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Coffee Bags? - All Your Questions Answered

Not heard of coffee bags before? Wondered whether they’re any good? We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about coffee bags.

November 2022

By Savannah Coombe / 5 min read

Is organic food better for you?

Not heard of coffee bags before? Wondered whether they’re any good? We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about coffee bags. Hopefully everything you need is here, but if not, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer your question. There is also plenty of information on the specifics of our coffee bag range in the shop section of the website and more on our business in our FAQs

What are coffee bags?

Coffee bags are simply a way of brewing coffee without needing any additional equipment, like a cafetiere or Nespresso machine. Instead of grinding up your beans and pouring them into a filter with hot water, you just place the whole bag in a mug and pour hot water on top of it for a convenient and delicious coffee.

Loads of brands are now making coffee bags, including big brands like Taylors of Harrogate, Lyons, Sainsburys and even Costa Coffee (and don’t forget about us!).

How do coffee bags work?

Coffee bags work the same way as tea bags. Both are small paper bags which are soaked in hot water. It is the same process used by traditional methods of brewing coffee such as using a cafetiere or French press.

The ground coffee infuses the hot water the same way it does using a French press. Time and heat extracts the flavour and brews the perfect mug.

Our coffee bags are biodegradable, and contain the same type of coffee grounds found in the best filter coffee. Our coffee bags are made of BioWeb – a corn-starch derived material. When they’ve done their job, you can simply add them to your food waste bin.

What do coffee bags taste like? 

This depends on the brand and their individual roasting of the coffee beans, as well as where the beans are sourced from. Our beans are arabica beans which are seen as superior to robusta in terms of taste, aroma and texture. They’re also more expensive than other types of coffee beans due to their higher quality and demand. Only the finest Arabica beans make it into our bags. These beans are carefully sourced from around the world to ensure that every bag is of the highest quality.

Each of our roasts come from Indonesia, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Peru respectively. Check out our coffee bag range for more information on each roast’s flavour profile.

How to brew a coffee bag? How do you make coffee in a bag?

Making a cup of coffee using a coffee bag is as easy as making a cup of tea. Follow the instructions below.

1. Select your coffee of choice. See our wide range of flavours and intensities here
2. Open the sachet and add the bag to your mug
3. Add hot water and infuse for 3-5 minutes, depending on your preferred strength
4. Give the bag a stir, squeeze and remove
5. Relax and enjoy - it's that easy

Are coffee bags different to tea bags? How are they different from tea bags?

Coffee bags are very similar to tea bags, except that they contain freshly ground coffee rather than tea leaves. They have a similar history to tea bags, which were seen as a way to enhance and simplify the process of making tea – and stop the tea leaves from ending up in your mouth! 

How are coffee bags different to other types of coffee?

The type of coffee in our coffee bags is most similar to the ground coffee used in a cafetiere. A cafetiere uses time and heat to infuse the coffee grounds with the water, as well as having a protective barrier to stop the grounds from ending up in your cup. The concept of a coffee bag is similar. The main difference is that coffee bags are usually single-serve and are much quicker and easier to make. There is way less washing up and no chances of grounds spilling all over the place.

Are coffee bags the same as instant coffee? What’s the difference between coffee bags and instant coffee? Are coffee bags better than instant coffees?

Coffee bags are made from ground coffee, but despite this they are just as simple to prepare as instant coffee. Just add hot water and enjoy.

There are several big differences between instant coffee and brewing methods like coffee bags or cafetieres. These methods create a stronger flavour than instant coffee as they are brewed for longer using proper coffee grounds. Instant can have a chemical taste that is definitely not present in our coffee bags, which we believe makes them better than instant coffee.

Instant coffees may also contain unwanted ingredients such as chemicals and solvents. Coffee bags offer a purer and more natural option.

Where did coffee bags come from? What is the history of coffee bags? How long have coffee bags been around? 

American Thomas Sulivan came up with the idea of using gauze bags in 1965 to allow roast ground beans to be infused in water, essentially inventing the original coffee bag.

He found that when he put roasted coffee beans in a porous bag and poured boiling water over them, they would extract their flavour into the liquid. The gauze used was made from silk, but later cotton and nylon were used as they were cheaper to produce.

Coffee bags have come a long way since then. Our coffee bags include 100% arabica, single origin, Fairtrade and Organic coffee with biodegradable and recyclable packaging.

What are the best coffee bags you can buy?

What a question! Well, of course, we think our coffee bags are the best but really the answer is subjective. There is a large variety of companies that make their own range of coffee bags, including Taylors of Harrogate, Lyons, Sainsburys and even Costa Coffee, and the ‘best’ is really down to your personal preferences. Some would say taste is the most important factor but others may say sustainability. Let’s break down some of them:

As we’ve already discussed, arabica beans are often seen as superior to robusta so this may be one way to judge. Alternatively, you might decide based on the taste and notes in your coffee. Coffee can have notes of chocolate, nuts, berries, caramel and much more. You may also come to realise you prefer different roast times – Italian, French, medium, dark, light, etc – over others.

When you buy a bag of coffee, it might be important to you to know that the farm that produced your beans used ethical and sustainable methods. That means no forced labour or discrimination, as well as no use of genetically modified seeds or herbicides. There are a variety of organisations that certify products as being ethical, fair trade, and sustainable.

The Fairtrade Foundation is a non-profit organisation that promotes ‘fair’ trading practices around the world. Organic certification is another way to ensure a product is ethically produced.

Our bags come in a variety of different roasts with a whole host of different flavour profiles. They are organic, sustainably-sourced and Fair Trade certified. Visit our coffee bag range page to find out more about each roast.

What’s good about coffee bags? What are the benefits of coffee bags?

Coffee bags have been growing in popularity over the last few years and they offer a great alternative to other types of coffee, like instant coffee or espresso based drinks. Coffee bags are simply a way of brewing coffee without needing any equipment at all, such as cafetieres or Nespresso Pod machines.

The best part of coffee bags is that they come in a multitude of varieties, origins and roasts so that everyone can find their perfect fit! Some people like light, aromatic and fruity coffees while other people like their coffee smooth, strong or even bitter. If this sounds appealing but you don't know where to start looking, then our selection box is a good place to begin.

What is bad about coffee bags? Do coffee bags work?

Coffee bags work the same way as tea bags. Both are small paper bags which are soaked in hot water. It is the same process used by traditional methods of brewing coffee such as using a pot or French press. This is a tried-and-tested method that definitely works. It helps to cut out a lot of the fuss and mess that comes with other methods of brewing coffee.

Do coffee bags contain plastic? Can coffee bags be recycled?

While we can’t speak for all brands, our coffee bags do not contain plastic. They are made using 100% biodegradable BioWeb and the packaging is completely recyclable. The bags themselves can be thrown into your food waste bin once you're done. BioWeb bags use significantly less energy than traditional cellulose bags to produce while also being completely taste neutral.

Coffee is very different to tea in that it requires air, light and moisture protection to keep it fresh for as long as possible. Without this, the natural oils in the coffee will leach into the packaging and cause the coffee to go stale quickly. Typically, packaging made from a combination of plastic and foil provides the best protection and our recyclable sachets keep the coffee fresh for up to a year.

Where does the coffee inside coffee bags come from?

Coffee comes from a variety of places. Most countries do not grow their own coffee beans and instead import them from other countries including Brazil, Columbia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Coffee beans are grown in over 50 countries.

The biggest importers of coffee beans are Germany, France and Italy. We import our coffee from carefully selected farms in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Guatemala and Peru.

Are coffee bags here to stay?

In our opinion…of course! As we’ve explained, coffee bags are quick, mess-free and convenient. They also come in a variety of roasts and ranges to suit every taste. What’s not to love?

We think coffee bags are great for busy offices, parents who are always running after their kids, adventurers needing a quick cup of coffee they can make on a camping stove…basically everyone! So yeah, we’re pretty sure they’re here to stay.

How is coffee decaffeinated? 

Decaf coffee is made using regular coffee beans which are then processed to remove the caffeine. There are about four different ways to do this. Not to brag, but our decaf coffee is a little bit special compared to most…

For most coffee, in order to decaffeinate coffee the beans are steamed and then rinsed repeatedly with a special chemical solvent that flushes away the caffeine. The solvent is also known as a decaffeinating agent. The decaffeinated beans are then dried, and the solvent is removed. This results in about a 97% decaffeinated drink.

At New Kings Coffee we prefer the gentle Swiss Water Process which is chemical-free and results in a purer, cleaner and less ‘diluted’ taste. Unlike standard decaf, the process results in a 99.9% caffeine-free drink.

Can you use coffee bags in a cafetiere?

Yes, you absolutely can use coffee bags in a cafetiere! Using a coffee bag in a cafetiere is easier than using regular ground coffee. This is a mess-free method for creating the perfect coffee for all to enjoy. Follow the instructions below:

1. Select your coffee of choice. See our wide range of flavours and intensities here
2. You’ll need one bag per person, plus if you like your coffee stronger, add one extra bag
3. Open the sachets and add the bags to your cafetiere
4. Add hot water and infuse for 3-5 minutes, depending on your preferred strength
5. Push the plunger down slowly and steadily. Don’t plunge too fast or the coffee can spurt out of the spout.
6. Pour into mugs and enjoy!

Do they make coffee bags for cold brew and iced coffee?

You can indeed use coffee bags to make cold brew coffee or any kind of iced coffee. At New Kings Coffee, we have created our own Cold Brew Coffee Bags, specifically so you can enjoy this refreshing way to drink coffee. Alternatively, have a read of our blog about How to make your favourite café-styled iced coffee at home

Products talked about in the blog post

Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees
New Kings Coffee - Coffee Selection
Selection of our Coffees
Selection of our Coffees

Selection of our Coffees

Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala
Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala

Medium Roast - Organic - Guatemala

Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia
Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia

Dark Roast - Organic - Sumatra, Indonesia

Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru
Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru

Decaf Roast - Organic - San Ignacio, Peru

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