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Thread: What Is Going On With Coffee Bags Lately???

  1. #1
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    What Is Going On With Coffee Bags Lately???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Why am I getting coffee bags from quite a few different online shops lately that do not seal at either end of the ziplock? The moulding at each end of the ziplock stops short of the end of the bags leaving a big gap for air to spoil my fresh coffee! It seems to be mainly the new style of bags that have the top that does not open all the way out. The ones that open on one side and not across the whole top of the bag. Can't think of a better way to describe them sorry, so I hope you know which style I am referring to. Check your coffee bags out and see if the ziplock stops before each end of the bag. Quite a farcical blunder really.

    FG.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Why not post a pic or two to show us what you're talking about?

  3. #3
    TOK
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    I too am not understanding the question in that I am not visualising the particular packet described.

    Regardless......I'm not sure why people need to have ziplock bags. They cost a fortune (gets passed on to the client OR just costs the supplier more/less profit per packet), and the coffee can be transferred from a regular sealed packet to a re-sealable container OR, the regular packet can be resealed with gadgets, in-elastic bands and pegs at a pinch.

    My advice: Receive the coffee in whatever packet the coffee arrives in, open, and transfer into a "hard" re-sealable container (That's what I do).

    You only buy the resealable container once and its with you for life (ceramic - unless you drop and break it, or stainless).

    Problem solved.

  4. #4
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    The good resealable bags; aren't they good enough if your coffee's only in it for about a week?

    in this case, how much better would a permanent container be? Never had the problem of the OP. only people forgetting to seal the bag.

  5. #5
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Isn't the idea of the valved zip lock bags so you can squeeze out excess air, zip it tight and help the coffee stay fresher longer?

    Re OP, I have seen one bag where the zip is in one side of he bag just down from the top and doesn't extend all the way across. Like a pouch arrangement. Didn't pay attention to its sealing capabilities though.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    Okay, so I am going to bring back an old thread here, as I've had two more bad experiences in a row in the last few weeks. Back to back coffee orders from two different vendors. I will add some pictures to help explain myself.

    The problem bags I was originally talking about, had folds in the top of the bag, where coffee bags are heat sealed. So instead of two sheets of plastic being heat sealed together, there were four. They also had a zip lock, that did not go all the way across the top of the bag. The problem with them was the zip lock itself. It did not seal the entire opening. It stopped short on either end, leaving a big air gap. Think of a glad bag, in which the zip lock does not go all the way to each end of the bag. So leaving the bag open to the air on each end. This was back when I wrote this thread initially. Time went on and I seemed to be getting the older style bags again, so I didn't worry about it anymore.

    But, they have come back to haunt me. And this time they have two different problems. This time, the bags, (seemingly being used more and more all the time now), DO have a zip lock that DOES seal the entire opening. But the sealed folds are starting to open more easily in transit. It happened to me twice. I think it might be because of aeroplane pressure. And then if the seal doesn't fail, which was the case for the last order I placed, (different vendor), there is something else that goes wrong. The bags now have a new gimmicky tear strip arrangement. I think the over design of coffee bags is causing complications, resulting in failing seals. When I squeeze the bag, air comes out. But then, the bag sucks air back in again. I do not blame the one way valve, because I have never ever had an issue with one way valves before.

    Here are the new type with a tear strip in which you are not just tearing the top of the bag off. You instead pull a strip off the front of the bag, not both sides of the bag.

    Coffee Bag.pngWOJIN-COFFEE-VALVE-ONE-WAY-DEGASSING-VALVE-COFFEE-BAG-30.jpg

    I am worried that more and more vendors are going to be using these bags, and people are going to be unwittingly receiving stale coffee.

    If anyone receives these new bag types, squeeze the air out of them when you get them and see if the air comes back in to them in under 15 seconds. This means your coffee is stale, unless your coffee is still venting C02. But even then...

    Here is the original bag type that works. No folds in the top and no tear strip. Just a cut along the dotted line arrangement on top.

    high-barrier-kraft-coffee-bags-pouches-w-valve-2oz-50_92346.jpg

    I think this could end up being a big problem. Coffee needs to be very well sealed, obviously. Otherwise we are not receiving what we paid for. I am sure every coffee snob would whole heartedly agree with that.

    Surely, I am not the only person having this problem!

  7. #7
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Hi FineGrind,

    It sems you didn't get the responses you were perhaps looking for when you originally started this thread.

    I know exactly what you are talking about.
    The bag with the tear off part on the ziplock I will admit looks aesthetically pleasing in comparison to the standard bags we're used to.
    In saying that, I have had similar bad experiences with them as you have..but..not all of them. It seems that some of them are useless and others work well.

    I tested this out when I started roasting my own beans and reusing old bags I have stored. It was when I started doing that that I had a funny revelation. A roaster I used to buy from was using these bags for a time and I once received a very dull filter roast Ethiopian bean. I was shocked as the roaster's quality is top notch and being Ethiopian beans, it just didn't add up.
    Anyway, I used that very same bag for a roast once and guess what, the beans weren't very enjoyable by the time I got to them. I roast this bean all the time and it was spot on with my template graph I use to roast that bean so It wasn't my fault

    Just to be safe I stick to using the standard 1 way valve bags when possible. I can't say all of those newer style bags are bad though. Better than the crappy fold bags that are heat sealed. I suggest you buy a 1 way valve storage cannister to be safe.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    The problem is, that the coffee is staling before it reaches me. So the way I pack it after I receive it does not help the problem I am having unfortunately.

  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineGrind View Post
    Surely, I am not the only person having this problem!
    Easy fix is to change suppliers!

    I suspect the reason you didn't get many bites in this thread is because we use really great bags for the roasted coffee and our customers are happy.

    100,000+ CoffeeSnobs roasted bags have left here and we have had problems with 4.
    2 were split (I guess when a 5 ton package was dropped on them during transit), one dodgy zip and one dodgy valve and we replaced the contents of all those in the next roast.

    The only other failures have been spiked by something sharp during transit... and there isn't much you can easily do to stop that happening short of using kevlar ballistic blankets inside the satchel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Easy fix is to change suppliers!

    I suspect the reason you didn't get many bites in this thread is because we use really great bags for the roasted coffee and our customers are happy.

    100,000+ CoffeeSnobs roasted bags have left here and we have had problems with 4.
    2 were split (I guess when a 5 ton package was dropped on them during transit), one dodgy zip and one dodgy valve and we replaced the contents of all those in the next roast.

    The only other failures have been spiked by something sharp during transit... and there isn't much you can easily do to stop that happening short of using kevlar ballistic blankets inside the satchel.
    Yep, have never had a problem with CS bags.

    The old story, you get what you pay for.

    If roasters are cutting costs by using cheapo bags you have to wonder about the quality of green beans they are using as well.
    Andy and Dimal like this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Actually Yelta, these bags are more expensive. For what I ask..other than the look of course.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo89 View Post
    Actually Yelta, these bags are more expensive. For what I ask..other than the look of course.
    Surprising, if so makes you wonder why roasters continue to use them? slow learners perhaps, regardless, as I commented, Coffee Snobs bags never a problem.

  13. #13
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    I got Coffee Snobs bags last week - no ziplock, not airtight - heck the beans had even gone green.
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  14. #14
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Hmmm... so just to be clear I was talking about roasted coffee bags.
    (there's one in every crowd... normally me but you beat me to it simonko)

    We actually designed our own roasted bags after many months of research, not just graphics but the composition of them too.
    It's a 3 layer bag, the inner layer is PLA (renewable cornstarch based) and biodegradable, the next layer is foil which stops UV damage, the outer layer is PET (same as plastic coke bottles) with a biodegradable additive so it will break down and not stay intact for 100 years.

    Green beans also get special treatment, natural cotton (to breathe) with a zipper and made well enough that we recycle them, sometimes many times over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    I got Coffee Snobs bags last week - no ziplock, not airtight - heck the beans had even gone green.
    You've ended up with green beans? That's just not acceptable. My recommendation is that you take out your dissatisfaction and rage on them with a heat-emitting device. Perhaps not set fire to them, but really show them you are serious. I've got a Bosch heat gun you are welcome to borrow. Get that rage out...
    Andy, Dimal and gonzo89 like this.

  16. #16
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    The benefit for the roaster of those rip sealed bags is that the bag has the ziplock pre-closed, all they have to do is throw beans in the open end and heat seal. In my opinion, a terrible trade off of convenience over the final products longevity. It's not like you have to seal the zip of a "traditional bag" before heat sealing it... But there you go.

  17. #17
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Easy fix is to change suppliers!

    I suspect the reason you didn't get many bites in this thread is because we use really great bags for the roasted coffee and our customers are happy.

    100,000+ CoffeeSnobs roasted bags have left here and we have had problems with 4.
    2 were split (I guess when a 5 ton package was dropped on them during transit), one dodgy zip and one dodgy valve and we replaced the contents of all those in the next roast.

    The only other failures have been spiked by something sharp during transit... and there isn't much you can easily do to stop that happening short of using kevlar ballistic blankets inside the satchel.
    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Andy's bags have always been great. Your coffee bags are what every roaster should be using. They work! If it ain't broke don't fix it. These new type of bags are just over designed IMO. More that can go wrong just for the sake of having to have something new. Ridiculous.

  18. #18
    TC
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    We tried a box of them and also found that the negatives outweighed the positives. Whilst the zip locks were perfect, almost impossible to get a satisfactory seal on them...

    The solution for us was ultimately the biobag which is fully compostable. It's doesn't look as good as foil, but I'm happy to accept the tradeoff and lower our contribution of plastic stuff into landfill and fish.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    The bags are called "Box bottom bags" and they're perfectly good bags... if sealed correctly. These bags are squared off and designed to sit up proudly on display in retail settings. The construction of the bag is top-notch, the zip-locks seal perfectly and having gone through many thousands of these in 250g, 500g and 1kg sizes I have only ever had one dodgy valve and there have never been any sealing failures.

    I use a ceramic plate hair straightener to seal the bags. It provides a 15mm wide seal and the squared off ceramic plates can be tucked nice and neatly into the creases to ensure a proper seal. It's not about the tool being used, it's more about the tool using the tool.
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  20. #20
    TC
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    Agreed they'd probably seal given that level of care and they look schmick...

    We upgraded our foot operated sealer $500ish to the recommended to do the job...Sadly, still fell short. Happy with our stand up Biobags...
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    We tried a box of them and also found that the negatives outweighed the positives. Whilst the zip locks were perfect, almost impossible to get a satisfactory seal on them...

    The solution for us was ultimately the biobag which is fully compostable. It's doesn't look as good as foil, but I'm happy to accept the tradeoff and lower our contribution of plastic stuff into landfill and fish.
    Any chance of you selling these in "home user" size packs Chris? Maybe 25-50 at a time?

  22. #22
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    I believe most of the generic bags you can buy are just 'food packaging' and not necessarily designed for coffee where an air tight seal is imperative. Is it possible some roasters are buying the wrong bags, or have been sent the wrong bags by their supplier?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyF View Post
    You've ended up with green beans? That's just not acceptable. My recommendation is that you take out your dissatisfaction and rage on them with a heat-emitting device. Perhaps not set fire to them, but really show them you are serious. I've got a Bosch heat gun you are welcome to borrow. Get that rage out...
    Yes, I decided to incinerate the whole 12.5 kg.

    Not too far from the truth actually. Whereas I meant to start the Rwandan at a much lower 20% heat, I accidentally did 80% and hollared a 'wtf' when I heard a crack at 5 minutes. Bin.
    gonzo89 likes this.

  24. #24
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    The bags are called "Box bottom bags" and they're perfectly good bags... if sealed correctly. These bags are squared off and designed to sit up proudly on display in retail settings. The construction of the bag is top-notch, the zip-locks seal perfectly and having gone through many thousands of these in 250g, 500g and 1kg sizes I have only ever had one dodgy valve and there have never been any sealing failures.

    I use a ceramic plate hair straightener to seal the bags. It provides a 15mm wide seal and the squared off ceramic plates can be tucked nice and neatly into the creases to ensure a proper seal. It's not about the tool being used, it's more about the tool using the tool.
    I have not had that experience at all myself. I have had these bags from four reputable online coffee shops and have had problems with many of the bags. If the heat seal didn't fail, air would suck back through the ziplock section. One place was even a coffee subscription for a year, and plenty of those failed. I am not writing about these bags for the fun of it. I have had a LOT of problems with them. And I am sick of wondering if the next online coffee order I place is going to arrive stale. Seriously.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineGrind View Post
    I have not had that experience at all myself. I have had these bags from four reputable online coffee shops and have had problems with many of the bags. If the heat seal didn't fail, air would suck back through the ziplock section. One place was even a coffee subscription for a year, and plenty of those failed. I am not writing about these bags for the fun of it. I have had a LOT of problems with them. And I am sick of wondering if the next online coffee order I place is going to arrive stale. Seriously.
    So! keep buying from Andy.

  26. #26
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    A simple solution I would use FG.
    First and foremost; feedback to your supplier(s) on your findings. (Then they'll know why they've lost a customer.)
    Secondly, order from suppliers that use packaging that meets your needs. (There's plenty out there!)

  27. #27
    Senior Member FineGrind's Avatar
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    Both Yelta and Kevo make good suggestions. But the reason for not being able to purchase coffee from a wide variety of shops, should not be something as ridiculous as because their bags are not air tight. That is like going to the supermarket and only being able to buy twisties, because all the other chip bags are not sealed properly! I just want to make light of the fact that these bags are no good. The bags such as Andy uses, that have been being used for a long time, have never given me any problems whatsoever. They work and there is no need to change them, so why do so?

  28. #28
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Because we can... and some of us do know how to seal them properly
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