Why Doesn’t Coffee Come in Sachets Like Tea?

In recent years, several large coffee manufacturers have tried packaging their coffee grounds like tea, i.e., in sachets. While you can technically brew coffee this way, the final result is usually unpleasant and subpar compared to a probably steep pour-over, percolated, or pressure-brewed cup of joe. It’s not so much a question of possibility, but more of a question of quality.

If you’ve ever considered simplifying your coffee brewing technique by making your own homemade coffee sachets, I’m here to tell you that it’s probably not the best idea. In this article, I’ll explain why coffee usually isn’t sold like tea and walk you through some of the main complaints voiced by customers who purchased coffee sachets.

Currently Available Commercial Coffee Sachets?

Internationally, coffee sachets have been around for at least a decade. In an attempt to improve the quick-mix instant coffee sticks you might find in a doctor’s waiting room, big-name coffee manufacturers, such as Folgers and Maxwell House, started packaging their coffee grounds in sachets. Unlike tea bags, though, they require you to open the bag and pour the water into a portable filter.

This style of “instant” coffee is technically still around and you can easily find sachets in most grocery stores but it hasn’t become a popular brewing method largely because the final result is commercial, bland, and no better than a cup of instant coffee. Most coffee lovers would prefer a cup of freshly brewed joe.

Why is Coffee Less Suited to Sachets than Tea?

In an ideal world, coffee and tea could be packaged and stored the same way. After all, they are both agricultural products that undergo a similar picking and firing process. But the specifics of the two plants make one more suitable for sachets than the other (spoiler alert: it’s tea).

When tea leaves are first plucked, they are usually fried or dried, depending on the type of tea being made. They are then left to undergo an oxidation process that brings out the natural flavonoids in the tea. When packaged, the leaves are usually highly shelf-stable—as long as they are kept dry—because of this oxidation process.

Coffee, on the other hand, undergoes a different process. The beans are first extracted from the cherry, quickly dried, and then fried until they reach the desired roast. They are then either packaged and sold or ground and then packaged. Coffee never undergoes an oxidation process. In fact, if coffee is left to oxidize, it quickly becomes stale and tastes off.

Tea, in comparison, improves as it oxidizes. This is why some teas are actually sold and marketed as “fermented” varieties, such as Chinese Pu-erh.

If coffee were ground and left to sit in sachets for extended periods, instead of deepening in flavor, the coffee would lose its natural notes and become unpalatable.

Top Rated Coffee Sachets

If you’re ok with drinking a less-than-perfect cup of coffee, we can recommend a few brands that are at least on par with a cup of percolator brew. These brands have put research into creating sachets that capture the overall enjoyment of coffee without sacrificing too much flavor:

  • Presto Coffee Bags – Presto offers a range of coffee bags that closely resemble what you find in a box of tea. They currently offer four varieties, including Smooth Italian, Decaf, Intense Coffee, and a Cold Brew option. The flavors are deep and rich but do require a five-minute steep time to produce the best results.
  • Ueshima Fuji Mountain Coffee Bags – The Japanese were some of the first to start packaging coffee in sachets. Ueshima currently offers three different sachets—Tokyo Roast, House Blend, and Fuji Mountain—but I found the bold and intense flavors of their Fuji Mountain roast to produce the best results in a bagged sachet format.
  • Black Insomnia Coffee Bags – Black Insomnia markets itself as the “world’s strongest” coffee and with a tagline like that, you can be sure that their coffee sachets pack a punch. Their blend of Arabica and Robusta beans guarantees full flavor and low acidity, as long as you follow the proper pour-over brewing technique.
  • Folgers Classic Roast Coffee Singles – Arguably the most commercial on our list, Folgers Classic Roast coffee bags offer everything you’d expect from a coffee sachet. They’re quick, easy to use, and produce a fairly standard cup of joe. Take them on your next road trip and never be without the best part of wakin’ up.

If you’re going to drink coffee from a sachet, go for quality and check out these top 4 products (THESE ARE NOT AFFILIATE LINKS). They’ll produce something worth drinking and get you up in the morning.

Summing It Up

While you can find coffee sachets in most stores, they’re not as prevalent as tea bags because the final product is often lackluster. However, if you’re looking for a quick cup of coffee on the go, we recommend sticking to top-quality coffee bags, such as the brands shared above.