When it is better to reach for pre-ground coffee


The answer is simple. Grinding coffee beans increases their surface area, allowing for better extraction and the flavours and aromas in the coffee to stand out. This allows the compounds in the coffee to dissolve faster. If we prepared coffee from whole beans, it would be very weak after extraction. In addition, it would probably take a long time and the coffee would lack its distinctive flavours.

You probably already know that if you leave ground coffee in the air, it loses a lot of its original flavours and aromas. This will cause the resulting coffee drink to be tasteless and empty.

Remember that ground coffee is more susceptible to moisture. If the coffee gets wet, it will affect the oils that contribute to the final taste. Coffee that loses its oils does not taste good. This is why pre-ground coffee has a bad reputation.


So what can you do to stop the coffee weathering process and thus its degradation? You can't stop the degradation completely, but you can slow it down considerably.

The same rules that apply to storing whole beans certainly apply to pre-ground coffee. This means storing coffee in the dark, at a stable room temperature and without oxygen.

Ideal for storing coffee are vacuum containers that do not allow air to enter, which significantly affects the taste of the coffee. When storing coffee, be sure to avoid the refrigerator. Extreme temperature and humidity are not good for coffee at all.


Freshly ground coffee is ideal for making coffee. But is this true in every case?

If you use a disc or poor quality grinder when grinding coffee, you will create inconsistent ground beans of different sizes and shapes.

Inconsistently ground coffee means inconsistently extracted coffee. Let's go back to extraction. Compounds from coffee beans dissolve in water at different rates. First you get acidity, then sweetness, then bitterness. When making coffee, the goal is to get the balance of all these compounds right.

If you grind the coffee with a good quality grinder, you will ensure that every particle of the coffee bean is extracted in the same way. This gives you more control over the taste and aroma of the coffee.

With inconsistently ground coffee, some particles are extracted faster than others and you may get an over-extracted cup. If you have a poor quality grinder, it will also grind poor quality coffee. Inconsistently ground coffee will extract very quickly and cause an overly bitter taste. Some beans that are too large are not even fully extracted and can cause asour taste. So maybe it's time to invest in a better quality grinder. It's worth it.

Did you know that coffee will retain most of its flavorings just 15 minutes after grinding?


If you don't have a quality grinder, it may be better to use pre-ground coffee. Roasters or cafes in your area are sure to have a quality grinder. And if you ask them nicely, they will be happy to grind your coffee for you (just be careful about hygiene standards, usually no one will grind someone else's brand of coffee).

When buying ground coffee, definitely buy smaller quantities. Preferably one that you can use within a week. The next step is to store the coffee well, ideally in vacuum containers.

We tested this theory ourselves while writing this article. We used a poor quality grinder with bad grinders and five-day old ground coffee. You could really tell the difference. The pre-ground coffee was better than the coffee from the poor quality grinder.

Remember, finely ground coffee weathers faster. So if you are using pre-ground coffee, it is better to choose a coarser grind.


While it may be a well-established rule that freshly ground coffee is better than pre-ground coffee, what matters is the quality of the grind. If you own a low-quality grinder, you may be better off having a smaller amount of coffee ground by your favourite roaster. In fact, inconsistently ground coffee may not taste very good in the end.

Why not try comparing cups made with freshly ground coffee that you grind yourself and ground coffee from a roaster? You might be surprised at the result.