Did you know that the distinction between whole beans and ground coffee can make all the difference in the bagged roasts that you buy? That's right! The quality and taste of your coffee is directly related to the state your coffee is in prior to brewing a cup - there's an actual science to it!
Depending on how and how often you brew, either whole bean or ground may be optimal for your coffee purchases. But, how do you decide which option is right for you? It all comes down to freshness, convenience, grind, and cost. Below, we'll explore why whole beans or ground coffee choices matter. Grab a mug and take a look!
The fact of the matter is, once coffee beans are ground their freshness begins to deteriorate. This is because the oils contained in each bean are exposed to air and begin to evaporate much faster through their natural degassing process. Once freshly ground, coffee should be consumed in about 3-4 weeks at peak freshness, unless they are sealed in an airtight environment such as a coffee pod or vacuum sealed container.
Unfortunately, most pre-ground bagged coffee that you find on the grocery store shelves will have been packaged and ground several months before your purchase - leaving you with a bland and stale brew. When buying direct from coffee roasters like Angelino's, however, you're ensured to receive your coffee ground and roasted fresh so that it will last you longer with optimal flavor.
Alternatively, the freshness of whole bean coffee can last anywhere from 1-4 months before the beans begin to go stale. Storing your beans in airtight containers and in a cool, dry, and dark place such as a pantry or cabinet can help keep your coffee optimally fresh.
Pro Tip: Never store your coffee in a freezer or refrigerator. Refrigerators carry a lot of moisture which can absorb into your porous coffee beans and cause them to more rapidly decline in freshness.
Often, choosing whole beans over ground comes down to convenience and preference. For some coffee enthusiasts, purchasing whole bean allows them to store for longer periods of time and just grind as needed. However, for many other coffee drinkers, pre-ground is a time saver and allows for a faster brew time. If you're looking for the best of both worlds, purchasing direct from a coffee roaster can allow the convenience of pre-ground coffee while delivering the fresh taste desired.
Not every brew type takes the same grind size. Cold brew and percolated coffees tend to require more coarse grinding, espressos and Turkish coffees take more finely ground coffee, and pour over methods use medium to fine coffee grounds. When you purchase ground coffee, pay attention to the grind size as this can impact how you brew. By purchasing whole, you can grind your beans as you see fit for each individual brew. Often, when you purchase bagged coffee, it's ground to a medium-to-course to accommodate many popular brewing methods.
Pro Tip: If you're in the market for a coffee grinder, go for conical burr grinders over blade grinders. Burr grinders will give you a more even grind every time.
Buying whole bean bagged coffee can be more conducive to saving money. You can purchase more at once at potentially wholesale prices, store it properly for longevity, and thus reduce the amount of times you're running to the store for a new bag.
What's your preference? Whole or ground coffee? We want to hear from you! Drop us a comment on Facebook. Happy sipping!