Nothing beats freshly ground coffee. Coffee lovers and connoisseurs may differ when it comes to preference and taste. Some prefer buying whole beans while some prefer pre-ground coffee. But regardless of preference and taste, one true fact remains the same --- freshly ground coffee is still king.
This article is a love letter to freshly ground coffee. It will discuss the science behind how freshly ground coffee keeps people entranced, deeply satisfied, and craving for more.
Coffee beans require special care. They can quickly go stale after roasting. A coffee bean grinder plays a special role because it prevents coffee from going stale at a faster rate. This in turn results in the longer preservation of taste and aroma that is found in coffee oils. There are vacuum-packed ground coffee available in the market that promises premium preservation. However, those can never come close to the freshness, taste, and aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. The main reason why pre-ground coffee can never come close to freshly ground coffee is the fact that it undergoes quality degradation through moisture, oxidation, and CO2 depletion.
Read on to dive deep and learn more about fresh ground coffee and what makes it supremely better.
Oxidation, moisture, and CO2 depletion play a big part in maintaining the peak taste and aroma of coffee. Each factor greatly affects the rawness of coffee beans that gives it the perfect kick that makes coffee lovers crave for more and more. Each factor will highlight how having freshly ground coffee is still the way to go.
Do you notice how apples turn dark when they’re sliced open and not eaten instantly? From a fresh light yellow shade, its color gets darker and darker by the minute when exposed to open air. This process is called oxidation and coffee beans are not exempted from it.
Oxidation is a natural process that happens when an element is introduced to oxygen. When this happens, oxygen seeps through the chemical make-up of an element and the element loses an electron or a former part or essence of it. When this happens to coffee, it loses most of its unique taste and aroma. A coffee bean is made of different compounds and some are unstable. When a compound is unstable, it can undergo instant changes similar to that of an apple, but on a microscopic scale.
This reaction is fascinating because it is also that process that produces the addictive aroma of coffee. This process is so important, that it is even utilized by coffee enthusiasts to come up with coffee with different flavor, character, and aroma. Freshly ground coffee is better because freshly ground beans still have their rich aroma and flavor intact. Compared to pre-ground coffee that has undergone a very long ongoing process of oxidation, a freshly ground coffee has all the depth, richness, flavor, and aroma of coffee beans.
For a coffee bean to be of premium quality, it must still have a bit of its original moisture intact. And this amount of moisture is essential because going below or above the desired rate can have beans over-dried or under-dried. Moisture keeps the necessary oils that give coffee beans its addictive character, flavor, richness, and depth. These oils are the ones that are soluble in water and gives you the very luxury of experiencing coffee beans in liquid form.
These oils can be affected by bad atmospheric moisture. An air-conditioned room can effectively degrade coffee bean quality if the room is humid and without traces of moisture. This is why pre-ground coffee can never come close to freshly ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee has already lost a significant amount of oils that bring forth the true deep flavor of coffee beans.
This factor makes freshly ground coffee extra special because the deep flavor and richness in oils still remain. Upon grinding, you’d immediately taste the preserved rawness and depth of the coffee beans’ flavor through the oils that were perfectly preserved through moisture.
Similar to the maintenance of moisture, carbon dioxide depletion is essential because it plays a large role in the transfer of oils from the coffee beans to your hot brew. The very moment that a coffee undergoes grinding, it loses its carbon dioxide content. Every act of grinding releases carbon dioxide in the air. The more that it experiences grinding, the more that it loses carbon dioxide that helps in the transfer of oils that packs all the flavor and goodness.
The longer coffee beans wait to be brewed, as is the case when it is pre-ground and stored in shelves, the larger the amount of carbon dioxide it loses. This is why freshly ground coffee tastes premium because you actually get to brew it right after grinding. This results in a deeply flavorful cup of coffee that still has all the oils from raw coffee beans. This is because of the good amounts of carbon dioxide that effected the smooth transfer of richness and flavor. Carbon dioxides are like vehicles, without it, oils from coffee beans cannot be effectively transferred and enjoyed in your favorite coffee cup. It will not matter how much oil a coffee bean has with out-of-this-world depth and flavor, if it does not have the right amount of carbon dioxide to allow the transfer, things will still be futile.
Hence, coffee lovers, connoisseurs, and enthusiasts know that in order to create a delicious cup of coffee, a careful dance between maintaining moisture and the right amount of carbon dioxide is essential.
Now that you know the science and truth behind the magical experience of having freshly ground coffee, will you ever turn your back? Now you know that the only way to truly experience coffee in all its glory is in immediately brewing it right after grinding. It is a religious experience that we highly recommend for you to experience daily. You deserve it!