022
Trade is super shady – they have unethical business practices that put local roasters in awkward situations with customers. They were for a long time under filling bags to close to 10.5oz (even though the bags clearly state 12oz) in order to cut costs without changing prices. This was never clearly communicated to customers. Their explanation was (1) they changed the weight on the website (which customers who have a subscription next need to check) and (2) throw small roasters under the bus by stating they were the ones who didn’t spend $$$$ to reprint bags just for Trade. You can read the threads on r/coffee [https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/comments/s5va2y/update_on_trade_im_cancelling_my_subscription]