Ah yes, the coffee bag, arguably one of the most important business supplies in all of coffee, perhaps second only to the coffee cup itself. The coffee bag is not only a vehicle for whole bean sales but it often a customer’s introduction into a roasting company and its brand ethos and identity. Often stylish—we’ve got a whole feature series on their design here at Sprudge—the coffee bag is a necessity of coffee commerce, if not a bit wasteful. Though many bags have in recent years been made of recyclable material, sometimes even compostable, they nonetheless rely on customers to dispose of them properly (and municipalities having appropriate waste management resources to handle them). But with Póca, reusability in coffee packaging is easier than ever.
Announced last week on 3FE founder Colin Harmon’s Instagram, the idea for Póca bags came from the proliferation and large-scale acceptance of reusable coffee cups, KeepCup in particular. It is, according to Harmon, a continuation of much of the sustainability initiatives at the Dublin cafe, namely a discount program where customers receive 10% off the purchase of roasted coffee sales when they bring in their own receptacle. Now with Póca, there is an item built to purpose.
Made of 100% food-safe silicone and aluminum, Póca is compact, washable, and ready to reuse any time you need to re-up on your coffee. The aluminum clip slides onto the bag, keeping it air-tight, while also working as a one-way valve of sorts; Harmon notes customers can still partake in the time-honored whole bean coffee buying ritual of giving the bag a little squeeze to get a whiff of the coffee inside.
Currently retailing on 3FE’s website for €20 ($21 USD), Póca bags come in three color options—blue, white, and orange—that can be mix and matched with three different aluminum seal options—silver, blue, and orange. And 3FE will continue to offer a 10% discount on coffee beans sales to anyone who uses Póca.
It’s an exciting development, with the potential for even larger sustainability initiatives. With enough buy-in, cafes could use Póca to implement a bag version of a reusable cup swap program similar to the one seen at Prufrock Coffee in London. Is this the beginning of the end of the era of single-use items in the retail cafe setting? Perhaps. We’ll have to wait and see, but the framework for the shift away from disposables is coming more clearly into focus.
All images via 3FE