Are you someone who likes to grab your morning coffee on the go? Perhaps you prefer the taste of premium coffee but don’t have space for a coffee machine at home, or maybe you just want to swap your usual jar of instant coffee for something a little more authentic. If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, coffee bags could be a game changer for you.
In this article, we’ll look at how coffee bags compare to instant coffee, so you can weigh up whether or not it’s worth you making the swap.
What Are Coffee Bags?
Think of a coffee bag as a tea bag—just filled with ground coffee instead of tea. In fact, they work in pretty much the exact same way. Coffee bags come in a range of different blends and flavours and are designed to give you a cafetière-style coffee, without the hassle.
How to Use Coffee Bags
Coffee bags are extremely easy to use. All you need to do is pop a bag into your favourite mug, fill it with boiling water, and leave it for two to three minutes to brew. Then, remove the bag with a spoon—squeezing it as you go—add any milk or sugar to taste, and enjoy! There’s no grinding and no coffee machine required.
How Do Coffee Bags Compare to Instant Coffee?
While both coffee bags and instant coffee are great options for anyone who wants a caffeine fix without the hassle, there are pros and cons to both. When deciding which option’s best for you, you’ll want to consider the flavour, the aroma, the convenience, and of course the price.
Let’s take a closer look at how both types of coffee measure up.
Flavour and aroma
Despite being just as convenient as instant coffee, coffee bags tend to score higher in the flavour department. That’s because they’re made with coffee that’s been ground from whole coffee beans, and nothing else. The beans are simply ground before being placed into the bags, which are then heat sealed, locking in the flavours. That also means you get all those lovely aromas, just like when you walk into your favourite coffee shop. Just be sure to let the coffee brew for the recommended amount of time – otherwise, you might get a slightly acidic taste instead of the intended flavour.
Instant coffee, on the other hand, is designed to dissolve—you guessed it—instantly. That means it’s got to be quite heavily processed, either by freeze-drying—where the coffee is cooked, frozen, then dried—or spray-drying—where it’s liquified, sprayed into hot air, then dried into granules. Cheaper instant coffee is often made with lower-quality beans, which means the flavour takes another hit.
Instant coffee has long been a favourite for those looking for a quick caffeine hit, whether it’s sipping a cup first thing in the morning, or grabbing a quick one between work calls. And if we’re talking speed, it still takes first place—as its name suggests, dissolving instantly into a mug of hot water. Coffee bags, on the other hand, need a few minutes to brew. But unless you’re always running super late, you can probably spare that little bit of extra time for a better-quality coffee! It’ll still be far quicker than grinding and brewing your own coffee, and it negates the need to have a bulky coffee machine taking up space on your kitchen counter. Plus, a few minutes of waiting is a very small price to pay for an easy-to-make, cafetière-style pick-me-up.
It’s not just speed that matters when it comes to convenience, though. Coffee bags tend to be better suited to those who are always on the go because they’re nice and easy to transport. After all, no one wants to lug around a heavy glass jar full of instant coffee! You can pop a few coffee bags in your bag to take to work with you or pack some to take on your next camping trip.
When it comes to price, coffee bags do tend to be more expensive than instant coffee. But that doesn’t mean they’re not great value for money. In fact, they’re comparable in price to coffee pods, and if you’re in the habit of popping into your favourite coffee shop for a mid-morning pick-me-up, coffee bags could be a great cost-saving alternative. Coming in at as little as 30 pence a cup, they give you all the flavour of a coffee shop brew, without the hefty price tag. And don’t forget, you won’t have to fork out for a machine of any kind, either.
The Bottom Line
Both coffee bags and instant coffee are great options for coffee drinkers who want a quick, easy option on busy mornings. In terms of flavour and aroma, however, coffee bags come up trumps, and better still, there’s no need to make space in your kitchen for a coffee machine. So, if you’re not fussy about flavours and just want a super-quick, super-cheap caffeine hit, instant coffee will suit you just fine. However, if you’re looking for something more premium, coffee bags are probably a better bet.