Ultimate Guide to Coffee Packaging

various types of coffee packaging

Though it’s often underemphasized, packaging for coffee is very important. Without it, delicate beans quickly lose their flavor notes and deep, roasted blends lose the richness and depth of flavor they’re known for. Even the highest quality coffee beans won’t stay that way for long without the right coffee packaging. In this post, we’ll cover the different types of coffee packaging, exploring what makes each one worth considering. No post is complete without examples, so we’ll close with a handful of coffee packaging designs from brands we think are doing it right. 

Why Coffee Packaging Matters

Americans love their coffee. In fact, according to a recent survey from the National Coffee Association, seven out of ten of us drink at least one cup of coffee per week, with 63% downing that amount or more daily. With so many coffee connoisseurs out there, choosing the right coffee packaging is essential. 

In short, coffee packaging is the bag or carton that keeps coffee beans fresh. There are lots of environmental forces seeking to send fresh, high-quality beans into mediocrity. Light, oxygen, and moisture all conspire against freshly roasted coffee. Coffee bean packaging helps to keep beans fresher for longer, allowing your customers to experience your products the way you intended.

Types of Coffee Packaging

There are quite a few coffee bag designs out there, each with its own unique set of benefits. Here are the main types of coffee packaging and how they work.

Flat Bottom Bag

One of the most popular types of coffee packaging, the flat bottom bag is true to its name. The bottom of the bag is flat, allowing it to stand up by itself. This makes it easy to display. Also known as a side-fold pouch, this coffee bag design typically features a simple, sealed top that’s either pulled open or cut open by the consumer. A tin tie or tape closure makes the flat bottom bag easy to reseal between uses.

flat bottom coffee bag

Quad Seal Bag

Visually similar to the flat bottom bag, the quad seal bag has a level bottom and is also able to stand upright while on display. But this design is different in some important ways. The quad seal bag features distinctive side seals that give it flattened, rather than rounded, sides. To many, this bag looks a bit higher-end than the flat bottom bag, and it has a price tag to match: in general, quad seal bags are more expensive than their flat-bottomed brethren. Quad seal bags usually close via a tin tie or tape closure. 


Doypacks are common in a number of food packaging applications. Chances are you have at least one of these in your pantry right now. These flat-topped, oval-bottomed packages seal on both sides, creating flat front and back panels. The top of the bag seals with zipper closure. Many consumers find Doypacks more convenient because they stand up easily and are simpler to close than other types of coffee packaging. 

Pillow Bags

These are the most affordable of the coffee bag designs. Pillow bags are small bags sealed at the top and bottom. They lay flat, and are most often used in foodservice applications like corporate offices or restaurants. Pillow bags are usually packaged together in a bag-in-bag package, which is a commonly used foodservice packaging to combine multiple, smaller pillow bags for bulk service.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Packaging for Coffee

Finding the right coffee bag design is just part of the equation. Here are other things to consider when settling on the best coffee bag design to house your beans.

Degassing Valves

Roasted coffee naturally emits carbon dioxide. Without a place to go, the quality of coffee can suffer. Coffee bags with a degassing valve provide an escape hatch for the CO2 while keeping oxygen from entering.

coffee packaging with degassing valve

Gas Flushing

Oxygen is the arch-enemy of fresh coffee. Flushing the coffee package with an inert gas like nitrogen can displace most of the oxygen in the package, creating a largely oxygen-free environment that keeps it fresh for longer.

Top Seals

There are lots of ways to reseal coffee bags. The simplest, cheapest option is the tape closure. A tape closure is a sticky strip that vaguely resembles a robust piece of packaging tape. It’s designed to be stuck and unstuck multiple times, keeping the resealed bag from opening once it’s been crimped shut. A close second in terms of simplicity and cost is the trusty tin tie. These inexpensive, flexible strips are designed to be bent around the bag to keep the top flap sealed after the bag has been opened. Zipper tapes are more expensive, but provide a better seal and are easier for many consumers to close. 

Environmental Sustainability 

Used coffee packaging will live on for many generations in a landfill. If you’re targeting an eco-conscious demographic, the best coffee bag design may be one that won’t still be there when their great-great-great-grandchildren are drinking their favorite blends. Coffee bags made from biodegradable materials like husks or paper break down quickly, making them an earth-friendly packaging choice. 

Check out these eco-friendly packaging design ideas.


Many coffee connoisseurs want the details on their drink, including what region the coffee is from, the name of the farm or micro-lot it was sourced from, and what tasting notes can be expected. Coffee labels are an ideal medium for displaying this important information. A well-designed coffee label can attract consumer attention and serve as valuable marketing collateral. 

Learn more: Best Sizes and Materials for Coffee Bag Labels

4 Best Coffee Packaging Examples

When it comes to top-notch coffee bag design, we think these four brands have nailed it. From their choice of packaging to labels, each one has created a unique look tailored to what makes their target audiences tick.

Methodical Coffee

Methodical - Doypack coffee bag

These beautifully printed Doypack coffee bags look more like artwork than disposable containers. Methodical Coffee uses custom labels to communicate the important stuff like the “roasted on” date and tasting notes.

Bridge City Coffee

Bridge City Coffee is on a mission to build hope and resilience, one employee at a time, and their bags are just as unique as their mission. Bold prints on Doypack bags make this coffee packaging fun to look at and convenient to use. Each label provides a complete list of must-know stats, including detailed producer information, elevation grown, roast strength, and detailed tasting notes.

Peaks Coffee Co.

A simple, elegant design printed on classic, quad seal bags makes offerings from Peaks Coffee Co. stand out. Their less-is-more design aesthetic translates from bag to label: a title and short, one-line tasting note description lines up well with their intentionally minimalist vibe.

Atomic Coffee Roasters

From cold brew to bagged coffee, Atomic Coffee Roasters’ coffee packaging and labels are instantly recognizable across all their offerings. The front of their quad seal bags sports a large label with the kitchen sink’s worth of data on the contents, including region, varietal, processing method, roast, elevation, and tasting notes.

Pair Your Top-Notch Beans with Coffee Packaging Worthy of Your Efforts.

Creating world-class coffee isn’t easy. That’s why choosing the right type of coffee packaging to protect it is so important. But no coffee packaging is complete without a label. At Frontier, we work with coffee makers, as well as coffee retailers and wholesalers, to create the perfect coffee labels to highlight your products. We specialize in producing custom coffee labels using a wide range of label materials and have plenty of industry experience to pair the perfect label material with your custom design. 

Want to learn more? If you have any questions about label selection or printing, don’t hesitate to contact the Customer Care Team by phone or Live Chat! Our team is ready to serve your business with care and excellence.

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