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Let’s chat: Oily Beans

You may have heard us say “do not use oily beans in your grinder!” but do you know why?

 Oily beans can leave a residue and even clog your grinder or coffee machine. When your machine starts to become clogged you run into extra maintenance issues, and reduced performance of your machine. Not only that, but the extra build up inside your machine will result in a much less tasty cup of coffee or espresso. There are ways to get around this for the best coffee experience, but first let’s explore why coffee beans get oily.

 When coffee beans are roasted, there is a chemical reaction between the internals of the bean and oxygen. As they are roasted, the outer shell cracks and oil begins to leak out. The longer a bean is roasted, the more likely the shell is to crack! Therefore, darker roasts are usually oilier.  Oils will also develop as the bag sits on your counter and more air is exposed to the bean, so do not be surprised if your beans become oilier as time goes on!

Darker roasts & older beans are not the only beans that can be oily. While flavoured coffee is enjoyed by many, the beans are made by adding flavour oils to roasted coffee beans. So while the roast of flavoured coffee beans might be on the light or medium side, the extra oils added during the production stage give these beans just as much sheen as a darker roast. 

Here are some tips if you must use oily beans:

  • Generally, grinder cleaner should be used about once every two weeks. However, if you are using oily beans your best bet would be to up the use to every week! This will make sure that your grinder doesn’t get clogged. We recommend using Urnex SuperGrindz which removes stuck coffee particles and absorbs coffee oil residue.
  • Purchase a secondary grinder (it doesn’t need to be expensive), specifically for your oily beans. Even if your coffee maker has an on-board grinder, it is better to grind your beans and then bypass the grounds into the machine. This will allow your machine to last for years to come with proper maintenance.
  • Try something new! Instead of going with your regular oily beans, why not choose a bean that is just as bold, but not as oily? When customers call for a recommendation for non-oily beans, we always lead them right to our I.XXI Coffee Roasters. Roasted in house, we know that these beans pack the bold punch, without the excess oil!

Looking for more espresso tips and tricks? Check out this video and more on our YouTube channel. 

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