Some people are hard to shop for, while others seem to already have everything they need. When my shopping list stops at one of these types, I reach for some trustworthy gifts that I've accumulated over nearly a decade of testing gift products and services for CNET's annual event. holiday gift guides.

This story is part Gift guideour collection of the best gift ideas all year round.

A coffee subscription is perhaps the most reliable gift in my arsenal, with a (so far) perfect record of happy, well-caffeinated gift recipients. To date, I have become a member of an exclusive coffee club for three coffee drinkers in my life. The happy messages I receive periodically, accompanied by a photo of that month's colorful bag of beans, bring me as much pleasure as coffee seems to.


Everyone loves a surprise bag of good coffee.

David Watsky/CNET

A Coffee Subscription Gift Is Low Risk, High Reward

As long as you know your giftee, you know, drink coffee, there's a good chance this gift will work out. The only investigation you might want to do is the type of roast they are used to – dark roast, light roast. If you don't know and can't figure it out, a medium roast coffee subscription is safe.

I've found that a monthly drop of new and interesting coffee especially resonates with people who already have most of what they need and aren't looking for more. thing. Consumables like coffee, wine, or chocolate won’t give you “where should I put this” anxiety.

You're not just sending boring bean bags

women opening box with coffee bag inside women opening box with coffee bag inside

If the person you're shopping for drinks coffee, there's a good chance they'll appreciate a nice bag that arrives every month.

Atlas Café

Coffee subscriptions aren't just utilitarian, although you're crossing something off a coffee drinker's to-do list. They're also fun, surprising, and a stress-free way to get your giftee to try something new. Some java drinkers may have specific tastes, but most people are willing and ready to try new coffee styles and roasts. Good coffee subscriptions select high-quality beans from small producers around the world that they've tested, loved, and are willing to bet you will too.

Think about the simple joy of enjoying coffee at a local coffee shop in a new neighborhood or city. That's the energy that a good curated coffee club brings, but without the travel fare.

The coffees are not expensive and subscriptions start in just three months

ecuador coffee bags ecuador coffee bags

Equator is yet another coffee subscription with premium beans shipped in chic packaging.

Ecuador cafes

I tested almost one dozen coffee subscriptions from the most basic versions to super high-end options. Most curated coffee subscriptions cost somewhere between $15 and $20 per bag — about what you'd pay at the store for a 12-ounce bag of quality, fair-trade whole beans from a roaster. independent. You often have the option of submitting a three-month or a one-year subscription.

Here are some of my favorites to give.

Atlas Café is one of the cheapest coffee subscriptions and gifts and ships beans from all over the world in funky packaging. Atlas costs just $15.75 per month for a 12-ounce bag if you give an annual subscription – that's a total of $89. Six months is $99 ($16.50 per bag). Each delivery includes a postcard explaining a little about the coffee and the producing region where the beans came from.

Atlas Café Atlas Café

Atlas coffee beans arrive in colorful bags with a postcard highlighting the region they came from.

Atlas Café

Coffee trade is another coffee club that I love. This one is a little more expensive at $20 a bag no matter how many months you buy. With Trade, your giftee will enjoy premium beans packaged in branded bags from popular roasters across the country.

Honestly, checking out and showing off the chic, colorful bags from Trade's partner cafes is half the fun of this subscription.

assorted bags of coffee assorted bags of coffee

The artistic bags that each month's batch of beans arrive in are half the fun of a Trade Coffee subscription.


Bean Box coffee tasting: If a subscription isn't your cup of tea, I suggest sending a coffee tasting. Bean Box has some of my favorite samplers, especially this coffee and chocolate combo box for coffee drinkers with a sweet tooth. The $72 sampler includes eight specialty coffees from independent roasters and four artisan chocolate bars from serious chocolatiers.

Giving any signature multiplies goodwill

When you send someone a monthly coffee subscription. Not only are you overwhelming that person with a monthly surprise, but the goodwill towards you is multiplied by the number of times one of those packages of tasty food or drinks arrives. If you weren't already their favorite child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin, you soon will be.



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