How To: Coffee Packaging - Why is it Puffy or Not Puffy?

March 27, 2017

So we ship literally tons of coffee and every once in a while a customer asks: Hey how come the last bag I got felt like it was vacuum packed and one I got today was all puffy?

I’ll get to why that happens in a second, but first rest assured the bag appearance has nothing to do with how fresh the coffee is inside. After coffee beans are roasted they give off gases. So when packaged, the packaging has to have a way for those gasses to escape. If there was no way out, they would cause the bags to burst. So virtually every coffee we carry is sealed into packaging that includes a one way valve. These valves allow gasses out but prevent air and especially oxygen from getting in.

That one way valve is easy to see in this bag of our own Malabar Gold coffee - a very good coffee by the way. It produces a persistent and rich deep reddish brown crema. Fabulous customer reviews - Definitely worth a try.

Now that one way valve can be hard to find on some bags, but it’s almost always there. If you’ve got a puffy bag, and can’t find the valve, squeeze it and listen close and you’ll be able to hear it do its thing.

So what’s the deal with some bags being puffy while others are not? Well it’s very straightforward. Roasters typically deliver coffee on large pallets with bags stacked high. Bags towards the bottom or in the middle get the squeeze from bags on top or around them which prevents them from puffing up leading to that vacuum packed appearance. Bags at the top are less squeezed. So they can puff up a bit before gasses escape through the one way valve.

In the end bag appearance is not an indication of freshness of the coffee inside. So long as no additional oxygen has gotten in the bag - and that’s what the one way valve prevents, the quality of the coffee in a puffy bag versus one that looks deflated is exactly the same.

Got questions or comments on this video or anything coffee? Use those comments and I’ll get you answers.Thanks for reading and be sure and subscribe to our channel for more of the good stuff on everything coffee brought to you by Whole Latte Love.