It all depends on what you value most in your coffee brewing and drinking experience. If you aren't sure, we've outlined some common questions we hear a lot when comparing whole bean and ground coffee. We hope they help in your coffee decision!
Q: Does ground coffee become stale faster?
A: Once coffee is ground, coffee does begin to lose its aromatic qualities that contribute to flavor. However, if coffee is not ground evenly and to the proper grind size using a burr grinder, it is likely that it will result in an uneven extraction and the resulting coffee, while fresher, can ultimately taste bitter or sour, or both.
Not everyone owns a burr grinder and therefore risk compromising the quality of coffee using a more cost-effective blade grinder. By grinding coffee to the perfect grind setting using a commercial quality burr grinder at our partner roasters' facilities, the grind is even and ideal for our customers' brewing methods and we believe will result in better tasting coffee in the end.
Q: I don't have a burr grinder. Should I use my blade grinder on whole bean coffee or is it better to get it pre-ground at the roasters?
While we prefer to use a burr grinder to grind coffee fresh every time we brew, we realize that these grinders can be expensive. Often the choice lies between grinding in advance suited to the brew method or grinding fresh each time using a blade grinder.
While grinding fresh is ideal, blade grinders chop the beans unevenly rather than truly grind them. The result is a mixture of varying grind sizes that are difficult to control and impossible to replicate. So while there are more aromatic flavors present in the coffee grounds, the coffee will frequently have sour, bitter or unpleasant flavors from an uneven extraction.
In our tests, we find that coffee that is ground to the ideal setting for a particular brew method ahead of time produces a more even extraction and overall better tasting cup of coffee than blade grinders.