Coffee Smells Like Tuna

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We all must admit that coffee holds an important place in our daily lives. We would even go ahead and say it is one of the most important things that a person needs to begin their daily activities. A cup of coffee is going to dictate whether or not a person is going to have an efficient work experience. Thus, making it very important to enhance this experience to provide a user with effective results. This might increase the work efficiency of a user and deliver them with great results.

Every coffee lover loves to smell their coffee beans before roasting or beating them to prepare a batch of coffee. Sometimes this might result in a bad experience as the coffee smells like tuna fish. This might create a feeling of disgust while drinking the coffee. And might also have a bad impact on the taste of the coffee. Thus, providing the user with an unpleasant experience. A user might be concerned that if the coffee has gone bad and they are using expired beans to make their coffee.

We have made a detailed article on why sometimes coffee smells like tuna and ruins a user’s experience. This article will provide the user with all the necessary information and details on why could a coffee bean emit a stench of fish. This will help the user to find a solution to the problem that will cater to all of their needs. 

Factors That Could Make Coffee Smells Like Tuna

Well, there is nothing unpleasant than getting up in the morning and brewing a batch of coffee that smells like fish. It could pass on the message that the coffee might have gone bad or fowl and needs to be thrown away. While the major problem is still left behind. As most of the time, the coffee beans being used are perfectly capable of making fresh and pleasant smelling coffee. It is mostly due to bad equipment that results in coffee smelling like tuna or fish.

Well if you think it is highly unlikely that this happens to anyone else, then you would be shocked to know that this issue is very common. As it happens to many people and is nothing to be concerned or worried about. The tuna-like smell comes when the user is roasting the coffee beans and the chemical reaction occurring on the surface and the inside of these beans. Dark coffee beans are more likely to give out this smell as it takes a lot of time to roast and will require a lot of heat. Thus, emitting the strong fish smell. This situation will not be an issue if the user is already aware of this occurring. Although some people tend to throw away their coffee when it starts to emit this smell. Thus, they should be aware of this while brewing coffee.

Although the most common factor is mentioned above there are some other factors that also result in a tuna-like smell coming after brewing a coffee. Hence, the user should be aware of them to look for a solution and tackle them with ease. Thus, delivering them with effective results and providing them with a comfortable and pleasant experience.

Some other factors that make the coffee smell like tuna are:

Underripe Coffee beans

One of the factors that can result in a coffee smelling like a fish is due to it being immature and being plucked too soon from its host. This will result in the coffee bean not only smelling bad but also delivering the user with coffee that is not up to the mark and is not that rich in taste. One of the most common mistakes that result in the coffee being immature is harvesting underdeveloped coffee bean fruit from the shrub. 

This results in the coffee bean not being able to saturate itself with enough flavor and aroma to produce an effective batch of coffee. Another reason why immature coffee beans are developed is due to being grown in an unsuitable environment. This does not allow the coffee to develop and enrich itself with flavor and aroma. Thus, resulting in an underripe coffee bean that smells like tuna and does not have a strong taste. Hence, providing the user with an unsatisfied and disappointing experience.

One of the other reasons that might produce under-ripe or immature coffee beans is using lack of fertilizers and the tree catching rust disease. This will surely make the taste of the coffee bean poor and deliver the user with a funny-smelling coffee when brewed. Another factor that results in immature coffee is when the coffee fruit is being grown in a drought and the shrub or tree does not have enough nutrients and minerals to enrich the bean with taste and aroma. Thus, resulting in an underripe coffee that does not satisfy the needs of the user. Hence, delivering them with an unpleasant experience.

Oxidation of coffee bean

coffee smells like tuna

An oxidation process can occur while storing coffee beans. This will result in the coffee smelling like a tuna or fish and providing the user with an unpleasant experience. Excessive heat and moisture can trigger the coffee beans to oxidize. This will result in a dry and funny-smelling coffee that the user is trying to avoid. The oxidized coffee might also be different in taste and provide the user with an uncomfortable experience. 

To avoid this situation from occurring the user must keep the coffee bean in good storage utensils and keep it at a temperature that is not too moist or dry. Thus not triggering the oxidation process and providing the user with a great-tasting and smelling coffee.

Although if the brewer or the shopkeeper does not keep the coffee properly and lets it oxidize then the tuna smell and funny taste are inevitable. Thus, choosing the right coffee maker or retailer for coffee is highly important to get a pleasant and comfortable experience.

The nature of coffee

A coffee might be hygroscopic which can also result in a change of taste and smell of a coffee bean. A coffee bean is dehydrated and dried up till they have no moisture inside them. This is done to make them more long-lasting and slow down the aging process. Although this also leaves the coffee bean to dry up and wanting to regain its hydration by absorbing water, air, or mixture from its surroundings. Hence, making the coffee beans hygroscopic and providing the user with unpleasant results. 

This can be avoided by storing your coffee beans away from any other dish and leave them hidden far behind a cabinet. This will make it highly unlikely for the beans to absorb any flavor or aroma that is being cooked in the kitchen. A user can also opt for air-tight or air seal packets and containers to efficiently store their coffee beans. These methods will prevent the coffee bean from absorbing any flavor or aroma and providing the user with pleasant and satisfactory results. Hence, making it very important to store them properly to avoid them to smell like tuna or have a bad taste when a user brews a fresh batch in the morning.

Unsanitary or dirty coffee equipment

No matter how fresh your coffee beans are they are going to have a funny taste and smell if the user does not clean all the equipment properly. This is because old and used coffee equipment builds up natural coffee oil while brewing them continuously. These natural oils tend to deposit themselves into the user’s drinks and provide them with a tuna or fish-like smell. These natural oils might also change the taste of a fresh coffee being brewed by the user and change the texture of the whole coffee bean. Hence, making it highly essential to clean all the equipment regularly. This will provide the user with effective results and provide them with a pleasurable experience.

A user must consider washing their coffee maker at regular intervals as it is one of the most crucial types of equipment that absorbs the maximum amount of coffee bean oil. Which results in changing the taste and smell of the coffee. A user can do this by using dish soap and water and then rubbing it with a dry cloth when the washing procedure is complete. 

If the user continues to sense a change in the taste and smell of their coffee they can clean the coffee maker with equal parts of white vinegar and water. Then gently dabbing it with a clean cloth for effective results. The user must also clean their coffee blender in case using coffee beans as it might also be another piece of equipment that might alter the taste and smell of the coffee. 


We have done intensive research and provided the user with all the factors that could make a person’s coffee smell like tuna. This article will provide the user with all the necessary details and information to tackle this problem. Hence, providing them with effective results and catering to all of their needs.

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