Is there really a difference between whole bean and pre-ground coffee?
From start to finish (crop to cup), coffee goes through a process. Each bean is picked, washed, dried, roasted, and sometimes, put through a grinder before it is packaged and sent to you. It is in a constant state of change.
For most, pre-ground coffee is perfect because it is ready to brew and share. It’s a convenient and quick way to get your [beloved] caffeine fix everyday. Freshness is a big part of the taste of coffee. It is true, when coffee is put through a grinder, it begins to lose its natural oils, which speeds up the aging process vs. keeping it in its natural form, a whole bean.
Buying whole bean coffee comes with its fair share of pros and cons as well. The problem most people see with buying whole bean coffee is not knowing what to do with it once they get it home. Grinders can be intimidating and confusing when it comes to knowing proper grind size and understanding the right amount of beans to grind each time.
- A French Press requires more coarsely ground coffee
- Brew methods using a cone-shaped filter, such as a Chemex require medium coarse ground coffee
- Most other methods require more finely ground coffee
When in doubt, our Brew Guide always notes the optimal grind size for each method
If you’ve never experienced the taste of freshly ground coffee, you may currently not know the difference. When ground just minutes before you brew, the flavors and aromas in your coffee are stronger, and much more noticeable. It’s like enjoying a freshly baked brownie right when it comes out of the oven. Inevitably, you’re going to be able to really taste the [glorious] rich cocoa flavor even more. However, the next day that same batch of brownies will still taste pretty delicious.
Here’s the challenge: Consider the delicate process coffee goes through as you are seeking the best cup of coffee at home. Each step is vital. The more you know about your coffee (who grew it, how its roasted, etc), the more you’ll be able to take pride in the coffee that you choose for your daily cup (or two, or three).