What’s the Deal with Oily Coffee: An Explainer

coffee beans

What’s the Deal with Oily Coffee: An Explainer

Take note of how oily the coffee beans are the next time you order from your coffee beans supplier in manila to get whole coffee beans. You’ll most often come across dry and matte beans, but occasionally, you’ll come across some dark and glossy beans. This gloss is associated with oily coffee beans and the debate over whether or not oily coffee is fresh or otherwise.

Why Are Some Coffee Beans Oilier Than Others?

The chemistry of oily coffee beans is what makes them so interesting. When heat is applied to the coffee bean during roasting, it begins to split and release carbon dioxide and other chemicals trapped within the beans. This reacts with the air to create an oily sheen because of this. The longer the beans are roasted, the more likely they are to have a glossy look.

You should know that coffee beans are essentially seeds with a lot of amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. The release of these lipids, whether through roasting or over time, results in greasy coffee beans. Is oily coffee good or bad? It all depends on the situation. Dark oily coffee beans may be greasy because they’ve just gone through the roasting process and it’s one of the indications that the beans are fresh.

To most coffee drinkers, greasy coffee is automatically terrible because those oils contain a lot of flavors and begin to oxidize and degrade as soon as they come into contact with air. Italian or French roasted dark oily beans may also have a smoky or charcoal flavor, which not everyone can handle. Also, if you see light or medium beans that are glossy, they probably are stale.

But is it bad though?

Oilier coffee beans are most frequently caused by a longer roasting time, which is not always a negative thing. If you enjoy darker roasts, oily coffee is an unavoidable consequence of the roasting process. Many baristas and other coffee experts, on the other hand, avoid working with too dark roasts or oozy coffee because the natural tastes quickly escape.

The popularity of dark roasts is a result of the increasing demand for coffee. It became more convenient to take bad coffee and roast it in a dark roast in order to disguise its flavor. Consumers would either only taste the smokiness of the roasting process or, as with several other coffees, it would be used to make espresso.

Despite being popular with espressos, dark oily coffee beans can be detrimental to automatic espresso machines. The oil can gather in the machine and grinder, causing the components to jam. If left unchecked, it might cause the device to cease operating completely. This is most often observed in smaller devices such as those used by local cafés and at home.

Is it possible for my beans to not be oily?

Indeed! Oily beans are the consequence of a lengthy roasting time, as we’ve said before. If you want non-oily coffee beans, go for a light or medium roast that has a shorter roasting duration, preventing the oils from reaching the bean’s surface. Light and medium roasts look matte and may seem dull but that is because the oil is still locked inside the bean. When selecting your beans, choose the freshest ones and be aware of roast types!


There are a lot of roast profiles to choose from, so some people may prefer oily coffee. However, if you use an espresso machine, it’s usually a good idea to switch to non-oily coffee beans to avoid damaging them. Overall, dark oily beans can camouflage the true tastes of the coffee and prevent you from discovering certain flavor profiles.

Once the bean has been exposed to heat, there’s no way to get rid of the oil, so pick your roasts carefully. And if you enjoy oily coffee, keep an eye on the roast date so you’re certain it isn’t due to age. Oily coffee isn’t always awful; however, stale oily coffee is never a good thing. So, don’t be afraid of oil.

Till our next cup!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *