Packaging coffee is the process of enclosing roasted coffee (whole bean or ground) to protect it from sunlight, moisture, and oxygen, with the goal of preserving thecoffee's taste and aromatic characteristics, and also to contain the coffee in controlled portions for ease of sale.
Extending the shelf life of roasted coffee relies on maintaining an optimum environment to protect it from exposure to heat, oxygen, and light. Roasted coffee has an optimal typical shelf life of two weeks, and ground coffee about 15 minutes. Without some sort of preservation method, coffee becomes stale. The first large-scale preservation technique was vacuum packing in cans. However, because coffee emits CO2 after roasting, coffee to be vacuum-packed must be allowed to de-gas for several days before it is sealed. To allow more immediate packaging, pressurized canisters or foil-lined bags with pressure-relief valves can be used. Refrigeration and freezing retards the staling process. Roasted whole beans can be considered fresh for up to one month if kept cool. Once coffee is ground it is best used immediately.
Quad Seal and Center Fin Style coffee bags are probably the most common. These styles have been in existence for years and don’t lend themselves to a ziplock or re-closeable option other than a tin-tie or stick on label. These coffee packaging bags are beginning to get very “stale” and many companies are looking for new options.
Traditional Stand Up Pouches are certainly an option for packaging coffee…whether with a round bottom gusset or K or plow bottom. Many companies ignore this style but this is a mistake as these can be made with different re-sealable options while protecting the coffee inside. In an industry filled with “followers” choosing this style would definitely stand out from the competition.
Flat Bottom—Flexible Box Bags are one of the newest flexible packaging styles available. This innovative design mimics a box or folding carton and provides 5 different surface areas for custom printing and brand building. Even further, this style uses up to 15% less film than other styles yet holds more volume.