London-based Drury Tea & Coffee Company is giving its customers the option of buying its roasted coffee beans in 12kg biodegradable hessian sacks rather than 10 x 1kg foil bags in a cardboard outer.

The company says the move will help the environment and reduce the cost of the product by 20%.

Drury’s director Marco Olmi said: "In recent years, the industry has moved towards the use of foil bags, largely in order to extend the shelf life of coffee beans. That means 10 foil bags plus a cardboard outer."

"By going back to hessian sacks, the Company saves money on packaging and other overheads, which it is able to pass on to its customers."

Customers opting for the hessian sack will get a cheaper price per kg.

Its Reale espresso coffee blend, for example, has a list price of £92 both for the 12kg hessian sack and the 10kg foil bag option.

The bulk sacks will only suit those businesses that use "sufficient volumes of coffee to avoid shelf life problems" and put an effective stock rotation system in place.

Drury added that as it roasts its coffee to order, "it is delivered with the maximum possible shelf life".