Why you shouldn't buy ground coffee beans from the supermarket
read time: 3 minutes
date published: Nov 02, 2022
last updated: Feb 16, 2024
As soon as coffee beans are roasted they begin to go stale, that's a fact. It's something that is unavoidable, and grinding those beans only accelerates the process of going stale. Even those fancy vacuum-packed ground coffee bags at the supermarket can't stop it.
We get it; you need coffee stat - at home. You don’t have your own grinder, so off you go to the supermarket and pick up a big 1kg bag of substandard, generically ground coffee.
God knows how long it’s been sat there on the shelf, or how much longer still since it got whizzed up indiscriminately.
You have an AeroPress but it’s ground like a bag of rocks. Tough.
Here is exactly why you need to buy fresh beans and get them ground fresh specifically for your chosen brewing method.
Three main science-y factors contribute to degraded coffee = moisture, oxidation and CO2.
In the simplest of terms: Compounds present in coffee beans interact with air molecules and go on to create different molecules. Meaning that things you want like certain aromas and flavours are "escaping" from the coffee beans. When done right and for the right amount, you get to enjoy a banging cup of coffee, when pushed too far it becomes muted.
Moisture also plays a big role when it comes to the consistency and quality of your brew. Basically, oils present in coffee beans are soluble in water but atmospheric moisture can dilute your coffee beans.
This means that even placing your coffee in a cupboard above your kettle can degrade the quality of your coffee beans. So if you have then ground the beans you are basically just going to lose the oils even faster.
Carbon dioxide is the main compound that transfers the oils present from your beans, into your brew. So when you grind the beans, you create a greater surface area for the carbon dioxide to go off and escape.
If you can keep a higher concentration of these oils in your coffee, you are going to get more sweetness, flavour and aroma.
One or more of these will have definitely got themselves involved and degraded the 1kg bag of supermarket coffee you were forced to pick up, taking with it a big whiff of aroma and any hope of a tasting note.
We’re not about any of this. We stock bags of coffee beans, fresh from our favourite independent coffee roasters, who work with communities to provide the most sustainable product. We don't let them linger on the shelf as we buy little and often.
And if you need them ground fresh from coffee beans, we can help with that. No matter how you make your coffee, they’ll always be fresh. When you go to order any of our speciality coffees, just select what brewing method you would like them ground for. We grind them on the day we send them out meaning you get the best possible brew.
It's dead simple. Better coffee, better for producers and farmers, better for you.
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