The UK company - which has been selling beans and ground coffee since 2012 and has listings in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s - says its bean bags offer a simpler, less messy way to enjoy coffee.
Factoring in today’s coffee culture, higher expectations for coffee quality, and demand for convenience, Raw Bean founder Alex Cox believes the time is right for Bean Bags.
Target market: coffee connoisseurs
Raw Bean is launching three bean bags varieties: breakfast blend (strength 4), El Salvador (strength 3) and Definitely Decaffeinated (strength 4, 100% chemical free), retailing from £4.50 for 10 bags.
Each bag contains 12 grams of grounds (compared to seven grams as can be found in other coffee bags on the market, says Raw Bean), while the pyramid tea bag allows better infusion than its square coffee bag cousins, adds the brand.
Today’s coffee shop culture has raised expectations of at-home options, said Alex Cox, founder of Raw Bean, told BeverageDaily.
“As a quality filter coffee option, Bean Bags will mostly appeal to cafetiere users; people who have traded up to better quality coffee after drinking in coffee shops and want the ‘proper’ coffee experience at home or in the office,” he said.
“They know what they like and are looking at different ways to experience better quality coffee.
“We see the majority of consumers coming from roast and ground coffee looking for a quick, easy and tasty option (which is not delivered by instant).
"However, we also think Bean Bags will be a great alternative for instant coffee drinkers who would prefer ‘proper’ coffee but are not prepared to deal with the mess!”
- Squeeze after adding water
- Brew for three minutes
- Squeeze once more
Other potential consumers include those on the move or enjoying pursuits where a cafetiere is not practical – ‘at the remote Airbnb or cottage rental, on the road in the campervan, fishing, camping or hiking trips…’ - while also appealing to pod users who are uncomfortable with the volumes of coffee capsule waste going to landfill.
“We also see Bean Bags working well for the hospitality and catering markets,” said Cox. “Bean Bags offer hotels and airlines, for example, the opportunity to offer a premium coffee experience to guests or passengers.”
Tea bags are an English staple – so why aren’t coffee bags?
“If you examine the history of tea, it also started out as loose and - as consumption grew to colossal levels - evolved to a bagged product to cater to the inevitable demand for convenience,” said Cox.
“Now, this could be the start of the evolution or revolution of coffee, combining great taste and convenience.”
With the UK moving away from being a ‘nation of tea drinkers’ towards an ever-growing coffee culture, consumers will look for simpler, less messy ways to enjoy their favorite brew, he added.
“The major difference between tea and coffee is the amount required to make a satisfying cup. With tea, this can be achieved with as little as 3-4g, however, a decent cup of coffee requires significantly more: around 12g.
“There’s a technical consideration too; the coffee needs to be able to infuse properly and with the quantity of grounds required per bag, the size of old-fashioned tea bags simply doesn’t allow for adequate infusion.”
Consequently Cox says the development of the pyramid coffee bag has allowed Raw Bean to put 12g of coffee into a bag, with room still left for it to infuse.
However, he says the real key to success is the quality of the coffee itself: “We have put a lot of effort into sourcing and blending high quality Arabica coffees with plenty of flavour to enhance the experience.”