What is Coffee Moisture Content?

What is Coffee Moisture Content?

Green coffee beans are a very specific product, not only because of how they smell and look before roasting, but also because of the amount of moisture. Raw coffee beans have a lot of moisture inside, which is an important factor in the coffee roasting industry. What is coffee moisture content? And how to measure the moisture content of coffee?

What is moisture content in coffee?

To put the definition in simple words, the moisture content in coffee is the amount of water that green coffee beans have. In the coffee roasting process, moisture content is reduced from 45% before processing, after processing it is between 9-12%, coffee roasting reduces it to about 2%. While coffee beans are losing the excess of moisture, their weight is reducing – they can lose about 20% of their original weight.


If you want to become a professional roaster, you need to learn how to measure the moisture content of coffee because it has a huge impact on the final product. The better quality of green coffee beans, the tastier coffee you can drink. You should find a trustworthy retailer, so the imported coffee doesn’t have any mold or other damage. There are several ways to measure the moisture content in coffee, including using smart devices that will make this process easier.

How to measure the moisture content in coffee beans?

As it was mentioned before, you can measure the moisture content of coffee in many ways. First of all, you can simply dry a dose of green coffee beans in a convection oven, best at 105 degrees Celsius. The green beans should stay in this warm environment for 24 hours, and the weight loss should be analyzed and registered at this time. If you want to use this method, you should be aware of the fact that each batch you want to dry should be consistent and weight the same. However, there is also another, more efficient way to measure the moisture content of coffee.

Moisture content in coffee – precise measurements

You can invest in a moisture analyzer and density meter. This 2-in-1 device seems expensive at the first glance, but you can save a lot of time and energy by using it. Such a device can measure not only the moisture content, but also the density and temperature in coffee beans. The level of moisture content affects, for example, the length of roasting. If it has less moisture content, it dries and roasts quicker. You should also adjust the temperature of coffee roasting to the actual moisture content. Nobody wants to burn the coffee beans. A moisture analyzer can give you precise measurements within a few seconds. The information you get can determine the roasting process. You can see the result of the measurements directly on the device’s screen, but you can usually store it on your computer. You can compare previous measurements to be sure that the coffee you make, always represents the same high value.


Every professional coffee roaster should know, what is coffee moisture content, and why you should measure it regularly. Constant exposure to humidity affects negatively green coffee beans. Invest in a precise moisture content meter to make sure that you roast only the best coffee beans.