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Coffee Tips

Why is Coffee Sold in 12oz Bags?

If you’re a coffee enthusiast who prefers to purchase roasted coffee beans to go grind them on your own, you may have noticed that over the last years’ coffee beans are now sold in 12oz bags instead of the usual 1lb bags. This huge change leads us to the question “why is coffee sold in 12oz bags?” Well, the answer to this question is based on several theories that have been floating around. Generally, there isn’t a concrete answer to why coffee is sold in 12oz bags. Let’s have a look at some of these theories.


12oz coffee bag

Reasons Why Coffee is Sold in 12oz Bags

Here are some reasons why coffee is sold in 12oz bags.

    1. More Money for Less

One of the reasons why coffee is sold in a 12oz bag is for sellers to make more profit for less. Generally, when the prices of commodities go up, the seller has to also increase his or her prices for the commodity. However, buyers hate it when there is an increase in prices for goods. Therefore, when the coffee prices rose, the sellers had to reduce the packaging of the coffee beans.

While a 1lb bag seemed really expensive, the packaging was reduced to a 12 smaller oz bag. The price of the 12oz bag seemed more reasonable even if the buyer would pay a little bit more or the same amount. With this, the buyer didn’t feel the huge impact of paying a lot of money for the 1lb bag of coffee beans.

This move was more of the sellers playing with the minds of the buyers. It was all about how the buyers perceived prices. Most roasters and coffee shops commented that they lost some customers when there was an increase in prices of 1lb bags, but the customers were also happy when they paid the same price or an increased price for 12oz as long as the price was less than the 1lb bag of coffee beans.


    2. Coffee Roasting Process

The roasting process of the coffee beans could also be a reason for the weight reduction of the beans. Before the coffee beans are packaged, they have to undergo the roasting process which involves removing the moisture in the coffee beans thus the beans become lighter than before. Usually, when a 1lb bag of coffee beans undergoes the roasting process, it ends up weighing 12 to 13 oz. However, the weight reduction involved during the roasting process and the coffee being sold in 12oz bags could be a coincidence. This is because the packaging size has been a recent change while the weight reduction during the roasting process has been the case.


    3. Avoid Stale Beans

The reduced packaging size could be to avoid the staleness of coffee beans. Usually, coffee beans remain fresh for approximately ten to fourteen days. Stale coffee beans taste bad and customers wouldn’t love to wake up to such a kind of coffee. On the other hand, a 12oz bag is smaller with at least 24 shots of espresso so you’ll find that an average family or an individual will have consumed the bag of beans within 14 days before they go stale. Therefore, on average, a 12oz bag of coffee beans will remain fresh compared to a 1lb bag of coffee beans. Furthermore, a customer will be happy waking up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee and they’ll keep buying them.


    4. For New Blends

Selling coffee beans in smaller bags allows buyers to try new coffee blends and single-origin coffee. Usually, when a customer wants to try out a new coffee type or a new blend, they’ll buy a smaller batch of the beans since they aren’t sure whether they’ll love the coffee beans or not. It’s off-putting for a customer to buy a large batch of new blend coffee beans only to end up throwing away the coffee because they don’t like it.


    5. Coffee in Mason Jars

Surprisingly, a 12oz bag of coffee beans will perfectly fit in a mason jar. You can store your coffee in mason jars since they have an airtight seal that doesn’t allow oxygen into the jar which would make the coffee stale. However, if you buy or get coffee beans that have undergone roasting on the same day, you’ll want to degas these beans for a couple of days before storing them in the mason jars.

Generally, mason jars weren’t invented for coffee bean storage. So, we may not know whether the size of the bags was changed to fit coffee beans in the mason jars or not.



With many theories –  some better than others, there’s no confirmation of why the coffee packaging was reduced from 1lb to 12 oz. So it’s possible that all we will get are more theories regarding this topic. However, the packaging reduction has been positive in keeping the beans fresh. Additionally, customers can now try out new coffee blends without worrying anymore about wasting coffee.

Not to mention, you can store the 12oz coffee in a tightly closed mason jar to prevent the entry of oxygen which contributes to coffee staleness. However, the change may be such an adjustment to people who preferred the 1lb bag and people who love to drink at least three to four espresso shots in a day. But the change isn’t that bad.