The debate over ground coffee beans versus whole beans most likely will never be settled. The following are some useful facts and tips about different types of grinds and how to best use each of them. We have also included some pros and cons to using ground coffee and using whole beans.
Coffee Grinding Tips and Facts
#1. Pros and Cons of Whole Beans
Whole coffee beans retain their flavor for a longer period of time since the essential oils inside the bean do not get exposed to air. When you grind your own beans for each pot or cup, it provides you with a more flavorful, fresher cup of coffee.
Also, coffee beans have a shelf life that is much longer. Compared to pre-ground coffee, the shelf life is ten times longer, which potentially makes whole beans a more economical choice.
Another advantage that whole beans have is you are able to choose how coarse you want the grind, depending on what types of results you are looking for.
However, you will need to buy a coffee grinder and your preparation time will be increased.
#2. Pros and Cons of Ground Coffee Beans
Just as soon as coffee beans are ground, the essential oils (which contain the aroma and flavor) become airborne. (This is why it smells so delicious!)
That means that the essential oils that are floating in the air don’t get into your cup of coffee. Therefore, pre-ground coffee has a tendency to be less flavorful and fresh.
However, if you tend to quickly consume coffee, pre-ground might be a good option for you. According to sources, coffee retains its freshness for about nine days after it is opened.
Pre-ground coffee is more convenient and faster to make.
#3. Grinding Coffee
The way you grind coffee will change how it tastes. Consider the following tips:
- How finely coffee is ground will determine how strong it is. Finely-ground coffee beans result in a stronger and more concentrated flavor (Very finely ground coffee beans are used to make espresso.)
- Coarse grinds work the best with a French press or a press-style pot.
- A medium grind will work well with most drip coffee makers. However, within the medium grind range, there can be subtle differences depending on the type of filter that is used.
- Fine grinds work well with espresso machines and are often used with drip coffee makers also.
- Extra fine and super-fine grinds are solely used for making espresso. Super-fine grinds can be used in Turkish coffee makers also.
#4. Alternative Brewing
Coffee is brewed in some interesting ways in different parts of the world and by various cultures. Coffee gets brewed somewhat like tea in Indonesia. Hot water gets poured over the coffee grounds into the cup. The coffee grounds settle slowly to the bottom of the cup as the coffee cools and steeps.
If a very fine ground is used with this technique, you end up with what is called “mud coffee” in the Middle East.
In certain Middle Eastern and Nordic countries, sometimes coffee is boiled. A more bitter brew is produced.
#5. Coffee Grinders
You have probably seen the old coffee grinders where you had to manually grind the coffee beans. A step up are electric coffee grinders. Just push a button and your coffee beans are ground.
But did you know that you can buy coffee makers with grinders built-in? This is the ultimate convenience for coffee connoisseurs.
Having a coffee maker with a grinder is the best 2 for 1 option for a really fresh cup of coffee.
We have researched 5 of the best coffee maker with grinder machines and our results are found at Finding the Best Coffee Maker with Grinder.
#6. Ground Coffee Beans FAQs
Let’s face it. For many of us, to paraphrase a popular commercial, “the best part of waking up, is coffee in the morning.” We love and need our coffee!
Whether you purchase pre-ground or whole beans, coffee is one of our very versatile beverages!
Don’t forget about the coffee maker. Read our reviews of dual coffee makers that use both pods and grounds!