Is Grinding Your Own Coffee Worth It?
If you’re like me, who greatly enjoys a fresh, steaming cup of espresso every morning, you’ve surely thought of how to turn your coffee-drinking experience into something more pleasurable. But is grinding your own coffee worth it?
In my personal life-long quest to find the “perfect” cup of joe, I’ve caught myself asking time and time again, is there a significant difference between freshly ground and pre-grinded coffee beans? And if so, does it really warrant buying a coffee grinder?
Today, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about grinding your own coffee at home. Is grinding your own coffee worth it? Let’s find out!
4 Exceptional Advantages of Grinding Your Own Coffee at Home
Ever thought of grinding your own coffee but isn’t quite convinced as to why you should? As follows are four major reasons that might just compel you!
1. Better Tasting Coffee
One of the biggest advantages of grinding your own coffee is that you’ll get to enjoy a superior, flavorful, and aromatic cup o’ joe. Doesn’t freshly ground spices taste significantly better (and fresher) than the pre-ground stuff? The same is said for coffee beans.
Coffee beans are like tiny protective flavor capsules. The strong, hard shell protects all the oils and flavor components that make and break the coffee’s overall taste.
In fact, it’s said that a single coffee bean stores approximately 1,000 individual organic compounds and natural aromas. Grinding the beans yourself maximizes their flavor, rewarding you with a deliciously complex blend of full-bodied coffee.
Store-bought or pre-ground coffee beans are extremely susceptible to air contamination. If exposed for a mere 15 minutes, your coffee may lose up to 60% of its innate aroma and be replaced with whatever scent is floating around in your kitchen.
Furthermore, pre-ground coffee has a higher chance to come in contact with moisture during the packaging process. This causes their volatile oils to immediately dilute, thus dulling the overall coffee taste.
2. Freedom to Control the Grind
While I love drinking a fresh cup of espresso every morning, there are times where I’d crave a good ol’ French press coffee. But here’s the thing: you can’t use finely ground espresso beans to make French press, because the latter calls for a coarse, even grind.
I’d have to then (begrudgingly) settle for an espresso until I go to the store and buy pre-ground coarse coffee beans made specifically for French press.
You can avoid all this by grinding your own coffee. It’s important to note that the size of the grind greatly affects the coffee’s overall flavor output and acidity. Here’s a quick list of which coffee works best for each grinding method:
This type of grind is perfect for cold brew coffee and cowboy coffee. The grind looks quite similar to ground peppercorns where you’ll be able to see little chunks of coffee beans in the mixture.
Coarse grind resembles sea salt or roughly ground pepper. It’s ideal for the French press, coffee cupping, and percolator.
As the name suggests, this type of grind is not quite medium and not quite coarse. It greatly resembles rough sand. A medium-coarse grind is perfect for Cafe solo brewer, Clever Dripper, Chemex, and regular pour-over coffee.
Medium ground coffee is the type of grind most pre-ground coffee is made of. The consistency is similar to regular sand. I personally love this type of grind because it perfectly sits in the middle, allowing me to brew most types of coffee.
It’s best suited for Siphon brewers, Aeropress, cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers, and flat bottomed drip coffee makers.
Also known as pour-over grind, medium-fine grind falls between the consistency of sand and table salt. It’s best used for cone-shaped pour-over brewers such as the Kalita wave, Hario V60, and the Aeropress within a two to three minute brew time.
Fine grinds are slightly coarser than extra-fine. If I had to describe it, I would say it feels quite close to table salt except slightly finer. This type of grind is perfect for V60, Aeropress, and Moka Pot/Stovetop coffee, and regular espresso brews.
Extra fine grind greatly resembles rough-textured flour. Most grinders struggle with this type of grind the most because it’s highly susceptible to burning while in the grinding process. This type of grind is especially suited for Turkish coffee.
3. Mouth-Watering Aromas
If I’m not rushing to work, chugging down lukewarm coffee while doing my best to not spill it all over my dress shirt, I do like taking the time to thoroughly enjoy the scent of my coffee.
For me, smelling is as good as drinking. I love basking in the nutty, caramel-like scents of freshly brewed coffee—it makes me feel alert, awake, and ready to take on the day.
The aroma of freshly ground coffee lasts significantly longer than that of pre-ground coffee. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a single coffee bean contains up to 1,000 water-soluble aromatic compounds. When sliced open, all the oils and flavors are slowly released.
Grinding your own coffee maximizes not only the flavor but the overall aroma it gives out as well. It’s no wonder people are so enticed by coffee shops that grind their own coffee!
4. Indulging In the Beauty of Making Coffee
If you’re a true coffee aficionado, drinking a cup of good coffee isn’t enough.
The art of making coffee isn’t as simple and straightforward as it may seem at first glance. Understanding the science that goes behind roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee allow you to appreciate the process that goes into making every cup even more.
On top of that, grinding your own coffee essentially fine-tunes and sharpens your tastebuds. Soon after, you’ll be able to easily detect what’s high-quality and what’s not. You’ll also be capable of sniffing out flavor profiles and sharing your vast knowledge of delicious-tasting coffee with the people around you.
Trust me, they’ll appreciate it. Who doesn’t want a sip from a coffee maestro?
3 Disadvantages of Grinding Your Own Coffee
Pre-ground coffee beans are a popular choice for multiple reasons. Here are some disadvantages of grinding your own coffee:
Investing In a Machine
High-quality coffee grinders can cost up to $300 or more per machine. Cheaper models, although more budget-friendly, may not grind your beans evenly and might even burn them, compromising the taste of your coffee. This is especially true if you’re buying a machine with blade grinders.
Inconsistently ground coffee results in inconsistently extracted coffee. You won’t get a “bad” cup of coffee, not by a long shot; but you won’t get a great-tasting cup either. All that effort, gone. It kind of makes you want to wish you’d bought pre-ground instead.
Therefore, if you have the means, I highly recommend buying a coffee grinder that’s made for coffee specifically; don’t settle for a two-in-one spice/coffee grinder.
Coffee makers that feature flat burr grinders will help you get the best possible flavor out of your coffee beans because they have the capacity to consistently grind your beans. Conical grinders are good, too, as they’re oftentimes much cheaper and quieter than the latter.
Dealing With the Noise Every Morning
Those who live alone may not have a problem with the coffee grinding noise. However, if you live with your family, roommate, or significant other, there’s a high chance of waking them up from their deep slumber. Some people can easily fall back asleep after being woken up, but others simply can’t.
To prevent this, you can grind your beans the night before. But it’s important to keep in mind that your coffee wouldn’t be as fresh as just recently ground. Regardless, it’ll still taste much better than the pre-ground stuff you buy at the store.
If you’re adamant to grind your coffee the night before, it’s best to store your coffee in a dry, vacuum-sealed, opaque container. This will allow you to essentially “trap” most of the flavor and aroma your beans release after the grinding process.
You can also purchase a hand grinder instead of an automatic grinder. It’ll take a bit of elbow grease, but it’s way quieter than the alternative. It’s cheaper, too! Furthermore, you can take it anywhere with you because you don’t need a power source to operate it.
Battling Morning Rush
Time constraints are perhaps the biggest reason why people would rather buy pre-ground coffee than grinding them up themselves.
Grinding coffee doesn’t take any more than a few seconds—a minute or two at most for finer grinds. Despite that, a few seconds may seem like ages if you’re in a rush to go to work or school. Plus, some of us are just too lazy to set up the grinder, pour the beans into the hopper, and carefully measure out the grind size we want to use.
Of course, this, too, can be avoided by grounding your coffee the night before. You can also wake up half an hour early to indulge in a delicious cup before doing your daily errands.
But the truth is, for some of us, we’re fine without a “perfect” cup most weekday mornings. Also, if you’re drinking coffee just for the caffeine boost, you may not find grinding your own coffee worth it.
The journey of searching for the “perfect” cup of coffee is an endless one. Is grinding your own coffee worth it? Yes, I would say so! I’d do anything to get a fresher cup of coffee every morning, and grinding my own coffee is the best way to achieve that.
We hope you found this article on whether grinding your own coffee is worth it or not. Now go get a burr grinder and call it a day!
Stay caffeinated friends!