We live in an era of choice, not least of all when it comes to how we brew coffee. While many of us remember the bygone days drinking a bitter instant coffee, today we are presented with multiple options.
Fancy brewing a cafetiere to last you the morning? No problem. What about a V60 pour over coffee? Don’t worry about it! Perhaps you’d rather do away with the fuss completely and invest in a capsules machine? There are plenty of capsules to choose from.
However, some of us just don’t have the time or equipment to prepare a coffee with a machine or a cafetiere on a daily basis. That’s where coffee bags come in.
Imagine a teabag, but with freshly ground coffee inside. It’s as simple as that! Our fresh coffee is packaged in a home compostable webbing, and then sealed in an air tight, recyclable foil. Quite a few companies produce coffee bags with a combination of ground and instant coffee – if you’ve tried one before that tastes burnt or bitter, look out for 100% fresh coffee bags instead.
Remove the bag from the foil, and place in your mug. While the coffee has sat in the bag, it has ‘gassed off’, and you will be struck by the aroma of the coffee as soon as you open the foil (one of my favourite parts of the process).
Simply add boiling water to the bag (or water at 93°C for best results), and leave to brew for up to five minutes. The longer you brew, the stronger the coffee – don’t be afraid to give the bag a squeeze for an extra kick.
Remove the bag, and place in your home composting or the normal bin. It will biodegrade either way, so no need to worry about wastage. Remember to recycle the foil wrapper too.
After that, add milk to taste (or leave black), and you’re good to go.
For a lot of brands, it’s hard to say. Coffee bags often contain instant coffee to pad them out, or aren’t produced using Fairtrade certified beans. We keep things simple with our coffee bags, using 8g of 100% fresh arabica in each bag.
Our Famous Blue Mountain Blend is a blend of 5 Fairtrade coffees, while our Cuban coffee is grown in the Altura region. It’s not possible to source Fairtrade coffee from Cuba, though we source from cooperatives which are helping to rebuild the Cuban economy.
The origin and roasting process contribute to the flavour profiles of each coffee bag. Our Blue Mountain Blend is sweet and nutty with a fruity acidity and notes of caramel, peanut and hazelnut. Cuba is rich and rounded, a stronger and well balanced coffee.
We have been producing coffee bags for almost four years, and over that time we have seen them surge in popularity. Many of our customers have said that coffee bags offered a route into the (often confusing) world of coffee, while others have praised them for their convenience in the morning.
This year, we are looking to develop our range and introduce decaf bags. While coffee bags become more and more popular, we think it’s important that consumers have the option to choose Fairtrade and cooperative coffee, whatever their preferred brewing method is.
Our commitment to environmental responsibility is reflected in our decision to produce compostable coffee bags in recyclable packaging. We realise the scarcity of resources and the physical limits of the planet we live on, and prioritise the triple line of ‘people and plant, then profit’. Our commitment to sustainability is highlighted through our deadline of being net carbon neutral by 2030.
Environmental protection also goes hand in hand with our commitment to the Fairtrade movement. To sell Fairtrade products, farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity.
A standard tea bag contains around 0.04g of plastic. This is usually used to heat seal the bag, but it’s also a cheaper material to produce with and is favoured by large companies due to the cost saving. By comparison, our tea bags contain exactly 0.00g of plastic.
If we multiply the predicted number of bags drunk (125,000) by the total amount of plastic in a standard bag (0.04g), we arrive at a total plastic saving of 4820g since August 2020.