Why Grinding Your Own Beans is the Best Way to Go
People who really like their coffee tend to like it their own way. Everything from cup size to roast time is subject to debate. One thing that even the most contentious coffee connoisseurs can agree on is that grinding at home is the way to go.
Breaking the Surface
Grinding beans sets off a whole chain of events that inevitably lead to poorer coffee if the grounds aren't used quickly. As soon as a bean is ground, the delicate oils inside are released, Coffee Confidential reported, and that makes them more susceptible to damage from oxygen. Brewing a cup of coffee right away will allow all of the oils to make their way into your cup where they belong, but the longer coffee grounds sit unused, the more oils will be lost.
Roasted beans contain a lot of carbon dioxide, which helps release the oils into the coffee, but most of the gas will be lost within one minute of grinding, according to the source. While carbon dioxide is floating away, oxygen is making its way to the grounds, which strips them of their aroma. Within 15 minutes of grinding, your ground coffee could lose 60 percent of its aroma, which significantly harms its flavor.
Grind at the Right Time
Some may think that they've found a way around this by grinding their coffee ahead of time and storing it in the freezer or refrigerator. According to The New York Times, this method is doing more harm than good - in fact, it's all harm. The high level of moisture in freezers and refrigerators can harm your coffee just as surely as oxygen. Coffee grounds can absorb a tremendous amount of moisture, and when they're in the freezer or refrigerator, they're also soaking in the flavors of whatever else is stored there. Even sitting on your counter, pre-ground coffee will end up absorbing odors from anything nearby, leaving the end product muddled and unpleasant.
Bring it Home
The New York Times also made a case for grinding at home rather than relying on the grinder at your favorite coffeehouse, if that's where you buy your beans. Given the variety of different beans that the average coffeehouse grinder goes through every day, there's a good chance that you'll end up with remnants of older batches in your coffee grounds. Just a few mismatched beans could throw off a whole pot of coffee. Using a home grinder, such as the Mr. Coffee® Blade Grinder, can help keep your coffee uncontaminated, provided you keep it clean, of course.