Pretty much everyone is familiar with a degassing valve. Who doesn’t enjoy sniffing those little buttons and taking in the aroma of their next cup of coffee? Many consumers erroneously believe that this is the purpose of a degassing valve—to demo the quality of a coffee’s flavor through its scent. However, there is a much more crucial reason why degassing valves are important to coffee packaging.
During the packaging process, roasted coffee releases several gasses during its time between storage and use, most notably carbon dioxide. Roasted coffee naturally releases carbon dioxide, and a degree of this is essential to allow the elements in coffee to properly bind to water.
However, if too many of these precious gasses leak away, the coffee can lose its rich flavor. Coffee must stay perfectly dry and encounter as little air as possible, but it still needs to release gases gradually. This is exactly why degassing valves are important to coffee packaging.
Freshly roasted coffee immediately begins to release gasses. This shift in coffee’s chemical makeup makes it vulnerable to becoming stale. The longer a coffee releases roasting gasses and interacts with the oxygen in the air, the staler it becomes. Stale coffee tastes bitter and not at all like the warm and comforting flavor we all adore.
To protect the coffee from oxygen, roasters immediately pack the finished roast in airtight packages. However, the coffee continues to release gasses for a prolonged period afterward. To keep packages from bursting due to this buildup of pressure, degassing valves are essential. These amazing little mechanisms are a one-way passage for gas under pressure to escape.
Besides keeping packages from bursting, degassing valves are essential to a coffee’s shelf life. While a quality flat-bottom box pouch will deter a package from breaking or bursting, that’s not all there is to it. Carbon dioxide in beans and grounds is an essential flavor component, as are other roasting gasses. It is both the release of these gasses and their presence that make a cup of high-quality coffee.
These valves allow coffee to stay steeped in its gases and only release just enough to control the pressure inside the package. The result is a fresh and deep flavor even months after the coffee’s original roasting date. As such, regions that lack a coffee farm or local roaster can still enjoy a true quality roast.
TricorBraun Flex has been supplying top-of-the-line coffee packaging and degassing valves for years. We know coffee bags and craft high-quality packaging to match your coffee business’s select and gourmet products.