A large number of people all over the world have a liking for coffee. Every morning people wake up to making their adored cup of coffee to keep them going.
Coffee is also one of the healthiest drinks one can have. Some of the benefits include low in calories and rich in antioxidants, a boost for mental alertness and cognitive functions.
In this post I’ll walk you through what is ground coffee, types of ground coffee available and the difference between its commercial types.
Table of Contents
- What is Ground Coffee?
- Coffee Grind Sizes
- What is better? Fresh ground or pre-ground?
- Should you grind your own coffee?
- Is ground coffee good for plants?
- How can I reuse ground coffee?
What is Ground Coffee?
Ground coffee is made from whole coffee beans which are then grounded, packed, branded and sold commercially in supermarkets .
Ground coffee is easily available and very convenient to use:
- Add hot water to ground coffee
- Steep for a few minutes
- Strain and drink.
Difference between Whole Beans and Ground Coffee
While many people would choose ground coffee because of its convenience, some arbiter of tastes would prefer whole beans for a better coffee experience. In general, whole beans are grounded just a few moments before brewing which allows the taste of the coffee to be more composite and fresh as compared to packed ground coffee.
Difference between Instant Coffee and Ground Coffee
Instant coffee and ground coffee both share a similar origin the only difference being the way they are processed. Instant coffee is a cup of coffee that’s already been brewed and has been processed and preserved in packaging. You can read about all the stages of processing here. Ground coffee is not processed beyond the usual steps of washing and roasting before being packaged and shipped to a coffee shop where it begins its natural deterioration process.
Coffee Grind Sizes
Ground coffee comes in several granularities, depending on what kind of coffee you’re wanting to make.
There are several grind sizes for coffee, and each of them is used to serve or create a different recipe to be enjoyed.
The granularity range from very small, almost like a powder to the coarse ground. The finer ones are Turkish and the Expresso while the coarse finds its usage in preparing coffee through a French Press or for Cold brew
Whichever ground coffee size you choose depends on the coffee recipe and use since grind size does dictate the taste of your coffee.
Here is a grind guide to making your coffee experience better:
|TURKISH||The finest grind, as fine as kitchen flour|
|ESPRESSO MACHINE||Fine grind, slightly finer than table salt|
|AEROPRESS||It is slightly finer than sand particles|
|SOUTH INDIAN FILTER||This type is native to the south of India.It is medium to fine grind, suitable for coffee filters with small holes in it|
|MOKA POT||Medium fine texture for stovetop espresso machines, also good for making a single cup pour-over|
|COFFEE FILTER||Medium-Coarse grind like rough sand. It is used for drip filter machines|
|INVERTED AEROPRESS||Medium coarse grind, suitable for 1-2 minute brew times.|
|COLD BREW||Coarse grind which helps in easy filtration with great taste|
|FRENCH PRESS||Very coarse grind, quite similar to sea salt|
What is better? Fresh ground or pre-ground?
Fresher form of coffee is recommended for a great brew. Needless to say that freshly ground coffee will give you a fresh cup of coffee which will be more appetizing.
Ground coffee is subjected to contamination. When whole coffee beans are grounded they lose 70% of their aroma within 20 minutes after being grounded. Exposure to air increases the rate of oxidation of the aromatic compounds. Coffee flavour can be greatly influenced by moisture. A solution to this problem is to grind your coffee before making it.
The roasting date is mentioned in most coffee bags, but not many tell the date the beans were ground on.
The lot number and lot date and help you understand the date the coffee was ground on.
If you are regular coffee drinkers, your ground-up coffee preparation should be kept in an airtight container. You can use this preparation in order to serve you for not more than two weeks. If this time frame is too short for you, opting for whole bean coffee is a better and more cost-efficient option but would definitely require effort on a daily basis.
What is coffee bloom?
When the coffee is fresh, it will make a foam when hot water is poured on the ground coffee. This is because the coffee suddenly expands to some extend releasing some gases, which interact with the natural fats in the coffee, and produce the foam. The trapped CO2 inside the coffee bean is purged out and is replaced with water.
Ground coffee-producing foam is a good and trustworthy sign that the coffee you’re using is fresh. This is visible with pour-over coffee and with French press since other brewing methods don’t show you the coffee itself only the brew.
Should you grind your own coffee?
Yes. If you have time in hand and willingness to put in a little effort to make your coffee then you should definitely ground your whole bean coffee.
Every morning after you wake up, grinding your coffee may sound a mundane and tedious task but if you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, then you can at least make an effort to ground it the night before (right before going to bed) and locking it into an airtight container (like those tiny tea caddies).
Using whole beans and grinding them has its own benefits. If you are grinding your own coffee you get a whole new level of flavors that are better than the conventional pre-ground coffee available in the market. It also adds a sense of freshness to your drink. Grinding allows you to extract the soluble compounds from the coffee beans effectively which gives you a distinct taste and aroma in each cup you make.
But a small disclaimer to this would be, that in order to enjoy a scrumptious cup of coffee you need to have skills to calibrate the grind size depending on the method you are going to use to brew your coffee.
When preparing your own coffee, you need to know how to determine the correct grind size.
Here is a grind size guide to help you identify the grind size that you are making.
|Extra coarse||Comparable to small pebbles|
|Coarse||Distinct and chunky particles that is similar to coarse sea salt|
|Medium||Grind is similar to coarse beach sand|
|Fine||Feels like sugar when you rub it between your fingers however looks smooth|
|Extra fine||Not as fine as kitchen flour or powdered sugar but has some grit feel in its texture|
|Turkish grind||Almost comparable to kitchen flour|
Ground coffee is relatively cheaper and does not require any special equipment or even skill to prepare.
Buying ground coffee saves you the extra cost of a coffee grinder whose cost range between $10 and $1,000. Also, if you want the right grind you need to have knowledge and skills to prepare it. Hence, people who simply need an easy cup skip the hassle by just buying a pack of ground coffee.
Is ground coffee good for plants?
Ground coffee is enriched with vitamins and minerals which help in the growth of the plant. But remember not to cover the plant with a think layer of ground coffee as an excess of caffeine content can be harmful to the plant.
Is leftover ground coffee reusable?
In the leftover ground coffee, the caffeine is mostly gone and there are enough nutrients in the grounds to allow them to be used as bio-degradable compost.
But the nitrogen contained within coffee is mostly not present in the leftover ground coffee.
Try to mix some compost or plant soil or leafmold with the coffee before sprinkling it on and around the plants.
Use very thin layers to avoid any sensitivity that your plant may have to the mixture. If you’ve got plants like blueberries and azalea that love acidity, they should be fine.
So some leftover ground coffee can always be used to help in plant growth.
How can I reuse ground coffee?
Below are a few cases where you can use the leftover ground coffee:
- Compost or slow-release fertilizer for your plants.
- The grounds can be used as a body scrub.
- Grounds can be mixed into handmade candles or soap for a good scent.
Knowledge about ground coffee and all its different types is a must-have for an ardent coffee lover. Additionally, you have also been enlightened about the different types of coffee grind sizes, how they’re used, and even how to reuse ground coffee.