Coffee with white stuff floating in it

Hello, Lately my coffee seems to have a film on the top. The picture makes it look a lot worse then it is. It is more translucent in the cup. This happens once the coffee gets cold. When its hot it looks like bubbles or just the oil from the coffee beans.

What is this? Is this just the oil from the coffee? Or do I need to clean my machine?

Coffee Details:

  • Black Coffee, nothing added.
  • Made in espresso machine.
  • Ground to order.
  • Run through several times as I "overpacked" the coffee.
  • Hot water added to make Americano.
  • Beans from local roaster, last week.

This is what my coffee looks like before it turns into that: enter image description here

  • Do you use a fresh cup? (Serious question, some coffee drinkers insist on never washing their cups with soap.) Has anything else changed? Welcome to Coffee SE, btw.!
    – Stephie
    Mar 28, 2020 at 18:51
  • Yes I washed my cup before I filled it. I'm not sure if I used soap I might have just rinsed it out to look clean. Thanks!
    – marsh
    Mar 28, 2020 at 21:44
  • If it happens consistently, you can try a series of experiments one at a time, e.g. clean the grinder, use bottled water, clean the espresso machine, vary the packing pressure, ...
    – Jerry101
    Mar 29, 2020 at 4:12
  • I am fairly certain its just the crema. I made a fresh cup with plenty of crema and slowly saw it melt away into what I see.
    – marsh
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:42
  • By scum do you means the best part of espresso?! Apr 28, 2020 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


It is just oil from the coffee beans. Nothing to be afraid of unless your coffee tastes off. You can stir the coffee to try and reincorporate the oil or use spoons to skim off the oil from the top

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