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Worth It or Not Worth It: Freshly Ground Coffee Beans

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Does grinding coffee beans daily make a difference? 


We here at Food52 love coffee—like, really, love it. Coffee percolates away in a Chemex in the staff kitchen. And at any given point throughout the day, mugs litter tables and desks, besmirching them with a coffee stain or two. 

More: Can this flowchart predict your coffee order?


Of course, we want the best cup o' joe possible, which is why we asked if it's really worth it to grind your coffee beans the day you use them. Sure, grinding beans takes just a few seconds out of your morning, but this seems infinitely longer when you're rushing to get to work on time, feed the dog, and throw on some semblance of an outfit (just us?). Your answers, though, proved the daily grind is worth the time.

Worth It

  • Food52 Assistant Editor Caroline Lange says, “I think so! Though sometimes I'll grind enough for just a few days and keep it in a jar.”
  • Nancy admits while she doesn’t always grind her own beans, grinding them right beforehand does yield a more flavorful cup.
  • PieceofLayerCake compares the flavor of freshly ground coffee beans to that of freshly ground spices—meaning, it makes a huge difference.
  • Hillary Reeves finds the pre-ground stuff to be lacking in flavor.
  • Food52’s Product Manager Michael Hoffman emphatically states, “It's worth doing within *minutes* of when you're using them.”
  • “My husband and I are in the grind-right-before-brewing camp,” cookbookchick says.
  • An electric coffee mill makes it easy for boulangere to get her coffee grind on. 

Not Worth It 

  • “I want my coffee ready to go as easily as possible,” Susan W says. So she buys whole beans and grinds about a quarter of a bag at a time.
  • Sdebrango doesn’t have time to grind it fresh, and instead opts to grind enough for several days at a time.
  • Paseo gave up “grinding my own when I really could not notice enough of a difference to justify the counter space.”
  • Amysarah says in a perfect world, yes, but “most weekday mornings I’m fine without.”

Do you grind you coffee fresh daily or do it ahead? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: your burning questions, coffee, coffee beans