Hermetic coffee bags: Which is best for your business? 

Holly Szakal
May 7, 2024
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Regardless of where green coffee sits along the supply chain, it’s imperative it remains fresh and well cared for. Maintaining the quality of green coffee is more than a virtue: it is a duty, an expectation that must be met in the competitive landscape of specialty coffee. And yet, without the right packaging, the unique characteristics of your specialty coffee risk fading into obscurity. 

In recent years, hermetic coffee bags have become a true testament to the modern innovation that is always needed for this industry to thrive. Green coffee bags help create the much-needed impenetrable barrier against elements that can degrade the quality of coffee: moisture, oxygen, and light. 

But are all the promises of unparalleled freshness and cargo stability true? I spoke to Lucas Cuadros from Unblended Coffee, and Camilo Merizalde from The Santuario Project, two Colombian-based coffee business owners, about the type of hermetic coffee bags they’ve invested in. 

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What is the best packaging for green coffee?

The packaging industry is flooded with options, each with its own features, benefits, and downfalls. This high magnitude of choice is bound to leave those with coffee businesses in a state of decision paralysis. 

That said, the needs and demands of exporters and coffee roasters when it comes to packaging vary significantly. For instance, exporters will be more concerned with the hermetic technology and barrier properties of green coffee packaging. 

Troiseal bags provide a triple-sealed barrier against air, moisture, and light. They’re typically crafted from layers of materials that prevent oxidation, such as aluminium foil and polyethylene, making them a sound choice for strong barrier properties. Troiseal bags are versatile for any business of any size, as they’re usually available in several sizes. Beyond this, they can be custom-made upon request to meet specific requirements. 

Hermetic Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC) bags, commonly known in the industry as “bulk bags,” are another go-to option for transporting green coffee bags globally. Traditionally crafted from woven polypropylene fabric, these bags offer an airtight seal that helps protect the coffee beans inside from harmful moisture and oxygen. Hermetic FIBC bags are designed to meet the needs of those making bulk shipments, ensuring the coffee beans are transported safely regardless of the distance. 

Last, multilayered hermetic sampler bags are usually crafted with the utmost precision to achieve the meticulous task of collecting and transporting even the smallest samples of green coffee worldwide. Made from multilayer materials with hermetic seals, these bags are designed to preserve the essence of coffee, no matter how long they sit. These bags allow coffee roasters or buyers to gather samples from batches globally, facilitating quality taste-testing and analysis for future business endeavours.

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How do these green coffee bags work?

All hermetic coffee packaging is designed to provide a barrier that shields raw coffee from elements that can cause it to spoil. When it comes to transporting beans to such long destinations, the priority remains the same no matter where you are on the supply chain. 

Troiseal bags are often praised for their impeccable barrier solution. They are a popular choice because they are customisable in size, making them suitable for any business. That said, they usually come at a higher cost than other green coffee bag options. 

Alternatively, hermetic FIBC bags are the heavyweight champions of bulk shipments and offer a reliable solution for transporting large volumes of green coffee. Beyond this, they’re an excellent choice for long-term storage. 

Unblended Coffee is an importer that specialises in the socioeconomic progress of young coffee growers in Colombia. Co-founder, Lucas, explains why Unblended Coffee chose hermetic bags for maintaining its unique and unparalleled coffee quality. 

“We use hermetic bags at all stages of our process. The coffee growers in our Young Producer Programme store their parchment in hermetic bags; we store all the sample material in vacuum-sealed bags; and we export in hermetic bags,” he says. “We have seen that this way we can control more of the variables that could possibly alter the quality of a lot.”

Finally, multilayered hermetic sampler bags are definitely carved within a niche and offer one thing: an opportunity to sample. They provide quality testing, which is absolutely paramount for huge business decisions and changes, be it as a coffee grower or buyer. 

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Green coffee packaging for your business

Investing in the appropriate packaging is a strategic decision, one that will be influenced by various factors congruent to your business needs. From the scale of operations to storage space and transportation logistics, it’s important to understand what you need when it comes to green coffee bags. 

Here’s a small breakdown of how each type of packaging aligns with different stages of the coffee supply chain, to help you tailor your decision to your needs. 

For coffee growers

All coffee producers want their harvest to reach their destination intact and unspoiled. Hermetic FIBC bags stand ready to bear the burden of bulk storage and long-haul transportation.

The Santuario Project is a coffee development company with farms in Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Ethiopia, and El Salvador. Camilo Merizalde explains why the brand chose hermetic bags for its business. 

“Countless hours are dedicated to meticulously crafting our farms, nurturing our coffee trees, and harvesting flawless coffee cherries. We employ various processes to enhance the flavours of each varietal on our coffee farms,” he says. “The use of hermetic bags is instrumental in preserving the quality of our coffees.”

For coffee roasters

A coffee roaster’s priority is to seek packaging solutions that preserve the essence of green coffee upon arrival, before they undergo the alchemy of roasting. Depending on your schedule, that could take time. Troiseal bags can help facilitate the beans’ freshness and flavour for the long haul. For quality-conscious roasters, multilayered hermetic sampler bags are a perfect option when collecting and analysing small samples from different batches. 

For coffee exporters

Hermetic FIBC bags tend to be the go-to for international trade and offer a robust and cost-effective solution for transporting large volumes of green coffee beans across continents for long periods of time. These bags safeguard the integrity of coffee beans during transit, ensuring that the essence of each bean is preserved from producing countries to importing regions.

By understanding the different types of hermetic packaging available and their respective benefits, coffee businesses can make informed decisions to ensure the integrity of their product. 

Whether it’s Troiseal bags for small-scale operations or Hermetic FIBC bags for bulk shipments, choosing the right packaging solution is essential for maintaining the exceptional taste and aroma of green coffee beans.

At MTPak Coffee, our hermetic green coffee bags offer specialised storage and packaging solutions that seal in freshness and maintain the sensory attributes of your product. Multiple layers of high-barrier packaging mean these airtight bags extend shelf life significantly, preserving natural oils and flavours for richer, nuanced profiles.

Our range of hermetic green coffee packaging is made using high-strength PE and boasts superior water and air properties. More so, they can keep your products fresh without the help of pesticides or insecticides, for over a year. 

For more information on hermetic packaging for green coffee, contact our team

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Holly Szakal
Holly Szakal

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.

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