Coffee fads – ‘coffee in a bag’

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Teabags, introduced as a quick, easy, mess-free way of brewing up, have been with us for a while. In fact, patents for hand-sewn fabric teabags were first filed as early as 1903. So, with coffee now firmly ensconced as the UK’s favourite drink ahead of tea, have you ever wondered why no-one’s invented a ‘coffeebag’?


Step forward Raw Bean Ltd, a small, artisan producer based in Winchester, who earlier this year launched Bean Bags – pre-roasted and ground specialty coffee, in a single-serve bag. While it’s not quite the first such offering on the market, it is the first to use high-grade specialty coffee. The bags themselves look like the design of a certain major tea company – pyramid-shaped and larger than normal teabags. Each one contains 12 grams of pure arabica coffee, which is roasted specially for each order to make sure it’s as fresh as possible. The larger bag leaves room for the coffee to infuse. So far there are three products in the range – a single origin, a blend and a Columbian single-origin decaff. More varieties are also planned for the future.

Are coffeebags the future?

So is this the future of homebrew coffee? It’s a great idea – to deliver a hit of high-quality caffeine with the convenience of a teabag. No more messing around with coffee machines or filters – just pop the bag in and off you go. However, we’re included to think it won’t knock home coffee machines out of pole position. With a bag, it’s too easy to get the water temperature wrong and end up with a bitter brew. The main danger, though, is forgetting you’re in the middle of something and leaving the bag in too long for a result that’s only fit for the bin. Most home coffee machines just require charging with coffee and water and leaving, and they’ll take care of filtering, water temperature and brew quality with no further input. Standing over a coffeebag, waiting for the right moment to whisk it out with a spoon, might be more trouble rather than less. We can see a place for them as a convenience product though – for example if you’re camping. We suspect that these won’t catch on with coffee aficionados, who prefer a more purist brewing method, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for them at all.

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