Have you ever wondered if there’s any benefit to using freshly ground coffee instead of pre-ground coffee? Is this just a marketing tactic to get away with charging you more for your daily latte?
The truth is that there are differences between freshly ground and pre-ground coffees that can have a significant impact on your morning (or afternoon) fuel. Read on to find out what makes the freshly ground stuff so special.
Ask almost anyone what makes a good cup of coffee and they’ll say something about the drink’s flavor. If you want your coffee to have a rich flavor and aroma, you need to minimize the amount of oxidation the beans experience before they’re brewed.
Oxidation occurs when compounds in the coffee beans interact with the air and create different types of molecules. When this happens, aromas and flavors are lost.
The oxidation process begins as soon as coffee beans are ground. However, if you brew those beans right after grinding them, you’ll be able to preserve many of the aromas and flavors you associate with your favorite coffee.
Better Quality and Consistency
Freshly ground coffee tends to have a better consistency and overall quality compared to pre-ground beans. This has to do, in part, with the moisture that’s naturally present from oils in coffee beans. These oils, when dissolved in water, contribute to a great-smelling and great-tasting cup of coffee.
When coffee beans are ground, a larger surface area is created. This causes the beans to become diluted over time and lose their oils faster.
When you brew a fresh cup of coffee right after grinding your beans, you’ll be able to preserve many of the oils found in coffee beans, though, which leads to a better cup. Pre-ground coffee, on the other hand, does not possess as many oils, especially if it’s been sitting on a grocery store shelf for weeks or even months.
Top Tips for the Best Coffee Grounds
With all this information in mind, it’s no wonder most coffee shops make it a priority to use freshly ground coffee beans. What if you want to grind your own coffee beans at home, though?
If you’ve never ground your own coffee before, here are some tips to help you do it correctly and get the best-tasting cup possible:
Use the Right Coffee Beans
Start by choosing high-quality coffee beans. We have a wide selection of coffee beans available to choose from. Be wary of whole coffee beans purchased from the grocery store, as they have often been sitting around for longer than most people would care to think about.
Remember, coffee beans are best when consumed within one month of their roast date. Keep that in mind when comparing different bags of beans and trying to find one that appeals to you. We always include the coffee’s roast date on the bag, so it’s easier to ensure you’re getting the freshest batch possible.
Get the Right Grind
Some people hesitate to grind their own coffee because they worry about getting it too fine or too coarse. In general, the ideal grind will vary depending on the type of coffeemaker you use. Here’s a helpful breakdown so you can determine which grind is best for your morning brew:
- Coarse coffee grinds: Best for percolators and French presses
- Medium coffee grinds: Best for flat-bottomed drip coffee makers
- Fine coffee grinds: Best for conical drip coffee makers and espresso pots
(If you'd like to read more about grind size, check out our blog on it!)
Is It Time to Change Your Coffee Routine?
Now that you know more about the difference between freshly ground coffee and pre-ground coffee, are you feeling inspired to make some changes to your coffee routine?