Is There Oil in Coffee?

If you’ve ever looked at coffee and noticed a slick or note of oil floating on top, you might have wondered if that was oil in your coffee and then perhaps you thought, “uhh, wtf is that all about?!”

And you wouldn’t be wrong. I did have concerns myself a few times when I noticed a little more oil in my 7/11 coffee and then Starbucks.  Which is why I’m back with another article for you. I decided to sit down and research how oil was getting into my coffee and well, I learned a lot.  In this article, I will discuss whether there is oil in coffee, its benefits, and how it influences the taste of coffee.

Is There Oil in Coffee Naturally?

First of all, yes, there is oil in coffee but it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

fresh coffee that's not over roasted has least oil

The oil is called coffee oil or essential coffee oil and it’s a natural byproduct of roasted coffee. This oil carries the aroma and flavor of the coffee beans and it’s what gives coffee its distinct flavor profile. The oil is found on the surface of coffee beans and it’s released during brewing. So if you see oil in your coffee cup, don’t panic! It’s perfectly normal.

Benefits of Coffee Oil: Antioxidants, Antimicrobials, and More!

Coffee oil has many benefits. It contains antioxidants that are good for your overall health. It also has antimicrobial properties that help to fight off harmful bacteria.

Not just that, but coffee oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. How awesome is that?!

It’s also a natural lubricant so it can help to reduce friction in your body. All in all, coffee oil is a beneficial substance that contributes to the health benefits of coffee.

Can Coffee Have an Excessive Amount of Oil?

However, sometimes coffee can have an excessive amount of oil. This can occur when coffee beans are over-roasted, or the coffee grind is too fine, causing the coffee to become oily and bitter.

In these cases, you may want to avoid drinking the coffee as the excessive oil can cause digestive problems. If you’re not sure about the quality of your coffee, you can check the roast date on the label. Freshly roasted coffee should not be too oily.

One factor that contributes to the oil content of a coffee cup is the brewing method. For example, espresso is known to have a high concentration of coffee oil, which contributes to its bold flavor. On the other hand, pour-over coffee has a lower amount of coffee oil, resulting in a milder taste. Meanwhile, French press coffee has a moderate amount of coffee oil, giving it a balanced flavor profile. So depending on the brewing method you choose, you can definitely control the amount of oil in your coffee.

What Oils Are in Coffee?

There are several different types of oils found in coffee including fatty acids such as linoleic acid and oleic acid. These oils provide the flavor and aroma that make coffee so luscious.

Linoleic acid helps your health by providing essential fatty acids that the body needs to function properly. Oleic acid helps to reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation in the body. Both of these oils are beneficial for your health and well, we are blessed that we naturally drink it in our coffee!

Lastly, there may be traces of other compounds such as caffeine, tannins, and minerals. These compounds work together to give coffee its unique flavor profile.

How Much Oil is in Coffee?

The amount of oil in coffee varies depending on the type of beans, the roast level, and the brewing method. In general, espresso has the highest concentration of oil while French press and pour-over coffees have a lower oil content.

Is Starbucks Coffee Oily?

Starbucks is known for its bold and robust flavor. However, their coffee is not overly oily. They use premium Arabica beans that are roasted to perfection, giving them a balanced flavor profile without too much oil.  I have noticed a bit of oil floating on the top from time to time but I’ve remedied by asking for a new cup of coffee from a new batch of coffee.

Does Instant Coffee Have Oil?

time for instant coffee

No, instant coffee does not contain any oil. The process of making instant coffee involves extracting the flavor and aroma from the beans using hot water. This strips out all the oils from the coffee, resulting in a powder-like substance that can be reconstituted with hot water.

Do Coffee Filters Remove Oil?

Yes, coffee filters are designed to remove most of the oils from your brew. This is why it’s important to use a fresh filter and clean it regularly. You can also buy special oil-removing paper filters that are specifically designed to reduce the oil content in your coffee.


In conclusion, yes, there is oil in coffee and it’s natural.

In fact, coffee oil has many health benefits, including antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. However, beware of excessive oil content can cause digestive issues, so it’s essential to ensure your coffee beans are freshly roasted and not over-roasted. Now that you know that the oil is harmless, go on and brew yourself another mugga Joe and enjoy the living heck out of it!