When were coffee bags invented?

Coffee Bags 

Coffee bags are seen by some as the newest coffee invention on the market. When we launched our very first range of Presto coffee bags at the start of the year we were met with equal parts delight and curiosity from our customers, as it appears that this convenient, fuss-free way of enjoying a delicious cup of coffee appears to have been something of a well-kept secret (not something you come across very often!).

Are Presto the first coffee brand to launch bags? What's the difference between a coffee bag and a tea bag? How are you supposed to brew a coffee bag? These are just some of the questions we've had from our customers (and not to worry, we'll be sharing lots of useful tips and brew guides to answer these over a series of blog posts!) but what seems to have most of us baffled is when and where did the idea of putting coffee in a bag come from, and why are we only hearing about this now?!


Tea Bag Origins

As with all great things, the origins are a little murky when it comes to the invention of the coffee bag. There’s far more consensus around the origination of the tea bag which ultimately kicked off the brew-in-bag method. According to popular belief, in 1908 American tea importer Thomas Sulivan began sending samples of his tea out to customers in silk pouches. The intention of the pouch was to simply hold the product for the user to then pour out, however many of Thomas’s customers mistakenly popped the whole bag in to brew, and enjoyed the resulting beverage so much that they asked for more!

Clearly at some point there was a eureka moment when the coffee bag was born, and whenever this was it is definitely not to be confused with the invention of instant coffee. Both coffee bags and instant coffee are a convenient, quick and easy way to make a cup of coffee but there is a common misconception that they’re the same thing.


It's not the same as instant coffee

Instant coffee, which is dehydrated and already brewed before being packaged, was formed as a ‘coffee compound’ in Britain in 1771, before Instant coffee was patented in 1903 (not long before Thomas Sulivan accidently pioneered the way for the tea bag). However, it isn’t instant coffee that’s made its way into our 8g, fully compostable bags of delicious brew, but actually our high quality ground coffee. This means that brewing a cup of coffee with a coffee bag is as easy as whipping up an instant coffee, but with the delicious, rich taste and flavour of our popular ground and coffee bean blends. 

We may never know for certain who to thank for the conception of the lesser known coffee bag, but one thing is for sure; once you give them a try you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

Find out more about Presto’s coffee bags below, or shop our coffee bags to taste them for yourself or if you would like to go directly to our best selling rainforest alliance espresso coffee bags then please click here.

If you are also interested in other reviews, we recommend you checkout our Tesco Coffee BagsPercol Coffee bags, Lyons Coffee BagsTaylors Coffee BagsAsda Coffee bags blog reviews.

Back to blog
1 of 2