Why does my coffee bag have a belly button?
What IS that weird button on your coffee bag?
You’ve seen it. You’ve wondered what it is…but never cared enough to actually google it. It’s not as scary as the opening manhole on the cover of the CHUD VHS tape, yet just as mystifying.
It’s a degassing valve and we’re going to explain exactly what it is.
Coffee can be supremely confusing. It is the seed of a fruit that grows off an exceptionally finicky plant. It roots itself roots in hard-to-access parts of the world and once the seed is obtained, it’s bagged and freighted thousands of miles to a roaster. The roaster then ‘cooks’ it using a combination of math, machine, and feel. Then is it ground and brewed into coffee, right? Not so fast! In-between the roasting and brewing it has to be packaged somehow to get to you.
The reason most of your better coffees feature this small valve is that oxygen is ultimately the enemy of coffee beans. This one-way valve is for de-gassing carbon dioxide which bean continues to produce after roasted. If it wasn’t for the valve the bag would inflate and explode. It serves a second purpose too! The degassing valve also doesn’t allow oxygen back into the bag. This means that the bag is primarily filled with a little bit of carbon dioxide and very, very little oxygen. Keeping your coffee in the ideal balance until you brew a cup.
So, now you know. And knowing is half the battle.