Ground Coffee Versus Whole Beans
What You Should Consider Before Placing Your Next Order
When it comes to enjoying the perfect cup of coffee, the debate between ground coffee and whole coffee beans has been ongoing for years. To this day, both options provide their own unique benefits and characteristics, and choosing the right one can significantly impact your coffee drinking experience.
All across the world, those who work within the specialty coffee industry believe that whole bean is by far the superior choice when it comes to creating a rich, vibrant cup of coffee. As a result, cafes across the world generally stock coffee beans in whole bean form - but what about home baristas, those who are on the move, or folks without a grinder?
Let's take a look at the pros and cons to both.
Convenience & Ease
For many coffee lovers, ground coffee offers unmatched convenience. It comes pre-ground, eliminating the need for a coffee grinder. This makes it a popular choice among those who lead a busy lifestyle or prefer a quick brewing process in the morning. Ground coffee ultimately saves time, whilst still producing a rich cup of coffee as a result, whether it's a blend or single origin.
Consistency In Brewing
Ground coffee ensures a consistent brew each time you prepare your coffee. With precise and uniform particle size, the extraction process is more reliable, resulting in a balanced cup and predictable flavour profile.
This consistency can be a game-changer for those new to making their own coffee, providing a smooth, rich cup that you can savour without the need for intricate brewing skills.
Another advantage of ground coffee beans is its wide availability. You can find ground coffee in almost any grocery store, cafe, coffee roastery and of course, online retailer. This accessibility makes it a convenient choice for travellers or those who may not have access to a coffee grinder.
By purchasing directly from the source, like a coffee roastery, makes keeping a small amount of stock on hand easy, and free from the risk of running out of specialty coffee and having to run to the local store or cafe.
One downside to ground coffee is that it doesn't have a very long shelf-life. Whether it's a blend or single origin, the coffee's exposure to oxygen during grinding is high, which accelerates the degradation of the coffee's flavour and aroma over time.
Depending on the roast date of the coffee, pre-ground coffee may create exceptional results and brews for only 1-2 weeks from the date or purchase.
However, there have been a number of innovative packaging products developed to help preserve ground coffee's freshness. Resealable coffee bags have changed the game, allowing you to create a smooth great-tasting cup, even days after opening the pack.
Superior Flavour & Aroma
When it comes to flavour and aroma, whole beans have the upper hand. Whole coffee beans retain their natural oils and flavours better, and are free from the severe oxidation and degradation created when the coffee is ground.
This preservation of essential oils ensures a smooth, richer and more aromatic cup of coffee that truly captures the bean's distinct world origin, roast profile and characteristics.
Custom Grind Size
Owning a coffee grinder gives you the flexibility to choose your grind size according to your preferred brewing method. Whether it's a fine grind for espresso or a coarser grind for filter, you have the control to tailor the coffee's extraction to your liking.
If you have a true passion and love for coffee brewing, this customisation allows you to experiment and explore different flavours, adding to the joy of being a coffee connoisseur. Depending on what type of coffee you stock up on, it also allows you to create a different grind setting for a blend versus a single origin coffee.
Whole coffee beans offer the freshest coffee experience possible. By grinding just before brewing, you ensure that the flavours and aromas are at their peak. This freshness elevates the entire coffee drinking experience, making every sip a delightful morning journey of taste and wonder.
It also means you can stock up on more coffee at any given time, rather than purchasing smaller orders of fresh ground coffee. You can take advantage of bulk buy sales on blends and more, allowing you to enjoy greater savings on your coffee purchases over time.
Choosing whole beans can also be an environmentally conscious choice. With ground coffee, there is often more packaging involved, leading to more waste. On the other hand, purchasing your coffee in bulk and in whole bean form, reduces packaging and its impact on the environment.
Considerations For Fresh Ground Coffee
Ground coffee is a good option for home baristas and those without access to a grinder who still want to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee as if it were purchased from a cafe.
If you're leaning towards ground coffee, here are a few things to consider:
Invest In Quality Packaging
To preserve the freshness of ground coffee, opt for suppliers that use high quality, airtight packaging. Look for coffee bags with one-way valves that release the gas produced by the coffee while preventing oxygen from entering into the bag.
Purchase In Smaller Quantities
To maintain the coffee's freshness, buy ground coffee in smaller quantities, ideally enough for a week or two. Avoid buying in bulk unless you consume large amounts of coffee regularly. Instead, place regular orders and keep a smaller volume of stock on hand, to ensure your fresh ground coffee won't go stale due to it not being consumed.
Storing Your Coffee Properly
Keep your fresh ground coffee in a cool, dark place free from moisture, light, and heat. Avoid storing it in the refrigerator, as the condensation which can occur will affect the flavour as a result.
Select The Correct Grind Size
To ensure you get the best brewing results, ensure you select the most appropriate pre-grind preference when purchasing your coffee. If you're unsure which setting to choose, the supplier should be more than happy to help you select the right one for your chosen brewing method.
Considerations For Whole Coffee Beans
If whole beans are your preference, here are some essential factors to consider:
Invest In A Good Coffee Grinder
Investing in a high quality coffee grinder is essential to enjoy the full benefits from whole bean coffee. Burr grinders are highly recommended amongst coffee professionals, as they provide a consistent grind size and even extraction, whether it be a blend or single origin you're brewing.
Grind Just Before Brewing
Grinding the beans immediately before brewing is guaranteed to result in the freshest flavour and a smooth, rich cup. This is because it ensures that the coffee retains its natural oils and flavour profile when brewing, regardless of whether it's a specialty blend or single origin.
Experiment With Grind Size
Purchasing whole bean coffee allows you to experiment with different grind sizes, so that you can find the perfect setting for your chosen brewing method. Adjusting the grind size can significantly impact the coffee's taste, mouth feel and strength.
Storing Your Whole Beans
It's important to store your whole beans in a cool place out of direct sunlight. You should also keep them in a resealable bag or airtight container to retain their freshness for as long as possible.
So, Which One Should You Go With?
Ultimately, the choice between ground coffee and whole bean form boils down to your personal preferences, equipment mix, lifestyle and whether you stock up on blends or prefer small batch single origin coffees.
If convenience is your priority, ground coffee may be the way to go. However, if you crave a more flavourful coffee experience, investing in whole beans and a coffee grinder is a rewarding path.
In Need Of Stocking Up On Coffee Beans?
We've created a range of blends and single origins to purchase online, available in both whole bean and pre-ground form.
Head across to our coffee collection page here, and grab a bag direct from our roastery for your home or office.