Ground vs Whole Bean

By: Art Hardie

Should you buy coffee that’s already ground or whole bean?

A simple question. But many coffee drinkers don’t have a grinder at home and are used to buying ground coffee because it seems like the most convenient solution. So let’s take a closer look at how easy it is to grind at home and why it’s the better choice for you.

We’ve all opened up bags of ground coffee and been amazed at the wonderful smell. That’s because the beans have been ground into tiny bits, ready for brewing, and the natural aromas are released and preserved by the sealed bag. However, that’s the key. Once ground, the roasted coffee beans begin to release those aromas. Essentially the flavor and smell of the beans begin to escape. Just like anything. Smash up some cinnamon or vanilla and you get the same effect. The bean is crushed and it begins to aerate and release aromas. Modern coffee bags are designed to seal all that goodness in for as long as possible, but still, the integrity of the bean is compromised once it’s been processed.

Therefore it’s a simple matter of science that grinding the bean right before you brew your morning cup produces a more flavorful, aromatic cup of coffee. At Toraja Mountain Coffee this is the method we recommend. All you need is a nice burr grinder for your kitchen and the rest is really very easy.

We recommend the Oxo Burr Grinder that retails for around $90 or so. At our homes, we’ve used this machine for years. It’s simple, clean, fast, sturdy and looks great on the kitchen counter. And when you grind right before brewing, you capture all of the beans’ natural aromas and brew them directly into your cup.

Now, the last bit of this is weighing the coffee. We also recommend a basic digital kitchen scale, and using a ratio of 17 grams of water per 1 gram of coffee. It’s really the Golden Ratio of Coffee. In simpler terms, 20 grams of coffee is needed for about one full size coffee cup. This math may seem complicated, but, rest assured, it’s not. After a couple practices, you’ll be a master. And your coffee will taste better than ever.

We recommend the pour over method

Of course, we sell our coffee in ground and whole bean, so you don’t have to decide today. But if you have questions, shoot us an email and we can walk you through it.

Grinding coffee beans at home is fun and produces a smell and taste that can’t be beat. We encourage you to take this approach. Order whole bean. Grind your morning coffee. Make it a part of your routine. And enjoy all the flavor that our coffee has to offer.

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