Whole Bean vs Ground Coffee: Is the Debate Over?

Whole Bean vs Ground Coffee: Is the Debate Over?
Ahh, coffee. It's one of life's simplest pleasures and a morning ritual for many. But what kind of coffee should you be using? Should you go with pre-ground or whole beans?
Let’s take a look at the debate between ground and whole beans and figure out which one is best for you.
whole coffee beans and ground coffee beans, freshly roasted coffee

What is the Difference?

Let's start by breaking down what the differences are between whole beans and ground coffee. Whole beans are roasted and processed coffee cherry seeds. In the roasting process, the raw green bean is transformed into a delicious, aromatic delight that can be enjoyed in its purest form.
On the other hand, pre-ground coffee is convenient and less expensive but lacks some of the freshness and flavour of freshly ground beans.
whole coffee beans
ground coffee

Why choose Whole Beans?

If you’re looking for freshness, flavour, and aroma, then Whole beans are definitely the way to go. It’s no secret that coffee starts to lose its flavour once it’s ground — so if you want to get the most flavor out of your morning cup, then whole beans are your best bet.
Plus, grinding your own coffee is surprisingly satisfying and makes for a great morning ritual.
whole beans in a bag


  • Longer shelf life
  • Stays fresher for longer
  • Better taste & aromas 
  • More Choice
  • Opportunity for experimenting and having fun


    • Takes a bit longer to brew a coffee
    • More expensive than pre-ground
    • Need more investment in equipment
    • Uncertainty of grind size - the wrong grind can ruin a brew 
    • More room for error

    The case for Pre-Ground

    For those who don't want to invest too much time in their daily coffee routine, pre-ground beans make more sense. Pre-Ground coffee is an easy and convenient option that lets you whip up a cup in no time at all — plus it usually costs less than buying whole beans since it doesn’t need to be ground.
    However, this convenience comes at a price — pre-ground coffee tends to have fewer flavors since oxidation sets in quickly when the bean has already been ground.


    • Faster cup of coffee and less hassle
    • No need for lots of brewing equipment 
    • Less choice – not as overwhelming for beginners
    • More consistent coffee 
    • Coarser grinds for traditional coffee makers


    • Shorter shelve life
    • Coarser grinds mean limited brewing options
    • Goes stale faster
    • Not as fresh
    • Fewer flavours & aromas
    ground coffees, french press, filter, espresso, whole beans

    Although at Bailies, we can grind your beans in three ways.

    1. Fine for espresso.
    2. Medium for filter.
    3. Coarse for French press.

      Things to consider.  

      If you're serious about taking your coffee game to the next level, then investing in good-quality grinder is a must! Sure, your average Mr. Coffee might come with an attached grinder, but it'll never be able to emulate the experience one can get from a top-notch grinder - if you want something truly special, then you've got to put the right tools in place.
      After all, specialty coffee isn't just about beans anymore – it's also about what grinds them.
      Read - How to get the most from your V60 homebrew. 

      Why we love Whole Beans!

      So there you have it—the great debate between ground and whole beans! Ultimately, it comes down to preference; if freshness and flavor are important to you then go with whole beans, but if convenience is your priority then pre-ground will do just fine.
      Whichever option you choose, enjoy every sip!
      Read here about why its vital to invest in a good quality grinder. 
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