What are coffee bags?

So you’ve heard about Coffee Bags.. but what are they?

Coffee bags, known as coffee tea bags are just like teabags. Instead of tea inside, you guessed it…coffee! We take a look at some of the most exciting options on the market. We look for taste, sustainability, and price per cup. Is it worth paying a premium for inconvenience? Let’s find out.

Not interested in coffee tea bags, then head to:

Should I order beans or ground?

Using non dairy

Health benefits

Why you need an electric burr grinder

Coffee marketplace

Best Ground Coffee Bags UK

Drink heaped

Founded by Tom Haigh, a coffee specialist working in the industry for a decade as a Arabica Q grader. He has travelled to South and Central America and Africa sourcing coffees for different businesses. And set up the Gender Equality Project and slot roasting collective at the Tate gallery.

We love the Drink Heaped mission: Provide single-serve coffee solution that is easy, delicious and does something good for both people and the planet.

Tom looks to source tasty specialty coffee fairly, from indigenous smallholders as well as using the planet-friendly packaging available to us. They donate 50% of all our profits to charity which is incredible!

We featured Drink Heaped in our October box, and had great feedback from our members.

Each bag is 10g, come in packs of 14 and priced at £9.50 (67p per cup!)

The coffee has a smooth red berry, caramel flavour.

Drink Heaped coffee tea bags

New Kings Coffee

New Kings Coffee is a trendy Brixton based brand and we love! It was set up by Jason, local to us in South London.

There coffee is organic as well as Fair Trade, meaning it has less pesticides, free from artificial flavours, and sustainably sourced.

They are on the pricer side at £6.99 for 10 bags which are 8g each (in comparison a RiSE coffee box gives you 60 cups of coffee for £20). They offer various options from light, medium and dark roasts. As well as decaf.

Our preferred option was the medium bodied option which was well balance, nutty in flavour, and a strong enough kick that you would expect in a medium bodied speciality coffee.

The bags themselves are also 100% plastic free which we love!

Kings coffee tea bags

Paddy and Scott’s

Paddy and Scott started selling coffee in 2007 out of the trunk of their car. A few things we liked about these guys is that they use 100% compostable coffee bean bags (made from corn starch!) making them fully recyclable. Their deliveries arrive in a letterbox friendly format in case you are on the go! The coffee is also direct trade (something RiSE coffee box always looks for) to ensure coffee farmers receive a premium on the Fair Trade price and they are Rainforest alliance certified.

Each bag is 10g and they come in packs of 31 or 100, starting at £18.99 and going up to £54. This is slightly better priced at 61 p a cup of coffee, but you are still clearly paying a premium for the convenience. They only have one flavour profile and no information is given about the coffee inside the bag which is a shame. 

Raw Bean

Founded b Alex Cox in 2012, Raw Bean Proper Coffee offers a variety of coffee bags. We tried the Striking El Salvador, which was pretty punchy. It is a rich chocolate flavour profile. Their current offering (as of Oct 22) suggest the bags are short dated stock, which is worrying. 10 bags are £4.99 and on the cheaper side of the brands in this list. The coffee tea bags are 100% biodegradable which is good and they are letterbox friendly. Their bags are a pyramid shape which gives the coffee a bit more space to infuse. Each bag is 12g - which we liked.

Raw bean coffee tea bags

Frontline Coffee

Founded in 2018 by Max Broxton, Frontline coffee aren’t all just about coffee, they have an incredible cause and donate all of their profits to the NHS, RNLI and Emergency Service Charities across the UK. One thing we loved, you also have the option to donate a cup of coffee!

The Yirgacheffe, a blend of Sumatran, Brazilian and Indian beans was dark and chocolatey. A little too dark for what we are used to as speciality coffee drinkers with our RiSE coffee boxes but overall an enjoyable cup.

They offer 35-50 coffee bags per delivery, with 10g of coffee in each coffee tea bag. Their coffee tea bags start from £5.00. Their packages are letterbox friendly, however their coffee bags aren’t fully home-recyclable they advise it is 50% less packaging being used.

The verdict: Coffee bags

If you want to compromise taste for inconvenience then these are for you. There is nothing wrong with that, we all lead busy lives. We have featured Drink Heaped this month as we believe they have the best offering in terms of flavour profile and sustainability. The price is slightly higher at 67p per cup, but we wouldn’t want to compromise the flavour too much in exchange for freshness and quality so think its worth it!

Some things you may need to know:

Before you ditch your coffee equipment and your RiSE coffee box, here are a few essential things to know.

How Do I Use a Coffee Tea Bag?

Coffee tea bags are for quick single serve and work in the same way as a tea bag (instead of tea inside, it is ground coffee!) To use a coffee tea bag, put it in your favourite mug, pour in your hot water, and let it brew for around 3-4 minutes.
A bit like tea, it will get stronger the longer you leave.

Which Is The Best Tasting Coffee Bags?

Our favourite is Drink Heaped. We thought for a coffee tea bag the sweet berry flavours really came through.

however you will never be able to match some of the speciality coffee featured in a RiSE coffee box or on our Coffee Marketplace. You do compromise freshness for convenience, as well as brewing in the right way to suit your coffee of choice.

How long do the coffee bags last?

As you would expect with ground coffee, the flavour declines over time (and quicker than speciality whole bean coffee). The coffee bags usually last around 3 months.

How Much Coffee is in a Coffee Bag?

Each bag is single serve and the grams vary from brand to brand. They vary from 8g to 14g - we prefer the 10-14g bags as the flavour comes through after a few minutes of brewing. Watch out for a low coffee content.

Is a Coffee Bag Ground Coffee?

Coffee bags are ground coffee. The coffee is ground for cafetiere, so medium coarse. This allows the coffee to infuse / extract in the same way with a similar result.

Our thoughts…

if you are extremely busy and always on the run, this could be a great option for you! If you do not want to compromise taste and have those extra few minutes to brew yourself we recommend sticking to buying whole bean coffee. If this is you, see whether whole bean or ground is good for you.

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