The History of Coffee & Coffee Essential Oil

The history of coffee dates back centuries and plays a significant role in various cultures and industries worldwide. Coffee, believed to have originated in Ethiopia, has a rich history dating back to the 9th century. As the indigenous people discovered the stimulating effects of coffee Beans, they began brewing them, which led to the spread of coffee cultivation and the process of extracting coffee oil from the beans.

Coffee essential oil is a highly concentrated and aromatic oil obtained from coffee beans through steam distillation or solvent extraction. It captures coffee's distinctive scent and flavor and is widely used in various industries, including fragrance and taste, cosmetics, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals.

Cultivation & Harvesting Coffee

The cultivation and harvesting of coffee beans require careful attention to detail to produce high-quality coffee oil. Each production stage, including factors such as the type of coffee plant, environmental conditions, harvesting methods, processing techniques, and roasting, can impact the quality and characteristics of the coffee oil. Expertise and proper care are necessary to ensure that the resulting coffee oil meets the desired quality and aroma suitable for use in the fragrance and flavor industry and other applications.

Process of Cultivation & Harvesting Coffee To Obtain Coffee Essential Oil

Harvesting of Coffee Cherries: Coffee cherries are usually harvested by hand, as the cherries on a single coffee tree do not ripen all at once and require selective picking. The cherries are picked at their peak of ripeness, which is determined by their color and firmness. The cherries are usually picked selectively, only harvesting the ripe cherries, or sometimes through strip picking, where all the ripe and unripe cherries are harvested together.

Processing of Coffee Cherries: After harvesting, the coffee cherries need to be processed to extract the coffee beans. There are two main methods of coffee cherry processing:

  1. Wet processing: This method involves removing the outer skin and pulp of the coffee cherries to reveal the coffee beans, which are then fermented in water to remove the remaining mucilage. The beans are then washed and dried.
  2. Dry processing: In this method, coffee cherries are dried in the sun or sometimes mechanically without removing the outer skin and pulp. Once the cherries are thoroughly dried, the outer skin and pulp are removed, revealing the coffee beans.

Roasting of Coffee Beans: Once the coffee beans are processed, they are usually roasted to develop their flavors and aromas. Roasting is a critical step in the coffee production process, as it significantly affects the taste, aroma, and color of the coffee beans. The coffee beans are typically roasted at high temperatures to transform the raw, green beans into the brown, aromatic coffee beans that are commonly used for brewing coffee.

Extraction of Coffee Essential Oil: After the coffee beans are roasted, they can be used to extract coffee oil through various methods, such as steam distillation or solvent extraction. Steam distillation involves passing steam through the roasted coffee beans, causing the volatile compounds in the beans to vaporize and then condense into a liquid, which is collected as coffee oil. Solvent extraction, on the other hand, involves using a solvent to dissolve the roasted coffee beans and extract the oil, which is then separated from the solvent.

Refining and Packaging of Coffee Oil: Once the coffee oil is extracted, it may go through additional refining processes to remove impurities and ensure its quality. The refined coffee oil is then packaged in suitable containers, such as dark glass bottles, to protect it from light and air, which can degrade its quality.

Composition of Coffee Essential Oil

  1. Fatty Acids: Coffee oil contains various fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These fatty acids contribute to the lipid content of coffee oil and can have different effects on flavor, aroma, and properties.
  2. Triglycerides: Triglycerides are esters composed of three fatty acid molecules attached to a glycerol molecule. Coffee oil contains different types of triglycerides, depending on the coffee bean variety and processing methods.
  3. Sterols: Sterols are a type of lipid found in coffee oil in small amounts. They can have antioxidant properties and may contribute to the overall health benefits of coffee.
  4. Cafestol & Kahweol: Cafestol and Kahweol are diterpenes unique to coffee oil. These compounds are responsible for the cholesterol-elevating effects of unfiltered coffee, such as French press or Turkish coffee. Still, they are largely removed during the coffee bean roasting process and are found in minimal amounts in filtered coffee.
  5. Aromatics: Coffee oil contains various aromatic compounds, including volatile compounds that contribute to the characteristic aroma of coffee. These compounds are responsible for freshly brewed coffee's complex and rich aroma.
  6. Minor Compounds: Coffee oil may also contain other minor compounds such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, varying depending on the coffee bean variety, processing methods, and growing conditions.

It's important to note that the composition of coffee essential oil can vary depending on factors such as coffee bean variety, processing methods, and roasting level. Additionally, coffee oil is typically found in very small quantities in coffee beans. Its extraction can be challenging, making it a relatively rare and expensive oil compared to other vegetable oils.

Coffee Essential Oil Facts

Botanical Name

Coffea robusta, Coffea Arabica

Coffee Bean


Warm, Inviting, True to Freshly Brewed Coffee

Extraction MethodCold Pressed
Plant Part UsedBean
Shelf Life3 Years
Kid Safe?No, Ok to Diffuse
Safety ConcernsNon-Toxic

Versatile Applications of Coffee Essential Oil in Various Industries

Coffee essential oil is utilized in various industries due to its distinctive aroma, flavor, and potential health benefits. Here are some of the sectors in which essential coffee oil finds its applications:

  • Fragrance and Flavor: Coffee essential oil is commonly used in the fragrance and flavor to add coffee notes to perfumes, colognes, candles, and other scented products. Its rich, deep aroma resembling freshly brewed coffee, can add warmth, depth, and complexity to various fragrance compositions. In the flavor industry, essential coffee oil is used as a natural flavoring agent in food and beverages, including desserts, chocolates, liqueurs, and coffee-flavored products.
  • Cosmetics: Coffee essential oil is also used in cosmetics for its potential antioxidant properties and skin benefits. It is believed to have anti-ageing properties and toning and stimulating effects on the skin. It can be found in skin care products such as serums, creams, lotions, and soaps, targeting skin rejuvenation, firming, and toning.
  • Aromatherapy: Coffee essential oil is used in aromatherapy for its refreshing and uplifting properties. It is believed to help improve mood, increase mental alertness, and reduce stress and fatigue. It can be used in diffusers, massage oils, or personal inhalers for aromatherapy.
  • Personal Care and Home Care: Coffee essential oil is sometimes used in personal care and home care products, such as soaps, shampoos, and household cleaners, for its aromatic properties and potential skin benefits.

These are just some of the many industries in which coffee essential oil finds its applications. Its unique aroma, flavor, and potential health benefits make it a versatile ingredient in various industries, ranging from fragrance and flavor to cosmetics, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, aromatherapy, and personal care. Explore the diverse offerings of coffee essential oil suppliers from around the world to harness the unique properties of this remarkable oil.