If you’ve been wondering what the best invention since sliced bread was, it’s got to be ground coffee. Whichever way you like it, I’m sure most of you use ground coffee to make that life giving cup of java in the morning.
But have you ever inspected your grind closely and questioned just how fresh it is – aside from skimming through the expiration date? Or why on earth some people look at you in total disbelief when you say you use pre ground and never used an electric or manual coffee grinder?
If not, then welcome to whole bean or pre ground debate that coffee connoisseurs can’t seem to end. Sure, both sides have their own positive and negatives, but which is better? Let’s find out.
Grinding coffee vs Pre ground: Differences explained
i) Ease of use
At a glance, pre ground coffee seems to have all the advantages over freshly ground. For starters, brewing a cup is far much easier, quicker, and convenient than when you have to grind the beans yourself.
So for people who value every second of their morning ritual, buying pre ground will save you a lot of time and effort. Likewise, pre-ground coffee doesn’t need any special equipment or skills to brew. A fresh grind requires plenty of technique and knowledge of your machines to get the perfect grind.
As you would expect, buying whole beans is far more expensive than ground coffee. Take into account the coffee machines and the cost goes up significantly. See, whole beans have to be shipped quicker to avoid any spoilage unlike pre-ground which is already preserved.
Looking at all the advantages that pre-ground coffee has to offer, why are most people still willing to pay more for it?
Simple, freshly ground coffee is superior to pre-ground; it’s what real coffee is supposed to taste like. The subtleness and aromas of freshly ground whole beans are undeniable and more noticeable compared to pre ground. This results in far more complex, flavour packed coffee that is sure to satisfy even the discerning connoisseur.
iv) Quality and Freshness
The superior taste of fresh ground coffee stems from the fact that the bean still hasn’t lost most of its contents. Once ground, coffee beans lose over 60 percent of their innate aromas, moisture and essence.
So you can imagine how much goodness pre ground coffee loses even before packaging and shipping. Similarly, coffee oils are incredibly delicate and easily contaminated. That’s why your pre-ground batch is likely to go bad and lose taste way before whole beans.
v) Freedom to explore
Do you like your coffee bland, generic and repetitive? Then it’s no wonder you can’t quit pre ground. It’s only by grinding your own coffee that you can get the freedom to work the grind to your particular preference and technique. Pre-ground coffee doesn’t offer this flexibility and personalisation – it just assumes it knows what you want.
It’s easy to see why many people prefer pre-ground coffee – it’s ready to brew, easy to share, lasts longer and is a more convenient way to get your daily caffeine fix. Sure, maybe it’s lost some of its natural oils and aromas, but its very hard to know the difference, especially if you’ve never tasted freshly ground coffee.
But when you grind whole beans minutes before brewing, that’s when you realise what you’ve been missing. The explosion of flavours and aromas with a richer cocoa base make all the extra time and effort worth it. Freshness is paramount; just put a bit more effort into it and your coffee will thank you every day.