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Old 01-12-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
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Oily whole bean coffee

Recently we bought a large bag of whole bean coffee from Whole Foods, their 365 brand. Basically a dark Columbian roast, but when we opened the bag the beans are oily, enough so that it is actually causing some problems with the grinder. Anybody encounter this before? Is it normal sometimes or is there something wrong with them? They smell and taste fine.

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Old 01-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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Yes. So bad that when we brewed it oil floated onto of the cups!

It was some we bought in NY at the South Street Seaport/Fulton St.? They had a huge refurbished brick 2 story coffee merchant that sold coffee from all over the world out of open burlap bags placed on the floor from one end to the other.
Oh, the smell was glorious!
We picked a half pound of a good dozen varieties and ground
each as we needed it. I believe the one that was the most oily
was a turkish blend and bitter.
I think I remember being told to freeze or refridgerate them to prevent the oils from coming out prematurely - after the fact.
(it was about 18-20 yrs. ago.)
I never had that kind of trouble again, but since, do keep my cofee in the fridge.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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I keep mine in the fridge as well, but this stuff we bought that day and opened that night to grind and brew some so it was already oily when we bought it. But I know what you mean about the coffee house smell... I could just stay in there all day inhaling the smell alone!
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:47 PM   #4
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Mine were too, and I didn't think anything about it at the time. Now I know better.
What about putting them in a paperbag whole, sprinkle with salt and shake bag.
Then shake bag out in colander to remove excess salt.
Then either put beans flat on papertowels and remove remainder
by rubbing them in the towels, or rinse in cold water, then dry in papertowels before grinding.
Salt is a great oil absorber.

The place where the store/warehouse stores them or the truck or something may have gotten too warm and brought the oils out prematurely.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:52 PM   #5
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I may try that, or what about trying to re-heat them to roast in the oven to dry them back out? Or would that just ruin them more?
I do know I am going to look closer when buying them from now on out...
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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I wouldn't roast more. It would take alot of heat, or time to evap. the oil out, if at all. And I would think it would make it bitterer, (LOL! bitterer) bitter.
But whatever you decide, I would experiment with whole beans first and a small portion.

Good luck. Let us know what you do.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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Yea that is a good point. Well I may try what you suggested, like I said they are fine when you brew them up (seem a bit mellow to me though), just hard grinding as they want to cake up in the grinder.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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Often, excessive oiliness is a symptom of over-roasting. If this is the case, the coffee will brew up bitter.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #9
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Mav, your question intriqued me to do some research on the internet. From what I have read the darker roasted coffee, such as French roast tend to have an oily sheen. The coffee roasting company in the link below has a chart that discusses the color and oil on their coffee beans that might be informative.

Jackson Coffee Co
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:29 PM   #10
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That is interesting, and makes sense, but I do think the beans were a bit more oily than I have experienced before. We have a guy I buy French Roast and Colombian from at the Farmers Market during the summer. His stuff is dark but not as oily. More like it has a glossy sheen to it.
This stuff was 'wet' oily. But if this is just a result of over-roasting or the truck got too hot and it is not off or bad... I can live with that and next time just look more carefully before buying.
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