Why Do Coffee Beans Smell so Good? (3 Minute Read)

Last Updated on October 20, 2021 by John Moretti

Nothing makes me happier than to wake up in the morning to the delicious smell of freshly ground coffee being brewed in the kitchen by one of my family members.  But what makes this little humble coffee bean smell so good!

The aroma produced by coffee beans contributes to the reaction between proteins and sugars when the bean is heated.  During the roasting process, coffee undergoes a dramatic chemical change producing over 800 aromatic compounds, which give off the tantalizing aroma.

Coffee beans possess all the unique qualities associated with coffee, but only once it is roasted does it have the unique taste and aroma that we have come to know and love.  The coffee bean has a very strong scent to neutralize the air, whereas the smell of the vapor from brewing roasted coffee is known as its aroma. 

Factors influencing these aromas are the blend of coffee beans, the method of roasting, the geographical origin, and how it is prepared. These factors all impact the sensory and taste you experience when drinking a cup of aromatic coffee.  

So where does the coffee bean start its rather easy journey!

How To Prepare The Coffee Bean For Roasting

coffee beans roasting

Coffee trees are often grown in mountainous areas, and it is not always possible to use mechanical harvesters, so the coffee cherries are picked by hand.  Only the ripe purple or red cherries are selected, and the outer skin removed to reveal the green coffee beans, also known as stones. 

Two of these stones, placed with their flat sides together, are nestled in each cherry.  The stones are then washed and soaked until their sticky outer layer is removed, then they are dried by the sun, usually on huge patios or in drying machines.  Once the beans are dry, they are ready for roasting.

What Happens To The Coffee Beans When They Are Roasted?

coffee beans roasting process

When the beans are roasted, the color of the raw bean changes from green to brown, and during this process, more than 1 000 aroma components are formed to acquire that distinctive coffee taste aroma.  Green coffee beans are heated at 356°F to 464°F for between 1.5 to 20 minutes.  By varying the roasting conditions, it is possible to achieve the particular flavor profile of the final coffee for the consumer’s preference.

If required, the roaster may grind the beans in a coffee grinder.  The size of the grinds is adapted to suit the different brewing techniques and will ultimately influence the taste of the coffee.

Roasters blend and match coffee beans from different origins to complement each other, enhance their best qualities, and produce a well-rounded coffee.

What Are Coffee Fragrance And Coffee Aroma?

coffee aroma

The fragrance of the coffee bean is a culinary perfume processed through the human nose.  This fragrance entices consumers to coffee houses and what you would smell after opening a freshly ground bag of coffee.

At its most basic aroma is the smell of coffee, but it is not just the scent; it is also the flavor and taste sensations experienced when drinking a cup of brewed coffee.  The aroma is also known as the Nose or Bouquet of coffee.  It contains molecules that possess almost all of the scents attracted to man, such as fruity, floral, spicy, and smoky. 

The darker roasted beans will make the best smelling coffees, and the fresher the cup of brewed coffee, the stronger the aroma released through the air will be.  Buying coffee beans directly from the roaster and placed in a valve sealed bag to be ground at home will ensure that your coffee stays fresh longer and reward you with that satisfying aroma characteristic of a good coffee.

What Is The Role Of Coffee In Society?

Besides being one of the most popular drinks globally, the wonderful aroma and satisfying taste of coffee play a key role in providing occasions for family, friends, and colleagues to connect and socialize.

There is always a magical and pleasant aroma lingering in the air when you step into coffee houses and cafes.  Watching the coffee being prepared entices the taste buds, and the smell of the freshly brewed coffee enhances the feeling of well-being, leaving you with a hint of sweet nostalgia. The aromatic and exotic coffee aromas wafting along the sidewalks from these establishments draw consumers like a magnet to come in and enjoy a coffee break.  Many relaxing hours are spent in these establishments, surrounded by alluring fragrances, making one forget about life’s daily stresses and strains.  

How Long Do Coffee Beans Keep Their Aroma And Flavor?

store coffee beans

Coffee beans lose their aroma and flavor when kept too long in storage.  Provided you had bought them freshly roasted and stored them in air-tight containers at room temperature, you should well preserve them for 2 to 3 months.   Avoid clear containers that allow light to penetrate which could affect the taste of the coffee.  You would know if the coffee beans have become stale when they have a dull, lifeless, and even rancid or musty aroma.

Do Coffee Beans Absorb Bad Smells?

Coffee beans smell so good, and the oils from the caffeine in these amazing little beans are also excellent at removing toxic gasses from the air and absorbing foul odors. Their strong scent can be used to ward off the worst smells and can be used to neutralize odors from:

  • Drains
  • Vehicles
  • Burnt food
  • Refrigerators
  • Countertops
  • Cupboards

Bringing the enticing smell distinctive to coffee beans into your home or personal space as an odor eliminator will heighten the senses and be kind to the environment.


The aroma of a fresh cup of coffee, made from the modest coffee bean, can be seen as one of society’s best-loved indulgences.  The aromatic smell and warm taste of this beverage have brought friends and family together for special occasions over many years, and millions of people enjoy endless cups of coffee throughout their day.

During the roasting process, the great coffee bean is transformed into a much-desired gem that produces the aromatic smell and superb taste associated with coffee.   

The fragrance of the coffee bean not only entices you to want to drink coffee but is also an odor absorber used to deal with removing toxic gasses from the air, as well as eliminating foul smells. 

From an insignificant tiny stone, nurtured inside a cherry, growing on a coffee tree, and refined by the heat process, to becoming an everyday cup of comfort to billions of individuals throughout the globe, is the destiny of the dignified coffee bean!