Yorkshire Coffee Roaster since 2008 - Ethically Sourced Coffee
Find us    Email us     01274 911 419
Find us    Email us     01274 911 419
Limini Coffee
Guatemala Huehuetenango

Oils on coffee beans

Open a bag of coffee beans and often they will have a distinctive sheen on the surface. This is coffee oil; to some it looks attractive and a sign of freshness. To others it could suggest a problem with the beans, like they’ve been sweating! What’s more, not all coffee will have oil on its surface. So what's the deal; is it good or bad thing?

To answer that we need to get something straight. Calling them coffee beans is misleading because really they start life as seeds from a fruit. As a seed, they contain everything needed to grow another plant and this includes some fats, or oil. So all coffee contains oil but only on some will it be visible. This just depends on how long it has been roasted.

Before roasting, coffee beans are green and very dense; not at all like the brittle brown things they become. The longer the roast, the darker the brown colour will become to eventually turning black when they burn. Of coarse you will never see this if you use Limini Coffee!

Oils on coffee beans

So the colour of the bean is an indication of roast level. Light roasts will have a paler colour, and a different taste, to medium and darker roasts. It is on dark roasts where you will see the most oil.

This is because the roasting process creates a high amount of pressure inside the bean. The water present inside evaporates, drying it out and making it more brittle. At the same time processes are happening inside the bean that create carbon dioxide, which essentially cracks it apart, expanding it up to twice the original size.

The heat used to roast coffee turns oil into liquid which are then pushed to the outside. As dark roasts have been subjected to higher temperatures and for a longer time they are the least dense and oil has more chance to migrate to the surface creating more of a sheen. A lighter roast typically has a surface more matt in appearance.

So oil on coffee is not a sign of bad or good quality but of roast level.

It could also indicate the freshness of roasted coffee. The oils in any coffee will naturally start to leak out of it porous structure given time, maybe weeks or months after the roast date, it just depends on roast level. It will be slower for light roasts and faster for dark. Eventually these oils will evaporate, meaning really old roasted coffee will look dull in appearance.

It’s why at Limini Coffee we always include a ‘roasted on’ date on the bags, so you can guarantee you will be making coffee with beans that are at optimum freshness.

La Spaziale Pump Guage
Adjusting the pump pressure

a little guide

La Spaziale Heat Exchange
Are La Spaziale Single Boiler Machines?

the patented design

Coffee grinder
Grind by Weight Grinders

and why you want one

Coffee grinder burrs
When to change your burrs

and why you should

Vostok lever machine
Vostok - The Future of Espresso Machines

Check out this dream machine!

La Spaziale ITC explained

We explain what the ITC feature is on the La Spaziale espresso machines

Cold brew coffee
A guide to cold brew coffee

The origins of cold brew coffee and how to make it.

Oils on coffee beans
Oils on coffee beans

Oils on coffee beans? Good or bad, what is the deal?

Coffee for the office
Guide to office coffee machines

The different types and options for your office and your team.

Greener coffee
Greener coffee shops

Tips on how you can make your coffee shop greener.

Flushing of group head
Flushing of the group head

Why the need for flushing the group head should be an important part of your routine.

The resting of coffee
Fresh is best...or is it?

Is the freshest coffee always the best coffee...

Serving filter coffee
How to serve filter coffee

An article about the various methods of how to serve filter coffee in a busy coffee shop.

Understanding milk
Understanding milk

An insight into different types of milk and their latte art.


A simply enough looking drink that has a lot more to it than you might think.

Water quality
Water quality

How important is water quality to the taste of our brewed coffee?

Fresh is best
What is that smell?

You walk through the doors into your beautiful coffee shop and you smell the wonders of coffee.

Fresh is best
Fresh is best!

How fresh is the coffee that you drink and how can you tell?

No more espressos...

A different concept for serving espresso based drinks.You can be different and serve coffees with a different base.

Latte macchiato
Latte, cappuccino, macchiato.... what?

A simple explanation of many of the amazing names that the coffee world has come up with over the years.

Benefits of multiple grinders

Why we think having more than one grinder is so important.


Learn more about why tamping is actually so important. It is a skill owned by the barista and it does make a difference.

Compact vs normal size machines

What really is the difference between a compact and a standard size machine.


Not sure what crema is? Then this is a must read.

Espresso machine
Guide to espresso equipment

Our comprehensive guide on choosing the correct equipment for your espresso drinks.

Backflushing your espresso machine

Learn about why you need to backflush an espresso machine and how it works.

Filter coffee
Filter coffee

Filter coffee is beautiful and here we will introduce you to some of the more popular methods.

Loose leaf tea
How to create 'theatre' in your coffee shop

Instead of just serving coffee, serve something that get people talking about you.

Bean to cup
Difference between an espresso machine and a bean to cup

Why we here prefer traditional espresso coffee machines.


The Roastery
Unit 6 Luddite Way Business Park
Rawfolds Way
BD19 5DQ
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Coffee roaster

Get in touch

call us for a chat on 01274 911 419

Monday - Friday | 09:00 - 16:30
Closed bank holidays

Terms and conditions | Privacy policy | Website settings

By continuing to browse you agree to our use of cookies.

Copyright © 2008-2024 Limini Coffee Services Limited. All Rights Reserved