Why is there Oil on Your Coffee Beans?

Have you ever noticed oil on your coffee beans? Coffee beans naturally gather oils while being roasted.

oilybeans1Coffee beans naturally gather oils while being roasted. The darker the roast, the more oil on the surface of the beans. So, when you pick up a nice dark roast, like Lighthouse Roaster’s Choice, expect a little oil on those delicious bad boys.

On the other hand, lighter roasts, such as Kuma’s Fresh Crop Balanced, have no oil on the surface of the beans. This is because oil forms on the outside of the beans at higher temperatures. In short, darker beans have more oil on them, since they are roasted at a higher temperature for a longer period time.

Now, when is oil on your beans a bad thing? As time goes on, oils and sugars previously inside the beans start to creep out to the surface. The coffee beans lose their natural flavor without these oils and sugars. Once the oils begin to collect, the likelihood of the oils going rancid (oxidizing) is greater, and the process quicker (especially if improperly stored). You can prevent oily beans by using your beans within two weeks after they’re roasted.

Remember, the fresher the beans, the better the coffee. Now, that’s a motto to live by, don’t you think?

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