Whole beans coffee is coffee that is in its natural state. The coffee beans normally come already roasted to whatever roast you choose, and ready to grind for fresh brewed coffee. Whole coffee beans are a better choice if you plan to store your coffee for longer periods of time. Ground coffee is convenient and easy to use. So which type should you purchase?
Whole beans coffee keeps its flavor longer than reground coffee. When the coffee beans are ground in a special coffee grinder, they release their essential oils which is a crucial step in the coffee brewing process. If the beans are left in their whole state, they release their oils slower and stay fresh longer. It is best to only purchase a few days worth of coffee beans at a time and only grind them right before you are ready to brew the coffee for the best, most fresh flavor. However, if you are not able to purchase fresh coffee beans every few days, you can freeze your fresh coffee beans for up to two weeks. Only take out as much as you need for every couple of days and return your beans back to the freezer as soon as possible. It is best not to purchase more that two weeks of coffee at a time because, even in the freezer, the coffee can lose its freshness rather quickly.
Ground coffee is more convenient than whole beans coffee however, and in some parts of the country, ground coffee is the only kind of coffee people can get. The bad thing about ground coffee is, while it may be more convenient, it goes stale much faster than whole coffee beans. If you purchase ground coffee, you will need to use it within a couple of days or it will not be as flavorful as it should be.
When purchasing coffee, you can tell the quality of whole beans coffee better than you can with ready ground coffee grounds. Fresh coffee beans will be closed (old beans crack open and leak oil so you will want to stay away from those) and have a slightly shiny coat on them. Ready ground coffee can be mixed with old or cheap coffee beans and it is very hard to detect if the coffee is bad or not.
If you have made it your mission to brew the perfect cup of coffee, it should be said that investing in a quality coffee grinder and coffee maker are just as important as how you buy your coffee. You will probably never brew a “perfect” cup of coffee using pre ground coffee and a regular drip coffee pot, but if you purchase a grinder and only purchase fresh, whole beans coffee, you may come close. There are many theories on which type of coffee makers make the best coffee, so we will save that for another article. But if you always start with fresh ground coffee beans, you will definitely improve your chances of brewing a cup of coffee that you can be proud of.