A hole in your bag of beans? The one-way valve, explained

A hole in your bag of beans?

The one-way valve, explained.

Let me guess, you’ve received our freshly roasted coffee and you see a hole in the bag.

What is that?

Although it looks like a hole, it’s actually a one-way valve.

Why is it there?

Well, most people use the valve to get a good whiff of their freshly roasted beans before opening the bag. But it does serve another purpose.

The valve keeps your bag of coffee from exploding and keeps your beans fresh – both pretty important, we’d say.

After coffee beans are roasted, they undergo some major changes in their chemical composition. Once roasted and while still fresh, coffee beans release a lot of carbon dioxide gas as a byproduct. A solution to this would be to let the coffee beans sit out and degas before bagging them. The problem? Then they’d lose their freshness and become stale. This puts coffee roasters in a bit of a pickle. They want to bag, seal and send off the beans while they’re still fresh but when the beans are fresh, they release enough carbon dioxide that it could explode a sealed bag!

Insert the one-way valve. Like, literally. Insert the valve into the bag.

How does it work?

Since the valve is only one-way, air can’t get in. This means your coffee stays fresh. No oxygen or other molecules can make their way into your perfectly roasted coffee beans. But the valve does let air out, so the carbon dioxide released from the beans can come out safely.

What does this mean for you? It means you get freshly roasted beans AND a bag that hasn’t exploded… now that’s a win-win!