The reason so many coffee drinkers and professionals are so adamant about freshly grinding coffee is a culprit behind the demise of good flavor in many foods and beverages: oxidation. We won’t go into the nitty gritty of the process, but it can be responsible for staleness and off-flavors in everything from bread to coffee. In the case of coffee, grinding increases a bean’s exposed surface area, which gives oxidants much greater access to oxidize the coffee. While this process eventually happens with whole bean coffee as well, it’s greatly expedited once coffee is ground.
Now, back to our daring and selfless acts of journalism in the name of coffee. In the first 3 days after grinding the coffee at Schuil’s cupping lab and bringing it home to brew, its flavor, body, and sweetness held up remarkably well. An unsung benefit of purchasing pre-ground coffee is the quality of commercial grinders coffee companies often use, compared to lower quality grinders often used at home. However, after day 3 the coffee began tasting noticeably thinner and one-noted, losing much of the complexity and nuance traditionally present in the cup. After a week, the coffee also began to taste less sweet, and it acquired a new sharpness in its acidity. At the end of our trial, the coffee was by no means bad or undrinkable. However, compared to its depth of sweetness and complex flavors present when it’s brewed freshly ground, the benefits are clear.
Lastly, in addition to maintaining fresh flavor, freshly grinding coffee at home allows you to make small adjustments to your grind to optimize the coffee’s flavor. Having a grinder at home makes it possible to use a range of different brewing devices that require different grind sizes, allowing you to easily go from a french press one morning to an aeropress the next. Whenever it feels right for you to take the next step in your coffee game, Schuil has you covered with one of the best reasonably priced at-home grinders available.
BONUS: now through June 30th receive a free blade grinder when you spend $75 online or in-store (use code: FREEGRINDER2021 at checkout when shopping online)!