A question posed in the minds of coffee lovers and coffee fans is “Is grinding your own coffee cheaper?” That answer should be a straight-up binary yes or no answer and, thankfully, it is!
Grinding your own coffee is cheaper for a number of reasons and, to dig deeper, you will get a better quality cup of coffee and more consistently than had you bought pre-ground coffee.
Keep reading as we get on with this article and talk about the benefits of grinding your own coffee, do you really need a fancy expensive grinder to do it and how long do ground coffee beans stay fresh after grinding.
Is Grinding Your Own Coffee Cheaper? — Is Grinding Your Own Coffee Worth It?
and double yes! Grinding your own coffee beans is cheaper, and it is definitely worth it to grind your own coffee beans.
Pre-ground coffee is often priced at a similar price or slightly cheaper than whole bean coffee grounds. Even when the cost is the same or slightly higher, you end up with an end product, a sub par cup of coffee as a result had you opted for preground coffee.
With freshly ground coffee, and by freshly ground I mean you have just ground them yourself right before you make your coffee, you will end up with a far superior cup of coffee with the full rich aroma and taste with zero degradation when compared to pre-packaged, preground coffee.
Once a coffee has been ground, the oxidization process starts and begins to break down, leading to a slightly stale, less than perfect tasting cuppa Joe.
This is a fact that cannot be changed even with high-quality pre-ground coffee.
For what it is worth, the best, highest quality, the freshest possible is when you use freshly roasted beans that are only a few days old and then ground at the moment the coffee is being elaborated.
At Latte Love Brew we recommend that you buy whole beans or the best quality and single origin to get the best results. Grinding your own beans is critical to a great cup and is, unfortunately, a very overlooked part of the brewing process.
Read: How to crush coffee beans at home
Is Pre-Ground Coffee Cheaper?
When you focus on the cost of pre-packaged, pre-ground coffee Vs whole bean coffees and compare it on a like for like or apples with apples basis, you will find that more often than not that pre-packaged, preground coffee is cheaper than whole bean coffee.
The reason behind this is due to the old-fashioned market principles of supply and demand.
There is a huge supply of preground coffee with the whole world ready to buy it. With whole beans, there is less of a supply and fewer people buying whole beans.
It is mostly only coffee shops, coffee lovers and dedicated coffee fans that buy whole bean coffee.
there is a large quantity of low-quality coffee that is preground, which also gives reason for the low price. Low quality beans used means a lower price and, of course, a big difference when it comes to brewing them.
The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) says that it is common for pre-ground coffee to have additives that are not from ground coffee beans.
In, short, it is common for cheap pre-ground coffee to be “weighed down” with impurities that contribute to the low price.
Looking at the preground coffee and the whole beans prices, you will notice that companies predominantly promote their preground coffee at a lower price. This is due to a high volume of low grade and poor quality coffee being made.
Multiple factors permit sellers of preground coffee to sell their goods at a lower price.
Another factor is the fact that when comparing whole bean coffee Vs. Preground coffee is the reduction in shipping costs and storage due to the smaller size.
With ground coffee you have a much wider price range when compared to whole beans. When you are looking for good quality preground coffee beans, the price is notably higher than that of whole beans.
Read: Baratza Encore grinder settings
The Price Differences Between Pre-Ground And Whole Coffee Beans
Broadly speaking, the cost of preground coffee Vs whole bean coffee is the same for a similar brand, bean and quality. There may be a slight price difference, as I indicated above.
Most brands of coffee sell their coffee at a price of US$6 to US$18 per 12 ounce bag of pre-ground or whole bean coffee.
Starbucks sell their coffee at the same price regardless of preground or whole bean. Given the fact that coffee is coffee, and it is sold by weight, your output, amount of cups brewed, will be the same no matter which one you bought, beans or grounds.
Should You Grind Your Own Coffee Beans?
It is not even a question! You should definitely grind your own coffee beans. I’ll go deeper, you should roast your own coffee beans as well since home roasters are readily available and affordable.
Do this, and you will be the king of coffee!
You will have the freshest and best possible coffee extracted from your beans that simply cannot be beaten, not even at Starbucks or any other coffee shop!
The exterior of a coffee bean seals in the aroma and oils and is best when freshly roasted. When your beans are ground, the oils and aroma begin to degrade and evaporate, leaving you with a lesser quality brew.
This is the very reason why you must grind your beans immediately before brewing.
Extracting the best flavour from your beans can vary depending on the grind size and consistency as well as texture.
A cold brew requires a different grind than an espresso. If you have a bag of preground coffee, you only have one uniform ground size.
for each different coffee you want to brew you will need a different bag of preground coffee with a different grind size.
This alone makes grinding your own coffee a more logical and better choice.
Benefits Of Grinding Your Own Coffee Beans — Why It Is Better To Grind Your Own Coffee Beans
Coffee is very aromatic and distinct, full of flavor when it is first ground. As little as 5 min after grinding, your coffee will start to lose its flavor.
When you grind coffee, you reduce the surface area, which has the effect of accelerating the loss of flavor. Even the moisture in the air has the effect of the water-soluble compounds dissolving and losing their flavor.
In addition to this, the oxidation process is also accelerated. Ground coffee absorbs scents and flavor profiles as soon as it has been ground. Anything poor or great smelling can be absorbed by the coffee grounds, which can and will be detrimental to their flavor.
Keep that in mind.
Your beans may have been ground hundreds of miles, even thousands of miles from the shop that is selling them and left on the shelf for goodness knows how long and then sitting in your cupboard or fridge for weeks.
Which is more than enough time for the coffee grounds to lose their complex and unique flavors.
The main standout benefit of grinding your own coffee is fresher brew, better taste and maintaining that flavor profile for every single cuppa Joe that you make, every single cup that you make for weeks, even months until your very last bean!
You have more control over the coffee that you can make. And what you can make. Each method of brewing requires a different ground size, ranging from coarse to ultra fine.
- Coarse grind: For peculators, plungers and French presses
- Medium grind: For Siphon pots, drip brewing machines and vacuums.
- Fine grind: for flip drips, espresso makers and everyday ordinary drippers.
- Ultra fine grind: For a simmering Turkish coffee.
Health Benefits Of Grinding Your Own Coffee Beans
Green tea, Matcha, Chai Latte, Açaí and Goji berries for breakfast and Traditional Chinese Medicine spouting the health benefits of black tea, white, red tea. It should come as no surprise that the humble coffee bean was first used as a medicine.
Freshly ground black coffee has some very interesting health benefits.
Freshly Ground Coffee Is High In Antioxidants!
Antioxidants help to prevent your cells from oxidation by chemicals and toxins which lead to inflammation, chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, arthritis and a lot of different cancers.
Coffee surprisingly has greater antioxidant activity than cocoa and green tea. Hundreds more are developed during the roasting process of the beans. Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that is almost exclusive to coffee beans, helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Coffee also has potassium, magnesium and some B complex vitamins. An interesting study found that most of the antioxidant intake in western and South Eastern Asian nations was from coffee.
Drinking Coffee Is Associated With A Longer Life.
Research indicates that those who drink two or three coffees per day, caffeinated or decaffeinated, had a reduced chance of dying of certain diseases and illnesses compared to non coffee drinkers.
The study was conducted over a 16-year period tracking over half a million people in 10 European nations. The coffee drinkers had better circulatory health, lower levels of inflammation and better liver health.
A study in Spain of 20,000 coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers found a 64% reduction in the risk of premature death with coffee drinkers. A review of over 3.8M participants and 450,000+ causes of death gives weight to the conclusion of these studies.
Researchers discovered that drinking coffee has an inverse relationship with all causes of death independent of age, alcohol consumption, caffeine content, smoking and consumption of alcohol status. Studies found a reduced incidence of diabetes and respiratory disease.
Wow. Who would have known! Such a health boost just from coffee!
Coffee Is Great For Your Mental Health
Coffee has been shown to be beneficial for your mental health. Dozens of studies indicate that regular consumption of coffee may result in a reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The effect on reduction of Parkinson’s disease is said to be by as much as 32% to 80%. The effect is explained by the enhancement of the metabolic function which boosts the performance of your gray matter.
The caffeine content, a stimulant, is noted by many studies to lead to improvements in mood, vigilance, energy and memory.
A Harvard Study indicated 5 cups of coffee every day leads to a reduction in depression when compared directly to those that drank just one cup of coffee per day.
This alone is a great idea for a good quality coffee machine to be installed for employees to access freely.
Do You Need An Expensive Grinder To Grind Coffee?
there are a lot of different types of coffee grinder. It is not essential that you get your hands on an expensive grinder to grind coffee beans.
One in the US$50 to US$60 region is enough and will result in a good quality of grind and control of grind size. At this price, you will get a basic coffee grinder that will get the job done.
Sure, there are some amazing elaborate coffee grinders that cost US$500+ and do get you an amazing grind quality.
Burr grinders, especially ceramic burr grinders are by far better than any other type of coffee grinder.
This is due to a burr grinder giving you more control and consistency than an electric blade grinder. The burr is often coated with a material to protect it from heating and transferring that heat to the beans.
Personally, I have a preference for a manual grinder over an electric burr grinder. Depending on where you are in your coffee journey, a basic entry level coffee grinder may be all that you need and are looking for.
I travel a lot so, a small slim hand grinder is ideal for me, an electric grinder is a big no-no as it would weigh me down!
Does Grinding Your Own Coffee Make A Difference?
grinding your own coffee beans, be they a regular blend or single origin coffee beans, gives you much more control over the grind size, which in turn has a large impact on the flavor, strength and even the texture of your brew.
There is also that freshness factor which leads to a much better end result.
How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh After Grinding?
Ground coffee will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days after grinding. After this period, they start to go off. You should always try to consume your coffee within this time frame to enjoy the fresh taste and aroma.
This is why at Latte Love Brew we insist and encourage you to grind your coffee immediately before you are making it.
How Long Will Ground Coffee Last In A Dispense Chamber?
As per the previous question, your ground coffee will last from 3 to 5 days when kept at room temperature in the dispensing chamber of your grinder.
It is claimed they may last as long as one or two weeks. I have noticed a big difference in the flavor after only 3 days and an even bigger difference after 5, and thus I base my answer on that.
Note, when carrying out this test I stored my grounds in a fridge and in an air-tight dark container.
I can only imagine the results had I left them at room temperature and in natural conditions. In all probability, one or two days and I would have noticed a difference in the brew quality.
Coffee is food and treat it as such.
Should I Grind Coffee Beans Daily?
As a budding barista and coffee enthusiast in the quest to make coffee fit for the coffee gods, you should only grind coffee as you are about to make it.
There is only a time difference from when I grind my coffee beans to brewing of less than a minute — typically less than 30 seconds.
I want fresh amazing coffee. Grind as you are preparing your cuppa.
How To Store Ground Coffee Long Term
As you can imagine, this is not my forte. Not even for my two coffee shops in Cambodia and Vietnam. At the end of the day, any already ground coffee is thrown away (actually we make as much coffee as we can and distribute it amongst the homeless and give away any leftover food also).
Following the guidelines, if you absolutely must store your ground coffee, use a dark air-tight container with a one-way valve and store in a fridge or at room temperature. Moderate to strong lights have a detrimental effect on coffee as does air.
The one way valve is to allow carbon dioxide gas to be released and no air to get in.
Frequently Asked Questions About Is Grinding Your Own Coffee Cheaper?
Is It Worth It To Grind Your Own Coffee?
Yes, I strongly encourage you to grind your own coffee beans as you will get a much better cup of coffee due to the freshness factor, and you will have the ability to control the grind size and consistency, which gives you more control over the brewing process.
Also, you will be able to make different types of coffee beverages with different coffee brewing processes.
Are Coffee Beans Cheaper Than Coffee Grinds?
No, pre-ground coffee is a little cheaper than whole bean coffee but not by a lot. Although the weigh is the same, 1kg of whole beans makes 1kg of ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee is more compact and more can get on the cargo plane of truck when distributing across the country or globe.
There is the slight cost of getting your hands on a good quality ceramic conical burr grinder, the best type available.
Does Grinding Your Own Coffee Taste Better?
Yes, when you grind your own coffee beans, you end up with a more flavorful cup of coffee due to the freshness factor.
Freshly ground coffee beans produce a better flavor. This is because when you grind your beans you are increasing their surface area and this has the effect of accelerating their degradation due to greater contact with oxygen.
This is why delaying your grinding until the moment of brewing is better.
How Often Should I Grind Coffee?
You should do what coffee shops do and grind your coffee before every cup of coffee that you make. Grind your beans as close to the brewing time as you can.
Depending on your brewing method, do try to make the time between grinding your beans and starting your brewing your coffee as short as 30 seconds to 1 minute for maximum freshness.
Do Burr Grinders Really Make A Difference?
There are two types of burr grinder – flat burr and conical bur grinder. A conical bur grinder is the best. This type of grinder uses a crushing action rather than the cutting action of a blade grinder. The result is a more even and consistent grind size.
A consistent and even grind size is important as if you have an uneven grind size your coffee grinds will extract their flavors and oils at different rates.
The ceramic material is better than metal due to the ability of the heat resistivity of the material. Heat will cause your beans to deteriorate and lose flavor.
Frappé-ing It All Up — Is Grinding Your Own Coffee Cheaper?
You have learned comprehensively in this article the answer to the question “Is grinding your Own Coffee Cheaper?” The answer is absolutely it is.
It is not only cheaper to grind your own coffee it is better in terms of quality and of course, the additional unthought of benefits to your health.
Yes, coffee is great for your health. Don’t question it, make the step-up and start grinding your whole beans!
Do you grind your own beans or have your own special grinding technique or routine?
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