Still buying pre-ground coffee? Shame. Let’s hope the bag you’ve chosen is not over roasted or worse – stale. Why risk it? Here’s why I think you should be buying them freshly roasted and whole.
Think of the bean as a protective shell. By keeping the bean whole as long as possible, you are locking in the moisture and natural oils and keeping the delicate flavors untainted. Oxygen in this case, is not your friend. Once it hits the surface of your bean it starts to oxidize and lose its delicious coffee smell. After 15 minutes, ground coffee loses about 60% of it’s aroma. Dang. Who wants coffee that doesn’t smell like coffee? Not me. Unless you’re planning on brewing it relatively soon, don’t buy coffee already ground. Just don’t do it.
There a bunch of decent grinders out there you can chose from, so you have no excuse to not get something good. Just, whatever you do, don’t get a cheapo one that doesn’t let you control the coarseness. You’ll want to change the grind depending on the style of coffee you’re making. For instance, if you are making your coffee in a french press, you’ll want to grind coarser, if you are making it in an aeropress or doing a pour over, you’ll want it more fine grind and if you like Turkish coffee you’ll want it almost smooth to an ultra fine powder.
Also, if you can afford it, get a Burr grinder and not one that has a blade. Burr grinders use a series of disks, cones, or balls called burrs to evenly flake or shave the beans. Think of it like this: Would you rather have your coffee beans gently slapped around and massaged into submission, or horrifically torn to shreds limb by limb? Your choice.
A good Burr grinder will run you about $100-130 bucks. Yep that much. Why is it worth it? The blades don’t do as good a job as grinding the beans and you wind up with pulverized, uneven, ragged chunks. You won’t get a good even extraction and your coffee might taste differently every time you make it. If you don’t care that much about the way your coffee tastes, then you might as well not get a grinder at all! But, if you are still reading this post, then you probably care about making a quality cup of joe, so do yourself a favor and get the right one, the first time. Getting a blade coffee grinder is like buying a one-size-fits all poncho and thinking you’ll look good it in. Maybe someone will look good in it, but certainly not you. Not you, my friend.
To get you started, here are a few decent grinders I checked out when I went shopping for one.
** I did not receive anything from these product makers, these are my own opinions and recommendations based off my own research and undying love of coffee.