A coffee bag is just like a tea bag but it contains ground coffee. It’s completely different to instant coffee and a lot closer to the coffee you would get from an espresso machine but much more convenient. As you may have found yourself, if you try putting hot water on ground coffee the majority of the coffee doesn’t dissolve. By putting the ground coffee in a bag you get all of the taste with none of the mess.
- Our Top Recommendations
- Best Coffee Bags – Our Top 5
- Honourable Mentions
- 6) Lyons Coffee Break No3 (150 bags)
- 7) Taylors of Harrogate Decaffe Coffee Bags (Pack of 3, total of 30 Coffee Bags)
- 8) Percol Organic Fairtrade Smooth Colombian (Pack of 6)
- 9) Strong S**t! Coffee Bags – Dark Roasted Blend of Arabica and Robusta (50 Coffee Bags)
- 10) Emirates Blend Medium/Dark Roasted Arabica Coffee Bags (15 Bags)
- 11) CRU Kafe Organic Coffee Bags, Big Bodied & Smoky-Sweet Flavour Coffee Bags (3 Boxes, 30 Bags)
- 12) Fresh Ground Coffee Bags, 100% Arabica, Medium Roast – Guatemala (100 bags)
- Coffee Bag Buying Guide
Our Top Recommendations
Best Coffee Bags – Our Top 5
These are our top choices based on customer reviews and our own personal preference. However there is so much choice and some truly fantastic flavours, so it has been very hard for us to limit it to just these five brands. Scroll down for even more!
1) Taylors of Harrogate Rich Italian Coffee Bags, 10 enveloped bags
Better known for their tea than their coffee, Taylors of Harrogate have used their expertise to produce some of the best coffee bags around. This blend is made from 100% Arabica beans. It’s a medium roast with a smooth nutty taste with a hint of cocoa.
Taylor’s range of coffee bags also includes Hot Lava Java, a dark roast with a spicy, smoky taste, Flying Start, another dark roast with hints of chocolate and Decaffé which is decaffeinated but still delivers a decent medium roast coffee.
Each bag contains 7 grams of ground coffee and they come individually wrapped in boxes of 10. In addition they are Rainforest Alliance Certified so they help protect the environment and ensure sustainable livelihoods.
- Roast 4- Rich and Refined, 100 Percent Arabica Coffee
- An elegant coffee inspired by the rich roasts of northern Italy
- Inspired by the local roast style, it delivers rich flavours of dark chocolate and almond
2) Moreish Coffee Bags – Intense Brew
My personal favourite as I prefer South American coffee. This a dark rich coffee with an intense rich flavour. There’s a wide range to suit all tastes, including Smooth Colombian, Ethiopian Sidamo, Organic Honduran Arabica, Organic Peruvian Arabica and Swiss Water Decaffeinated.
The bags come in a bag of 50 and they are not individually wrapped but the bag is resealable. Each bag contains 8 grams of ground coffee.
Most of the range is single origin and organic and this one is also Rainforest Alliance Certified.
- A bold and intense blend of Rainforest Alliance certified South American coffee beans
- For those who like their coffee strong, dark and delicious
- Heighten your senses with a natural kick of caffeine
3) The Little Coffee Bag Company Blend No. 1 (100 Individually Wrapped Coffee Bags)
This is The Little Coffee Bag Company’s signature blend. Made from 100% Arabica beans from El Salvador, Rwanda and Sumatra this is full bodied and smooth with a fruity taste.
Also available are Blend No. 2, a single origin decaffeinated oven roasted coffee from Peru with a light, creamy, nutty taste; Blend No. 3, the best Jamaican blue mountain coffee bag available and Blend No. 4, organic coffee from Papua New Guinea, Peru and Colombia with a creamy nutty taste with hints of fruit and toast.
The box of 100 is very good value but smaller boxes, including gift boxes are available. Each bag contains 10 grams of ground coffee they are each individually wrapped. All the coffee is organic and Fairtrade.
- Rich and full bodied with a fruity medium acidity
- Containing 100 percent roasted arabica coffee
- Perfect for those people that have a serious relationship with coffee
4) Costa Mocha Italia Signature Blend Coffee Bags, Medium Strength 3,
Yes the nation’s favourite coffee shop makes coffee bags! This is the familiar blend of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans that Costa Coffee have been selling since 1971.
It’s not the strongest but is well rounded with hints of caramel and nuts. Each bag contains 8 grams of ground coffee individually wrapped. Obviously, being Costa Coffee, they are Rainforest Alliance Certified.
- SMOOTH TASTE: Created with our Mocha Italia Signature Blend, these coffee bags have a smooth and velvety taste
- CONVENIENT COFFEE BAGS: Enjoying your favourite Costa coffee couldn't be easier - Brew your coffee in just 3 minutes with these individual coffee bags
- TASTING NOTES: The flavour of these coffee bags is smooth and nutty, with notes of caramel - Perfect for sharing a cup of coffee with friends
5) Bean Bags (Breakfast Blend) Coffee
This a blend of two single origin 100% Arabica coffee from Colombia & Guatemala. You get that rich, well balanced South American taste with hints of caramel, roasted hazelnut and honey. I’m not sure why they call it a breakfast coffee as I could happily drink it all day.
There’s also a Swiss Water Decaff from Columbia and a single origin fruity 100% Arabica from El Salvador.
The bags contain 12 grams of ground coffee and are vacuum packed in 10s. The bags are pyramid shaped instead of square which is believed to provide better flow and flavour distribution. These bags also have a string attached to make removal easier.
As an extra touch there are a variety of different messages on the paper tags to amuse you.
- Top quality single orgin beans - blended
- 12g of coffee per bag making a quality tasting cup
- Bio-degradable bags
If you are looking for a few more ideas, take a look at the coffee bags below. They are all excellent choices that we are sure you will not be disappointed with.
6) Lyons Coffee Break No3 (150 bags)
- 150 Sachets Per Box
- Individually Wrapped
- 100% Arabica Coffee
7) Taylors of Harrogate Decaffe Coffee Bags (Pack of 3, total of 30 Coffee Bags)
- Taylors of Harrogate Decaf Coffee Bags
- Our clever individually-wrapped bags brew right in your cup, for proper coffee with no fuss
- This coffee has all the flavour without the kick - it's smooth and malty with a guilt-free note of caramel
8) Percol Organic Fairtrade Smooth Colombian (Pack of 6)
- 100% organic arabica beans
- Plastic-free certified
9) Strong S**t! Coffee Bags – Dark Roasted Blend of Arabica and Robusta (50 Coffee Bags)
- Intense smoky blend of Brazilian Arabica and Natural Robusta with a rich full body
- Dark and powerful with hints of plum, burnt caramel and toasted peanut and a lingering treacle finish
- Strong shit is not for the faint hearted!
10) Emirates Blend Medium/Dark Roasted Arabica Coffee Bags (15 Bags)
- Medium Dark Roast Arabica/Robusta Ground Coffee.
- Resealable pouches with single serve coffee bags, to give you coffee in an instant anytime and anywhere. Coffee in an instant but not Instant Coffee.
- If you need that "pick me up at work" then this is a lovely strong but smooth coffee.
11) CRU Kafe Organic Coffee Bags, Big Bodied & Smoky-Sweet Flavour Coffee Bags (3 Boxes, 30 Bags)
- TEA BAGS WITH A TWIST - Packed full of our great tasting coffee - Our new coffee bags are the easiest way yet to enjoy your favourite cup of CRU Kafe - In the office, on holiday; wherever your day...
- JUST ADD WATER - It’s as easy as one, two, three - Just pop in a mug, pour in boiling water, give it a squeeze, let it sit for 2-3 mins & enjoy your favourite coffee anywhere!
- 100% SOIL ASSOCIATION CERTIFIED - That means no pesticides, solvents or nasty chemicals near our organic coffee - This is better for our farmers, the planet, and you
12) Fresh Ground Coffee Bags, 100% Arabica, Medium Roast – Guatemala (100 bags)
- ✓ REAL COFFEE, REAL EASY - coffee bags are like tea bags but filled with our premium quality, fresh ground coffee. Made in the same way as making a cup of tea - add a bag to a cup, add hot water,...
- ✓ PREMIUM QUALITY - we only use 100% Arabica, single origin coffee in our coffee bags, providing real depth of flavour.
- ✓ ETHICAL COFFEE - all of our coffee is Fairtrade and Organic certified, ensuring we provide only the very best coffee, whilst supporting the farmers and the environment.
Coffee Bag Buying Guide
Coffee bags are designed to go into a cup or mug to which you add hot water and leave to ‘stew’, just as you would a tea bag. As with instant coffee, it is better to use hot water just off the boil, not boiling water. Once the bag has been removed you can add sugar and milk according to your preference. The result is similar to filter or cafetiere coffee as it is ground coffee infused in hot water.
Are Coffee Bags and Instant Coffee the Same?
Coffee bags are not instant coffee. Instant coffee is a liquid that has been dried so when hot water is added the powder completely dissolves. Coffee bags contain ground coffee of which only about 20% will dissolve in hot water, leaving the rest as a mixture of bitter specks and unappealing sludge. By putting the ground coffee in a bag you don’t get this problem.
Can You Use Coffee Bags in Any Coffee Machine?
Coffee bags will not go in any kind of coffee machine. They are only designed to go in a cup with hot water poured over. Some like to put several in a teapot or cafetiere with hot water. Occasionally people get confused between coffee bags and ESE pods that look similar.
How do Coffee Bags Taste?
Coffee bags give you the taste of fresh ground coffee in a convenient format. All you need is a kettle and a mug and within minutes you can have a cup of fresh coffee. The coffee bags often come individually wrapped so they are easy to take with you to work or on holiday. They are handy when just one person wants a quick coffee without going to the trouble of using a machine.
As coffee bags are becoming more popular, the range of choice is getting wider. Many of the small, artisan coffee companies are beginning to sell them and the boxes often come with batch numbers and roasting dates. The coffee is usually sealed in the bags soon after being roasted and well packaged so it’s the closest you can get to freshly roasted and ground coffee without doing it all yourself.
How do coffee bags work?
Coffee bags make coffee by the immersion brewing method. Coffee grounds are steeped in hot water for a period of time to brew the coffee. Other methods that also use the immersion brewing process are cafetières, or French press as some call them, Aeropress and cold brew. The strength of the coffee is mainly controlled by how long you leave the bag in and how many times you squeeze it. The coffee bag is removed before drinking or adding any milk, just like a tea bag.
Why isn’t my coffee very strong?
After adding the hot water to the cup, squeeze the bag gently between the side of the cup and the back of the spoon. Leave to stew for at least four minutes and then squeeze again. Don’t be too rough as the bags can split. The longer you leave the bag in the hot water the stronger the taste will be.
Why is my coffee bitter?
The usual reason for your coffee tasting bitter is that the water is too hot. Boil the kettle but then wait at least 30 seconds, preferably a minute before pouring over the coffee bag. Leaving the bag in the hot water too long can also create a bitter taste. Also do not microwave your cup of hot water with the coffee bag in it as that will affect the flavour.
Does the amount of ground coffee in the bag affect the strength of flavour?
You may notice that the amount of ground coffee in a coffee bag can vary from as little as 7 grams to as much as 12 grams. To a small degree, the bag with more ground coffee in it will taste slightly stronger. However how the coffee has been roasted makes the main difference in the strength of the coffee.
What do I do with the bag when I have finished with it?
Generally speaking it can straight in the bin. If you choose you can open the bag and use put the coffee grounds in a compost bin. Many companies make their bags from recyclable or biodegradable material.
Can I use coffee bags for cold brew?
Yes. They work very well for cold brew and as the ground coffee is contained in the bag it makes the process easier and cleaner.
Are coffee bags better than instant?
Yes! It’s the quickest way to get a cup of brewed ground coffee. Instant coffee is dehydrated concentrated coffee and the taste is very different to any type of ground coffee. Coffee bags take slightly longer than instant coffee to make, around five minutes, but you get all the depth and complex flavours of a ground coffee. Coffee bags tend to work out a bit more expensive than instant but far cheaper than a takeaway coffee.
If you haven’t tried them yet you will be pleasantly surprised how easy coffee bags are to use and how good a cup of coffee they make. We love our espresso coffee but sometimes we need a quick brew and coffee bags are excellent and better than instant coffee in our opinion.