Generally, coffee sold in beans is of better quality than pre-ground coffee because the defects of the bean are more easily visible. It retains its aromas much longer (1 to 2 months against a few days for ground coffee), and you can grind it just before extraction to savour all the aromatic strength. Without being an expert, a few variables make it possible to differentiate a good from a bad coffee.
It is not always easy to know which coffee to choose, and not all of us have the time or the passion for shopping around to find the perfect one. This is why we are sharing some tips for choosing the best coffee beans and why grain coffee is better than ground one!
Why Should You Always Prefer Grain Coffee Over Ground Coffee?
Everyone agrees that it is better to drink freshly ground coffee but that it is difficult to buy it as a bean and grind it at home. It’s too technical, too expensive, and too messy. However, there are now good manual or electric grinders available at affordable prices to afford it, and it is very easy to grind your coffee when you have the right information.
Coffee beans indeed taste better than pre-ground coffee. In addition, the cost of a great cup of coffee goes down if you buy your coffee beans. In general, the coffee sold in beans is of better quality.
In General, the Coffee Sold in Beans is of Better Quality
The coffee that industrial brands market in supermarkets is generally a mixture of several species of several origins and sometimes of several years. But coffee is a fresh product. It does not improve with age. Quite the contrary, an aged coffee produces an unpleasant sensation on the palate.
In addition to that, these coffees are generally very roasted in order to hide all the flaws under a bitter and burnt taste. It is, therefore, very easy to camouflage these uninspiring mixtures in beautiful packaging when the coffee is ground. It becomes much more difficult when the coffee is a bean.
The bean is the raw material transformed into consumable food: roasted coffee of brown colour. Each grain is identifiable, and the defects are more visible. Artisan specialty coffee roasters never grind their coffee in advance to provide the customer with the best possible taste experience.
To sum up: coffee beans can give excellent ground coffee when the bean is of good quality, which is generally the case with a roaster passionate about the bean’s terroir. Quite often, the ground coffee that is consumed in capsules or industrial packets is a poorly traceable blend that results in a low-quality, expensive cup for what it is.
Bean Retains its Flavour Longer than Ground Coffee
The main distinction between coffee beans and pre-ground coffee is its freshness, the intensity of its flavours and the power of its aromas. It is simply incomparable. The most telling example is the baguette out of the oven: still steaming, the crumb is tender, and the crust is crisp. It’s your coffee beans.
The same baguette, the next day, dries out, becomes hard and crumbles. That’s what happens to your ground coffee for weeks or even months.
Would you buy that old baguette for the same price as the one that comes out of the oven? Probably not! Not even sure you would want to pay for this product. This is why pre-ground coffee or coffee in capsules is ultimately an excessively expensive coffee compared to coffee beans which promise a good cup.
The coffee bean is the result of a long process of maturation, fermentation and roasting. Whether good or bad, the coffee you drink has travelled thousands of miles from the producer’s farm to your kitchen. The coffee cherry grows, and its kernel is loaded with sugars, giving its characteristics to the coffee during the most important stage of the production process: fermentation (natural, washed, honey, anaerobic, etc.).
These sugars will become the aromatic notes that we taste thanks to the roasting, making them melt. The power of these notes depends on the amount of carbon dioxide contained in the grain, but once ground, the gases escape forever.
To sum up: coffee’s aromatic power is stronger when the bean is freshly roasted and ground just before extraction. Coffee will be much better for the palate if it has not been ground for several weeks or in capsules.
The Ideal: Grind Your Coffee Just Before Extracting the Aromas
The blooming is a chemical reaction that occurs when freshly roasted coffee comes into contact with hot water when brewing: coffee grounds create a compact crust thanks to the carbon dioxide content in coffee. The more recently the coffee is roasted, especially ground, the more enhanced the cup flavours.
It is necessary to know that the coffee follows a degassing process once roasted to understand this blooming phenomenon. The coffee gives off carbon dioxide for about two weeks after its roasting. Most of the gas is released soon after roasting, especially within four hours of cooling. Carbon dioxide continues to escape from the grains slowly for fourteen days. This is why it is always advisable to buy coffee with a roasting date, which serves as a reference to know when the coffee will still have its full strength.
Thus, you should get it ground a short time before it is brewed. The blooming is important for a perfect extraction for two reasons:
- Carbon dioxide is the vehicle for the aromatic components of coffee, but it has an acidic flavor. If the grounds are not allowed to open out before brewing via the blooming phenomenon, the gas will give the coffee a sour taste and under-extraction.
- Carbon dioxide repels water and interferes with the brewing process (coffee must be fully submerged in contact with water for proper extraction). Water can only freely extract aromas and oils from coffee when the carbon dioxide has escaped. As long as the gas is trapped in the grounds, it prevents the water from extracting the volatile aromatic components.
How to Choose Your Coffee in the Face of the Available Offer?
With the advent of capsules and pods, coffee consumption has changed dramatically in Australia and worldwide. But nothing beats the taste of roasted coffee beans. Coffee lovers have discovered the different aromatic notes coffee has, as there are different grape varieties for wine or different types of craft beers.
This learning has resulted in the appearance of several brands. You can find some premium coffee roasters in Melbourne where you can get freshly roasted coffee. And the best part is that you can get freshly roasted beans at your doorstep.