What Causes Oily Coffee Beans? (Surprising Answers!)

 What Causes Oily Coffee Beans?? The answer might surprise you. If you’ve ever had coffee beans that were too oily or tasted funny, then you probably wondered why they did that. Well, now you’ll never have to wonder again because we’ve got some answers for you.

Coffee beans are usually stored in airtight containers, but sometimes they get exposed to oxygen. This can cause them to oxidize and turn into oil.

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What Causes Oily Coffee Beans? Surprising Answers Coffee Affection

Coffee beans are roasted before they are ground and brewed. Roasting changes the chemical composition of the bean, making it less bitter and giving it a darker flavor. Coffee beans are usually roasted at temperatures ranging from 200°F to 500°F.

When the temperature reaches 400°F, the oils inside the bean begin to break down, releasing an oil called lipids. These fats give coffee its characteristic aroma and taste. At lower temperatures, the proteins in the bean start to oxidize, causing them to darken and become bitter. The higher the roast level, the greater the amount of oxidation. The final product is a smooth, flavorful cup of joe.

Coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures to remove moisture and create a hard shell around the bean. During this process, oils naturally form on the surface of the beans. These oils are responsible for giving coffee its distinctive flavor. However, not all coffee beans contain the same amount of oil. Some beans produce more oil than others, and this difference is often referred to as “oiliness”.

If you’re looking to brew your own delicious cup of coffee, knowing whether or not your beans are going to be oily can be helpful when making your selection. Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of coffee beans and what determines their oiliness.

 What Causes Oily Coffee Beans

Why are coffee beans oily?

Oil is found on coffee beans because of the roasting process. Roasted beans contain natural fats, and when heated, those fats turn into an oily substance called fat bloom. Fat bloom appears on the surface of the bean, and it can also form inside the bean. Some beans will naturally produce less oil than others, and some beans may not even have any at all. If you see oil on your beans, they’re probably fresh.

A Whirlwind Tour of Coffee Roasting

Coffee beans are shipped all around the world before they reach our local coffee shops. To understand why some beans are greener than others, we need to cover a few basic steps in the coffee roasting process. Coffee beans are soaked in water for about 24 hours before they go through an air-drying process. After that, the beans are roasted at a high temperature for about 30 minutes. During that time, the beans are turned constantly to ensure even heating. Once the beans cool down, they are ground up and brewed.


Coffees are roasted at high temperatures, usually around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roasting takes place in an oven called a roaster. The roaster is heated to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then the coffee beans are added. After a few minutes, the heat is turned down to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, the roaster will remain at this temperature until the coffee beans are done roasting. Depending on the type of bean, the roaster may need to be adjusted several times during the roasting process. Once the coffee beans are finished roasting, they are removed from the roaster and cooled before being packaged.

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Coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures until they reach an ideal flavor profile. When the coffee beans are roasted, they undergo a chemical reaction called the Maillard Reaction. This gives them a sweet, caramelized flavor. Coffee beans are ground before brewing to ensure that the grinds are uniform and that the brew will be smooth.

Coffee beans contain natural oils that leak out when roasted. These oils are responsible for giving coffee its distinctive taste. Roasted coffee beans also become more porous, allowing them to absorb moisture from the air. Moisture causes the oil to separate from the bean, making it easier to extract during brewing. This separation is what creates crema, the layer of foam found at the top of espresso drinks.

For that reason, dark roast and espresso beans are less likely to appear oily. They simply haven’t been roasted long enough to pull the oils out. In fact, the darker the roast level, the more likely a coffee bean will look oily. As coffee beans age the natural oils will make themselves known. However, there is a difference between an older coffee bean and a coffee bean that has just been roasted. An older coffee bean will often have a stronger taste and aroma than a freshly roasted coffee bean. If you notice oil on a dark roast, it means the bean is getting old and likely to lose some of its original flavors.

What’s the problem with oily coffee beans?

The biggest problem with oily coffee beans is not the oil itself, but what happens when you try to grind them. Coffee oils are very sticky and tend to stick to everything they touch. If you buy whole beans, you will need to grind them before making coffee. And if you buy ground coffee, you may end up with an unusable grinder because the oils will clog it.

Another problem with darker roasts is that they tend to be less acidic. If you like your coffee strong and bitter, then you might not enjoy a dark roast. If you’re looking for something milder, try our light roast coffee. For 50% off!

 What Causes Oily Coffee Beans

Brewing Oily Beans

Immersion-style brewers are great for making coffee because you get all the flavor out of your beans. You can also easily adjust the strength of your coffee by adding water. We prefer the french press for our morning coffee because it allows us to enjoy a stronger cup of coffee without feeling like we need to drink it fast. If you’re looking for a low-key, easy-to-make breakfast, try a simple pour-over.

Use a Coarser Grind

If you’re looking for a richer flavor profile, try using a darker roast. Darker roasts tend to have less acidity and bitterness, giving them a sweeter taste. If you prefer a lighter roast, then go ahead and use a lighter roast. But if you really like the richness of dark roasted coffee, try grinding your beans a bit finer than usual. Coarsely ground beans will give you a stronger, bolder flavor.

Lower the Water Temperature

Another trick to get more out of your coffee is to lower the water temp to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering the water temperature will not only help you achieve the perfect cup of coffee but also allow you to enjoy a cold brew. Cold brewing has become increasingly popular because it allows you to enjoy coffee at its best. You can add ice to your cold brew to enhance the taste even more.

Stick with Cold Brew

If you have stale coffee beans, try using them in cold brew instead. Cold brew is a great way to extract flavor from old coffee beans. It is also easier to brew a decent batch of cold brew with old coffee beans. Cold brew is also very forgiving. You can still get a decent cup even if you’ve brewed a bad batch.

 What Causes Oily Coffee Beans


Oily Coffee Beans The Bottom Line

The short answer is that darker roasts are usually made from lighter roasted beans. Darker roasts are often called “French” because they were first produced in France. However, there are many other factors that influence the final roast level.

For example, the amount of oil in the bean will affect the degree of darkness. Also, the size of the bean will determine the degree of darkness. Small beans tend to get darker roasts while large beans will stay lighter. Finally, the moisture content of the bean will also impact the degree of darkness. Moisture content is measured as a percentage of the weight of the bean compared to its volume. Beans with higher percentages of water will tend to become darker when roasted.

Most coffee beans are dark roasted because the roasting process destroys the coffee bean’s structure and allows natural oils to come to the surface. However, if you notice an oily finish when roasting your own coffee beans, it’s likely because the beans are old. Oily finishes are usually caused by oxidation, which occurs when oxygen comes into contact with oils. When coffee beans are exposed to air, they start oxidizing and turning rancid. As the age of the beans, they become darker in color and less aromatic. Coffee beans that are stored properly should still taste great after years of storage.