Have you ever opened a bag of fresh coffee beans and wondered why do they look wet? Some coffee beans tend to have a shimmer to them as if you spilled water on them. Don't worry, that's the way they are supposed to look.
Darker roasts of coffee beans, such as espresso beans, look wet due to a process called dark roasting. The dark roasting forces the beans to release their natural oils, which makes them look wet but gives them a stronger flavor.
Now you know, but there is much more to this than just that. Read on, and let's take a more in-depth look at the process and what exactly that oily substance is. Doesn't have any real benefits? Or does it just change the flavor?
Why They Look Wet
The process of dark roasting coffee beans tends to draw out their oils. For this process to happen, the bean's internal temperatures have to be taken up to around 465 or 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this point, they will start to behave like popcorn and begin to crack at the second crack they are at the proper temperature. Because of this, the process is also called second pop or second crack.
To heat them much past the point of the second crack will ruin the beans. Raising the temperature past 490 degrees Fahrenheit will make your coffee taste burnt and unpleasant.
Why It's A Good Thing
Dark roasted coffee in all of its oily glory is more effective than its lightly roasted counterpart in several areas. It can aid in weight loss and weight management. It can prevent numerous diseases, and it can even help manage your mood. There is a hitch that comes with its benefits. It has to be black coffee, no sugar or creamer.
Dark roasted black coffee can be your best friend if you’re trying to lose a few pounds, thanks to:
- Its high levels of chlorogenic acids, a chemical compound that's known to speed up the process of weight loss
- Its extremely low-calorie count
The oily substance is full of various antioxidants that help fight all sorts of ailments like inflammation and cell damage. There are long terms studies done that show moderate coffee consumption may reduce your risk of type II diabetes and Alzheimer's diseases as well.
Both vitamin E and glutathione are the antioxidants helping our body rid itself of toxins, thus helping to prevent diseases like certain types of cancer, Heart disease, and free radicals and toxins produced by oxidative stress.
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Dark Roasted Coffee: Benefits Against Disease
Protection of the liver is another benefit of drinking coffee. According to some studies drinking about 4 cups a day can reduce your chance of cirrhosis in alcohol drinkers by 80 percent and in non-alcohol drinkers by 30 percent.
It even aids in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease, so long as you're not taking estrogen as hormone therapy. This is believed to be due to caffeine.
From weight loss to Alzheimer's diseases, it would seem that marvelous oily beans might just aid us in staying healthy and cognitive, so long as we aren't adding a bunch of flavor enhancers like sweeteners and fancy creamers.
That oily sheen that makes them look wet is just a sign that they are some healthy, well-roasted beans that are good for your body!
Are Lightly Roasted Beans Oily?
So, not all coffee beans are supposed to be oily. Lightly roasted coffee usually looks dry as it hasn't gotten heated to the point of releasing those essential oils.
If you open a bag of Columbian, Hawaiian, or any lighter roasted coffee and it's oily, you may want to be wary. While oily beans aren't synonymous with just dark roast, it can mean the coffee was improperly stored for an extended period.
The key factors here are what type of roast did the beans go through and how they were stored. A general rule to figuring out your bean dilemma is to remember, the longer the roast, the more oily they get.
Coffee has a lot of nuances, and there are so many different kinds of coffee, it can be hard to keep up with. To confuse things even further, for every kind of roast there are several different names it could be called depending on where you are and who you're speaking to.
While the names may change, the process always stays the same for each roast. Each roast gives the beans a different coloring and texture, but only the dark roast draws out those oils, giving the beans that saturated look.
Here are the three most common types of roasts, and whether or not you should expect them to look wet.
Dark Roast Should Be Oily
- French roast coffee is a popular style of dark coffee and has a smokey yet sweet taste.
- Italian roast is the darkest roast on the market and is used to make expressos.
- Vienna roast is slightly lighter than the other two and doesn't possess the smoky flavor that comes with French roast.
Mediums Roast Should Be Somewhat Dry
- City Roast is almost light but not quite, and it should and should be almost completely dry.
- The full city roast is darker than the city roast but not quite dark enough to be considered a dark roast. It should be slightly oily.
Light Roast Should Look Dry
These roasts are barely taken to just before the first crack and won't even reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They often have a bit of a sour taste to them and include some examples like:
- Cinnamon roast
- New English roast
- Half City roast
Coffee Essential Oils and Their Other Uses
That oily substance the coffee beans produce is pretty potent and is extracted to be added to other products. Not only does it have a bunch of health benefits from consumption it's also used in skin products thanks to all that vitamin E.
- It's used to diminish cellulite
- Smooth out the eye wrinkles
- Reverse the general signs of aging
- Prevents the loss of moisture
- It can even reverse sun damage
- It even soothes acne
It doesn't just stop at skincare either; coffee bean oil is also good for your hair and can be used in several ways to help promote a healthy head of hair.
For hair care:
- These essential oils can increase blood flow in the scalp, which may fight hair loss and promote growth
- They promote moisture
- Prevents against damage and breaking
- Improves your natural hair color
The oils can be used to fight depression and enhance one's mood, not through consumption but by leaving some in a dish or dowsing cotton balls and leaving them by your nightstand. The aroma can lift your spirits as well as mask any unpleasant odors.
Wet Looking Coffee Beans: It’s Healthy!
So, it would seem that the little bit of shine on those coffee beans is for more than just our enjoyment. While a dark coffee roast might look wet, that’s just the natural oils being released—and it’s a good thing that brings several health benefits.
That is, so long as we don't try to add flavorings to it. Does this mean that it's a cure-all health drink? No, absolutely not, but a nice, oily dark roast can lend several benefits. So, next time you're grabbing a nice cup of dark roast coffee, maybe just take it black and reap the benefits of those wet-looking beans.