ground coffee beans how to get the best grind

Ground coffee beans – the only guide you will ever need

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What are ground coffee beans?

Ground coffee beans are known as ground coffee.

You know, the usual stuff you can find on the shelves of your grocery store or online sellers pages. Ground coffee is made from ground beans.

But the main difference is it comes pre-ground. Meaning, you won’t have to buy a grinder or take your beans to the local coffee shop and get them ground. All you have to do is open the bag and start making your coffee.

You will be sacrificing a thing or two, but more on that later. Ground coffee beans are popular, available, and easy to use. Not everyone is a coffee aficionado, and some people just want an easy way to prepare their coffee. Bagged ground coffee is the perfect solution for them.


Why do we even grind beans?

If you want to make an omelet, you gotta crack the eggs. The same goes for when you make a coffee. Making coffee is a process of extracting the flavors with water. However, as the flavors are inside the bean, boiling beans in hot water just don’t cut it. Beans are too hard, and water doesn’t get far. But, if you grind the coffee beans, you are literary transforming one bean into thousand pieces. Thus, water has more space needed for extracting. 

With that in mind, we found a recipe that claims you can make coffee without grinding the beans. Yes, someone made coffee without grinding the beans. OMG! How is that possible, and why do we even bother grinding? We’ll tell you why.

An average coffee bean has a surface area of cca 0.5 square inch. When you grind that bean on a fine grind, the surface area is now 500 square inches for the same bean. Of course, the extraction is much faster and efficient. That said, you technically can make cold brew with whole beans, but you will need days and days. With hot water, you will need hours of cooking the beans. So give it a try when you go camping and forget to bring a grinder. The usual result is a weak fluid that vaguely reminds us of coffee.

Pop-art illustrations of coffee beans.

How does grind affect coffee taste?

Or, why do different grind sizes exist? There is more than one way to prepare your cup of joe. All the coffee-making methods have different gadgets, extraction methods, and even water temperatures. But, here is a rule of thumb. If the extraction process is short, you will need a fine grind. As the water doesn’t have much time, the coffee’s surface is must be available for extraction.

Otherwise, coffee will be under-extracted. Fine (and superfine) grinds are mostly used for espresso machines and Turkish coffee. If your extraction takes a longer time, you will need a coarser grind to prevent over-extraction. The water will find it harder to penetrate the larger coffee particles. An example of longer extraction is cold brew.

The grind consistency matters as much as the ground level. If you use blade mills, your beans will be ground in different sizes, from half a bean to fine dust. So, a part of your coffee will be under-extracted, and the second part will be over-extracted. If you grind your beans at home, we suggest you use a top-quality burr grinder. Only with a good grinder can you achieve consistent ground coffee beans. 

Electric grinder machine with roasted coffee beans

Is it better to buy ground coffee or beans?

Ah, the question of all questions. So, let’s compare these two. With a list, of course. We love lists.


When you buy whole coffee beans, your choices are almost endless. You can choose the grind size, depending on your preferences and the coffee maker you are having. And your burr grinder, of course. So, with one bag of beans, you can try all the different grind sizes. With pre-ground coffee, you don’t have that kind of choice. All the pre-ground coffee has the same default grind size. Usually, it’s a fine grind. So, with ground coffee beans, you are doomed to a drip coffee maker, usually.

Simplicity of use

Pre-ground coffee has its advantages, and one of them is the simplicity of use. When you are in a morning rush or just crave a quick coffee fix, just grab a spoon and some hot water. You don’t have to grind the beans every time you want some caffeine. This is especially helpful if you are living solo or don’t drink that much coffee. Coffee beans will take a bit of your time. The grinding part can be annoying, especially if you drink more coffee than average or live in a multi-person household.



If you are comparing the same brands, the pre-ground coffee is a bit cheaper. For instance, Starbucks sells its Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee for $19,90.  The same coffee, but the whole bean is sold for $30,84. So yes, the price is different. But, if you compare whole beans versus ground coffee beans in general, the story is different. A lot of bad beans find their way into pre-ground coffee, and that’s why pre-ground coffee is generally cheaper. And that’s just the price of the coffee. Good coffee equipment can be expensive. For instance, top-quality burr grinder or home coffee roaster are great gadgets, but not everyone has the space or the money for that. With pre-ground coffee, all you need is a spoon and a kitchen scale.


The taste is the whole point of the coffee. If you are just yearning for caffeine, you could take guarana pills. Taste is the most important reason why people buy whole beans. Pre-ground coffee will never have the same taste as freshly ground one. There is no point in arguing there. If you want your cup of joe to be flavorful, you need fresh beans, and you need to grind them. 


Should I grind coffee beans daily?

If you have the time and space, a daily ritual of grinding the beans will provide you with an extraordinary coffee taste every time. The best beans are fresh beans. Freshly ground coffee beans will make your cup of joe taste better than the commercial stuff. If you want to the extra mile, get yourself one of those small handmills. They are cheap, reliable and don’t depend on electricity. Pick a handmill with a container size large enough for your usual serving of coffee. Grinding the beans by using your hands will make you enjoy your beverage even more. If you can’t devote 5 minutes of your day to grind the beans, we understand. Grind your beans once every few days or once every week. But be sure to store the grounds in an airtight container to preserve the freshness.

Is grinding coffee beans worth it?

Grinding coffee is most definitely worth it. You are the master of your brew. You pick the origin of the beans, and you choose the roast level. If you have your home roaster, you can even roast your green beans the way you prefer. In the end, you grind the beans on the ground level you want. We will recommend grinding beans to anyone, anywhere. That little extra time grinding beans takes is worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

What is the ratio of coffee beans to ground coffee?

It’s time for science to answer. Of course, we used trial by test. You can do it too. Prepare:

  • A small precise kitchen scale
  • Two cups
  • Ground coffee
  • Coffee beans

We filled one cup with whole beans and the other with ground coffee. Surprisingly, they weighed almost the same. Don’t believe your eyes when it comes to measuring coffee. Use a kitchen scale, always. A further observation got us these data:

  1. One cup of coffee is 8 ounces. That’s a standard measure for a coffee cup.
  2. To fill one cup, you need 82 grams of coffee, and that is cca 620 beans.
  3. One single coffee bean weighs 0,1325 grams or 0.0046738 ounces.
  4. One tablespoon of coffee is cca 39 beans.

Of course, the data may vary, but the variation is too small to make any significant difference. And we were bored.


How to store ground coffee beans?

Coffee goes stale faster than you think. Especially ground coffee. So, here are some general rules for storing ground coffee beans:

  • Ground coffee beans absorb odor very easily. Store them separate from the other groceries.
  • Hide your coffee grounds from light, humidity, air,  and temperature extremes.
  • It is always better to buy smaller batches of ground coffee. If you buy a larger bag, divide it into smaller portions. Keep those portions in a fridge. The container must be airtight to prevent the loss of flavor.

Can I use ground coffee beans as instant coffee?

Yes, and you will achieve almost similar results. If you add a couple of spoons of ground coffee beans to a cup of hot water, you are mimicking what the French press does. But, you need to look after a few things. First, you must add more coffee than usual, as the extraction is weaker this way. And second, do not drink the last sip. As you won’t be using any coffee filter, all the coffee grounds will be left on the bottom of your cup. And a mouth full of grounds is not the best way to start your day. This type of brewing coffee is called ‘Warsaw-style’. You will achieve the best results with the finest grind level you can find. Some coffee houses, like Starbucks, even sell this dusty type of coffee. It is often advertised as a substitute for instant coffee.


Ground coffee beans FAQ

What is the cheapest coffee bean?

Robusta. Robusta is generally much cheaper than Arabica beans. The reason is simple: Robusta coffee is easy to cultivate. The Robusta bushes are stronger than Arabica ones. They can endure direct sunlight and extremely high temperatures. The bushes are also more resilient to diseases and pests. Thus, the yearly yield from Robusta is much higher and the prices are, naturally, lower. That doesn’t mean Robusta is bad by default. Both Arabica and Robusta have their advantages and disadvantages.

Can you drink ground coffee without filtering?

The term you are searching for is immersion brewing, and it is a completely standard procedure. French press, Aeropress, and Turkish coffee are all unfiltered. You just need to wait for all the grounds to fall on the bottom of your cup. And remember never to take that last sip from the cup. 

When do the ground coffee beans go bad?

An unopened, vacuum-sealed bag of ground coffee beans is good to go for 12 months. When you open that bag, the aromas and flavors will be lost in the next few weeks if you store the grounds properly. If you open the bag and leave it open, your beans will go bad in a day.

Can you use ground coffee beans for Dalgona coffee?

Dalgona coffee or whipped coffee is still a hot new trend in the coffee world. The TikTok is overwhelmed with videos of making this fluffy coffee. And all the recipes include instant coffee powder. But, if you have a fine ground coffee, you can use it as a substitute. So, take a bowl and put two tablespoons of finely ground coffee, two tablespoons of sugar, and some hot water. Whip those three ingredients until they become fluffy, like cotton candy. Now, take your favorite coffee cup and fill the half with cold milk. Grab a spoon and top the milk with the whipped coffee. Voila! Your Dalgona coffee is ready for drinking.

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