Early Riser: The First Watch Blog

Why Burlap Bags?

Why Burlap Bags? Image

When coffee is exported from its original location to the roasters, the green coffee beans are typically packed into burlap bags. Such is the case with Project Sunrise.

Green coffee beans are highly sensitive to moisture and require storage that allows air circulation. If the beans are packed too tightly, condensation will build up within the container and cause them to deteriorate and rot. At this stage in the process, the beans are essentially alive – so they need their breathing room! Since the green beans have a long travel ahead of them, the breathability of their vessel needs to remain consistent over a great period of time. That’s where burlap comes in.

Burlap is made from a natural vegetable fiber, called jute, that is loosely woven to create the perfect temporary home for our sensitive beans. But not only does burlap allow for necessary circulation and moisture control, the material is also durable enough to withstand the shipping process and strong enough to hold a whole lot of beans. After all, the average weight of a burlap bag packed with green coffee beans is between 120 and 150 pounds. We should also mention that the people loading the shipments do this by hand and are also very strong!

The functionality of the burlap bag doesn’t end there. Each bag is hand-stenciled with a special identifier showing where the beans came from. The code on each bag corresponds to the country, the growers (that’s our partners, the Mujeres en Café), and the parcel number. Beyond the code, there are also graphics that represent which region the beans came from. For Project Sunrise, that’s Huila, Colombia. But you knew that.

Once the green coffee beans are removed by the roasters, the burlap bags continue to deliver. Because jute is a natural fiber, the bags are biodegradable and compostable – but no one seems to dispose of them anyhow. That’s because they are easily upcycled! Weddings, home décor, crafts, you name it and burlap bags are being used for it.

A skillful combination of art and science ensures that we serve the highest quality cup of Project Sunrise Coffee. Burlap bags are a small, but very important, piece to the coffee puzzle.

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