Why Whole Bean Coffee is Better than Ground Coffee

whole bean or ground coffeeWhen purchasing coffee at the grocery store, or even from a coffee shop, you have the choice of either whole bean or ground coffee. Ground coffee is much more common, and much more convenient, than whole bean coffee. But, I’d argue that whole bean coffee is much better, and is worth the inconvenience of grinding it (or even finding it). Here’s are three reasons why whole bean coffee is better than ground coffee:

Flavor and Aroma Lasts Longer

Even if you have your coffee ground right at the coffee shop and then take it home, you still lose a lot of the aroma and the flavor (the good stuff). This is because once ground coffee is ground and sealed in a bag, the aroma and the flavor dissipates in the first minute or two once that bag is opened. So, you might get some great tasting coffee in that first brew, but that’s about it. After that, each subsequent brew has less flavor and less aroma.

The flavor and the aroma lasts a lot longer in whole bean coffee, especially if you store it properly. Naturally, it is the flavor and aroma that make a great tasting coffee, so to get more great taste out of what you purchase, it’s best to purchase it as whole bean and then grind what you want when you are ready to make coffee.

It’s Fresher

Oxygen is what causes things to spoil. Even though whole bean coffee will still eventually spoil, it remains fresher for a longer period of time because most of the coffee is within the bean, not exposed to oxygen. When the coffee is ground, but then left to sit instead of being brewed right away, that’s more surface area that’s exposed to oxygen. This increases the rate of spoilage and decreases the freshness of the brew. No, this isn’t the same as saying it’s rotting or getting moldy, but think of it as the same as fresh fruit. It tastes much better on day one than on day five, even though the fruit on day five isn’t yet moldy or rotten.

Whole bean coffee has less surface area exposed to oxygen, and therefore has less coffee losing its freshness. This means that when you do finally get around to grinding those beans and making your coffee, you’re using a product that’s much fresher than it would have been if you had ground it previously or purchased it that way.

Whole Bean is Higher Quality, but Not Higher Price

One of the best parts of whole bean coffee is that you can purchase it at the same price as the ground equivalent and still end up with a higher quality product. Sure, you might have to purchase a coffee grinder, but you only have to buy a coffee grinder once or twice in your life. If you’re spending your money on coffee, then a coffee grinder is a small price to pay having higher quality coffee more often in your life and in the long run. Even whole bean coffee from the generic brands is better than the ground stuff from those same brands.

After all, we’re all about great tasting coffee here at Gateway Grounds; having a cup of joe that is worth enjoying and experiencing. Ground coffee is great if you just need something quick and easy, something to get you up in the morning or through the rest of your work day. But, exquisite coffee i.e. whole bean coffee, is about much more than getting a caffeine fix.


  1. [...] right before your brew – This is why whole bean coffee is better than ground coffee. It’s fresher, and it helps in making your coffee [...]

  2. Thanks for a great article! We’ve just launched an online shop for fresh coffee beans here in South Africa. We’ve got some great boutique roasters here but up until now, it’s been hard to get your hands on their beans if you’re not nearby. We’re hoping that we can convince more and more South Africans to enjoy great coffee by grinding fresh beans at home rather than buying ground or worse yet, instant!

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