How To Make Whole Bean Coffee Like A Pro Barista!

How To Make Whole Bean Coffee Like A Pro Barista!

Last updated on March 3rd, 2024 at 11:32

Either your grinder is bust and broken, or you are a budding hardcore old school coffee king that wants to know how to make whole bean coffee like a pro!


by the time you have finished reading this article, you will know exactly how to make whole bean coffee with a number of different brewing equipment and methods and make a truly great cup of coffee with whole coffee beans without a coffee grinder or pre-ground coffee.

Get ready to learn a few tips and trips and tricks and keep reading!

What Is Whole Bean Coffee?

Whole bean coffee is fully roasted coffee beans that are ungrounded. It is falsely claimed by many sites and blogs that you can’t make a cup of coffee with whole beans – you absolutely can. Cowboy coffee is one such brewing method that is based on using whole, unground coffee beans.

Another brewing process that works very well with whole coffee beans is cold brew coffee, which I’ll talk about in a moment, but first let’s talk about…

What Is Whole Bean Coffee
Whole Bean Coffee Is Super Fresh!

Read: Is day old coffee safe to drink?

Why Make Coffee With Whole Beans?

There are a number of reasons as to why you should make coffee with whole beans or at least try it. One of the stand-out reasons for me is the freshness factor.

You will be able to make fresh coffee that has absolute maximum freshness when you use fresh whole-bean coffee that is unground.

When you grind your beans, they immediately start to degrade. Due to the increased surface area when you grind your beans, the degradation process is accelerated. This, for me, makes unground coffee beans a winner and certainly worth making a cup of coffee with them.

It is claimed that you will use more beans when brewing with whole beans when compared to ground coffee beans – this is false, completely false. The mass of a whole bean and the mass of ground coffee is the same.

10 grams of whole beans equate to 10 grams of ground coffee.

The difference is the surface area, and thus the contact area that your fresh water is in contact with is decreased with whole beans and, therefore, you will need to increase the brew time for the cup of coffee that you are making.

Grinding your coffee beans only has the effect of reducing the amount of time needed for brewing coffee. Certain brew methods need bigger sized grounds due to the very nature of the process while others, like espresso, require smaller grounds.

This is truly where size matters!

Get it wrong, and you can end up with an over-extracted Cuppa Joe that tastes bitter or a watery, under-extracted coffee.

Why Make Coffee With Whole Beans
There Are Many Reasons To Make Coffee With Whole Beans

Read: How to make coffee without electricity

Can You Put Whole Coffee Beans In A Coffee Maker?

Yes, you can indeed put whole coffee beans in a coffee maker. Be sure to adjust the brewing time for the cup of coffee that you are brewing.

With a drip brewer you will probably need to double brew or triple brew the coffee by passing it through the coffee machine for a second or third time.

Other coffee makers, like a French Press, you will simply need to increase the brew time. This, incidentally, is the same for cold brewed coffee. When you are using an Ibrik (also known as a Cezve) to brew Turkish coffee, be sure to keep your whole beans in there longer when brewing.

Can You Put Whole Coffee Beans In A Coffee Maker
You Can Make Turkish Coffee With Whole Beans Using An Ibrik

Cold Brew Coffee With Whole Beans

Full immersion cold brew is very simple to make and has very few steps to it and very few ingredients and equipment required.

It is one of the easiest and most effortless coffees to make.

Equipment Required

  • 1. A large mason jar.
  • 2. A sieve.
  • 3. Coffee scales

Ingredients Needed

  • Fresh whole coffee beans.
  • Water.

That is it – just two ingredients.

Step 1: Weighing It Up!

Measure your coffee grounds by weighing them on your scales. A good coffee to water ratio for cold brew is 1:8.

To make 1 liter (32 ounces) of cold brew you should weigh out 125 grams (4 ounces) of whole coffee beans.

Step 2: Filter And Add Your Water

The better the quality of your water, the better your coffee will be. This stands true of all types of coffee. To get the best low flavor compounds out of your beans, it is best to use water that is as cold as possible.

You can use water from your fridge or, better still, water that has been kept in your freezer and is just above freezing point.

Simply add your water to your whole beans in your large mason jar and screw the lid on.

Step 3: Let It Brew

This part has literally no action on your part. Simply put your mason jar with the lid tightly screwed on into your fridge and simply let it brew.

Some coffee lovers like to brew their cold brew coffee out in the open at room temperature. In my opinion, this is not cold brewing and not aiding with the extraction of the low temperature flavor compounds and getting the flavor profile that flavorful coffee that is distinctive of cold brew coffee.

I strongly suggest that you brew your cold brew coffee in your fridge. If you like having it with ice, then make a little extra and use the extra coffee, once brewed, to make ice cubes. This way your ice will not water down your coffee.

Be sure to check up on your cold brew after 12 hours and then every 3 to 4 hours after that to taste test it. When the flavor is as you like it. Move to the next step.

Usually, brewing time is around 18 to 24 hours.

Step 4: Filter Out Your Beans

Use your sieve to filter out and remove your beans from your cold brew coffee. If you skip or forget this step, your coffee will continue to brew and extract, resulting in an over brewed coffee that tastes bitter.

Step 5: Pour and Enjoy!

The best step of them all. Pour your coffee and enjoy it!

Cold Brew Coffee With Whole Beans
Whole Bean Cold Brew Is Awesome

French Press Coffee Whole Beans

Intrepid coffee enthusiasts love the French press brewing technique. Unlike cold brew, this one uses hot water and a coffee to water ratio of 1: 15.

Before we jump ahead with the details, let’s get the details on the equipment and ingredients required to make a great cup of coffee using one of my favorite brewers – the French Press.

Equipment Needed

  • 1. A digital gooseneck kettle.
  • 2. A French Press.
  • 3. Digital coffee sales.
  • 4. A thermal carafe (optional).

Note: a digital gooseneck kettle is preferred over other kettle types to ensure the correct temperature of your hot water is achieved.

Digital scales are preferred here over kitchen scales for greater accuracy in measuring smaller quantities. The thermal carafe is simply for decanting purposes to prevent the over brewing of your cup of morning coffee.

Ingredients Needed

  • Whole Coffee Beans.
  • Hot Water.
  • Milk and sugar as required.

Now we have the ingredients and the equipment fixed out, let’s get brewing!

Step 1: Weight Your Beans

A good coffee to water ratio for French press is 1:15. To make a good-sized mug of coffee we will go with a good 12 ounce, 360ml size. For this we will weigh 0.8 ounces, 24 grams of whole beans.

Step 2: Boil Your Water

To ensure a perfect temperature of between 92C and 96C (195F and 205F) a digital gooseneck kettle is preferred. If not, a digital thermometer will be of benefit to ensure you hit the perfect temperature, which is 94C for brewing a cup of whole coffee beans with your French press.

If you have neither boil your water and then let it sit for about 20 seconds before pouring it on your beans.

Step 3: Prepare Your Beans

Get your beans ready for extraction by putting them in your French press and giving it a light shake to ensure they are evenly distributed.

Step 4: Pour Your Water

Pour your hot water evenly over your coffee beans until your French press is full.

Step 5: Pressing Time

Press your plunger down on your beans just until it is below the water line. Then allow your coffee to brew for 4 mins to 6 mins.

Be sure to do a taste test to ensure your brew hits the spot for you. Once it is perfectly brewed move on to the next step.

Step 6: Plunging It!

Press down on your plunger slowly and evenly until the plunger hits the bottom. Press down two or three times. Make sure the beans are held at the bottom of your French Press.

Step 7: Pour Your Coffee

Pour and enjoy. It is important to decant your coffee fully as any coffee left to sit in your French Press will continue to brew and become over extracted.

Add sugar and milk as required.

French Press Coffee Whole Beans
French Press Is A Great Tool For Brewing Whole Bean Coffee

Is It Better To Buy Whole Beans Than Preground Bean?


It is much better to buy whole beans than pre-ground coffee. When you have whole bean coffee, you have the freshest possible flavor plus you can grind your coffee beans to any grind size that you want depending on which coffee that you want to brew and which brewing method you are using.

By far the main reason for choosing whole beans is that of freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Whole Bean Coffee

Can You Brew Coffee beans Without Grinding Them?


As I have demonstrated above with the instructions for making cold-brewed coffee and French Press coffee with whole beans, it is most certainly and absolutely possible that you can and will be able to make great tasting coffee without grinding them.

Can You Boil Whole Coffee Beans To Make Coffee?


simply brewing or boiling your coffee beans to brew your coffee is something you can do. This method resembles cowboy coffee. It is not set in stone that you must grind your coffee beans in order to brew up a cup of coffee.

How Many Whole Beans Make A Cup Of Coffee?

How long is a piece of string?

It is impossible to determine exactly how many coffee beans are in an average cup of coffee as it depends on the size of the cup and the brewing method for each cup of coffee.

7 grams to 18 grams is the average weight of coffee beans either ground or unground. The average coffee beans weigh 0.1325 grams.

This means that 52 to 135 beans are used to make a cup of coffee on average.

It takes a little longer to brew coffee with whole beans than when you grind them. 4 to 6 minutes when using the full immersion technique of a French press should be long enough.

With cold brew coffee you have the advantage of being able to taste test every few hours. Let it extract for 16 hours and taste test. If it is perfect for you, great, if not let it brew for a few hours more and test. Keep doing that to get the perfect taste.

Can I Make Coffee From Coffee Beans Without A Grinder?

Yes, there are a few effective brewing methods such as using a your French press, cold brew and one of my favorites, cowboy coffee.

No. Regardless of the brewing method, you should never boil coffee. When you boil, you are taking your coffee outside the ideal brewing temperature and will likely end up with an overtly bitter coffee. You can heat and brew with whole coffee beans. You can also simmer your beans when it is slightly below boiling temperature.

The ideal brewing temperature is 92C to 96C (195F to 205F).

Frappé-Ing It All Up – How To Make Whole Bean Coffee

If you have read this far, it is no longer a question of how to make whole bean coffee as you have two excellent techniques, one of which works great on a cold day with delicious hot coffee to warm you up and the other is great for those hot summer days and rather refreshing for cooling you down.

Try them both and let us know which you prefer – the Hot French press whole bean coffee or the cold brew method?

Join our cool coffee community and join in by telling us your own “secret” way of making whole bean coffee. Find us on Facbook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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