Coffee Beans Smell Like Fish: Here’s Why (7 Reasons)

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world.

It has a rich and bold flavor that appeals to many people.

However, not all coffee beans smell like fish. In this article, we will discuss why your coffee beans might smell like fish.

Are Your Coffee Beans Smelling Fishy?

There are a few reasons why your coffee beans might smell like fish. 

According to this theory, when the bean is roasted for a longer period of time, it releases a chemical.

This chemical is said to give coffee its characteristic fishy smell.

Dark Roasts coffee beans are more likely to release this smell which is why they are often used in fish dishes.

Some Other Factors Contributing:

Five factors are likely to contribute to a fishy smell after the process has been completed. It could be the following:

  1. Immature green beans are used
  2. The oxidation process during storage
  3. Coffee beans have a hygroscopic nature
  4. A lack of proper storage
  5. Equipment that is unclean

1. Immature green beans:

The green beans that are used in the roasting process are immature.

They have not fully developed their characteristics and so they release more chemicals.

2. The oxidation process during storage:

When coffee is stored, it can start to oxidize.

This process happens as a result of the air and light that is exposed to it.

This can cause coffee beans to release unpleasant smells.

3. Coffee beans have a hygroscopic nature:

Some coffee beans like green coffee beans are known to be hygroscopic meaning that they retain water.

This means that they can absorb other odors as well as moisture from the air.

4. A lack of proper storage:

Properly storing coffee beans is crucial to preserving the delightful smell of coffee beans and ensuring a fresh and enjoyable coffee experience.

If not stored properly, coffee beans can release unpleasant smells, affecting the overall quality of your brew.

This is because the environment will be more humid and the beans will be exposed to moisture.

5. Equipment that is unclean:

The equipment that is used to roast the coffee beans can also affect the flavor.

If it is not kept clean, it will release unpleasant smells.

Tips To Get Rid Of Coffee Bean Smells

Worried that your coffee smells like tuna fish?

Don’t fret! With these helpful tips, you can tackle the issue and restore the delightful aroma of your coffee beans:

  • Brew your coffee using fresh beans. Brewing with stale or old beans will only make the odor worse.
  • Store your beans in an airtight container away from moisture and light.
  • This will help to keep the flavor and aroma of the beans intact.
  • Use only ground coffee for brewing.

Ways To Enjoy Your Coffee With A Fresh Fishy Smell!

If you’re worried about the fishy smell that your coffee beans can sometimes produce, there are a few ways to enjoy your coffee without any worries.

By brewing with fresh beans and storing them in an airtight container, you can enjoy your coffee without having to worry about the smell. 

If you don’t mind the smell of fish, using ground coffee will also help to reduce any unpleasant smells.


In conclusion, it is possible for coffee beans to release a fishy smell.

This could be due to a variety of reasons, including the age of the beans, the storage process, and the equipment that is used to roast them.

By following some tips, you can reduce or eliminate any fishy smells from your coffee.

Interested in learning more about coffee beans?

Check out this page in Coffee Bean Hour. It is a beginner guide that will teach you about coffee beans.


Why does my coffee smell like fish?

The fishy smell in coffee beans can be caused by chemical compounds released during the roasting process.

Are all coffee beans supposed to smell like fish?

No, not all coffee beans are supposed to smell like fish; it could be due to specific factors during processing or storage.

What causes the fishy smell in coffee beans?

The fishy smell of coffee beans can be attributed to chemical reactions or improper storage conditions.

Is it safe to drink coffee with a fishy smell?

It is generally safe to drink coffee with a fishy smell, but it may affect the overall taste and enjoyment of the brew.


Why Does Coffee Smell Like Tuna?

If Your Coffee Beans Smell Fishy, This Is Why

Why does my coffee taste like fish?

Why Do Coffee Beans Smell Like Fish or Cat Urine?

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