We live in an age that doesn’t just love coffee, but loves good coffee. You only have to look at the number of café’s in any major city, the multiplication of coffee roasters, or the sale of coffee machines to see how much America loves the good stuff.
And one regularly asked question among coffee lovers is should you grind your own beans? Does it really make as much of a difference as that coffee snob friend insists? What is the problem with good old pre-ground? And how easy or hard is it to make the switch? These are a few of the questions we will seek to answer for you in this article
What Are the Advantages of Grinding your own Coffee Beans?
The single most persuasive argument for grinding your own beans is that it does make for better flavor, clarity and aroma. Put simply, freshly ground beans make better coffee than pre-ground beans. And the reason is that coffee beans, like other forms of produce, grow stale over time. They are still drinkable for a long time after being ground, but they lose much of their flavor and aroma. This is the reason, for example, that your favorite café never uses pre-ground coffee but instead has a hefty looking grinder like the Mazzer Mini on the bench top.
The other major advantage of grinding your own beans is that it allows you to experiment with grind size which again majorly alters the taste of the brew. If you go to your local grocers chances are that they have an espresso grind and maybe a filter grind. But the problem is that these grind settings are often not that accurate and so won’t fit all brewing methods. So if you use an Aeropress or a Moka Pot, ideally you need quite a specific grind size for optimal performance. Owning a grinder and grinding your own beans allows you to be able to do this and find the right grind setting for the best tasting coffee.
What are the Disadvantages of Grinding your own Coffee Beans?
The biggest handicap for many to make the switch from ground beans to grinding your own is price. Put simply, a good coffee grinder isn’t cheap. And the secret that some people don’t always realize is that not all coffee grinders are made equal. It is not simply that buying a grinder will make for better coffee, but that buying a good grinder will make for better coffee. A cheap grinder may even lead to worse tasting coffee.
The big term to be aware of here is burr grinder. The two main types of coffee grinders are burr grinders and blade grinders. Burr grinders use rotating rings to crush the beans to a uniform size. Blade grinders use blades to cut the beans. In the coffee world the universal advice is don’t go near a blade grinder with a ten foot stick! So if you are going to grind your own beans then you need to buy a burr grinder, and that isn’t always cheap. But it is totally worth it! Think of it as an investment into future cups of coffee.
So Should you make the Switch?
Our answer would be absolutely! If you care about the flavour of your coffee, which all good coffee lovers ought to, then you need to at least have it on the cards to buy your own burr grinder. This is perhaps the easiest way to up the flavor of your coffee. You will be amazed at what a difference it can make.
Of course, you also need to be using good quality and fresh beans, our recommendation is treat yourself to some Kona Coffee Beans! These are some of the best beans around!
So yes that coffee snob friend unfortunately is right, but you don’t need to tell him that! Remember the equation; good beans + quality burr grinder = better tasting coffee!