My First (and Delicious) Experience With Trade Coffee Subscription

DrinkTrade.com site

Though I am not desperately reliant on a daily cup of joe to get me through each morning, I thoroughly enjoy a delicious, aromatic cup of high quality coffee. When it comes to undoubtedly the most well-known coffee store chain (you know, the ones with the telltale green logo on the storefront?), I honestly can’t drink their blends, because they are harsh, bitter, and lack the flavor nuances I want from a truly top-notch coffee.

Enter the coffees which are offered by Trade. Established in 2018, Trade offers a unique, customized experience which I totally dig. Trade unites the nation’s top roasters directly with coffee lovers, and includes over 400 roasted-to-order coffees in their selections. It’s like a dating site, but with coffee! You get matched by answering questions about your level of coffee knowledge, roasting method (coffee maker, French press, pour over, cold brew, Chemex), flavor preferences, and they will make a suggestion for you. If you don’t like your very first match, they will find you one you love. You get to rate coffees as you go along, you’ll get 15% off bags as long as you have a subscription, and you will always get free shipping.

The other thing I love about Trade is that they only offer specialty coffee, a term which refers to any coffee that receives a quality grading score of 80 percent or higher. I guess I might have to consider myself a coffee snob, since I prefer to drink higher quality, tasty coffees over bitter, low grade coffees.

When I ordered my first bag of coffee from Trade, I sort of went by feel for the flavor notes I would like in a coffee selection, and because Trade has taken the guesswork out of shopping by grouping coffees based on “popular taste types”, the process was pretty easy. If you don’t want to browse the selections like I did, you can let Trade match you with a coffee which they think you’ll love.

As I scrolled down the screen, “Comforting and Rich” and “Chocolaty and Sweet” both caught my eye, since I like a rich, flavorful, inviting coffee over something fruity or bright. My eyes alighted on “Eclipse” by Onyx Coffee Lab, which is described as:

“Dark and sultry, subtly smoky, this coffee absolutely smolders with rich, chocolaty depth and vanilla sweetness. Perfect sipped solo, but works beautifully with your milk of choice.”

Screenshot from drinktrade.com of Eclipse by Onyx

After reading that description, my immediate thought was, oh yes, I’m in! So I ordered it without hesitation.

When the coffee arrived, the aromas which emanated from the box were so deep, rich, chocolaty and smoky that I had to restrain myself from making a cup right then and there, since it was about 11 pm and I needed to get some sleep! So I tucked that bag of coffee in a safe spot (I live with coffee lovers and didn’t want my new gem to be attacked by them) and went off to sleep. A couple of days later, I opened the bag, and was rewarded with the most delectable wave of chocolaty goodness, and it just smelled so FRESH! I looked at the bag and saw the roasting date and roaster’s initials on one panel, which proved right there how fresh it truly was.

Roasting date and roaster’s initials right on the bag

Delectable coffee right here!

I brewed a large cup, refrained from adding any creamer so I could get the true taste of the coffee, and took a sip. Oh. My. Goodness. The tasting notes for me were mostly deep, smoky, and chocolaty, which I loved. There was no bitterness to this coffee, which is a big plus for me because I can’t stand bitterness in my brews. The sweetness level in this selection is very subtle, which is fine for me. So now my biggest concern is where I can hide these awesome grinds so no one ever finds them before I finish the bag!

What is even more exciting than experiencing my first coffee selection from Trade is knowing that I can look forward to other delicious and aromatic coffees in the ensuing months which will be delivered to my home. I highly recommend Trade for anyone who loves coffee and wants to try different superior quality coffees from top roasters across the United States.

To subscribe to Trade, go to this link:

https://www.drinktrade.com/subscribe

Your Latte Habit Is Costing a Fortune

starbucks-menu

Every time I go into a Starbuck’s, I cringe at the inflated prices of their coffee drinks. Even a plain cup of coffee is pretty expensive, at $1.75 for a Tall (12 ounces), $1.95 for a Grande (16 ounces), and $2.25 for a Venti (20 ounces). Look at the prices of some of the other coffee drinks sold at Starbuck’s:

Item Price

CAFFE LATTE
Tall $3.05
Grande $3.80
Venti $4.20
Trenta $4.30

CAFFE MOCHA with WHIPPED CREAM
Tall $3.45
Grande $4.20
Venti $4.50
Trenta $4.70

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA WHIPPED CREAM
Tall $3.90
Grande $4.65
Venti $4.85
Trenta $4.95

Starbuck’s Coffee is a treat for me, not a daily habit. I may have five Starbuck’s beverages a month at the most (my average is one or two Starbuck’s beverages each month), but I know many people who indulge in Starbuck’s beverages on a daily basis, and some of them get the fancy drinks every time. All of those multisyllabic coffee concoctions can really add up and burn a hole in one’s wallet over time. In addition, the mochas, the lattes, and certainly the frappucinos are loaded with calories. Here is the nutritional breakdown of my favorite Starbuck’s beverages, a Tall Caffè Mocha. I get it with nonfat milk but even then, the calories, carbs and sugars really add up:

Caffè Mocha (Espresso with bittersweet mocha sauce and steamed milk)

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (12 fl oz)
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 27g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 30% Iron 20%
Caffeine 95mg**
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
**Each caffeine value is an approximate value.

Let’s look at how much someone would spend in a year by getting a Grande Caffè Mocha every day, including weekends (after all, when you need your coffee, you don’t take breaks on the weekends, right?). At $4.15 per Mocha, you would end up spending $1,514! That same $1,514 could be invested in a vacation fund, put into an IRA, or be used to pay bills. Do you really think it is worth spending that amount of money on coffee drinks each year? I certainly don’t. What I do is I load up a Starbuck’s card with some money, say $50, and use it when I visit Starbuck’s. I find that I re-load my card maybe one or two times in a year, and I confine my consumption to special events, travel, and the occasional weekend coffee run. I am comfortable with the idea of spending $100 to $150 on Starbuck’s coffee in an entire year, and couldn’t imagine being hooked on those beverages and having to pay ten times that amount!

I challenge all of you who have a daily Starbuck’s habit to spend one month in which you brew coffee at home. Then what I want you to do is to set aside the money you would have spent at Starbuck’s ($126 in the example above). You will dip into the money you set aside to buy ground coffee and whatever ingredients you add to your coffee (like chocolate, sweeteners, milk). At the end of the month, see how you feel. If you truly love Starbuck’s Coffee (or Coffee Bean, or Peet’s) THAT much, then by all means, resume your habit. But if you can’t stand the idea of spending a small fortune on caffeinated delights, you might want to continue with your home brews.