If you love coffee and consider yourself a coffee lover, then you appreciate the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Freshly brewed coffee is something that universally unites us, and wherever you are when you smell it, the aroma takes hold of your senses.
And let’s be honest, we love that smell whether it was brewed in a French press, in a Kitchen-aid coffee brewer, in a Behmor, or an Italian Moka. We would like to think the same of the taste of coffee, but that’s not the case. Once roasted, the taste of coffee can still be altered by many factors including when coffee was ground before it was consumed.
Does it really matter when we grind coffee? In short, yes! It matters because a roasted coffee bean contains most of its oils and sugars inside that are released as soon as it is ground. If the beans have been ground for more than 24 hours before being brewed then the coffee is bound to lose almost all of its flavors. The ground coffee is also more likely to collect other strange flavors you definitely do not want in your cup of coffee!
So first, there’s contamination. A whole bean coffee is less likely to get contaminated than ground beans, mainly because whole beans are contained inside their protective shell while ground coffee is completely exposed. Never ever save your coffee inside your refrigerator (not even if it’s whole bean!) unless you want your coffee to taste like the soup you’re saving for later. More so, once ground, the aromas and flavors of coffee are immediately released and oxidized. The oxidation process continues once the coffee is ground up until it is brewed. Throughout this time, the coffee continues to lose its aroma and flavors, thus the longer its left ground, the fewer flavors you will perceive once brewed. According to Coffee Confidential, 15 minutes after coffee is ground, it loses about 60% of its aroma!
Next up, moisture. Moisture is an issue since liquids can penetrate ground beans easier than whole beans. Moisture dilutes oils in coffee, further contributing to its losing its characteristics and profile.
Last and certainly not least, we have carbon dioxide. In scientific terms, carbon dioxide releases coffee oils once ground. The less carbon dioxide present at the time of the brew, the less coffee oils will dilute and thus creating a weaker cup of coffee.
So we recommend you grind your coffee right before you brew to experience coffee flavor at its best - full of mouth-watering flavor. After all, grinding only takes a few seconds but a good cup of coffee lasts a lifetime (well at least for the morning!).