Coffee beans vs ground: what’s the difference?
Coffee is enjoyed world-over in its many different forms, and there are countless ways to make the perfect cup of coffee. However, most professionals will argue that fresh beans are best for them.
The debate ‘ground coffee or bean is age-old, many people are unaware of the differences between them, and simply choose one over the other based on price or personal preference. Depending on your needs, both have advantages. That’s why, in this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between fresh-bean and ready-ground coffee to help you understand the benefits of each. Enjoy!
Buying ground coffee: great for a quick cup
The main difference in coffee beans vs ground is convenience.
Grinding beans takes time and adds another step to your espresso-making routine. You’ll also need a grinder, and you will have to decide how finely you want your beans ground.
This makes buying ground coffee great for at-home espresso machines. If you’re making a coffee in your morning rush before work, you probably won’t have time to grind your beans to perfection, meaning that preground beans are a great answer.
Guarantee yourself a better product with fresh beans
For a commercial coffee machine, grinding your own coffee beans offers a superior product in every way imaginable.
Buying whole bean coffee typically gives you better quality coffee, since ground coffee makes it much easier to hide imperfections and poor-quality beans. Whole bean coffee forces manufacturers into transparency; you can easily see you are getting good-quality coffee.
Fresh beans for fresh coffee
When it comes to coffee beans vs ground, buying ground coffee is a great solution for rushed coffee routines and home machines. However, there’s a big difference between the quality of ready-ground coffee and fresh beans.
Firstly, preground coffee leaves your coffee open to much more environmental exposure.
Allowing coffee to be open to the air means that it releases the gases built up during the roasting of the beans. This is essential for a good cup of coffee since coffee with carbon dioxide still present in the beans will end up under-extracted and bitter-tasting.
However, preground coffee undergoes much more degassing than freshly ground beans. Leaving coffee open to the air, such as in the case of preground coffee, will lead to losing the flavours and aromas of a delicious cup of coffee.
Ground coffee is also much more vulnerable to moisture. Damp roasted coffee will lose the oils that make give coffee such a rich, deep flavour, leaving you with a flat brew. Similarly, ground coffee takes on other smells and tastes much more easily than whole beans, meaning that the flavour of your coffee could become tainted, and the depth of flavour will be lost.
Ground coffee vs bean: depth of flavour
A fresh grind will always allow you a deeper, richer flavour and better extraction because whole coffee beans will stay fresh around three times as long as pre-ground coffee.
Coffee beans are full of oils and extracts, which give coffee its signature flavour. These begin to evaporate as soon as the coffee is ground up, which helps give a good-tasting, milder cup of coffee. However, if the coffee is pre-ground, much of those oils and extracts will have dissipated long before the coffee is brewed, leaving you with a weak, stale-tasting coffee.
Which is more expensive, ground coffee or bean?
Many people in the coffee beans vs ground debate believe that beans are a more expensive option.
While it can be true that individual packets of beans are more expensive than those of ground coffee, your coffee machine isn’t getting extensive use, you may find yourself wasting money as you have to throw out stale coffee.
Switching to beans means that your coffee is fresher for longer, not only improving the taste of your coffee but saving you money.
Even if your coffee machine gets frequent use, leaving very little time for coffee to go stale, most pre-ground coffee will already taste stale even before leaving it open. This is because the window for coffee to keep its flavour after grinding is only 20-30 minutes. After that, coffee begins to lose its flavour and taste stale.
This means that preground coffee, even in vacuum-packed, airtight containers, has already begun to lose its flavour before it even reaches your machine.
So, if you’re looking for a good cup of coffee, don’t let the temptation of convenience get to you. Sourcing quality beans, roasting them to perfection and grinding them is a lot of effort to let your coffee sit and lose flavours.
After all, if you’re investing in a good espresso machine, why waste its potential with bad coffee?
Control the grind of your beans for a better coffee
Bean coffee will also give you the option to choose exactly how fine or coarse you want your grind. This may not seem important, but the size of your grind can actually significantly impact your extraction.
If you’re using a commercial espresso machine, such as the ascaso coffee machine, coarsely-ground coffee beans are generally not recommended. This is because espresso machines have a relatively fast extraction time (around 9 seconds), and a coarser grind takes much more time to fully extract the flavour.
For the perfect grind, it’s important to have the perfect grinder. You need to be able to adjust to the perfect grind size, because getting it right to match your espresso machine is essential. A weak-tasting coffee can be the fault of a too-coarse grind, while an extra-fine grind could make your coffee too strong and bitter.
For commercial bean to cup coffee machine, it’s simple. Most machines allow you to use preground coffee but using bean coffee will give you a much better cup of coffee. You’ll notice the difference, and so will everyone drinking your coffee, so make sure you’re getting enough out of your coffee machine by using whole beans.
Brew coffee that puts a smile on someone’s face
The answer to the ground coffee vs bean debate is clear: whole bean coffee will always yield a better product.
A richer, fresher, more flavourful cup of coffee is the perfect way to start your morning, as a pick-me-up, or just as a little treat. It’s a chance to brighten someone’s day, so it’s essential to make sure it’s as good as possible.
We’re the UK’s most trusted coffee machine suppliers and have the range and expertise to help you get the most out of your coffee machine. We stock high-quality coffee beans and the best coffee bean grinders on the market to ensure that every coffee you serve is top quality.
We also offer an extensive range of office coffee machines, from bean-to-cup machines to traditional espresso machines, all with generous buying, renting and leasing packages, which include complete installation and training to ensure that you get the most out of your coffee machine.
Explore our range today to get the most out of your coffee experience!