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Beans or Ground?

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  • Beans or Ground?

    Hi all,

    As a fairly novice coffee drinker I was wondering if I could call on some experience.

    I am really reticent to purchase an expensive grinder for the amount of coffee that I actually make, which is only about four to six cups a week. For that reason I have been purchasing coffee beans but having it ground for me. A 250g bag then usually lasts me about 6 weeks.

    So, my question is, is it better to use pre-ground coffee (ground with a good quality grinder) but then be using that for the next 6 weeks, or to switch to buying coffee beans and grind fresh, but with a cheap grinder (off the shelf maybe $100)?

    I can tell that the coffee loses impact as it gets older (I drink it black) but would coffee ground with a cheap grinder be better than using old coffee?

    Any advice would be welcomed.

    Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    Re: Beans or Ground?

    Hi leedsboy and welcome to CS

    A $20 coffee/spice grinder is probably as good as a $100 grinder. You could get a hand mill for around $50-$60 that will do a better job but painstakingly slow. Suggest you spend the $20, buy a bag of whole beans and give it a go. No great loss if you arent pleased with the results.


    • #3
      Re: Beans or Ground?

      I think youve answered your own question. If you are happy to drink 6 week old coffee that even you admit isnt the best, then continue on with what you do. To enjoy better tasting coffee, get a good quality grinder.
      My advice is to put up with your pre-ground for a while longer and save up for a decent grinder although I noticed an improvement myself after having freshly ground coffee from a cheap grinder compared to pre-ground supermarket beans.

      You didnt mention what you are using to make your coffee with


      • #4
        Re: Beans or Ground?

        Gday Leedsboy and welcome to CS,
        another thing you might like to try is to get hold of some freshly roasted beans and then grind them using a mortar and pestle. It wont give you the precise grind size of a good grinder, but it will give you an indication of how much better your coffee can be using fresh as opposed to pre-ground.
        There is a rough rule of thumb that applies to coffee:
        3 weeks roasted,
        3 hours in a hopper (or other un-sealed container), and
        3 minutes after grinding.
        Good luck with it,


        • #5
          Re: Beans or Ground?

          I would also go with a hand mill grinder

          You must remember that
          Roasted coffee beans (unground) will stay fresh for aprox 3-5 weeks
          Ground beans are best consumed within 3 minutes after grinding
          So if you want the best flavour every time you should get a grinder

          However it is a waste of money getting a spinning blade grinder



          • #6
            Re: Beans or Ground?

            Thanks for all your advice guys. Its greatly appreciated.

            Im a tea drinker really but have caught the coffee bug since moving to Melbourne a couple of years ago and it appears that I must change my ways!

            Im quite blown away to hear that ground coffee is past its best after 3 mins and that is enough to convince me that some form of grinder is required. Ill take a look at what is available.