Maybe you want to grind your own coffee beans, but you’re not sure if it’s worth it or not. Or, maybe you want to try and save a few dollars, and you think that buying coffee beans in bulk and grinding them yourself is cheaper than buying pre-ground coffee.
You’ve most likely walked through your coffee aisle in your local grocery store and sensed the difference between the coffee that was pre-ground and the one that comes already ground in the package.
Is it cheaper to grind your own coffee?
In the long run, it is cheaper to grind your own coffee and buy whole beans. But, you have to understand the factors that go into determining why it’s less expensive in the long run over the short term, especially if you have to buy equipment.
We’re going to go over the difference between coffee you grind at home and coffee you buy already ground, costs, and dive more in-depth about coffee beans as a whole. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which one is best for you.
Pre-Ground Coffee Versus Coffee You Grind
When you buy pre-ground coffee, you’re getting coffee that was ground before it was packaged and stored on the shelf, you have to understand that it comes from whole coffee beans that are already ground down to make it easier to transport and store.
However, they typically use low-quality coffee beans, and they can contain more fillers than can impact the final taste of the coffee.
Also, once the coffee gets roasted, the beans will release gasses that begin to break down the bean’s freshness and flavor, and pre-grinding your coffee beans, even when you grind them right at the store before bringing them home, can accelerate this process even more.
You release the coffee bean’s oils when you grind them, and they start to evaporate and cause the coffee to have less flavor.
You have to also consider that every time you open your coffee container or bag to get coffee, it lets oxygen in which causes more of your coffee beans’ oils to evaporate every time.
This results in more flavor and freshness loss. But, since a whole coffee bean is a lot larger, it can take the oxygen a lot longer to penetrate the beans to help them keep their freshness and flavor longer.
With any coffee that comes already ground, you also don’t get to pick the coffee’s grind size, and this can be a problem, depending on the type of brewing method or coffee maker you have.
For example, an espresso machine typically needs a fine grind, and a more coarse grind can stop the water from circulating through the grounds to result in a weak cup of espresso.
When you buy a whole coffee bean, you can control the grind size, and this means that your coffee can have the most flavor possible.
It also opens the door for more coffee types, especially if you have a few coffee makers available.
The Cost to Grind Your Coffee Versus Purchasing it Ground
The quality of the beans used is one of the biggest factors that determine your coffee cost. Because your whole coffee beans tend to use high-quality beans, it can cost more to buy them than it does to buy already ground coffee.
However, there are some pre-ground, high-quality coffee types that cost more than whole coffee beans.
You also have to consider that a lot of coffee that is already ground typically uses low-quality beans, fillers, or additives that can contribute to the lower cost.
It also gets made in a greater volume, and this can help keep the prices low.
Your coffee’s weight can affect the price, and coffee that is gound is smaller and weighs less than whole bean coffee does to ship, and this can reflect back on the price.
Any whole bean coffee needs a faster shipping service to preserve the freshness, and this can impact the price.
The brand is another factor that dictates the price because many brands tend to price both pre-ground and whole bean coffee the same price, but some have different price tiers.
If you don’t currently own a coffee grinder, you’ll have to buy one, but they range from $10.00 up to over $1,000. So you can pick one that fits your budget.
In the end, whether buying ground coffee or grinding your own is cheaper will depend on the freshness preference and your tastes.
If you want to get the best experience possible with your coffee, you may pay more for whole coffee beans upfront. But, they’ll last longer, and this makes them more cost-efficient in the long run.
Information About Coffee Beans
Coffee beans come from the coffee plant as small, red fruit. When they harvest the beans, they remove the fruit’s exterior to give way to the interior portion, and this is where the coffee beans are.
The coffee beans have two halves, and they get processed into whole coffee beans.
You can get whole bean coffee blends or single-origin whole bean coffee beans when you shop, and single-origin beans come from a specific region.
Since they only come from one location, they have distinct characteristics and pronounced flavors that are unique to the area.
South American and Central America are two of the most prominent regions for this type of coffee beans.
The coffees from here get sourced from Costa Rica, Columbia, and Brazil to have hints of bright flavors and a more mild flavor profile to them.
Arabia and Africa also produce notable single-origin beans that have a very rich, exotic winy taste with a host of fruity undertones.
You can also get Pacific region single-origin coffee beans, and they give you a more smooth, savory flavor with an earthy undertone.
There are whole coffee bean blends that have several single-origin beans in the mix, and they try to combine different beans to enhance one particular single-origin bean. They also work well to create different flavors with undertones.
Coffee beans are green and soft when they get harvested, and they can have a grass-like scent to them.
They get roasted into the traditional brown beans with a rich aroma that you associate with coffee. Coffee beans get roasted until they turn dark, light, or medium-colored, and this also impacts your flavors.
Dark roast beans are typically used to make espresso, and they get roasted until they’re almost black with a long roasting process.
This longer roasting process can also create an oil sheen on the surface of the beans, and they get a very bitter taste with a smoky flavor. They also have less caffeine than medium or light-roast beans.
Coffee beans with a medium roast have a dark brown coloring to them, and they don’t have any oils sitting on the surface.
The medium roast allows you to get a more well-rounded flavor profile with a lighter scent.
Medium-roast coffee does have a higher acidity level, and they have higher caffeine content. Light roast coffee has a nutty flavor with a pale brown look, and they have no oils raised out of the bean during the roasting process.
They also retain the most caffeine out of any of the roasts, and they can have a slightly more acidic taste.
In the long run, it’s cheaper to grind your own coffee than it is to buy it already ground. However, the brand, weight, and flavor profile you want will impact the price.
If you want the best experience possible every time you have your coffee, pick out a good roast, grind it yourself, and make fresh coffee in the morning.