Are coffee bags the same as instant coffee?

by Matthew Robertson August 26, 2021

Are coffee bags the same as instant coffee? - Down The Range Coffee

If you love coffee but do not want all the hassle that comes with the use of coffee-making gadgets, then coffee bags may be a good option for you. Coffee bags can give you the same convenience of an instant coffee but with the real coffee taste that you are looking for.

Coffee bags are not the same as instant coffee because instant coffee are processed granules or powder that are made to dissolve in water, while coffee bags contain fresh coffee grounds that you need to steep in water in order to extract its flavor.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at what coffee bags are made of, how they differ from instant coffee and how they are used.

What are Coffee Bags?

Coffee bags are small, heat-sealed bags that contain ground coffee. A single coffee bag is equal to one serving or one cup of coffee and has all the aroma and flavor you would expect from your usual barista style coffee. To put it simply, it’s just like a tea bag, but with fresh ground coffee!

Coffee bags eliminate the need for gadgets or coffee makers, thus saving you time and money. But the lack of equipment does not mean that you cannot alter the coffee to suit your taste, you can control its strength by easily leaving the bag to steep for a longer or shorter amount of time.

Coffee Bags vs Instant Coffee

Instant coffee contains the lowest quality of coffee beans which affects the flavor. They are made through the process of either freeze-drying or spray-drying.

Freeze drying is a process of cooking the coffee for extraction and then chilling it at 20°F until it becomes basically slushy. This slushy mixture is then chilled again at -40°F to make frozen coffee slabs before sending them down to a drying vacuum to be vaporized and broken down into granules.

Spray drying is done by having liquid coffee concentrate sprayed as fine mist into a hot 480°F air, when this mist hits the ground and the water has evaporated, it will have dried into small granules.

On the other hand, coffee bags are made with freshly ground coffee that are placed in bags and heat-sealed.

They look like tea bags and work just the same way as tea bags do. This means that the flavor will be similar to coffee made from a percolator or open filter.

How do I use a Coffee Bag?

  1. Fill your favorite cup with boiled water
  2. Put the coffee bag in
  3. Leave for 10-15 seconds and stir
  4. Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes, but feel free to experiment to find what suits you best.
  5. Give the coffee bag a squeeze, then add milk and/or sugar or anything you prefer.
  6. Once steeped, place the coffee bad in your food waste where it will break down
  7. Sit back and take a sip

As we’ve mentioned above, a coffee bag works the same way as a tea bag does. You simply have to add water and let it steep.

A coffee bag that contains about 9 grams of coffee can already offer a strong flavour in a 300ml or 10oz cup. Follow the steps below

Are coffee bags worth it?

If you normally drink instant coffee or pre-ground coffee from the market, then coffee bags may be a great alternative.


The coffee placed inside these bags are generally a dark roast to provide a deep, rich and smokey flavor that is familiar to all of us.

Ground coffee is definitely superior, in terms of taste, when compared to instant coffee, and coffee bags are no exception.

However, if you are an instant coffee drinker, then you have to have more patience when using coffee bags because you may need to steep a bag for up to 5 minutes to fully extract the flavor of the ground coffee.

If you steep a coffee bag for less than two minutes, the flavor of the coffee grounds will not be fully extracted, thus giving you a slightly acidic taste.

A lot of packet instructions do not indicate how much water to add, but it is advisable that for every 8g of ground coffee, you should add just over 100ml of water to get that good-tasting cup. However, you can alter this to suit your preference.


Coffee bags are massively convenient. They are easily transportable as small, individual packets, which means they are excellent to use for camping trips or even just for work.

Despite being a bit more expensive, you can actually save up more money by not having to buy from local coffee shops.


Most retailers use biodegradable materials for their coffee bags, such as plant based and industrially compostable plastic which you can dispose of in your food or garden council waste bins, but not to be added in your home compost pile because these materials need heat and space in order for it to break down.

However, some coffee bags come in non-biodegradable plastic packets, so it is best to dispose of them properly or choose to buy from retailers who use more environmentally-friendly materials.

Can you use coffee bags for iced coffee?

Coffee bags can be brewed in hot water as well as in cold water, provided that they are made using good quality filter material.

Since the coffee is already in a filter, it can work perfectly for iced coffee, just add water, allow to steep for at least 5 minutes, remove and add ice, milk or anything you prefer to add.

Can you use a coffee bag more than once?

Since coffee bags contain just about 10 grams of ground coffee, it is best to not use them more than once.

This is because you may have already extracted the flavor and aroma and they would not taste as nice if used for the second time.

What is the best way to dispose of coffee grounds?

After fully extracting the coffee bag, it is best to dispose of the coffee grounds properly, but instead of letting them go to waste, follow these few resourceful ways.

  1. Natural Air Deodorizer After using the coffee bag, remove the coffee grounds and use them to neutralize odors, eliminate unpleasant smells at home and reset your sense of smell. You can also use it to keep your fridge smelling fresh and old containers smell clean.
  2. Insect Repellent Coffee grounds also make great insect repellent. All you need to do is fill a container with moistened coffee grounds and line it with double-sided tape. The scent of the coffee grounds can attract cockroaches and other insects into this trap. To keep unwanted garden pests away, just sprinkle some of the grounds around your garden.
  3. Body or Face Scrub Coffee grounds have natural antioxidants that help stimulate the skin cells and promote healthier skin. Use the coffee grounds as a body or face scrub by combining it with olive oil or coconut oil. Simply mix the ingredients together to form a thick paste, then massage it onto your face or body. Doing this, in moderation, can help remove dead skin and keep your skin hydrated.
  4. Fertilizer Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen, that is why they can be used to fertilize your plants and help them grow healthy and strong. However, you should rinse the coffee grounds with water first to lower the pH level and make them less acidic to plants. You can then sprinkle the coffee grounds directly over the soil around the plant or mix them in with the soil. Using coffee grounds as fertilizer will improve the soil’s water retention ability and will give the plants enough nitrogen in order for them to thrive and grow beautifully.
  5. Hair Product Coffee grounds have a texture that is stimulating and exfoliating, which is why it can also be used to keep your hair healthy. If you regularly use hair masks and serums, there may be a residue build-up in your hair and one way you can remove those residues is by massaging your hair with used coffee grounds before you proceed to shampoo. You have to thoroughly rinse your hair after to be able to fully remove the coffee granules. The texture of the coffee grounds have the ability to break apart the residue and leave your hair clean and looking extra smooth. Using this method can also temporarily dye your hair to a darker shade.

Nothing beats a good-tasting cup of coffee, but when you are in a rush or always on the go, it may not always be convenient to prepare. That is why coffee bags are made to offer a different way of brewing coffee.

It is an easier way to prepare unprocessed ground coffee without any other fancy equipment needed. You simply need a cup of boiled water, steep your coffee bag, add milk or sugar and you are good to go.


Matthew Robertson
Matthew Robertson


Also in Blog

Coffee vs Energy Drink, Caffeine & Sugar Compared - Down The Range Coffee
Coffee vs Energy Drink, Caffeine & Sugar Compared

by Matthew Robertson October 21, 2021

Read More

How Do You Pour Over Coffee? - Down The Range Coffee
How Do You Pour Over Coffee?

by Matthew Robertson October 13, 2021

Read More

How To Fold Chemex Filter - Down The Range Coffee
How To Fold Chemex Filter

by Matthew Robertson October 05, 2021

Read More