MOST coffee roasters sell ground coffee reluctantly. The reason for this is that ground coffee loses flavour far faster than whole beans.
The surface area of ground coffee is far greater than that of a whole bean and flavour loss is directly proportionate to exposure to air.
Vacuum packing may slow the flavour degradation a little but once the pack is opened, it’s pretty much downhill from there.
If you have no choice but to purchase ground coffee, try and consume this as soon as possible after opening.
In only a few days, much of the original bean flavour will be lost.
The alternative is to buy whole beans and to grind these at home. This said, the typical blade grinder present in most kitchens is not recommended for coffee.
This mean machine merely pulverises the delicate bean and delivers an inconsistent grind size which can result in bitterness and other unwanted flavour elements.
Throw it away as far as coffee goes and look out for a burr grinder locally or on the many online portals.
Home grinders are not too expensive and will undoubtedly lift your coffee experience to new levels.
You love coffee but the expensive machinery is a bridge too far? I’ll share a secret – when we cup coffee in our laboratory we push aside all the expensive machinery and use a simple plunger. Often referred to as a French Press or a Bodum, this brewing system costs very little and consistently delivers a good brew. We recommend a medium roast profile for this method.
Alan Hawkins is a the chief roaster of Cutman & Hawk Coffees and founder of the East London Coffee Co. www.elcoffee.co.za