Why You Shouldn’t Pre-Grind Coffee Beans?
We all know that buying actual coffee beans are much better than going for the instant kind. They taste way better and, depending on where you get yours, you even get to help farmers and small businesses. However, you don’t make coffee directly from coffee beans.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t directly brew a cup of coffee from a few coffee beans? Do you know why you have to grind the coffee beans before you can use it with your coffee maker, french press, or coffee drip?
Well, the answer is simple: you can better access the solubles in coffee beans once they’re ground. Grinding will let you access the delicious flavor and oils contained in coffee beans.
However, grinding your coffee beans is still a tricky business. There’s all the trouble of choosing the right grinder and experts recommend that you do not pre-grind your coffee beans. All of these promise better-tasting coffee, but should you do it?
Why Coffee Experts Do Not Pre-Grind
One of the most controversial topics about ground coffee beans is the fact that experts recommend against pre-grinding. This may seem like a mundane issue but it actually matters to a lot of coffee drinkers who prefer using beans instead of instant coffee.
Buying ground coffee is definitely more convenient as these are easily available in supermarkets and coffee shops and it won’t require you to buy and clean a coffee grinder.
While whole coffee beans are also easily available in many locations, it can still be a bit harder to handle since you’ll still need a coffee grinder to work with it. Of course, there’s also the idea that you’ll have to ground the beans at home anyway so what’s the fuss about not buying ground coffee?
To answer this question, it’s best to explain what experts mean by strongly recommending against pre-grinding coffee beans. Pre-grinding refers to grinding coffee beans a few days or weeks before you consume it.
Experts don’t want you to buy ground coffee because sellers and manufacturers grind the beans weeks or even months before the packs get to the stores. This also means that if you buy actual coffee beans, you shouldn’t grind them in bulk and days before you plan to use them.
But why, really, shouldn’t you pre-grind your coffee beans? Coffee beans are basically seeds so they tend to contain volatile oils and flavor compounds.
Once you grind them to a fine powder, you get to increase its surface area, allowing you to more easily get the flavor from it with the help of hot water and different extraction methods. This gives your cup of joe a wonderful taste and a great caffeine kick.
However, once the coffee beans are ground, its contents are also more exposed. Coffee’s flavors and oils are very delicate, so they will evaporate easily. If you don’t use the ground beans right away, it will go stale and lose its crisp taste and potency.
You only have about a minute before the ground coffee degrades and start to lose its flavor. This is why coffee experts recommend you only grind coffee beans in small amounts right before you use them.
If you choose to grind all of your coffee beans in one go, the last portions of the batch will not be as great tasting as your first cup. Even if you put it in a vacuum sealed container, ground coffee will still lose its flavor the longer that it’s exposed.
How to Make Grinding Coffee Beans Simpler
If you think that it’s a major hassle to include grinding every time you want to brew some coffee, think again. There’s definitely a great difference in taste if you opt to pre-grind or not, so for many, it’s totally worth the extra effort.
Luckily, you can always make the process simpler without risking the quality of your coffee. How do you stick with expert advice without spending too much time making coffee? Here are some tips:
Invest in a coffee maker with an integrated grinder
There are lots of great automatic coffee makers with integrated grinders, so if you can spring for one, it will add some great convenience to your brew preparation.
Most high-end coffee machines often have this feature, so if you’re already in the market for your personal barista, you won’t have to look far and wide something that can both grind and brew your coffee.
Be very particular with the coffee grinder you buy
If you’re not ready to spend a good amount of money on a coffee maker, you might want to consider getting a stand alone coffee grinder.
Just make sure that they’re easy to use and clean so you won’t have to struggle in utilizing it. It will also be best if it won’t burn your grounds so you can still get the best results from your beans.
In all aspects, buying coffee beans is definitely better than buying ground coffee. Not only are whole coffee beans cheaper but they also promise better-tasting brews. Whole beans can also let you have full control in the kind of grind you’ll have.
This will let you get the appropriate coarseness to what will best suit your brewing method and easily customize your drink according to your preference. As the best espressos are made with freshly ground coffee, coffee beans are also the best options for espresso lovers.
No matter how premium your beans are, if you pre-grind, they’ll lose their quality. So make sure to heed expert advice and just go for high-quality coffee beans and grind them immediately before brewing.
Of course, in the end, the decision is still yours whether you’ll take the extra step of using freshly ground beans every time you make a cup of coffee. It is highly recommended by experts, though.
Keep in mind that when experts tell you to not pre-grind, they have a lot of good reasons to do so. And if experts don’t do not pre-grind to get the best tasting cups of joe, you shouldn’t, too.