Food & Drinks

Whole Bean vs. Ground Coffee: Which Is Better?

There are so many factors that determine the outcome of your cup of joe. One of the main components is of course the beans. Even if using the exact same beans, whether they are purchased whole or ground will impact your drink flavor.

Coffee experts will tell you that whole bean coffee is best. Below we’ve explained the pros and cons of ground and whole beans to help you create your ultimate drinking experience.

Ground Pros

There is no denying that creating your cup of joe straight from grinds saves time. You can immediately prepare your coffee and don’t have to wait for your machine.

Ground coffee is also more accessible. Sometimes whole beans are hard to source. Ground coffee also is less expensive than whole coffee beans since the quality standards aren’t as high for grounds.

Ground Cons

Flavor and aroma are the greatest aspects of coffee. Ground coffee lacks both.

When your coffee is pre-ground the oxidation removes pretty much all of the flavor. You’ll still get the caffeine, but none of the lovely notes. If you’re someone who enjoys layered flavor notes in coffee, make sure to use whole and not ground beans.

Ground coffee also comes with a potential environmental cost. There is a vicious corporate demand focused on mass production while poor labor conditions are dismissed.

Additionally, since coffee beans are actually a fruit and not a bean, they do have a have a shelf life. Whole beans last much longer than ground.

Whole Bean Pros

Whole bean coffee allows you to dream up just about any cup of joe. If you want to play barista, whole bean coffee is for you. This is because with whole bean coffee, you control the grind size.

You can create a very fine grind for espressos. If you’re in the mood for a french press coffee, you can use coarse grinds.

An indisputable benefit of whole coffee beans is their freshness. Even though beans are dry, their freshness is just like any fruit, which they actually are!. As soon as beans are “cut”, or in this case ground, their freshness starts to decline.

Once you start making whole bean coffee at home, the unbeatable flavor will have you hooked.

Whole Bean Cons

If you’re an at-home coffee drinker, you likely already have a coffee machine. If your machine doesn’t grind beans, this means you’ll be in the market for a new machine if you want to start using whole beans. This investment is definitely worth it if you treasure the coffee shop experience and taste.

Whole bean coffee is more expensive than the ground. Roasters must pay more attention to the beans which increase the price. It also costs a bit of extra time grinding the beans weekly or daily.

The Best Cup of Joe

Creating your ideal cup of joe will depend on which factors matter most to you. Do you value the best flavor, aroma, cost, time, or beverage variety? This is something to ask yourself when determining to purchase a coffee maker and whole versus ground coffee.

Our suggestion is to try both and see which coffee fits into your lifestyle. For more important reads, check out our lifestyle articles!


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