Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Coffee: beans versus ground

The consensus is that it is better to buy coffee beans than ground coffee. The ground coffee will already have leaked flavour, and will lose more, rapidly, once the pack is opened. But that, with vacuum-sealed coffee, is not my experience. I cannot claim to have done exhaustive tests; but I have found that the ground coffee is more flavoursome than the beans. Why, I have no idea.

I keep it in the freezer -- again, not recommended by coffee lovers, who point to the moist atmosphere of freezer compartments. I screw up the bag, and put the bag inside a jar with a tight lid. This protection seems to work fine.

9 comments:

pablopatito said...

When using beans, do use a burr or a blade grinder? Perhaps this might explain why you don't prefer beans?

Nicholas Clee said...

What's a burr? I use an ordinary blade grinder.

pablopatito said...

I'm not an expert but I believe a burr grinder crushes the beans between a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface, and is the correct way to grind coffee. I believe a blade grinder can generate excessive heat, making the coffee bitter.

I hung around at coffeegeek.com a while back before buying an inexpensive burr grinder from John Lewis. Its very loud, but seems to do the trick!

Nicholas Clee said...

That's an interesting tip. Thank you. I'll start saving!

wdclements said...

which gives you more? a pound of ground coffee or a pound of beans?

Nicholas Clee said...

If you ground a tbsp of coffee beans, you get more than a tbsp of ground coffee. But I don't suppose you change the weight. So the answer - I think - is that a pound of beans equals a pound of ground.

Mark said...

well if the both weigh exactly a pound then theoretically you have the same weight of coffee. One pound of beans and one pound of that ground stuff.

Anonymous said...

Why do I go through a pound of beans in a week and it takes me a month to go through a bag of ground? I only drink a few cups a day.

Nicholas Clee said...

As the comments above suggest, it's a bit of a mystery. If you grind 2tbsp of beans, you'll probably find that you get more than 2tbsp of coffee grounds.