In Japan they’re known as “hanging ear drip coffee bags”. The pre-filled pouches have nifty folded wings that cleverly hook over the sides of your coffee cup, securing the bags near the top of your drinking vessel so you can pour over hot water for a speedy specialty coffee. They’re popular for camping trips because each bag of ground coffee is wrapped in individual foil sachets, so you won’t risk them getting wet or going bad – and there’s no need to wash any brewing equipment afterwards.

A handful of Australian roasters are now using the design for their single origins and house blends, bringing the at-home specialty coffee experience to more of us – whether it’s an easier solution for the office, something to take with you when you’re away from home, or for a rapid cup of joe when you don’t want the fuss or noise of your fancy brewing devices. Depending how many you buy, they also work out to be under $3 a cup. Plus, in some cases the bags can be added straight into your composting bin. Here’s where to find them.

Single O
“While not our invention, we were certainly one of the first to put specialty coffee in them and bring them to Australia,” says Miles Thomas at Sydney’s Single O. The cafe and roastery thanks its head of Japan business and roast works for introducing the drip coffee bags to the team – and its one of the first companies to create fully compostable drip coffee bags. Single O calls their bags “parachutes”, which are packed with single origin Ilomba Tanzania washed grounds or single origin Konga Ethiopia natural grounds. Parachutes come in packs of five, 10 or 20 ($12.50 to $48). “Single O is constantly adding new offerings to the parachutes line-up,” says Thomas. You can also mix and match flavours, including a house blend that has stewed fruit, tangerine and marzipan notes. The Multichutes Mixed Box is $19.95, which contains ten sachets, with a three-month shelf life. Shipping is free when you spend over $40.

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Maven’s Brew
Sydney roaster Maven’s Brew started offering drip coffee bags in 2018. Founder Gordon Lam tells us it roasts its beans weekly in Seven Hills, packing and sending out four different types of drip coffee bags. Splendour is a medium-bodied coffee with nutty, citrus flavours, whereas Knight is a darker blend of chocolate, nut and sweet raisin. Both work well with a splash of milk. “The flavour benefits of the specialty coffee we’re using is that it is clean, complex, sweet and with a long-lasting aftertaste,” says Lam. You can choose from five or 10 drip bags ($10 to $17), coming in at under $2 a sachet. Maven’s also offers a decaffeinated drip bag called Magician, which is processed with Swiss mountain water and is 100 per cent chemical free. For a fruitier flavour, best for black coffee, Poet ($11 to $18) is Maven’s single origin sourced from Ethiopia. It has a brighter, more delicate finish. Shipping Australia-wide is free for orders over $35.

Fitzroy, Melbourne, cafe Calere makes its drip coffee bags in-house. Owners Alicia Feng and Mo Zhou select two coffees from Canberra’s Ona Coffee and, since late last year, they also import their own from China, which is processed by micro roasters in Melbourne. “All coffees are selected with a suitable profile for drip bags: medium to medium-plus intensity on flavour and body with an espresso/omni-roast,” says Feng. Online you can order bags of the Taste of Yunnan, which has been processed in three different ways. In one box you get three flavours, including one with dry mango, Fuji apple and cardamom notes, and one with blueberry, jackfruit, chocolate and shiraz. A set of 10 ($30) can be ordered online for store pick-up only.

Small-batch coffee roaster Stitch has a box of drip coffee bags that’ll give you a different flavour each day. The eight- or 16-sachet Isshu-kan Coffee Drip Box ($20 to $38) features different single origins selected by its roasters. “We purchased our own machine last year so we get to produce them 100 per cent here in Australia,” says Mac Navarrete Balart. “After purchasing only the best green beans from ethical sources, we roast our beans in Alexandria, Sydney, and make our own drip bags.” Each porous bag is biodegradable, and the cardboard wings are industry compostable (check your local council before adding it to your green bin). Alternatively, the Higgs Field Blend ($18) is a blend of milk chocolate, berries and macadamia flavours, made using beans from Brazil, Ethiopia and Colombia. Standard Australian post is free for orders over $35.

Toby’s Estate
Doing things a little differently, Toby’s Estate is reinventing the tea bag with freshly ground coffee. Using 100 per cent biodegradable bags, Toby’s single-serve coffees are nitro sealed in compostable packaging to retain freshness. Unlike the drip coffees, which have paper hooks to secure to your cup, these coffee bags are made to steep in your cup just like a tea bag. It’s as simple as pouring over hot water and waiting 15 seconds, or until the coffee is your preferred strength. Its Next Frontier coffees have dark chocolate and toffee flavours and Forbidden Planet has milk chocolate and strawberry notes, best enjoyed without milk. Each box includes 10 single serves ($25). Orders over $50 will be shipped free of charge.


When Voskos founder Brian Tung moved to Australia 10 years ago, he fell in love with the coffee culture in Melbourne. He became a barista and by 2018 he cracked the top 10 in the ASCA Australia Barista Championship for latte art. You’ll still find him making flat whites at Bito Beans Coffee in Docklands, but earlier this year he launched his own range of speciality drip coffee bags too. “Through a lot of planning and testing (and a pandemic), we’re finally launching,” says Tung. “We’re planning more single origin flavours in the future, so everyone can find a flavour profile to suit them.” Right now, you can order either Daily Dose, which is an Ethiopian and Colombian blend of toffee and milk chocolate notes. Or, there’s a single origin from Brazil which has a creamier, nutty finish. Each comes in a pack of 12 sachets for $27 or $28, and shipping is free for orders over $50.

Cibi, a cafe in Collingwood, Melbourne, run by husband and wife Zenta and Meg Tanaka, has a sister cafe in Tokyo. It’s been serving drip coffee bags to customers in Kitasando since 2017 and Zenta tells Broadsheet “it’s one of the most common ways to consume good quality coffee at home in Japan”. Available in-store and online (though currently sold out), Cibi’s Tokyo Blend ($3.50 for a single sachet) has cherry aromas and a sweet dark-chocolate finish. Beans are roasted in Japan by an artisan roaster. “Drip bags have been around in Japan for many years, since the ’70s, and are mainly used in households and offices. It’s an easy and fun way of making coffee,” says Zenta. Cibi ships its coffee anywhere in Australia. Fees vary according to weight and distance.

Reuben Hills
”Reuben Hills has always been about sourcing sustainable, high quality coffee from origin and making it accessible and approachable for the western world,” says Aaron Cunningham, wholesale manager at the Surry Hills cafe and roaster. “Instant coffee drinkers was a market we haven’t attracted before,” he says, but its Instant Coffee packs were so popular the first batch has sold out. The roaster uses its Ethiopia Nano Chala beans, roasted and ground then sealed in singular packets. “When brewed, it has all the great characteristics of an Ethiopian coffee: floral, tea-like, mellow with citric acidity,” says Cunningham. Reubens offers free shipping on its coffee orders Australia-wide. Check back for updates on its next batch of Instant Coffee packs.

This article was updated on December 10, 2021.