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And now for something superficial: coffee bags

February 08, 2012

There are plenty of weightier angles to take on the subject of coffee bags—whether or not they should be recyclable, have one-way valves, come with recommendations on brew parameters, etc.—but today I feel shallower. How about focusing on how they look for a second? I tend to keep my beans in the bags unless they’re destined for the freezer, so I can’t help but contemplate such things.

What got me thinking about this issue most recently is the delicious sample that Tonx sent me last week (shown below). Yeah, yeah, the coffee is great, a caramel explosion with sweetness that won’t quit and subtle fruit peeking through. But what about that bag? Distinctive, right? From my perspective, at least, the typography is awesome; one’s focus is drawn to those stretchy, chalky, whimsical-but-rigid letters since there’s no color (besides uniform glossy silver) to otherwise distract the eye.

Notice also that Tonx has incorporated its description of the amount of coffee enclosed and its origin into the bag’s "label," for lack of a better word. A number of roasters I’ve ordered from use a more generic label and require handwritten annotation for one or both of those bits of information. I have nothing *against* handwriting per se, as long as it’s legible, but a coffee’s presentation is somewhat slicker without it, I find.

Other aspects I like about this coffee’s packaging are the convenient Ziploc-style seal and the fact that it’s a stand-up pouch with no side gusset. I’ve only ever encountered something similar from Vivace and Ecco Caffè.

Am I alone in caring a little about looks? If so, any favorite bag designs or styles?

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In my cup right now: the Coffee Artisan’s Zambia Terranova Estate (pod)
Finishing up: Velton’s Yemen Mokha Harasi  (as espresso), Tonx Colombia Los Naranjos
Arriving today: Brown Coffee’s Finca Las Delicias Reserva (El Salvador)
Ready to order Sun. night: either Klatch’s Kenya Ichamara Peaberry (if ROASTe adds it in time) or something from MadCap






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