Whole Bean Coffee Isnt Stale When You Buy It
Theres a BIG problem with most bags of coffee at the supermarket.
Theyre already stale.
Part of the reason is that the coffee was roasted weeksif not monthsago, so it has lost most of its natural aromas and sugar .
But heres the other part: most of the coffee sold in grocery stores is pre-ground. And pre-ground coffee loses most of its natural flavor in just 20-30 minutes.
Thats because the grounds are so small that it takes hardly any time for oxygen to soak into the coffee and cause it to start decaying. The natural sugars, smooth aromas, and gentle acids turn into harsh bitternessyuck.
And thats the crazy thing: pre-ground coffee is already stale when you buy it . Whole bean coffee, on the other hand, is fresh for longerbecause the beans are huge compared to individual grounds, so it takes a lot longer for the oxygen to do its dirty work.
This is why we say you should always wait to grind your coffee until youre ready to brew itto save those amazing fresh flavors.
Why Do We Grind Coffee
The basic goal of making coffee is to get whats sealed inside the bean out of the bean.
Whole beans are more flavourful and produce that fresh quality that both you and I look for in each delicious cup of coffee that we drink.
Ground beans, if you choose to purchase them instead, tend to lose the fragrance. For example, have you ever popped open a bag of fresh coffee beans and discovered the aroma that hits your nostrils? Its amazing, right?
Now, take a moment and open a bag of ground coffee. Whats missing is that fresh flavour scent that is sealed inside the bean and is only released once the bean has been ground.
The sooner you use coffee after grinding it, the more of the originally intended flavours there will be.
You Get To Control The Grind Of Whole Coffee Beans
One of the reasons we choose to buy coffee beans and grind them ourselves is because we get to control the grind of the coffee. Yes the size of the grind can change the flavour of your cup of coffee all the way around!
Here is a small breakdown of what the grinds look like. These can be accomplished simply by changing the size on your grinder.
|The size of powdered sugar.|
|Turkish Grind||The size of baby powder.|
The amount of time that water and coffee need to be in contact with each other is directly related to the particle size of the grind. The finer the grind, the more surface area of the bean is exposed to water. The more surface area, the less dwell time is needed.
If you grind it yourself, you can make up a batch of coarse coffee for your French press. Or, you can also make some fine grinds for an espresso machine.
Even the simplest coffee bean grinder will give you the control over your grounds. Since youll only be grinding small amounts right before you brew, you can change the fineness whenever you want.
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A Coffee Expert Weighs In On This Caffeine Conundrum
Unless you’re a nay-saying tea drinker, coffee is most likely an integral part of your morning routine. And with more bagged options than ever available at grocery stores nationwide, many of us caffeine addicts are swapping $5 lattes in favor of a hot mug of home-brewed drip. Though going with an at-home pick-me-up is undoubtedly easier on the wallet, one question remains: Is it better to buy whole-bean coffee or the pre-ground stuff?
To get to the bottom of everyone’s favorite bottomless cup, we consult with New York-based coffee expert Sadie Drazewski. In addition to having over a decade of barista experience under her belt, Drazewski recently opened Bearcat, a java-centric café and bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn . It doesn’t matter if you’re sweet on Sumatra or flip out for French roast, Drazewski’s answer is the same: Buying whole beans reigns supreme.
Freshest Of The Fresh
Theres nothing worse than getting a stale cup of coffee. People who are just happy to get a jolt of caffeine, but anyone who tastes their coffee can tell the difference.
They might not notice a difference between good and great coffee, but theyll know the difference between good and bad coffee, and stale coffee is bad.
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Ground Coffee Vs Whole Beans: Which Is Right For You
Whether youre a coffee enthusiast or just the average java drinker, this guides for you. The topic of discussion today is ground coffee vs whole beans. Which is better?
Any coffee expert would probably tell you that whole beans are the better option because it will offer a fresher cup of joe. While this is true, ground coffee also has benefits worth noting. Is whole bean coffee better than ground coffee has been a debate for years, and were here to settle it for you.
Read on to learn the main differences between the two and which is the best option.
Is It Better To Sell Ground Coffee Whole Bean Or Both
If you survey the bags of coffee at your local café or grocery store, youll notice they all fall into two broad categories: ground and whole bean.
While the shelf life of whole bean is generally longer, the reasons for offering ground coffee are manifold, from greater convenience to a generally more consistent, uniform grind size.
To learn more about the pros and cons of each, I spoke with three-time South African Barista Champion and MTPak Ambassador, Ishan Natalie.
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Is It Cheaper To Buy Ground Coffee Or Beans The Solid Facts
This is something I asked myself very early on my own coffee journey is it cheaper to buy ground coffee or beans?
The straight-up answer is easy to find and in this day and age, you can get the answer in a matter of minutes by simply comparing two exact same brand and roast of beans, one that is ground and one that is whole beans.
The answer is that ground coffee beans are cheaper to buy!
But cheaper does not always mean better. Keep reading to find out why!
Save The Pennies With A Bit More Effort
You might be finding it a bit difficult to justify the cost of buying a grinder, but actually they are a great investment! In fact, it’s quite possible you will end up saving money over time.
Grinders arent expensive – you can get them in a hugely different range of quality, ability and price but, if youre not fully converted to the whole bean way of brewing, dont use the cost of a grinder as an excuse. Rather than letting this act as a barrier to stop you opting for the whole bean coffee, grab yourself a an affordable hand coffee grinder which will get you started with grinding whole bean coffee. If you are enjoying the experience and freshness you can then upgrade to a faster electric grinder like the Wilfa Svart.
If youre always incredibly busy in the morning, then this convenience is probably going to be an important factor for you. But remember, youre paying for this convenience. Its actually often cheaper to buy whole bean bags of coffee. For example, our single origin coffee selection is only available as whole bean and and gets you a 10% discount. Our 1kg bags of coffee are the same, only available as whole bean but at a better price. Plus, if your days are often pretty hectic, all the more reason to make your coffee breaks a time for some solitude in your busy schedule. Which leads us nicely into our next point.
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The Difference Between Whole Bean Vs Ground Coffee
Its no secret that coffee drinkers tend to be very passionate about their daily dose of caffeine. From your go-to order at major chain coffee stores to how you brew at home, it all comes down to a matter of opinion. One of the most widely debated aspects of home-brews is rather you should purchase whole bean coffee and grind it yourself or buy pre-ground coffee for convenience sake but whats really the right answer?
How To Store Fresh Ground Coffee Properly
You may not always use up all your grinds when brewing coffee. In that case youll want to know hot to keep ground coffee fresh for longer so you dont have to throw it away. After all, the information above paints a grim picture of what will happen to the flavors and the aroma.
Notably, it comes down to storage and maybe some information on how coffee reacts to certain conditions in the environment. For instance, we already mentioned that contact with air will lead to oxidation and loss of lipids.
Consequently, you need to curtail contact between the freshly ground coffee and the air. This can be done by locking the coffee in an airtight container. However, if you store too much ground coffee in the container it could be a problem because youll need to open and close it often. As such, youll be introducing more air and moisture every time you open it.
Also, loss of CO2 can be a problem and its one you solve with the airtight container as well. It will preserve some of the CO2 content since the gas has nowhere to go. Besides air and moisture another element that youll need to look out for is light due to photodegradation.
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Some Drawbacks To Whole Bean Coffee
You need to grind the whole beans before you brew them. This means you need to purchase a quality at-home grinder, and you need to take some extra time in the morning to grind your beans. Plus, youll need to clean the grinder out every once in awhile to keep it working efficiently.
You also need to experiment with different grind sizes. Your grinder will likely have different settings to produce different sizes and coarseness of grounds. This means you may need to play around with your grinder and brewing method to see which setting and coarseness works best to create your perfect cup.
Whole bean pros:
Are You A Bit Of A Coffee Snob
Do you dream of coffee every night and take pride in brewing the best coffee around? If so, youll probably want to go the whole bean route, since it gives you maximum freshness and control. But be careful: you can also end with a worse cup of coffee from whole beans if you dont grind them correctly. The advantage to pre-ground coffee is the grinding process is highly controlled for uniformity and consistency. If youre grinding your own coffee, youll need to use a burr grinder to achieve the same uniformity and consistency. If youre willing to put in the extra effort for a proper grind, you can achieve superior results. In addition, by grinding your own beans, youll be able to make the micro-adjustments, either coarser or finer, to achieve optimal extraction and the best possible cup.
In summary, when choosing between whole bean or ground coffee for your home brewing experience, consider the following benefits and drawbacks to each option.
- Benefit: The easiest and fastest way to brew coffee at home.
- Benefit: Consistent, uniform grind size.
- Benefit: No need to purchase a burr grinder.
- Drawback: Coffee loses freshness more quickly.
- Drawback: You cant make adjustments to the grind based on taste.
- Drawback: You can only brew the coffee using the specific brew method it was ground for.
Whole Bean Coffee
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How Do The Prices Compare
Prices differ across different stores and depending on which brands you prefer, but the discrepancy is pretty much the same, regardless of blends or brands.
So, if youre not fussy about your coffee, youre definitely better off sticking to ground coffee.
The reason ground coffee is cheaper is that most people will settle for lower quality coffee that often has wheat, soy beans, barley, corn and other additives, according to The American Chemical Society. And this means you not only have an inferior cup of coffee, but youre getting less of a kick from your caffeine.
Whole Coffee Beans: You Wont Find Any Cons Here
If you want to get the most flavourful coffee possible, your best option is to buy your beans whole. Grinding whole beans for an amazing cup of coffee is an overlooked but crucial part of the brewing process.
Whole bean coffees come from better lots because its impossible to hide negative qualities in a bag of whole bean coffee. Check out our list of past roasters that have been featured in each Blue Coffee Box Subscription box.
The majority of the coffees aromas and flavours are released when its ground. If you buy whole bean coffee and grind it at home, you will notice the coffees enhanced flavours.
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Flexibility With Your Coffee Grind Size
A major issue when considering whole beans vs ground coffee is the challenge of a set grind size.
Rather than buying your coffee in at a set grind size, the benefit of grinding the beans yourself means that you can prep your coffee to suit a variety of different brewing methods.
The typical pre-ground coffee that you buy from the supermarket is basically only designed to suit your standard drip coffee pots. By grinding it yourself, you can match the correct grind size with each brewer, to secure yourself the perfect cup of coffee. To be honest, we do offer different coffee grind sizes but the issue is that these are preset and if our pre gruond espresso isn’t quite right for your machine there isn’t much that can be done!
Yes the pre-ground stuff will make you a cup of coffee quicker, but wed recommend embracing the time that good coffee prep takes and really treating it as an indulgent, lavish luxury. Savour the brewing process and get a bit nerdy about all of the ins and outs of the process, as its a part of the whole experience.
Ground Coffee Beans Meaning
Ground coffee is simply whole coffee beans that have been roasted to a predetermined roast level and then freshly ground to a predetermined ground size. They are then packaged and shipped off to a warehouse, distributor or coffee shop directly.
Ground coffee beans can be roasted to any roast level and ground to any ground to and grind size. Ground coffee beans are simply the ground coffee that your cup of coffee is made from.
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Is Freshly Ground Coffee Better
Many long time coffee drinkers will attest to the benefits of fresh ground coffee over the regular ol pre-ground stuff. Why? It ultimately depends on what youre trying to get out of your cup of coffee. If youre happy as a clam filling your brew with cream and sugar and enjoying the caffeine kick, then drinking freshly grinded coffee might not be a huge priority for you.
However, if you want to tune your taste buds into the subtle coffee flavors of different varietals or simply taste the actual coffee above all else, then you should absolutely consider switching to a life of coffee beans vs ground.
How long does ground coffee stay fresh? Not very. In our experience, the taste declines significantly after as little as THREE DAYS. Thats why keeping it in its bean form for as long as possible is essential.
Moisture Erodes The Oils
The moisture in oxygen has an effect on coffee, too. The water molecules in oxygen react with coffees natural compounds and because the oil in coffee is water soluble, they disappear when exposed to oxygen.
The longer the time of exposure, the less flavor your coffee has by the time it hits your tongue.
Ground Beans Lose Their Scent And Their Taste
“Carbon dioxide is also a biggie,” Drazewski says. “Roasting beans fills them with CO2, and while some of it’s released as the beans cool, keeping them whole allows a lot of it to remain intact. This gas plays an important role in coffee consumption by emitting oils and soluble flavors into the air during the brewing process, creating all those beautiful aromas that make a fresh cup so inviting. Much of what we taste is dependent by our sense of smell, so aromatics are very important when it comes to flavor quality.”
Does Grinding Your Own Coffee Taste Better
Most serious coffee drinkers answer this question with an emphatic yes! As we mentioned above, each of your favorite brewing methods requires a different grind size for optimal flavor and caffeine extraction. And of course, grinding the coffee yourself gives you total control of the size of your grounds.
You might also find the size of your ground coffee affects the overall taste of your morning cup. But dont worry with a bit of practice, experimentation, and a good burr grinder, youll perfect the process in no time.
Helpful grind tip: you may be grinding your beans a bit too coarsely if the contents of your cup are more acidic than normal, and if your java is on the bitter side, your grounds are likely too fine.