Back to the grind: why you need to buy whole coffee beans and our top 5 grinders
Why should we talk about whole coffee beans?
Coffee, like any great art form, needs the proper medium to really produce some fine masterpieces. An artist won’t use any old rock when they want to create something out of marble, and so you shouldn’t have to opt for any old beans when it comes to brewing coffee! Today we will look at all the virtues and benefits of opting for freshly ground whole coffee beans rather than practically anything else!
Pre-ground beans: just say no
Now we aren’t bashing the folks who choose pre-grounds. And we certainly aren’t bashing the convenience and ease that are inherent when you do brew coffee from pre-ground beans. We get it these are fast and stressful times that require people to be on the go at all times. But once you hear some of the drawbacks to choosing pre-grounds you will want to take it slow on brewing from here on out.
This one is usually the deal-breaker for most folks when they decide to go from pre-ground to the whole coffee bean. Coffee beans lose their freshness and begin to become stale and musty tasting when they are exposed to air, light, humidity, and of course time! When A bean is left intact it has a larger surface area that takes longer to go stale because it is so large. But when the beans are ground into little granules they can lose their freshness in a flash. Now, imagine those beans that are already ground pretty small are left to sit on store shelves for weeks and weeks at a time!
Unfortunately, in many cases, pre-ground beans have been produced by companies that still operate with the first wave of coffee mindset. That is, among other things, an emphasis on mass production and profit at the cost of many other more valuable aspects of producing coffee.
This certainly isn’t always the case when it comes to pre-ground coffee beans, and looking for fair trade, sustainable, and Rainforest Alliance certified beans is not impossible in the pre-ground department.
That being said, it is even easier to seek out artisanal beans that have come via fair trade and sustainable channels to be produced in a wondrous cup of coffee. With whole coffee beans, you can first-hand check quality and roasting. When coffee is pre-ground, it is more difficult to spot a low-quality product until you don’t taste it.
Remember, always check the brightness of the bean, its texture, and its colour. If you are curious about the different roasting qualities around. If you are interested in finding out more about how coffee is produced and the different level of roasting available around, check this other article out!
Freshly ground whole coffee beans
So then what is a good alternative to pre-ground beans? Luckily there are whole beans one can get and grind oneself! Some may be wondering what the big deal is about whole coffee beans, well not only do they avoid all the pitfalls mentioned above but when you grind and brew whole beans you are in for a real treat. The differences in aroma, taste, texture, and coffee experience are all astounding!
Don’t believe us? Then try a simple yet scientific taste test! Brew up a cup of pre-ground and then measure, grind, and brew a cup of whole coffee beans. From this experiment, you will certainly become a believer in the power of the whole bean versus the pre-ground coffee scene.
So come and treat yourself to an unforgettable brew every time with whole coffee beans!
How to store your whole coffee beans
Even though pre-ground coffee is much more vulnerable to heat, humidity, and air than whole coffee beans, this does not mean that whole coffee beans do not require specific attention.
Store your beans in a non-transparent airtight container.
Keep it in a dark, cool, location. Find the driest possible place in your kitchen, but beware of sources of heat. We personally do not recommend storing your coffee in the fridge, as it is humid and bad smells could spoil its quality.
Roast coffee is hygroscopic, which means that it attracts water. This is the reason why whole coffee beans must be treated carefully!
Another great suggestion is to buy small amounts of coffee beans.
I know good offers at the local supermarket seem convenient, but if you buy too much coffee you will end up spoiling the bulk of it!
Different grinding size available
Preparing good coffee is a complex science. You are sitting in front of your grinder. You have bought your whole coffee beans. What do you do now? There are so many options to choose from and each method requires a different kind of grinding!
Do not worry, here’s a quick guide on grinding sizes for each brewing method:
- A French press requires a coarse grind. As the method involves immersion, you don’t want coffee to be over-extracted, or tiny pieces left floating in the precious liquid.
- AeroPress does not require any specific grind. It really depends on your personal taste. Remember, the more you grind your whole coffee beans, the stronger the coffee. Also, remember that a finer grind requires more strength.
- If you like cold brew, go for an extra-coarse grind. A fine grind will make the coffee strong and difficult to drink!
- Moka and Espresso, the fine art of European coffee, require a fine grind. This allows the high pressured steam to pass through the coffee, capturing its flavour. The same is true for Turkish coffee.
- Finally, a percolator requires a coarse grind. This will cancel any bitter taste from your coffee.
Our top choices
Mueller Austria Hypergrind
There is no wonder why the Mueller Austria Hypergrind is a best-seller.
This compact, precise tool will definitely help you in turning your whole coffee beans in a fine powder for your brew.
This machine offers you control over the coarseness of your coffee and you can choose several different options, such as:
- Pour Over
- Cold Brew
- French Press
You will have your fresh coffee, any way you like it, with this simple, stylish, and compact machine.
I personally trust its German precision and quality and it has never disappointed me.
Quiseen One-Touch Electric Coffee Grinder
The Quiseen One-Touch is a compact, modern, alternative to the Mueller Hypergrind.
It offers less features for your coffee, but you can easily convert the Quiseen One-Touch to grind herbs and nuts. Its stainless steel will surely not be effected if they cut something different from whole coffee beans!
We would not call it the best coffee grinder of the list, but it surely presents one of the best price-quality tradeoffs.
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
This manual coffee grinder is just a work of art. Its stainless steel design is absolutely iconical and quality never lacks.
Indeed, the Manual Coffee Grinder by JavaPresse allows you to choose from over 18 click settings. You will have your coffee exactly how you like it, whether it is Americano, Espresso, AeroPress, or something different.
Grinding blades are made of ceramic. Ceramic is far more resistant and effective than steel in cutting. It is also easier to clean and requires less maintenance.
Quality is never cheap, but this elegant manual grinder can be the small investment you are looking for!
Shardor Coffee Grinder
Another iconic product for you coffee lovers! This coffee grinder is the perfect balance between price and quality. Its main advantages?
- Tremendous speed: its blades run at over 20,000 rounds per minute. If you are in a hurry, the Shardor Coffee Grinder will turn your whole coffee beans in fine powder in less than 15 seconds.
- 2 cups and 1 coffee spoon with brush included.
- High-tech grinder with user friendly controls.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
I wanted to close this list with a personal favourite of mine. My cousin just bought this beast and I can tell you: it is amazing. If you want to make a serious investment to turn whole coffee beans in fine coffee, you do not have to scroll any further.
The Baratza Encore Conical Burr is a professional tool that will give you more than 40 grinding settings, which will open a completely new world to your palate. Are you ready to jump among the professionals?
But don’t be scared, this coffee grinder is absolutely easy to use. Even a kid could do it. Guess what? No difficult settings, just an ON/OFF button. Quality often comes from simplicity and Baratza is well known for its simple, effective professional products.
The grinder can be easily dismounted and Baratza focuses on easy-to-mount spare parts. If something goes wrong and warranty is expired, you will not have to dump the whole machine in the trash!
- “Benefits of Purchasing Whole Bean Coffee vs. Pre-Ground Coffee.” Koffee Kult, 20 Sept. 2017
- Marulanda, Camilo. “Is Pre-Ground Coffee Ever Better Than Freshly Ground?” Perfect Daily Grind, Perfect Daily Grind, 15 Apr. 2020
- Oden, Garrett, and Facebook. “Whole Bean vs Ground Coffee: 3 Reasons You Should Be Buying Whole Bean.” JavaPresse Coffee Company