Coffee drip bags are quite popular in Taiwan and Japan. It’s a muss-free way to make coffee. But as you’d expect the coffee is average: though it is packed in foil, the roasting, grinding and packaging are often done weeks or months before by the big companies. There is one guy I know who does it really well, he does the roasting, packing quickly. And he sells out quickly but he only sells via his store in Taipei.
The other problem is the method of preparing: without a jug with a long thing handle, you’re reduced to using uncontrolled glugs of water that splash everywhere. The soaking of the grounds is uneven at best. So the real benefit is that it’s hot, and it’s coffee. That’s it.
Starbucks, in Japan, make a slightly better version… It’s called the Personal Drip Coffee System.
Overall, I prefer a traditional cone with filter paper… I can make as much as I need. It doesn’t rip, tear or spill like these do. And I can control the water and soaking better because it’s wider than a drip bag. No, they’re not ideal.
Edit: In reference to your picture, they are certainly on-the-go. However,… their biodegradability depends entirely on the paper/plastic used (yes, some paper filters use plastic, too) and the claims to eco-friendliness are suspect as well. Obviously, coffee grounds are reusable… but I have no idea if they are grown with pesticides, etc. I wouldn’t assume by any means that the average drip bag is either eco-friendly or boidegradable.
And finally, you could buy your own drip bags, pack your own coffee, and DIY. Would be quite fine, I think. Pouring the water will always be tricky: you’ll sometimes end up with coffee grounds in the cup, or hot water all over the table. It’s not ideal.
For more information and recipes on to our How To Make Coffee Page