Why Not To Use Oily Coffee Beans In Your Grind And Brew

posted in: Coffee Beans | 7

Use These Beans Sparingly If At All.

Dark Roast Bean DamageOkay so you jumped in and bought one of the new grind and brew coffee machines or maybe you even went further and got a new super automatic coffee machine. It’s arrived at your front door, you’ve set up and you’re about to put in some of that great dark roast coffee you purchased. All I can say is STOP!

Why do I say stop? Take a look at the coffee beans; if they are dark and oily looking then you are setting yourself up for some headaches later on down the line. That same oil that you see on the surface of the beans will in time gum up your machine and cause the grinder to pack solid and not function.

They say a word to the wise is sufficient and in the video below from Seattle coffee gear.com you will be able see very graphically what those fine dark roast beans can do a high price machine. Some of the things to take note of are as follows.



Damage That Can Be Caused.

  • Take note of the staining of all the plastic parts from the oily coffee beans and from what they say it’s a smelly proposition as well.
  • Take note also of the way the oil will weld individual beans to the side of the machine and make the delivery chute less slick so you bean delivery is impaired.
  • The dark roast oily coffee beans are not really necessary for great coffee. The grind of the bean is more important than the dark roasting.
  • The grinder in the machine shown has been completely caked with ground coffee that is been welded in place by the oils from the oily coffee beans. No folks this is not easy to clean and if you disassemble be sure you know how to recalibrate the grinder.
  • According to the video there really is no good way to use oily coffee beans. The one exception I can think of to that is if you have a dosing chute incorporated into your machine. A dosing chute is included as a way to use pre-ground beans in your machine.

As you will soon see in the video above oily coffee beans = goo, which will eventually have you either replacing your machine or having it spend some quality time at the repair shop. Even though his video was shot about a super automatic coffee machine the principles are the same, if you have an internal grinder on your machine stay away from the oily coffee beans.


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7 Responses

  1. Rajesh Bhatia
    | Reply

    Can I use the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Blend from Magnum Coffee Roastery in a super automatic expresso machine?

    • lakutist
      | Reply

      You should be able to as long as it is not a dark roast where the oils are on the surface of the bean. Even then if the machine has a dosing chute you can use pre-ground beans.You just don’t want the oils gumming up the burr grinder.

  2. Jeri
    | Reply

    Just researching coffee grinders that also brew. I am so disappointed to learn I can’t grind my favorite dark roast in them. Are there alternatives? How do the coffee places keep their equipment going with all the grinding they do?

    • Tom
      | Reply

      You can still use a self grinder just make sure you get one with a dosing chute to use pre-ground dark roast coffee. It should be fine for all other forms of coffee.
      As far as the coffee shop question I don’t really have a good answer but will look into it. My guess is that they have a certain amount of normal maintenance anyway and most grinders are separate from the brewing machines making that maintenance easier.
      Here is a tip that I have not verified the effectiveness of yet. Grinding rice in your burr grinder to clean has been said to work. It would seem to make sense since the rice would tend to absorb the oil from the beans. This is probably more effective as a preventative measure than a fix all though. Again this tip is anecdotal and I have not actually tried it.

  3. Steve
    | Reply

    Just giving a shout out for your site. Our Breville YouBrew stopped working this morning (grinder no longer ground). I was never terribly happy with it but that is a different story.

    Based on the info on your site, I was able to clean the grinder and now my wife will no longer be purchasing the Italian Roast beans she had been buying.

    Thanks again!

  4. Kate
    | Reply

    Found this page when I opened a fresh pound of surprisingly oily beans and saw a learning opportunity – thanks for the info!

    I use a hand mill, making cleaning pretty easy; I do grind a bit of rice through daily like someone else suggested, and every few days swish it out with high-proof (drinkable!) alcohol before a wash. I find it dissolves the oils better than soap and has even gotten the smell out of travel mugs.

    Happy caffeinating!

  5. Rob
    | Reply

    This post is absolutely correct! I have a Breville Grind & Brew machine which I would use exclusively with oily/dark roasted beans and started to experience major problems with the grinder sounding like it was close to failing. I took the entire grinding mechanism apart and found so much crap (for lack of a better word) stuck in there. I cleaned it out, stopped using oily beans and never had a problem since….

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