Single-Serve Specialty Coffee

One of the simplest coffee brewing methods, the coffee bag. No expensive coffee maker, no need for a grinder, and if you think that coffee gets stale because it’s ground, think again. The solution is deceptively simple, and for us the coffee lovers, it is indeed very simple, to use and delicious to drink. However, there is a lot of testing behind the coffee bag, and the delicious brew we get now is the result of serious research and investment.

Santa Cruz-based startup Steeped Inc., one of the most promising and innovative companies in the industry, has launched its revolutionary Steeped Coffee brewing method to serious coffee drinkers across the nation. Brewed similar to tea, Steeped Coffee’s nitro-sealed Steeped Bags, along with their guilt-free packaging made using renewable and compostable materials, achieve the unthinkable: freshly ground specialty coffee in a single-serving. The Steeped Coffee brand is available in five roasts: light, medium, dark, French roast and a single-origin Swiss Water Process decaf.
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Single-Serving Specialty Coffee


Considering the deceptive simplicity of combining fresh coffee grounds with hot water and then separating the two for a reasonably grit-free beverage, it’s curious that the concept of hot coffee from some sort of teabag hasn’t caught on in the specialty arena.

However, 2017 seems to have been the year in which this tide began to turn, as multiple companies launched products of this type, while one in particular is hoping to generate a wider embrace of the format through an innovative new bag type.

“You should be able to simply put some coffee into some hot water, and it should be able to taste good,” Steeped Coffee CEO and Founder Josh Wilbur told Daily Coffee News of his thinking as he took his first swing at developing a teabag-like medium for high-quality coffee about seven years ago. “What I found out was coffee in a tea bag has a lot of problems, and it doesn’t taste very good for a lot of different reasons.”

Having tried putting carefully sourced, roasted and ground coffee into existing media for a brewing process with the convenience of tea, Wilbur said the results were only “okay.” Wilbur then shelved the idea until he was free to devote more time and finances to substantially improve the finished product.

Flash forward to today, and from its headquarters in Santa Cruz, California, Steeped Coffee has developed individually wrapped, single-serve coffee bags containing directly traded, high-quality coffees that are roasted, ground and packaged in “micro-batches” and sealed with a flush of nitrogen gas for extended freshness. Yet what distinguishes the product further is the proprietary full immersion steeping bag, which Wilbur firmly asserts is not a tea bag.

Following the success of a recent Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to grow sales and subscriptions, the company has also reached out to hotels, airlines, hospitals, universities, and other B2B prospects. The grander plan is to offer its single-serve steeping bag technology and sustainable packaging as private-label services to other specialty coffee roasting companies.

“Steeped is paving the way for this new method to exist, and then we’ll be inviting other people into being able to produce their coffee with the Steeped method and technology,” said Wilbur, who thinks the market for a quality single-serve option is wide open when viewing the next step up in convenience after soluble instant coffee as prepacked coffee pods, for which a stationary, electric pod-brewing machine constitutes a major barrier to entry, and the production and consumption of which create unsustainable waste.