Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

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RollTide31457
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Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by RollTide31457 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am

We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?

stan1
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by stan1 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:54 am

You could find a friend with a grinder, borrow it, and find out if you prefer the taste.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:55 am

You might take your beans to a grocery store and use their grinder. Ask permission first. I’ve seen it done. A small grocery or co-op would be most amenable.

Edit: After reading later posts I learned that Costco itself has grinders, I did not know that. In that case just take it back there and ask them if you can grind it.
Last edited by Nicolas on Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Quercus Palustris
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Quercus Palustris » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:03 am

stan1 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:54 am
You could find a friend with a grinder, borrow it, and find out if you prefer the taste.
Go this route if you can, or grind enough for a few pots and decide if you like the taste (assuming a Costco sized bag of beans is a bit much to grind in one sitting on a home grinder).

Coffee used to just be the drug I took to not fall asleep in meetings, but the switch from "whatever's on sale ground" to "whatever's on sale whole bean" was a bit of a revelation - even if it's the same cheap store brand, fresh ground just tastes... better. And Costco coffee isn't bad by any stretch. YMMV :beer

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:05 am

I used to grind coffee. These days I don't like the Keurig taste but love the "whatever is on sale" ground taste. So for me it isn't worth the effort but I still have my coffee grinder in case I want to try grinding again.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:06 am

Peabody Select Kona Coffee Beans from Ka'u or Koa Coffee Plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Grind the beans every morning and brew in a French Press.
Beans are only fresh for so long, so I buy batches as needed direct from the plantations.

A very special cup of coffee. :D

j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MI_bogle
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by MI_bogle » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 am

Prepare for lots of opinions

Mine is that it's absolutely worth it. Even with a cheap $15 grinder it's loads better than ground from the store. And it's not *that* much extra effort

But YMMV

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:09 am

If you're *really* into coffee it's probably worth it to grind. I find that it's not worth the effort for me personally. Someone gifted my a bag of beans once so I bought an inexpensive grinder. After going through that bag, I've never again purchased whole beans.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:09 am

It may just be inertia on my part, but I tried grinding whole-bean coffee at home some years ago, decided I liked it, and stuck with it. If you can get that coffee ground up and decide you like it that way, you can probably get a fairly inexpensive ($15) grinder at a local department store for an extended experiment.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:30 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:09 am
by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:09 am


It may just be inertia on my part, but I tried grinding whole-bean coffee at home some years ago, decided I liked it, and stuck with it. If you can get that coffee ground up and decide you like it that way, you can probably get a fairly inexpensive ($15) grinder at a local department store for an extended experiment.
I like Warren Buffet and others who point out that if you invest your money rather than spend it in your youth if you save one dollar it is like 8 dollars later. I have done that for years and it is hard to break the habit. I like the ground coffee and I don't see the sales on the whole bean coffee that I see with the ground. That is another reason I go with ground although after years of living that way I don't need to worry about the price difference.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Fletch » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:37 am

The Costco in our area sells Mayorga "Cafe Cubano" whole beans, 2 lb bag. Excellent for our tastes, probably one of the best I've tried. Bought a Capresso burr grinder and worth every penny in comparison to the blade type cheapie we had before; makes a noticable improvement in taste. We gave a Capresso grinder to our son and family a couple years ago; he too said it was a game changer. We also us a Cuisinart drip maker. That said, coffee preference is a very personal thing, just like wine or beer or liquor.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by HueyLD » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:41 am

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am
We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?
Yes, absolutely worth it.

You can invest a small amount of money for a coffee grinder and decide for yourself.

I went thru such an experience when a friend gave me a bag of Rain Forest Organic coffee beans. I decided to buy a grinder and I have not bought ground coffee ever since.

The best part about buying whole beans is that you can go to a natural food store and try out a small quantity of coffee beans from many places around the world. It is quite an adventure.

P..s. I went to a tour of coffee plantations in Costa Rica and learned that the best beans were exported and the subpar beans were made into ground coffee.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Youngblood » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:48 am

I went with the convenience of buying ground beans. For me, grinding didn't make much difference in taste but added a morning chore.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by c.coyle » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:53 am

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am
We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?
It's a matter of personal taste and amortizing the cost of a grinder, but I prefer fresh ground coffee in my old fashioned percolator with the glass bubble on top. Every now and then we run out of beans and have to use store-ground stuff. I always notice a difference, but it could be placebo.

We aren't fussy about the kind of beans. Just basic stuff from Costco runs rings around pre-ground stuff.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:57 am

MI_bogle wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 am
Even with a cheap $15 grinder ...
I'm with you, but you probably just blew the minds of a bunch of folks here.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:58 am

One problem I have with the big Costco bags of whole bean is I can't drink the huge bags up fast enough. Storing whole beans require some care too.

Grinding is kind of like tilting your portfolio. Occasionally I got the grinding "just right". Sometimes I got it wrong. Certainly more room for error and under-performing smaller batch ground coffee.

Buying a quality grinder is probably the most important step. I probably don't have a high enough quality grinder. Kind of like tilting with 3% of your portfolio.
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:02 am

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am
We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?
RollTide31457,

Costco has multiple coffee grinders in their stores. Just bring back the coffee beans to grind.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by oldlongbeard » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am

....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better?

I like fresh better.
YMMV

Greg in West Mitten

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by TonyDAntonio » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:14 am

The same thing happened to me: accidentally ordered whole bean instead of ground from Costco. Since then I've been grinding for each cup. Takes 13 seconds, literally. And the coffee is better. Get a cheap grinder.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by investingdad » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:18 am

Maybe.

I think it partly depends on how you prepare your coffee. Some prep methods drive of the volatile organics responsible for the complex flavours. If you make a pot and let it sit for an hour on a burner, no point.

We have a super automatic espresso maker, it burr grinds beans then prepares the espresso with one button touch. The espresso is smooth, start to finish.

I don't think you get that with pre ground beans.

A 24 hour French pressed cold brew with freshly ground beans will be an epiphany of what coffee can taste like.

If you have a lot of whole beans, storing them in glass mason jars is a good bet.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am

oldlongbeard wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am
....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better?

I like fresh better.
YMMV

Greg in West Mitten
But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:22 am

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am
oldlongbeard wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am
....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better?

I like fresh better.
YMMV

Greg in West Mitten
But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:27 am

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am
We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?
I don't go to Costco, but it looks like at least some Costco stores have a grinder. So, you should be able to grind them at a Costco store if you want to try them. Here is a video of someone doing it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugGU1kjlFF4&app=desktop

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:36 am

I used an inexpensive grinder for years, a Krups for $19.25, I bought it over 5 years ago. DW recently bought bought a Cuisinart Grind & Brew for me, even though my Mr. Coffee brewer worked just fine, I gave it to one of my aides. The grinder has been retired, for now. Nine scoops of coffee, eight cups water for my morning coffee fix.

For virtually all my working career I drank café con leche, aka half & half. I still prefer a strong, full-bodied coffee. I rotate Costco Kirkland brand coffee beans from Costa Rica, Sumatra, Guatemala, Rwanda. Like other Costco products, the coffee is good enough quality for me.

Drinking Keurig cups are kinda like watering down a beer, whats the use? DW loves her Keurig, though. I get the convenience factor, especially for those still working.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:42 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:36 am
I used an inexpensive grinder for years, a Krups for $19.25, I bought it over 5 years ago. DW recently bought bought a Cuisinart Grind & Brew for me, even though my Mr. Coffee brewer worked just fine, I gave it to one of my aides. The grinder has been retired, for now. Nine scoops of coffee, eight cups water for my morning coffee fix.

For virtually all my working career I drank café con leche, aka half & half. I still prefer a strong, full-bodied coffee. I rotate Costco Kirkland brand coffee beans from Costa Rica, Sumatra, Guatemala, Rwanda. Like other Costco products, the coffee is good enough quality for me.

Drinking Keurig cups are kinda like watering down a beer, whats the use? DW loves her Keurig, though. I get the convenience factor, especially for those still working.

Broken Man 1999
That is some "morning coffee fix".
:D :D :D :D

Ditto: tried the Keurig. It took up a lot of counter space, water storage needed to be washed out regularly, coffee seemed expensive and . . . lacking. . . But, yes, very high on convenience.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:46 am

You can take the beans to Costco and grind as well. Have done it.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by batpot » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:48 am

I bought a cheap grinder, and the improved freshness midway through a bag is greatly noticeable. Would prefer one that is easier to clean/empty, but I'd rather just lose my caffeine addiction.
Nicolas wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:55 am
You might take your beans to a grocery store and use their grinder. Ask permission first. I’ve seen it done. A small grocery or co-op would be most amenable.
That completely circumvents the point of buying whole bean. Costco near me has one, and particularly with their giant bags, it makes no sense. :confused
Last edited by batpot on Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by fortfun » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:51 am

If you make espresso, you must grind the espresso beans with a good grinder and the correct coarseness (Ranchillo?) For drip coffee, as long as you use the small bags and finish them quickly (< 1 week), I don't think it is necessary.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:23 am

batpot wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:48 am
I bought a cheap grinder, and the improved freshness midway through a bag is greatly noticeable. Would prefer one that is easier to clean/empty, but I'd rather just lose my caffeine addiction.
Nicolas wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:55 am
You might take your beans to a grocery store and use their grinder. Ask permission first. I’ve seen it done. A small grocery or co-op would be most amenable.
That completely circumvents the point of buying whole bean. Costco near me has one, and particularly with their giant bags, it makes no sense. :confused
I think you misunderstood my intent. I was just offering a remedy for the immediate situation, getting that one mistakenly purchased bag of whole beans ground, assuming the OP would not be buying any again. I didn’t intend for this to be an ongoing process.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:39 am

Buy as little amount fresh coffee bean as possible (a week supply, from your loacal roaster weekly). A barr grinder is the best. Fresh press or Italian mocca are my favorite coffee gear.
Last edited by WhiteMaxima on Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:43 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:58 am
One problem I have with the big Costco bags of whole bean is I can't drink the huge bags up fast enough. Storing whole beans require some care too.

Grinding is kind of like tilting your portfolio. Occasionally I got the grinding "just right". Sometimes I got it wrong. Certainly more room for error and under-performing smaller batch ground coffee.

Buying a quality grinder is probably the most important step. I probably don't have a high enough quality grinder. Kind of like tilting with 3% of your portfolio.
good point

large bags of coffee is certainly one type of item one shouldn't buy, unless there are enough people to drink the coffee made

while whole beans will last longer than the same mass of ground coffee, there will still be evaporation of oil (which gives the beans aroma) and oxidation of the beans. Even with special storage canisters, beans will lose aroma after 3 weeks (and often sooner)
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am
oldlongbeard wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am
....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better?

I like fresh better.
YMMV

Greg in West Mitten
But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee.
This makes no sense. Unless one buys a grinder that spits out the grind all over the place, I cannot foresee just how hard it is to clean up. At most, it's a single wipe of a cleaning cloth...
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:39 am
Buy as little amount fresh coffee bean as possible (a week supply). A barr grinder is the best. Fresh press or Italian mocca are my favorite coffee gear.
all very good points, except it appears that Auto-correct sabotaged you?

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:02 am

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am
But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee.
Definitely not the case. I press one button and my grinder puts exactly the right amount of ground coffee directly into my filter basket. Move the basket into the brewer, add the water. Less than 4 minutes after entering the kitchen, I have a half-gallon of fresh, perfectly-brewed coffee. I never touched a bag or used a measuring spoon. This level of simplicity and quality is impossible to achieve with pre-ground coffee.

Dumping the basket in the trash takes the same amount of effort (near zero) in either case.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Arlington2019 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:15 am

Keep the whole beans in an airtight glass container in the freezer. Pull out the beans from the freezer, grind what is required and return the beans to the freezer. Brew via french press or drip at the correct water temperature. This will give you much of what is possible in flavor for store-bought coffee.

I roast my own green coffee beans and at any one time, have about 50 pounds of beans in the garage. Once you start roasting your own and preparing it correctly, it is hard to go back. Sweetmarias.com is a one-stop source of information on roasting your own.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by snackdog » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:33 am

I can't tell a huge difference between whole and ground beans when flooding it with a ton of unpressurized water (french press, coffee maker, percolator, etc) plus milk. To really want get the most out of fresh whole beans, you need espresso grind. These start at nearly $500 for a decent reliable grinder.

Oh, and be careful with the freezer as it can dry out your beans and pull the flavor right out of good beans.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Coburn » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:58 am

lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:02 am
This level of simplicity and quality is impossible to achieve with pre-ground coffee.
The quality is unquestioned, but not quite as simple as pushing a button. :) The grinder does need to be cleaned (w/a brush) occassionally so there is an up-keep aspect even though it's relatively minor.

Even a 2lb bag takes me a while to finish so nothing to be done about beans drying out/losing freshness over a period of weeks. I have a couple of different beans I like too, so I will grind a small batch (5-7 days worth) at a time and store in a cannister. I usually have two cannisters in play at any one time. (BTW, storing beans in frig/freezer is a no-no)

I like my coffee very hot and with a fair amount of cream/half n half. The first condition means that I rarely drink coffee outside my home or a friend/family member's home.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by HueyLD » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:04 pm

Coburn wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:58 am
BTW, storing beans in frig/freezer is a no-no
Why?

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 pm

Coburn wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:58 am
lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:02 am
This level of simplicity and quality is impossible to achieve with pre-ground coffee.
The quality is unquestioned, but not quite as simple as pushing a button. :) The grinder does need to be cleaned (w/a brush) occassionally so there is an up-keep aspect even though it's relatively minor.
This is true, I've cleaned it once. Took all of 2-3 minutes, as not much came out. It runs pretty clean. I submit that it remains as simple as pushing a button. :)
Coburn wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:58 am
Even a 2lb bag takes me a while to finish so nothing to be done about beans drying out/losing freshness over a period of weeks. I have a couple of different beans I like too, so I will grind a small batch (5-7 days worth) at a time and store in a cannister. I usually have two cannisters in play at any one time. (BTW, storing beans in frig/freezer is a no-no)
We go through about 3lbs a week. :D My hopper holds 6 lbs, so that's 2 weeks' worth if I fill it to the top. Even then I stay within the 3-14 day window where most of the varieties I roast taste the best.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Coburn » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:28 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 pm
We go through about 3lbs a week. :D
That's a fair amount each week.

Depending on what beans you buy/order, it can add up. :wink:

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:29 pm

Coburn wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:28 pm
lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 pm
We go through about 3lbs a week. :D
That's a fair amount each week.

Depending on what beans you buy/order, it can add up. :wink:
That's a lot. Too much coffeine.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:33 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:02 am
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:52 am
We accidentally bought whole bean coffee at Costco. We don’t have a coffee grinder. Return the coffee or is getting a coffee grinder worth it?
RollTide31457,

Costco has multiple coffee grinders in their stores. Just bring back the coffee beans to grind.

KlangFool

Yup. They always offer to grind the beans while I check out - I always decline :)

Just take them back on your next shopping trip and ask them to grind them for you.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:45 pm

We roast our own and drink a pound a week, two people. We never have a problem with stale coffee. Actually it’s only me roasting, my wife just drinks it :D

I get my green beans from https://www.greencoffeebuyingclub.com/
Cheaper than Sweet Maria’s, and just as good!
Last edited by Nicolas on Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:23 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:47 pm

Coburn wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:28 pm
lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:06 pm
We go through about 3lbs a week. :D
That's a fair amount each week.

Depending on what beans you buy/order, it can add up. :wink:
The Ethiopia Sidama Bensa Segra I'm drinking now was $214 for a 50-lb sack of greens, so we're drinking about $13 worth of coffee a week.

I should clarify that the 3lbs is pre-roast weight, so we actually only drink about 2.5 lbs/week roasted weight.

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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:12 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:36 am
Drinking Keurig cups are kinda like watering down a beer, whats the use? DW loves her Keurig, though. I get the convenience factor, especially for those still working.

Broken Man 1999
I use refillable kcups with my own coffee. Tastes better, doesn't populate the environment, and so much cheaper!

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Crustus
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Crustus » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:21 pm

Tastewise - yes.

You can buy one of the Capressos for (I think, too lazy to look) about $100. You can also get burr grinders (kinder to the beans) at Target and maybe other big box stores for about $30 (that's where I got mine). If you want to go all the way, start buying raw beans and roast your own (short of starting your coffee plantation).
And . . .

btenny
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by btenny » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:28 pm

Yes whole beans are worth the effort if you like fresh rich coffee. A small grinder is about $18 and good fresh roasted whole beans (read the roast date on the package and only buy if less than month old roast date) from PEET are $9 a pound. Then you can grind up small amounts at home and make great fresh coffee each day.

Good Luck.

bloom2708
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:29 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:47 pm
The Ethiopia Sidama Bensa Segra I'm drinking now was $214 for a 50-lb sack of greens, so we're drinking about $13 worth of coffee a week.
How long can you store green coffee beans? Cool, dry, air tight? Refrigerate? Sealed container? Do they sweat or get damp? Mold? Sprout?

Roasting is a whole other ballpark. If grinding is time consuming, roasting takes it to another level. Was that the second crack? :wink:
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead

lazydavid
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:50 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:29 pm
How long can you store green coffee beans? Cool, dry, air tight? Refrigerate? Sealed container? Do they sweat or get damp? Mold? Sprout?
The old adage is the rule of 15s: "Coffee that is not roasted within 15 months of picking, ground within 15 days of roasting, and brewed within 15 minutes of grinding, is stale". I've never had greens for longer than 4 months, so I couldn't say how long they last. Ours sits in the original sack in the corner of our kitchen, we don't take any special care of them. They don't mold or sprout. All that oily goodness is locked inside.
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:29 pm
Roasting is a whole other ballpark. If grinding is time consuming, roasting takes it to another level. Was that the second crack? :wink:
This is the advantage of having a consistent roaster and making a large volume of one type of bean. It takes me 1-3 roasts to dial in the correct roast when I receive a new batch, and then it just becomes a factory. When it beeps, I dump out the roasted beans, put fresh ones in, set the timer and walk away. So while I may be roasting for half the day or more, I'm only actively involved for about 5 minutes of that. A worthy investment of time to save almost 75% vs. buying fresh from a local roaster (which would take me longer than 5 minutes anyway). :)

mak1277
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:55 pm

InvisibleAerobar wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:43 am
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am
oldlongbeard wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:11 am
....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better?

I like fresh better.
YMMV

Greg in West Mitten
But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee.
This makes no sense. Unless one buys a grinder that spits out the grind all over the place, I cannot foresee just how hard it is to clean up. At most, it's a single wipe of a cleaning cloth...
You don't clean the grinder itself?

Arlington2019
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Arlington2019 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:00 pm

I store my green coffee beans in large ziplock bags that I keep in a Rubbermaid tote in my garage. My garage is insulated but unheated and is in the relatively temperate area north of Seattle, so the beans are not prone to significant moisture or temperature swings.

I roast in two-pound batches, and store the whole roasted beans in large airtight glass wire-clamp jars in the freezer. We go through a two-pound batch about every 10-14 days, so the roasted coffee does not stay around very long before being used. I use french press, a Zojirushi drip machine, a Chemex and a Pasquini Livia espresso maker. My Rocky burr grinder grinds for everything and I adjust the grind as needed for the brewing method.

Alf 101
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Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

Post by Alf 101 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:01 pm

It all depends on how much you like coffee. You can spend $350 for a coffee maker. You can spend $2000 for a grinder, and upwards of $8000 for a higher end espresso maker. The OP is probably not one of the people who would consider purchasing any of these.

I think that grinding whole beans, to make coffee with them right away, makes a better cup. That said, I've had glasses of $10/bottle wine I liked better than the $200/bottle. Taste is quite personal, so you might as well grind the beans you have, and see whether you can take a noticeable difference.

There's a few things I do. I don't buy a lot of coffee at once, more of a just-in-time process. I find coffee doesn't stay at its best forever. I store it in an airtight plastic container in a cabinet, out of the light. Don't put your beans in the freezer or refrigerator, which kills the flavor. I usually buy something like Peet's at the grocery store, but have also gotten very recently roasted beans at coffee shops for not that much more. A bag lasts a week or less.

As for unroasted beans, that's a whole different level of effort. But as for coffee in general, it sneaks up on you. You start just drinking the bad stuff at work, then have a better cup, and start trying to figure out what explains the difference....

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