Consider the Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting with Whole Beans or Grounds
For every type of coffee drinker, there’s the perfect cup of coffee and an array of reasons to choose whole beans or already ground coffee for their kitchen cupboard.
One of the reasons people grab a bag of ground coffee from the grocery store shelf while checking off the items on their grocery list each week is that starting from whole bean takes longer. Coffee that is already ground is quicker and gets even quicker and easier when they’re instant coffee grounds.
“Instant, soluble coffee has long been the unspeakable wasteland of the coffee business,” Harvard Professor John Quelch stated in a Starbucks press release.
Starbucks tried to change that with a new instant product that it launched early this year.
“We have worked for nearly 20 years to develop an instant coffee that offers customers the quality and taste they expect from fresh-brewed Starbucks coffee, and a unique and convenient way for them to enjoy it,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stated.
Whether they’ve succeeded or not remains to be seen and they’re not the first to tout a new instant brew that can stand up to the longer brewing coffee or whole bean coffee varieties.
Companies keep trying because convenience and time-saving processes are sought by many.
On its Web site for its ground coffee, Folgers states “it’s ready when you are,” which is a testimony to the biggest benefit of buying coffee already ground.
Yet, there are those willing to chuck convenience and speed for something more aromatic and flavorful, believing the old cliché that good things come to those who wait. Many still argue that there’s nothing better than a cup of coffee brewed from whole beans.
One factor is shelf life. For that reason, some people might prefer whole beans over grounds so that they can store them for longer without losing freshness. “Whole bean coffee maintains its freshness the longest,” states CoffeeResearch.org.
“The freshness of ground coffee will be lost in a matter of minutes since its protective cellular structure has been broken and the volatiles have been exposed to the environment to undergo oxidation.”
With whole beans, the coffee drinker can choose to grind only as much as they need so they always have the freshest cup.
Another issue when considering whether to purchase whole bean or ground coffee is what type of equipment is needed to get from the product to the cup.
There’s more to whole beans than a simple percolator because the beans must be ground first, but the equipment doesn’t have to be costly.
Some people choose to buy expensive grinders while others find alternative means to grind their coffee beans like using a blender.
It’s that ability to control the grinding process that attracts some to whole bean coffee because they can choose the grind size for the type of coffee they like to drink.