ModRec: A Stylish New Coffee Subscription With Jess Steffy

ModRec is the newest coffee subscription service, curated in conjunction with Jess Steffy of Square One Coffee Roasters. ModRec aims to bring subscribers the best coffee from roasters all over the world.


Photos courtesy of ModRec

“OK, so you’re not the type to subscribe to anything,” reads the opening statement on the stylish ModRec website. “Would a year of nonstop insanely good coffee from the world’s best roasters change your mind?”

ModRec, short for Modern Recreation, is out to change the way coffee subscriptions normally work. “ModRec came about when non-coffee people’ had an epic coffee experience and wanted to share it with others,” shares Jess Steffy, who helps curate the coffees for each subscription. “Before they knew it, discovering new coffees became a form of recreation in and of itself. The more they learned about the roasters behind the coffee, the more these non-coffee people asked themselves, How do we bring great coffee like this to people all over the world?’”

ModRec works with the best coffee roasters in the world, and hopes to create an international coffee community by sharing coffees with folks all around the world.

Jess is the co-owner of Square One Coffee Roasters in Lancaster, Pa., as well as a Q-Grader and World Barista Championship-certified judge, and uses her experience to choose some of the best coffees from around the world. Jess was brought into the project by a friend and has enjoyed watching someone not in coffee fall in love with the coffees produced by roasters from across the globe. “After 13 years in the industry, watching her geek out and fall in love with coffee and coffee people has fanned the coffee flame’ in my own heart,” Jess shares.

So what makes ModRec different? ModRec works to bring subscribers the absolute best coffees from around the world—what could cost hundreds of dollars to ship internationally gets cut significantly. Also, ModRec doesn’t look to re-package coffees or rebrand anything. “We ship your coffee in the roaster’s original packaging. Because art,” the website boasts.

Although ModRec employs beautiful design elements from Blok Design, they also keep all coffees in their original packaging, honoring the work roasters do to design their coffee packaging.

The first release from ModRec showcased coffees from Iceland, courtesy of Sonja Bjork Grant’s roasting project, Kaffibrugghúsið (pronounced Café-Brook-Who-Seth). And for those of you who don’t know Sonja, the website tells you what’s up: “For those in the know, Sonja is pure punk coffee royalty. Twenty-two years as a game changer in coffee; inventor of the Icelandic word for barista because there wasn’t one; founder of the Icelandic Barista Championship; founder of the World Barista Championship; and crowner of just about every barista champion in Europe.”

Next month, subscribers will receive tasty coffees from Talor & Jørgen in Norway, a roaster the website describes thusly: “Lots of people can play instruments and play them well, but few are the musicians.’” Expect to see high-quality roasters every month, along with tongue-in-cheek descriptors of each roaster, featuring beautiful photos and sleek design throughout the website, which was designed by Blok Design in Canada.

Is this the cheapest coffee subscription? No, but ModRec brings you coffees that you wouldn’t normally see and gets exclusive releases from top roasters.

Subscribing for a year costs $49.99 per month. “Are we the cheapest subscription service? Hell to the no. But good luck getting two exclusive bags of coffee shipped to you from, say, Iceland for less than $200 USD,” the website jests. But along with excellent coffees, subscribers also get access to exclusive coffees. “It’s virtually impossible to get a taste of this stuff outside of Iceland, but ModRec subscribers from around the globe will receive two of these exclusive roasts,” the website notes. For style, taste, exclusivity, and sass to boot, there’s no other subscription box that compares.

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at