3 Reasons your Coffee Beans are so dry

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Have you ever opened up a new pre-packaged bag off coffee beans from your local store, only to get home and find that they are much more dry than what you are used to? I recently ran into this, and wasn’t able to find much information online as to why this is, so I set out to figure it out.

So why are my coffee beans so dry? The two reasons that your new coffee beans are dry, are either that they were not roasted long enough at the roaster (past the 2nd crack of the bean), or they were roasted correctly however it has just been too long since they were roasted and have had a chance to dry out.

Let’s take a little bit longer look at each of these, to figure out which one is the reason for your coffee beans being to dry.

1. It has been too long since the roast date

Dry coffee beans in a pile
Here is a great example of some dry coffee beans that I bought

This is likely the main reason why your coffee beans are dry. Many times, supermarket stores, gift shops, and stores that don’t quickly move through their coffee inventory will have coffee beans on their shelves for too long.

For example, the coffee bag I purchased was about 2 months old and resulted in all of the oils dissipating and no longer having the oils to keep them in their prime state.

To keep this issue from affecting you, you should quickly check the roast date on the coffee beans you are purchasing. The big name, super market brand companies don’t tend to have this. However if you are buying them in a bag, the date should show up somewhere as a sticker. Likely on the bottom or back of the bag.

If the roast date isn’t within about 2 weeks, you probably should move on and get a different one.

2. The beans weren’t roasted long enough

Roasting coffee beans is one of the most important parts of making sure that your coffee tastes great, and has the oils needed for the perfect cup of coffee. It is also what determines how light, or dark your brew will be.

In a rare occurrence, some roasters may accidentally not roast to what is considered the second crack. When this happens it releases the oils you find on the beans you are used to seeing.

If this second crack doesn’t happen (especially on lighter roasts), you will open your bag to find them dry, and not to the standards of a good coffee bean.

3. They are supposed to be that way

The final reason why coffee beans might look dry, is just because that is the way they are supposed to be. Lighter beans tend to not being quite as oily, meaning if you have a light coffee roast, you probably won’t find nearly as many oils, as they didn’t have quite as much of a chance to escape the inside of the bean during the brew process.

We’ll talk in a moment about what beans should look like, however we hope this is the case for you.

What should coffee beans look like?

Coffee beans, depending on the roast (light to dark), will look different. However they will always have a sheen to them, as some oils will be coating them.

If you see a bit of a gloss to the beans, that means they are in good condition, and perfect for your cup of coffee.

If you don’t see any gloss to them, they will still work for coffee, however they just won’t taste quite as good.

The image you saw at the top of this section is a great example of some good condition coffee beans.

While it is a lighter roast, you can see a bit of gloss to the beans. This means the oils are still present.

How do dry beans affect the taste of your coffee?

The oils, especially in the crema of espresso, will coat the inside of your mouth during the first couple sips of your coffee. If those oils are not present, in the case of dry coffee beans, you will notice a much more bitter taste to your coffee.

Since most people don’t enjoy the bitter taste of coffee, they tend to not like coffee that is made by that dryer beans.

What can be done with your dry coffee beans?

It is really up to you how you would like to handle your dry coffee beans! I would recommend you test out a cup of coffee with them and see if it is something you would like to drink. In my case, it tasted good and am going to finish off the bag of coffee.

Alternatively, you can always see if you can return the bag for a different one and test your luck again!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you rehydrate coffee beans?

While there is no perfect way of doing this, you can attempt to rehydrate your beans by putting a damp cloth in with your beans for a couple of hours. Hopefully this will rehydrate the beans, and bring a little more life to them.

How long do coffee beans last?

This is a largely debated question within the industry. However the rule of thumb is that you should be using your roasted coffee beans within 2 weeks to a month of the roast date. However this can range heavily depending on the person, the roast, and the bean itself.


In this article, we talked about why you might find your coffee beans to be dry, as well as some ways to use them moving into the future.

I think the biggest way to make sure this doesn’t happen again, is to just do a quick check of the roast date, and that likely will help you from running into this again!