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Category: Coffee Talk

Celebrating All of Coffee’s Attributes

Coffee beans are visual, aural, tactile, and aromatic, even before they are ground and brewed into a delicious drink. Celebrate all of coffee’s attributes to enhance your home experience. Fill up The Bean Bag once a week with freshly roasted coffee from your local roaster or store, and notice the soft sound and comforting feel of the beans in a cloth bag, instead of in brittle plastic or paper.

When you get home, take a moment to relax and inhale that roasted coffee aroma as you pour the beans from the bag into an attractive air-tight container on your counter. Put the container where you can see it, but away from the stove and direct sun. Fold up The Bean Bag and tuck it into your grocery bag, ready for next week’s shopping trip; nothing to recycle or throw away.

Optimal storage of coffee beans or grounds is in a cool cupboard or corner, in an opaque, air-tight container, but there’s no need to stress over storage if you use up your coffee stash every 7 – 10 days. And we can all enjoy a little less stress.

The Bean Bag from Australia to Alaska

Hey Coffee Drinkers – The Bean Bag now has customers from Australia to Alaska, Colorado to Canada, Minnesota to Monterey, Hawaii, and even Hong Kong and the UK… Not bad for a start-up that originated in 2014 as a grad school concept. Working full-time and going to business school meant a lot of sleepless nights just to stay almost caught up, which also meant a lot of coffee was going down the hatch.

Lucky for us there are plenty of local roasters with excellent beans, and a grocery store nearby that sells them in bulk in the coffee aisle.

Our “coffee transport system” is innovative, and Fresh Cup magazine agrees, featuring The Bean Bag in an article last Fall about new coffee packaging and sustainability.

About Those Magnets

The prototypes are in. The Bean Bag with a magnetic closure is definitely fun, and cutting edge. But, considering the sustainability of this version, we’re not on board quite yet.

Magnets are all over the place, and they sure are cool when you think about it. And very important for many uses. How would you tack your favorite quote up on the fridge without a magnet! 

A magnet is created by mining some rare earth elements – neodymium, iron, boron… The ingredients are mixed, and heated until they melt. The mass is then cooled until solid, broken up, crushed, and then ground into a powder.

This powder is poured into molds where a magnetic force lines up the powder particles while the powder is compressed. The compressed shapes are then cooked at extremely high heat, which transforms them into the magnets we know and love. The Bean Bag for sale at Ashland Cottages

Okay, so it’s a bit more complex than that – more heating, more cooling, a little bit more electromagnetic force to line up the atoms – but you get the picture. (Here’s a link to a more thorough description: how to make a magnet)

That’s a lot of materials mined and energy used for a bag closure. There’s also the shipping weight to consider.

We’ll keep researching, with an eye on developing a system that makes the magnet closure sustainable.

Next week, we’ll give you a brief look at how hook-and-loop (velcro) closures are made.



Cottage Industries store

Coffee Offset

There are a lot of fantastic coffee roasters out there who don’t offer their beautiful beans in bulk.

So look at The Bean Bag as your coffee offset – using a cool, secure-closure, washable, reusable cloth bag when you can, to offset the times when you can’t.

Buy The Bean Bag for yourself anyway. Use it for your rice, or beans, or another favorite bulk item you buy at the grocery store. The Bean Bag is easy to fill with dry goods, and handy to keep in the cupboard. Choose Red for Rice, and Blue for Beans, so that you know in an instant what you’ve got on the shelf.

Guatemalan Brilliant BLuesWe get it! You want to try new coffees, but these small specialty roasters aren’t able to refill The Bean Bag yet. You don’t want to have to throw away their empty bag each week, but right now it’s the only way to buy their coffee. Ask your roaster if they’ll set up a refill system for their regular customers. Show them The Bean Bag.

Resolution 2020 – Choose to Re-Use

What can you choose to re-use?

2020 vision brings clarity to the world around you. Let the year 2020 do the same. Choose just one thing that you’ve been putting off, and do it by February. On February 1st, choose one more…

And while you’re at it, choose a great new Bean Bag to take with you to the store. The standard paper coffee bag is often lined with plastic film, or uses a wire closure, so it’s not recyclable. The Bean Bag solves this problem.

what a waste

Best Christmas/Holiday Coffee Gift

For the coffee lovers in your life. The perfect holiday gift idea for people near and far.

Green Forest Blend
Fill at your local roaster or store with coffee beans or a gift card – the perfect present.

Friends and Family – Have us mail The Bean Bag to your friends and family, while you send them a holiday card and a gift certificate to their favorite local coffee roaster or a new store they might like to try. What a thoughtful and personal holiday gift that they will use for years. Free shipping in the U.S.! Low flat rate to Canada! 

Colleagues – You need a neutral gift for the office gift exchange. Something clever and useful. The Bean Bag is a great gift on its own, or add a gift card from a nearby coffee roaster or grocery store. Your lucky giftee can use The Bean Bag for beans, rice, pasta or other dry goods if they are not a coffee drinker.

Clients – Show your customers you care about quality and sustainability with a gift of The Bean Bag. The Bean Bag will remind them of your top quality work for years to come. Fill The Bean Bag yourself with an unusual origin – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, perhaps – or go with a deep smoky French Roast, a light and tasty Costa Rica, or a gift card for a coffee store near your client’s office.

Guatemalan Red Stripe - 3 colors available
The Bean Bag in sturdy fair-trade Guatemalan fabric – what a gift!

Everyone – Purchase The Bean Bag in one of our beautiful new Guatemalan fair-trade fabrics and load in up to a pound of coffee beans at your local store or roaster. A simple bow on top and your affordable, useful holiday gift is ready for giving.

Order Deadline to arrive by December 25th: For your gift to arrive anywhere in the Lower 48 States by end of day December 24th, please order by midnight on December 16th. That gives us time to get your perfect gift selected, packaged and to the U.S. Postal Service in time. Other destinations in the U.S., Canada, or further abroad, here’s the USPS schedule: USPS Holiday Shipping deadlines. We’ll need your order 48 hours before the USPS deadline to get your gift under the tree in time.


christmas gift, coffee gift, holiday gift

How to Store Your Coffee Beans

Wondering how to store your coffee beans to keep them fresh? You want to maximize the flavor of your beans from first cup to last, so take a quick look at how much coffee you go through in two weeks and set that as the maximum amount of coffee to load into The Bean Bag.

You may go to the grocery store about once a week, maybe twice. Instead of buying a month’s worth of coffee beans and storing them in the freezer, consider buying a smaller amount every week or two weeks during your regular shopping trip.

I know, I know, you’ve been buying more coffee beans at a time because you don’t want to waste a paper bag each time. That’s why The Bean Bag is the perfect solution to your dilemma. groceries and fresh coffee beansMost of our customers buy two Bean Bags. One is on the counter with beans or ground coffee and the other is folded up in their grocery bag. Each week, or every other week, they buy fresh coffee just as the bag on the counter is almost empty. They trade out the bags, with the just-emptied bag going into the grocery bag, ready for next week’s shopping trip.

Coffee experts agree: you should never, ever store your coffee in a paper bag in the freezer. Even the plastic lining – or a plastic coffee bag – will not keep it fresh. If you must freeze, place the beans or ground coffee in an air-tight container and put that in the fridge or freezer. The Bean Bag can go straight into that storage container before you place it into the ol’ icebox.

Here’s a link to some beautiful coffee canisters on etsy.

The Bean Bag on Instagram – @thecoffeebeanbag

You can now find The Bean Bag on Instagram: @thecoffeebeanbag

We’ve been rolling along – designing, prototyping, product testing, patenting. It took a year to find a top-quality U.S. The Bean Bag logo's Cup & Saucer with steaming hot coffeemanufacturer for The Bean Bag. Following that up with inventory management and quality control. Plus processing and filling all of your orders. Now we are ready to share this cool bag on social media. Check us out on Instagram and share your coffee photos.


Why is The Bean Bag’s Instagram username @thecoffeebeanbag? Because a styrofoam pellet chair had already snagged The Bean Bag for their domain name. That makes sense. Turns out “thebeanbag” is also pretty common on Instagram, so we added “coffee” to help you find exactly the right kind of Bag for your Beans.

Imagine thinking you were ordering a rugged, washable, secure-closure bag for your coffee beans only to have a huge chair full of styrofoam delivered to your door. They sure are comfortable, but it’s hard not to spill your coffee trying to get up out of one.


Italian Design for Italian Roast Beans

We have the perfect bag for your Italian Roast coffee beans! These reusable and washable secure-closure bags are on their way from our mid-West sewing contractor this week. The bags are made of a beautiful 100% cotton fabric and feature a gorgeous Italian “pavone” design reminiscent of the Venetian or Florentine style of marbled papers that gained popularity in 17th-century Italy. The marbleizing technique is still in use today. For more historical background on marbleizing, check out this June, 2018 story in Italy magazine.

Marbleized paper may have first been developed in 12th century Japan. The art form evolved in the Middle East and Europe in the 15th – 17th centuries. Colored pigments are floated on a liquid, and paper or fabric are carefully placed on or drawn across the medium to create intricate, flowing and unique designs. The design is named “pavone” in Italian because it looks like peacock feathers.

Italian Roast is a distinctively dark roast, so you’ll enjoy using a distinctive bag for this special coffee.


Easy-To-Send Thoughtful Coffee Gift

You’ve got some faraway friends and family that you want to surprise and delight with a personal gift this holiday season.

STEP 1. Order The Bean Bag sent directly to them.

STEP 2. Cruise the internet to find a coffee roaster near their house or apartment and order a $10 or $15 gift card, also sent direct.

STEP 3. Settle back with a cup of coffee and catch up on your reading.

Shipping is free and you don’t have to wait in line at the Post Office. Please order by December 15 for delivery by December 24.

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