June 07, 2019 3 min read

Pre-Ground Coffee: A love/hate relationship

preground coffee


Freshly-squeezed orange juice is better than juice from concentrate, fresh herbs are better than dried, so why wouldn’t freshly-ground coffee be better than pre-ground?

Just like the half-eaten bag of cereal in your pantry, coffee beans can go stale and lose their character.

Pre-ground coffee is undeniably convenient, but pre-ground coffee sacrifices the aroma and flavour found in a freshly-ground, freshly-brewed cup of coffee.


What is Pre-Ground coffee?

Like it sounds, pre-ground coffee is whole coffee beans that have been ground before they were packaged and shipped to be sold. 

That means that it has been ground for at least a few days before you open the bag to brew it at home.


Is that bad?

Not exactly, but it isn’t good, either. 

When coffee beans are exposed to air, they oxidize. Oxidation happens much more quickly after the beans have been ground.

Oxidation is a chemical process of atoms losing electrons and chemical property changes. Think of an apple slice turning brown or metal rusting. 

Coffee, like browning apple slices and rusting metal, oxidizes, too. 

When coffee oxidizes, it releases the flavour and aroma that makes it desirable.

This is okay if it’s brewed immediately.

But, like a browning, sliced apple, it becomes less desirable the longer it remains ground and unused.

Pre-ground coffee tends to be flat, dull, and generally unappealing while coffee made from freshly-ground beans is much livelier and more aromatic.


But it’s so convenient!

It’s absolutely convenient, but, depending on your brewing method, it’s the wrong grind, anyway. 

Not only is pre-ground coffee less vivid in both taste and aroma than freshly-ground coffee, but pre-ground coffee only comes in one grind.

Pre-ground coffee will only ever be ground once for its intended purpose for example plunger ground coffee won’t work in your home espresso machine as its too coarse.

Remember: the size of the grind is just as important to the quality of your brew as the coffee beans themselves.

If you grind your coffee yourself, you can control the size and ensure it’s perfect for your favourite brewing method. 


Coffee shops have industrial grinders. Are home grinders available?

When you visit our shop, the whirring sound you hear behind the counter in the grinder. 

We grind coffee fresh for every batch and brew to bring you the freshest, most aromatic cup of coffee. 

But freshly-ground coffee doesn’t have to be a luxurious coffee shop experience-you can grind coffee at home, too.


What do I need to grind coffee beans at home?

Grinding coffee at home does require extra time and equipment but it doesn’t have to be expensive and the results are well worth your effort.

There is a large range of electronic and manual grinders on the market at many price points. 

Hand grinders require more effort but are often the most accurate available for the price.

Electronic grinders can be expensive but are easy to use and require less time and effort than a hand grinder.

Whichever you choose, there are many options available to suit your financial needs and personal preferences. 

Grinding coffee at home is simple and brings the coffee shop experience to your own kitchen.

Once you try grinding your own coffee, you’ll never look back at stale, pre-ground coffee. 


Buy Hario Hand Grinder Here

Buy Rhinowares Hand Grinder Here

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