Why Should I Buy Whole Bean Coffee?
Coffee connoisseurs will tell you there are no fewer than 20 ways to “brew a cup of coffee”. Surely the most common method of brewing coffee is using a standard drip automatic brewing machine. You dump your grinds on top of a filter, pour water into the machine and press a “brew” button. A few minutes later you have a whole pot of coffee. Easy and convenient! But is it the best cup you can make?
Regardless of chosen brew method, the bean must always eventually find its way from a whole bean form into a ground form. So why not always buy ground coffee? Why would people buy whole beans? The answer comes down to freshness and shelf life.
Whole bean coffee preserves the flavor of the bean. It also prevents the coffee from going stale as quickly. Once you start to grind the beans, you’re breaking up the parts and exposing more surface area to oxygen which deteriorates the quality of the coffee much more quickly than in the whole bean form. Coffee also starts to quickly lose its aroma after being ground.
To be fair, it does take extra effort to get from whole bean to ground coffee. You will need to have a grinder on hand—either an automatic or a manual hand grinder. You’ll also need to be precise with how coarse or how fine you grind your beans. For example, you will need to grind your beans very fine to brew an espresso because it requires pressure to push water through compacted grinds. On the other hand, you’ll want something coarse for a French Press so you don’t have a cup of muddy coffee with lots of grinds slipping through. As you can see, whole beans offer you a lot more flexibility in trying different brew methods.
So the answer of whether you should buy whole bean or ground really comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put forth to consume your favorite coffee. I personally prefer a good pourover, with fresh ground coffee from whole beans, but that can be quite time consuming. Sometimes when we’re in a hurry, especially being busy parents of toddlers, a simple button press will have to do. *Queue the Moccamaster*
Thankfully Three Keys offers both our roasted beans either as whole bean or ground so however you decide to brew at home, you’ll be covered. I’d also like to mention that even a ground version of specialty coffee that has become “stale” would still taste leaps and bounds better than anything you’d pick up off a grocery store shelf. If you want to do a side-by-side test of whole bean vs ground, send us a note, we’ll happily send out a sample of whole beans along with a purchased bag of our ground or vice versa. I’d love to hear if you notice a difference.
But I will caution you that 98% of a brewed cup of coffee is actually water. So if your results are subpar, we may need to have a discussion about what water you’re using. Stay tuned for a future post about the impact of water on your coffee.