What Coffee Still Comes in Metal Cans? Old-School Coffee Cans!

Want to learn more about coffee?
Explore more on our blog!
Learn more
Many metal cans of beer are lined up on a shelf.
Table of Contents
Many metal cans of beer are lined up on a shelf.

Key Takeaways:

  • Metal cans are still available as a packaging option for coffee and are popular due to their ability to preserve the freshness and quality of the beans.
  • Aluminum packaging, in particular, is commonly used for coffee because it provides a strong barrier against moisture, light, and oxygen while being lightweight and recyclable.
  • While alternative packaging options such as flexible pouches or plastic containers have gained popularity, metal cans remain preferred by many coffee roasters due to their effectiveness in maintaining flavor and aroma.
  • Rigid paper containers have also emerged as an eco-friendly alternative to metal cans, offering benefits like sustainability, customizable designs, improved shelf life, and cost-effectiveness.

What Coffee Still Comes in Metal Cans?

Coffee can still be found in metal cans. While there are now many packaging options available, including plastic containers and bags with one-way valves, some brands still offer coffee in traditional metal cans.

Are you wondering if coffee is still available in metal cans? Well, here’s an interesting fact: metal cans are actually the best packaging option for preserving the freshness and quality of coffee. In this blog post, we will explore the various packaging options available today and delve into why metal cans remain a popular choice. So grab your cup of joe and let’s dive in!

History of canned beverages

The journey of canned beverages began in the early 1800s with tin-coated steel cans. The Can Manufacturers Institute cites efficiency as the primary driver behind this innovation. Metal cans, including those made of aluminum or steel, found favor due to their robust barrier against moisture, light, and oxygen – external factors known to degrade coffee quality.

Their hermetic seal helped maintain freshness while serving as effective packaging options for coffee and other beverages. As a testament to their effectiveness, these metal cans see significant use even today, particularly due to their high recyclability – an impressive 72% of steel cans are recycled.

Therefore from providing optimum freshness conditions for your favorite cup of Joe to aiding in eco-friendly practices, the age-old tradition of using metal containers for coffee storage continues shaping the course of beverage packaging history.

Advantages of aluminum packaging

Aluminum packaging has seen a significant surge in usage due to its numerous advantages. The metal’s light weight and durability ensure that your coffee stays fresh, unaffected by external conditions such as moisture, light, or oxygen.

It provides the critical barrier needed to maintain coffee’s flavor quality for an extended duration. Not only does this robust material provide reliable protection, but it also offers greater efficiency during transportation compared to other materials due to its lighter weight.

Aluminum cans are recyclable and have high sustainability quotient – 72% of steel cans are successfully recycled according to facts presented by industry experts.

This eco-friendly attribute makes them an excellent choice amidst growing environmental concerns today.

Increase in aluminum can use and recycling

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the use and recycling of aluminum cans. With their lightweight yet durable nature, aluminum cans have become an increasingly popular choice for packaging various products, including coffee.

According to the Can Manufacturers Institute72% of steel cans are recycled, making them one of the most recyclable packaging options available. This rise in aluminum can usage and recycling demonstrates a growing commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

By choosing coffee packaged in metal cans, consumers not only enjoy the benefits of a fresh and high-quality brew but also contribute to the ongoing efforts towards a more eco-friendly future.

The Rise of Alternative Packaging Options

Alternative packaging options for coffee have gained popularity in recent years, with flexible packaging options, plastic containers, and rigid paper containers becoming common choices for coffee producers.

Flexible packaging options

Flexible packaging options have gained popularity in the coffee industry for their convenience and versatility. Here are some examples:

  • Foil bags: These pouches made of laminated films provide excellent protection against moisture, light, and oxygen. They are lightweight and easily customizable with various designs and colors.
  • Stand-up pouches: These flexible bags have a bottom gusset that allows them to stand upright on store shelves. They offer easy opening and resealing, ensuring coffee freshness is maintained after each use.
  • Coffee pods: These single-serve capsules are made of plastic or compostable materials. They are convenient for brewing individual cups of coffee quickly with minimal mess.
  • Vacuum-sealed bags: Using a vacuum-sealing technique, these bags remove excess air to extend the shelf life of coffee. They come in different sizes to accommodate different amounts of coffee beans or grounds.

Plastic packaging options

Plastic packaging options for coffee offer various benefits and are widely used in the industry. Some of the plastic packaging options available for coffee include:

  1. Flexible plastic bags: These bags are lightweight, cost-effective, and easily customizable with different printing options for branding purposes.
  2. Plastic containers: Plastic containers are convenient for storing ground coffee or coffee beans. They come in different sizes and shapes to suit varying needs.
  3. Single-serve plastic pods: Single-serve coffee pods made of plastic have gained popularity due to their convenience and ease of use.
  4. Resealable plastic pouches: These pouches allow consumers to keep their coffee fresh by resealing them after use, preventing air exposure.
  5. Eco-friendly plastics: Some companies are now using eco-friendly or biodegradable plastics, which reduce environmental impact compared to traditional plastics.

Rigid paper containers

Rigid paper containers have emerged as an alternative to traditional metal cans for coffee packaging. These containers offer several advantages, including:

  1. Eco-friendly: Rigid paper containers are often made from recycled materials and are biodegradable, making them a more sustainable option compared to plastic or metal.
  2. Lighter weight: Paper containers are generally lighter than metal cans, reducing transportation costs and carbon emissions during shipping.
  3. Customizable designs: Paper containers can be easily printed with branding and designs, allowing for unique and eye-catching packaging options for coffee companies.
  4. Improved shelf life: Advanced paperboard technology provides excellent moisture resistance, keeping coffee fresh for longer periods of time.
  5. Consumer appeal: Many consumers prefer the natural look and feel of paper packaging, creating a positive impression of the product.
  6. Cost-effective: Rigid paper containers can be manufactured at a lower cost compared to metal cans, making them an attractive option for coffee roasters looking to save on packaging expenses.

Benefits of Metal Cans for Coffee

Metal cans for coffee offer several benefits. They ensure the freshest quality by providing a strong barrier against moisture, light, and oxygen. They are also easy to use and seal during production, making them convenient for both manufacturers and consumers.

Metal cans can be customized with unique designs to enhance brand appeal.

Freshest quality

Metal cans are known for their ability to preserve the freshness of coffee. The strong barrier provided by these cans protects coffee from moisture, light, and oxygen, all of which can degrade its quality.

The airtight seal of metal cans ensures that the flavor and aroma of the coffee remain intact. Proper storage in metal cans can greatly improve the overall quality of the coffee, allowing consumers to enjoy a fresh and flavorful cup every time they brew.

With their ability to protect against external factors that can affect quality, metal cans continue to be a popular choice for roasters looking to deliver the freshest coffee possible.

Easy to use

Metal cans are incredibly convenient and easy to use when it comes to packaging coffee. Unlike other options that may require additional tools or equipment, metal cans can be easily opened with a simple pull tab or twist-off lid, making them accessible for anyone.

This user-friendly design allows coffee lovers to enjoy their favorite brew without any hassle. Additionally, metal cans often come with features like CO2 releasing valves and measuring scoops, further enhancing the ease of use for consumers.

With metal cans, storing and accessing your coffee beans has never been simpler.

Production-friendly sealing

Metal cans offer a production-friendly sealing option for coffee packaging. The seal on metal cans is durable and easy to apply, ensuring that the package remains airtight and the coffee stays fresh.

This makes it convenient for coffee manufacturers during the packaging process, as they can quickly and efficiently seal large quantities of cans without compromising quality. With metal cans, there is no need for additional steps or complex machinery, making it a cost-effective solution for coffee producers.

Customizable designs

Metal cans offer the advantage of customizable designs for coffee packaging. Coffee roasters and manufacturers can create unique and eye-catching labels and branding to attract consumers.

With metal cans, they have the flexibility to showcase their brand identity through vibrant colors, logos, and images that stand out on store shelves. Customizable designs also allow for information like brewing instructions or flavor profiles to be prominently displayed, providing helpful guidance for consumers.

Metal cans can be easily printed on using advanced printing technologies, ensuring high-quality graphics that enhance the overall visual appeal of the coffee packaging.

Exploring Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Sustainable packaging is crucial in today’s world, and coffee brands are exploring eco-friendly options such as biodegradable bags and recyclable metal cans.

Importance of sustainability in packaging

Sustainability in packaging is of importance as it directly impacts the environment and our overall well-being. With the increasing concern for global warming and plastic pollution, choosing eco-friendly options for coffee packaging is crucial.

Packaging materials that are recyclable and have a lower carbon footprint can help reduce waste and conserve resources. For instance, metal cans are infinitely recyclable, making them a sustainable choice for preserving the freshness of coffee while minimizing environmental impact.

By prioritizing sustainability in packaging, we contribute to a greener future for generations to come.

Eco-friendly options for coffee packaging

  • Choosing eco-friendly packaging options for coffee can help reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability.
  • One option is to use foil bags made from renewable materials, such as compostable or biodegradable materials. These bags can break down naturally without causing harm to the environment.
  • Another option is to use glass containers, which are recyclable and can be reused multiple times. Glass is a sustainable material that does not leach harmful chemicals into the environment.
  • Plastic containers made from recycled materials are also an eco – friendly choice. By using recycled plastic, less energy and resources are required in the production process.
  • Coffee canisters made from stainless steel are another sustainable alternative. They provide airtight storage for coffee beans while being durable and reusable.
  • Some coffee packaging options also include innovative features like CO releasing valves, which allow excess carbon dioxide to escape while keeping oxygen out. This helps maintain the freshness of the coffee without compromising sustainability.

Eco-friendly options for coffee packaging focus on reducing wastepromoting recycling, and using sustainable materials that have minimal impact on the environment. By choosing these options, consumers can enjoy their favorite beverage while contributing to a greener future.

Recycling rates for different packaging materials

Recycling rates vary greatly depending on the type of packaging material used. The following table provides a comparison across different material types.

MaterialRecycling Rate
Aluminum Cans67%
Plastic Cans20%
Paper/ Cardboard65.9%
Steel Cans72%
Glass Containers33.1%

This table illustrates the superior recycling rate of steel cans, with 72% being recycled. Aluminum cans, often used for coffee packaging, also have a high recycling rate at 67%. On the other hand, plastic cans have a lower recycling rate of only 20%. While paper and cardboard have a decent recycling rate of 65.9%, coffee packaging is often covered with a plastic lining, making it more difficult to recycle. Consequently, metal cans stand out as an efficient and eco-friendly packaging option.

Conclusion: The Future of Coffee Packaging

The future of coffee packaging is evolving with the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly options. Discover how metal cans are still a viable choice, along with other packaging alternatives, and make an informed decision when choosing the best option for your coffee.

Consumer awareness and recycling play an important role in the future of coffee packaging. It is important for consumers to be aware of the environmental impact of different packaging materials and make sustainable choices when purchasing coffee.

Metal cans provide a strong barrier against moisture, light, and oxygen that can degrade the flavor of coffee. The airtight seal of metal cans helps to maintain its freshness for longer periods.

Metal cans are widely recyclable, making them an eco-friendly choice. So when it comes to preserving the rich taste and aroma of your favorite brew, consider opting for metal cans as your packaging solution.


What is a coffee tin?

A coffee tin is a metal container specifically designed for storing coffee. It is often made of tin-coated steel and comes in various sizes and designs.

Why are coffee cans made of metal?

Metal coffee cans, specifically tin-coated steel, are considered the best packaging for coffee due to their ability to keep coffee beans fresh. They provide airtight and hermetic seals, protecting the coffee from air, moisture, and light.

How long can coffee be stored in a tin can?

Coffee can be stored in a tin can for an extended period of time, as long as it is properly sealed. It is recommended to consume the coffee within a few weeks to enjoy its optimal flavor.

Are there different types of coffee cans available?

Yes, there are different types of coffee cans available. They can vary in size, design, and branding. Some coffee cans are also made for decorative purposes, adding a touch of nostalgia to the packaging.

Which brands still use metal coffee cans?

Some coffee brands that still use metal coffee cans include Folgers, which is known for its iconic red instant coffee can. However, it is important to note that the use of metal coffee cans may vary among different brands and regions.

How are metal coffee cans made?

Metal coffee cans are typically made by welding or folding a sheet of tin-coated steel into a cylindrical shape. The can is then coated with a food-grade lacquer or protective coat to ensure the coffee’s freshness and prevent any metallic taste.

Can coffee cans be recycled?

Yes, metal coffee cans can be recycled. They are made of a commonly recyclable material and can be sent to recycling facilities to be used in the production of new metal products. Engaging in recycling practices contributes to a circular economy.

Why do people prefer coffee cans as a storage container?

People prefer coffee cans as a storage container for several reasons. The hermetic seals of coffee cans help to keep coffee grounds or beans fresh, compared to other storage methods. Additionally, coffee cans are easy to open with a can opener, allowing for convenient access to coffee at home.

Are there any benefits to using decorative coffee cans?

Using decorative coffee cans adds a touch of nostalgia and aesthetic appeal to the coffee packaging. It can also make for a great way to store other items once the coffee has been consumed. Some people also find it less expensive to reuse decorative coffee cans rather than purchasing alternative storage containers.

Can I find specialty coffee in metal cans?

Yes, it is possible to find specialty coffee in metal cans. Some specialty coffee brands choose to package their coffee in metal cans to maintain the freshness and quality of their beans. These cans are often designed to reflect the brand’s unique identity and appeal to coffee enthusiasts.

About the Author:
Sophia Lewis, a travel blogger with a focus on global coffee cultures, explores coffee traditions from Colombia to Turkey. Her expertise lies in understanding the cultivation, brewing, and enjoyment of coffee in different cultures. Through articles, travel vlogs, and tastings, Sophia brings a global perspective to coffee, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices, and invites readers to join her community of global coffee enthusiasts.