I Started Steeping My Coffee the Same Way You Make Tea and I’m Never Going Back

published Dec 9, 2020
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Credit: Anna Spaller

I’m not ashamed to say I was a daily to-go coffee girl before the pandemic—to the point where I would sometimes indulge twice a day. When that afternoon energy slump would hit, I’d answer it with a latte. All of that changed when I began working from home in March, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to revamp my habit. 

I considered investing in a fancy coffee machine, and even setting up a dedicated coffee station in my kitchen. But in doing my research, I also came across steeped coffee bags, which replaced my thirst for daily coffee runs and helped my bank account look more plentiful than it ever has. 

The idea behind the steeped coffee bag is simple: If you’ve ever brewed a cup of tea before, you know how to steep a coffee bag. There are plenty of brands that specialize in the single-serve system—social media star Emma Chamberlain has her own line—but I gravitated towards LOMLI, which was founded by former editor Donna Kim in July. “Coffee is my savior,” Kim told Apartment Therapy of the company, whose name is an acronym for “Love of My Life.”

Each coffee bag comes in its own recycled paper packet, so all you need to do is rip it open and get to work. I first turn on my kettle and as the water is coming to a boil, I prep the bag in my mug of the moment. When the water is ready, I just pour it over and let it steep for 10 minutes—though you could absolutely let the bag steep for more or less time, depending on how strong you like your brew.

The bags also make great iced coffee if you think ahead—simply steep them in cold water  overnight in the refrigerator for no-stress cold brew. The fact that the company also offers an auto-renewal program also sold me, because it offers a set-it-and-forget-it element (and solves my issue of making a daily coffee run on multiple levels).

There’s also a sustainable element to the entire brand—and in a space where single-use coffee pods and disposable paper cups reign supreme, that means companies like LOMLI are the odd brands out. (According to the environmental activist group EarthDay.Org, people throw out 16 billion plastic-coated coffee cups per year.) “I wanted the bubble mailers, the wrapping, everything to be recyclable, sustainable, and as no-waste as possible,” Kim says of LOMLI’s effort toward sustainability which includes fully compostable packaging, both non-toxic and water-based packaging ink, and micro batches for production.

As more and more people settle into a work-from-home routine, they’re also finding ways to optimize the parts of the workday they miss—one look at the Pinterest results for “coffee bar ideas” says it all. And while Kim knows LOMLI certainly isn’t the first coffee bag company, the fact that the line is owned by a woman of color particularly resonates with me.  

“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” Kim says. Her ultimate goal with the company, she says, is to “make your everyday things a little bit nicer and a little faster”—and that will hopefully also include ice molds for an upcoming launch.

Now, my morning routine includes burning sweetgrass, lighting a candle, and drinking my LOMLI in an effort to start each day peacefully. It’s a new routine, but it’s one that feels like salvation in a time when almost everything feels uncertain. And at just over $2 per bag, it’s a routine that I can stick with, given my previous coffee order often set me back almost $5 per cup. What’s not to love about that win-win scenario?