Are you looking to take your morning coffee to the next level? Forget fancy blends and expensive gadgets. You just need one thing—whole bean coffee.
You might be thinking, "I don't know how to grind coffee beans, which beans to buy, or which grinder to get." Have no fear. This guide will teach you how to make a cup of coffee that will change your life.
Whole Bean vs. Ground
When buying coffee to make at home, most coffee aficionados are aware fresh is always better than pre-packaged pods, but why should you choose whole beans instead of ground coffee? Two words: oxidation and moisture.
Grinding removes the protective outside shell of coffee beans, which increases their vulnerability to oxygen and moisture. Flavor and aroma suffer as a result, which is why we recommend only buying whole coffee beans. Grinding your coffee immediately before brewing preserves more of that delicious flavor we all know and love.
Yes, it will take you slightly longer to make your morning coffee, but once you take that first sip, your tastebuds will thank you for the extra effort.
Think of coffee origins in two ways: single-origin coffees and coffee blends. Here’s the difference:
- Single-origin coffees: These coffee beans come from a single location and embody the features of the region they are grown in
- Coffee blends: Numerous single-origin coffee beans are blended to create unique flavor combinations with varying intensity levels
Where is Coffee Grown?
Most coffee comes from three regions: Africa and the Middle East, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Flavors vary from each country and region, so make sure to try different single-origin coffees to see which characteristics you like best.
- Africa and the Middle East: colorful, sweet, like wine
- Central and South America: balanced and bright
- Southeast Asia and the Pacific: earthy, mellow, subtle
Popular Coffee Sources
· Ethiopia: Exotic flavor opportunities often with hints of fruit
- Brazil: The country’s varying countryside altitudes produce differing mild flavors with substantial body
- Hawaii: The high rainfall paired with strong sunlight makes for rich flavors with earthy aromas
Roasting gives coffee beans their texture, aroma, and flavor.
Three primary roast types determine the experience the beans will give you: light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts.
- Light Roasts: Light roasts have the highest caffeine content, high acidity, a powerful toasted flavor, and strong aromas. The beans are light brown and won’t be oily.
- Medium Roasts: Medium roasts have moderate caffeine content, flavor, acidity, and aroma compared to light roasts. They are all about balance. Like light roast beans, they are lighter brown in color and aren't oily on the surface.
- Dark Roasts: A smoky, slightly bitter, flavor punch—that's a dark roast. They have the lowest caffeine content and are the darkest in color. The beans will be dark brown to near black and have an oily sheen.
No one wants subpar coffee, and the trick to ensuring your cup of Joe is up to par is to follow the golden rules.
- Don’t buy from a roaster who only sells their coffee beans pre-ground. If they don’t see the value in whole bean coffee, you should not see value in their product. Leave it on the shelf, and don't look back.
- Only purchase coffee beans under thirty days from their roast date. Using coffee beans any older than this will not taste anywhere near as good as fresh coffee beans. Savor freshness!
- Seek out well-known and award-winning roasters. They have a reputation for a reason. Don't gamble—trust the best instead!
Coffee Grind Types
Never ground coffee beans before or want a refresher? We have your back. The coarseness of your grind is vital for the type of coffee you’d like to make, so here’s your cheat sheet to grind settings for coffee:
- Coarse grind: Use the thickness of potting soil as your reference, as particles should be chunky. French Press and cold brewcoffee uses this grind.
- Medium grind: Aim for a middle-sized grind, something around the consistency of sea salt. Aeropress and drip coffee use this grind.
- Medium-fine grind:Particles should be close to sand consistency, but not as tiny as sugar. This grind is commonly used for Hario V60 and other cone-shaped pour-over brews.
- Fine grind: Pre-ground coffee is usually this size. The particles should be as fine as sugar and smaller than table salt—ideal for expressos.
Types of Coffee Grinders
The type of grinder that will suit your needs best will depend on the coffee varieties you like to drink, or lack thereof. Here’s a quick run-down of your options:
- Single-setting electric grinder: Only drink one type of coffee? A single-setting grinder is all you need. They’re cheap and get the job done efficiently
- Multi-setting electric grinder: Like to drink different types of coffee? A multi-setting electric grinder is for you. Enjoy your cold brew, French Press, and expressos—all brewed to perfection with the right grind texture.
- Burr grinders: Are even grinds important to you? A burr grinder is your best option. It uses revolving burrs instead of blades to grind coffee. Burr grinders are more expensive, so consider buying a manual burr grinder instead of an electric one if you'd like to keep costs down.
- Conical burr grinders: Want cone-shaped burrs to grind your coffee? Choose a conical burr grinder to allow the beans to pass through at a slight angle. Like burr grinders, conical burr grinders have manual versions too.
Try Home-Ground, Whole Bean Coffee Today
Now that you understand how to choose and grind whole coffee beans—it’s time to get brewing! Let us know in the comments how fantastic your first cup of whole bean coffee was! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.