There is a lot to consider between purchasing pre-ground coffee or grinding fresh beans at home: the convenience, the flavor, and the grinding method. Most importantly, “is it cheaper to grind your own coffee?“
If you have a lot of concerns related to this problem, this is the right place to visit and get adequate answers. Both methods will be suitable for different needs, so you need to weigh their pros and cons.
Is It Cheaper To Grind Your Own Coffee?
This answer is Yes, grinding your own coffee beans is cheaper. Although pre-ground coffee appears to be sold at a lower price for a quick, convenient cup, it will not come with the same flavor as whole beans. As convenience and speed are not always equal to the finest quality.
Read more: Can I grind coffee beans in a blender
Why It Might Be Less Expensive To Grind Your Own Coffee?
Back to the question of is it cheaper to grind your own coffee. It often has a higher price than pre-ground coffee, but you will receive a much more high-quality cup of coffee in the end with whole beans.
We are trying to say here that grinding your own coffee is a true value for your money, not about the initial listed price you see at the store. Here are the reasons why grinding your own coffee is the best.
Aroma & Taste
As described earlier, pre-ground coffee has to go through a process where the beans’ oils will encounter oxygen and other contaminants. As a result, it affects the taste and aroma of your final cup of coffee.
On the other hand, whole beans receive better preservation even after packaging because external factors take more time to penetrate. It ensures the coffee’s freshness and flavor after a home grind.
Coffee beans tend to accumulate a large amount of carbon dioxide during their roasting procedure. This type of gas plays an important role in adding that intense, addictive caffeine flavor to your coffee.
When you purchase a bag of pre-ground coffee, remember that a lot of carbon dioxide has been lost during the grinding process. This loss usually happens at the very beginning seconds of the bean grinding.
You need to put pre-ground coffee in an air-tight container, or else the aroma and taste will disappear quickly over time. It is not a big issue for freshly ground whole beans as the freshness remains longer.
Moreover, the quality of pre-ground coffee beans also gets lower during shelf life, and the coffee oils begin to dilute. Again, these oils determine the coffee aroma and taste, so it is not good for your cup.
There are fixed pre-ground coffee forms, like finely ground, coarse, and semi-fine coffee, while whole beans allow you to grind them into any form you desire. Further, pre-ground coffee with its consistent taste is not ideal if you wish to enjoy different coffee flavors at once.
After grinding the beans, it is suggested to use your coffee within an hour later to get the best aroma and taste. This does not mean you have to drink tasteless pre-ground coffee; manufacturers ensure its package retains the flavor. But whole beans taste stronger and more natural.
Pre-Ground Coffee vs Grinding Your Own Coffee
Most commercial pre-ground coffee or freshly ground coffee before packaging for on-shelf storage are made from whole beans. Thanks to these ground beans, it will take less effort for you to make coffee.
Nonetheless, it is a fact that people often use low-quality beans to make such pre-ground coffee. Some reports even prove that there may be fillers besides coffee beans, affecting the overall coffee taste.
In addition, after being roasted, these coffee beans will release some types of gasses that gradually break down their freshness and flavor.
Even if you have them freshly ground at the store to bring the coffee home right after, pre-grinding beans only fasten this process since the beans’ oils will start their evaporation once released via grinding.
Not to mention each time you open the coffee bag to get pre-ground beans, oxygen will penetrate and cause more oils to vaporize after. This is the main reason why it may lack a lot of flavor and freshness.
Whole bean coffee gains an advantage in terms of this problem. This type of complete beans is much larger than ground ones, so oxygen takes more time to get in, and you still retain that freshness longer.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to choose the grind size of pre-packaged ground coffee in many cases. It will be a serious problem for different brewing methods or the type of coffee-making machine.
For example, you will need to do a fine grind for most available coffee makers on the market. A more coarse grind is likely to block water from circulating these grounds properly, leading to a bad coffee cup.
In contrast, a whole bean purchase leaves you to decide the type of grind you need, giving better control over the coffee ground size and achieving the best flavor. It also allows you to make more coffee types.
Price Differences Between Pre-ground Coffee vs Home Ground Coffee
In general, there are not many price differences between a pound of pre-ground coffee and home ground coffee within one brand. For instance, the listed price for both Starbucks’ pre-ground and whole bean coffee is approximately $7.99 to buy a standard 12-ounce bag.
At the same time, you will pay around $13.00 for the same 12 ounces of pre-ground and whole bean coffee. Most other brands charge $6 to $18 for this quantity, whether pre-ground or whole beans.
Given that coffee people package and sell coffee by weight, either a bag of pre-ground coffee or whole bean coffee will provide you with a similar brewed coffee output even with diverse methods.
Is Pre-ground Coffee Cheaper?
So does that make pre-ground coffee less expensive? Take a look at the rates of these two coffee types; most brands market pre-ground coffee as lower in price due to low-quality beans and other factors.
Consequently, most inexpensive on-sale pre-ground coffee is lower in quality. ACS points out a possible risk of additives in pre-ground coffee. And since it has a lot of demand, people make more at a lower price.
Although pre-ground coffee costs less for transportation and storage than whole beans, it would never be as quality as the latter option. It might be costly at first for a home grind, but the results are satisfying.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Is It Cheaper To Grind Your Own Coffee
1. Which Type Of Whole Bean Coffee Is The Best To Begin With?
If you have not had much experience using whole bean coffee, we recommend beginning with a single-origin type of coffee. It lets you try different flavors from many regions to find the taste you like.
After determining the flavors you are into, you may consider moving on to more complex blends of whole bean coffee that include mixed flavors. Remember to experience a single-origin coffee first.
2. What Type Of Coffee Grinder Should You Use?
The best news is you do not need to spend too much on a coffee grinder to properly grind your own coffee beans at home. Take a look at these affordable options and consider the most suitable one for you.
Electric Blade Grinder
An electric blade grinder would be one of the cheapest choices you can get on the market. $25 is the lowest price you will have to pay for this grinder, but its biggest problem is the slightly inconsistent final grind.
Even if you aim for a medium-coarse grind, you may probably get a fine grind or something inapplicable to your brewing method. That is why experienced coffee lovers do not recommend a blade grinder.
Manual Burr Grinder
This is a great alternative to a blade grinder. It only costs you about $20 with a crank for you to grind the beans manually. It is good to invest a bit more for a more fancy unit, but that will be unnecessary.
Electric Burr Grinder
Suppose you do not have much time to grind your own coffee manually; opt for an electric burr grinder instead. A good one shall charge you $60 with a convenient button to quickly obtain desired results.
After reading this article discussing “is it cheaper to grind your own coffee?“, we believe you have understood that home ground coffee is cheaper and more quality than pre-packaged, pre-ground coffee.
To get the best out of coffee beans, we recommend trying to purchase and grind whole beans at home. Nothing is better than a fresh and flavorful newly ground coffee cup. Thank you for reading.
Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).