Ground and Whole Bean Coffee

By: rsbombard
Coffee beans are seeds obtained from the cherry like fruits of coffee plants. They are found in pairs with their flat surfaces facing each other. Fresh beans are whole in nature while broken and splintered beans indicate that the beans are old and not useable. If the coffee beans have to be stored, then they have to be in whole form.

Ground coffee is used for brewing. If the beans are not ground, then it is impossible to enjoy the true flavor of the coffee to its fullest. Ground coffee has more surface area of its particles exposed for extraction of flavor. When the coffee beans are ground, the oil in the beans seeps out from the inner part of the grains into the boiling water completely. The whole beans, if used, throw out the oils only at the time of roasting to give color to the beans.

Ground coffee too has its disadvantages. If the beans are over grinded, the finer particles due to friction heat of grinding, gives a burnt taste to the coffee. Moreover, ground coffee deteriorates much faster than the whole beans. Air, moisture, heat and light are enemies of the coffee beans. Ground coffee when comes in contact with air, oxidizes quickly giving a stale smell. Moisture, like that of freezer, affects the flavor. Heat and light affects the oily surface of the coffee particles and reduces the taste due to evaporation.

Whole beans are good for storage if the coffee has to be used for longer periods. Whole beans give the clue about the kind of flavor it holds. Since coffee lovers have different tastes and the brewing techniques themselves are varied, coffee can be prepared in wide variety of ways. Whole beans, when roasted, turn into different colors depending upon how deep they are roasted. The colors may be dark, medium or mild. Looking at the color of the roast on the whole bean, one is able to know the type of taste it may give.

When buying coffee, whole beans tell you what you are buying. Quality and the blend are also important. Ground coffee can be mixed with all kinds of cheap coffee of different areas which cannot be detected by the naked eye. Whole beans are easily detectable.

Freshness is another quality of a good flavor. Though whole beans are good for storage but do not give fresh flavor to the brewed coffee. Hence the whole beans have to be ground and immediately used for brewing.
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