Coffee and Tea Packaging: Why Sachets Are Common for One but Not the Other

In the realm of hot beverages, tea bags have become a staple for many tea lovers, offering convenience and ease of use. However, when it comes to coffee, individual bags or servings are not as common. This begs the question: Why isn’t coffee sold in bags like tea? In this white paper, we examine the factors that contribute to this disparity, exploring the unique characteristics and challenges associated with coffee production, brewing methods, and consumer preferences.

Coffee’s unique brewing process

One of the primary reasons coffee is not commonly sold in bags like tea is the fundamental difference in brewing methods. Tea, which is typically made by steeping tea leaves in hot water, lends itself well to the convenience of individual bags. Coffee, on the other hand, is brewed using a variety of methods, including espresso machines, pour-overs, French presses, and more. These methods require different coffee-to-water ratios, extraction times, and brewing temperatures, making it challenging to create a one-size-fits-all coffee sachet that delivers the desired flavor and aroma.

Freshness and taste considerations

Coffee lovers often prioritize the freshness and flavor of their brew. Coffee’s complex flavor profile is influenced by factors such as bean origin, roast level, grind size and brewing technique. To preserve optimal flavor, coffee is typically packaged in whole bean or ground form, allowing consumers to control brewing variables and customize their experience. Pods, by their very nature, limit the flexibility to adjust these variables, potentially compromising freshness and flavor. As a result, coffee manufacturers often focus on providing whole bean or ground coffee to maintain the quality and integrity of the final brew.

Consumer preferences and rituals

Coffee drinking is often associated with personal experiences and rituals that vary across cultures and individuals. Many coffee enthusiasts enjoy the process of grinding fresh beans, measuring precise quantities and experimenting with different brewing techniques. The act of brewing coffee is considered a sensory experience, allowing individuals to engage with the aromas, flavors and brewing methods that match their preferences. While convenient, sachets may not offer the same level of customization and engagement, potentially limiting their appeal to coffee connoisseurs.

Environmental considerations

Another consideration is the environmental impact of tea bag packaging. Tea bags are typically made from filter paper or other biodegradable materials, making them more environmentally friendly. In contrast, coffee bags often require additional layers of packaging to preserve freshness, which can be difficult to make environmentally friendly. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration for consumers, the coffee industry is exploring alternative packaging solutions that balance convenience and environmental awareness.

The bottom line

While tea bags have become a common and convenient way to enjoy a cup of tea, the same approach has not gained widespread popularity in the world of coffee. The unique brewing process, emphasis on freshness and flavor, consumer preferences, and environmental concerns all contribute to the disparity. Coffee’s complexity, rituals, and desire for customization make it challenging to replicate the convenience of tea bags. As coffee culture continues to evolve, innovations in packaging and brewing methods can bridge the gap, offering more convenient options without compromising the quality and experience coffee lovers value.


Why isn’t coffee commonly sold in sachets, like tea bags?

Coffee is an agricultural product that is roasted, ground, packaged and shipped. These steps can significantly affect its freshness and flavor. Unlike tea, which is relatively stable in its dried form, coffee is more susceptible to spoilage. Exposure to oxygen and other external elements can quickly degrade the taste and aroma of coffee. Sachets, with their limited packaging options, may not provide adequate protection against these factors, resulting in a substandard coffee experience. To ensure optimal freshness and flavor, coffee is often sold as whole beans or ground coffee, allowing consumers to control brewing variables and enjoy a more flavorful cup of coffee.

Is there coffee that comes in tea bags?

They are what they sound like — coffee in a single-use teabag. With this product, customers can easily steep coffee into hot or cold water and prepare a fresh cup on demand without any equipment or having to share—we call them our single-serving brew bag. Having a single serving of delicious coffee is already great.

Can coffee pods be used like tea bags?

How to Use Coffee Pods in Disposable Tea Bags. How about making coffee using tea bags? Yes, you can add grounds to a tea bag and drop it inside a cup of hot water, the same way you make tea. When your drip-coffee machine is faulty and you do not have an alternative coffee maker, empty tea bags can save the day.

What is the difference between a tea bag and a sachet?

Tea sachets (middle in the photo) contain a mix of whole and broken tea leaves inside a pyramid-shaped bag. The tea inside tea bags (bottom in the photo) are little tiny bits of what was once a whole tea leaf.

Why don’t they make coffee bags like tea bags?

Unlike a French press, the general properties needed for a tea filter bag to SEAL the coffee in requires a heat-sensitive sealant. The sealant used will clog the pores of the filter paper and you will never get enough coffee in the filter to make it taste decent while making it affordable.

Why don’t we put coffee in tea bags?

Coffee grounds dry up and go stale much quicker than tea, so it wouldn’t make sense to leave small coffee bags out for any real period of time. The rich oils that get exposed from grounding add so much flavor to your final cup.

Can coffee pods be used without a machine?

Simply remove the pod from its packaging and place it in your mug, and carefully pour hot water over it. Stop at about a third to half an inch from the brim and allow the pod to steep. If it starts to float, use a spoon to hold it underwater. Stir the brew occasionally, making sure to keep the pod submerged.

Can you just add hot water to coffee pods?

Can I just open up the coffee pod and add boiling water? No, it would not work. You should use regular coffee if you don’t want to use the pods.