Ground Coffee or Whole Bean?

Ground Coffee or Whole Bean: which should you choose?



You know you love coffee. You know you want to buy speciality coffee. But then you get stumped.

Ground coffee or whole bean coffee? Which do you choose?

You’re not alone. Coffee lovers have been scratching their caffeine-fuelled heads over the same question for years. Some shun pre-ground coffee, calling it stale. Others swear by it, saying it’s DEFINITELY the best thing since sliced bread.

The coffee world can be quick to send ground coffee packing, but let’s just wait a mo – don’t dismiss it yet. There are plenty of reasons to go for ground! Especially when you (cue a not very subtle moment of self-promotion) buy speciality coffee from Two Chimps!


Two Chimps sign outside coffee roastery



What’s the difference between whole bean coffee and ground coffee?

Isn’t it nice when something does what it says on the tin? When you’ve not got to get your phone out to furtively type ‘define ………’ after your brainiac mate says something like ‘umbrage’ or ‘vamoose’.

Not entirely sure what this ground coffee and whole bean coffee stuff is all about? No sweat. Give Google a rest and let us tell you instead…





What is whole bean coffee?

Whole bean coffee is just that: coffee beans in their whole form. It has gone through every stage of coffee production (picking, sorting, processing, roasting) except grinding. This part is down to you – the coffee drinker.

Buy whole bean coffee online, and you’ll receive a beautiful bag of dark brown beans, each around 1cm in length. They’ll look dark-chocolate-brown and slightly shiny if you choose dark roast coffee, and a touch lighter and more matte if you go for a light roast.

Hold up your bag and give it a little shake. Is that whole bean clatter not the best sound ever??


Close up of roasted coffee beans


What is ground coffee?

Buy pre-ground coffee, and the coffee grinding part is taken care of. All the other stages in the process are (this bit’s important) exactly the same. We roast whole bean speciality coffees with the same love, care and obsessive attention whether they are going to stay as whole beans or take a trip to our grinding team before heading off to postie.


lifting up fresh coffee grounds with fingers



So, just what is ground coffee? Pre-ground coffee describes whole beans that have been ground up into smaller pieces. The grinding stage comes after we roast the coffee beans and before we pack them ready for dispatch. Buy ground coffee, and you receive coffee that’s ready to brew as soon as it pops on your doormat!

And sometimes, that’s just what you need.


Infographic comparing the benefits of whole bean and pre-ground coffee



Why buy whole bean coffee?

But let’s head back to #teamwholebean for a while and check out the benefits of buying whole beans. Because, we gotta give it to them, speciality whole beans are awesome!

And not just because you can use them as maracas.



Ultimate coffee freshness

Ask a whole bean coffee lover why they opt for whole bean, and they’ll probably say the following:

“because obviously you can only get the freshest coffee and the most delectable coffee flavour by choosing whole beans. Nothing else cuts the mustard!”

Let us explain. Whole bean coffee stays fresher than its pre-ground cousin because it keeps a smaller surface area. The surface area increases as soon as we/you grind it, which means the coffee freshness escapes quicker. Keep the beans in their whole form, and this freshness stays locked in. It’s all ready and waiting for you to enjoy when you brew!

Oh, and grinding whole coffee beans at home smell incredible, too! Move over, scented Yankee Candle!


roasted coffee beans falling into cooling drum


Grind for any brew device

Buying ground coffee is great if you like to stick to your favourite coffee device. But maybe you prefer switching things up? Moka pot on a Monday but filter every Friday? Save yourself from buying lots of different pre-ground coffees by choosing whole beans instead. Now, you can grind for any device.

Simply adjust the settings on your home grinder and grind for today’s brewer. Take an espresso machine – it needs superfine coffee grinds. Meanwhile, devices such as the cafetiere are happiest with slightly larger coffee grinds. You’re limited to choosing one grind size when you buy ground coffee but buy a bag of whole beans, and you can switch things up each day!


Not sure which grind size to use? Check out our coffee grind size chart!


Coffee grind size chart


Experiment with flavour

Grind size has a mahoosive impact on the final coffee flavour. Coffee tasting a tad bitter? Try grinding more coarsely. This will increase the size of the gaps between the grounds, allowing the water to trickle through more quickly and reducing the extraction time.

Is the first sip a bit sour? Your grind size might be too coarse – go a little finer.

Buy speciality coffee in whole bean form, and you’re in the driving grinding seat. Experiment with different grind sizes to create your best-ever cup!


Coffee bean selection with two chimps coffee labels


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Why buy ground coffee?

Flip the coin and hop over the border, because now we’re checking out the top three benefits of choosing ground coffee!


Ground coffee makes life easier

Ahh… aren’t those three lovely words? Makes. Life. Easier.

Life is hectic. Working/sleeping/cleaning/caring-for-the-hamster-ing can leave us lacking in free time. And put grinding coffee beans towards the bottom of your To-Do list, right?

Great news! Tick it off altogether with ground coffee deliveries! Simply pop over to the Two Chimps shop, choose your coffee and fave brew method and do the payment stuff. Then kick back and chillax (or tick Clean Hamster Cage off your list) and look forward to ready-to-brew ground coffee arriving First Class!

Want to make it even easier? Of course you do. Set up a bespoke ground coffee subscription and enjoy regular deliveries of freshly roasted coffee, ground just for you!


Make your perfect subscription here!


Two Chimps coffee delivery on a doormat


Perfectly fresh coffee grounds

Here at Two Chimps, we are pretty good at preserving freshness. If it was an Olympic event, we’d get gold every time. Just saying.

That’s because we grind your speciality beans on the day of dispatch. Grinding to order keeps every bag brimming with flavour and freshness. We never grind in bulk and leave the lovely grounds lingering. Nope, Mads and Laura grind your coffee fresh the day your order pops up, ensuring beautifully fresh coffee every time!

What’s more, we pack and seal your coffee in freshness-sealing black bags. These clever pouches feature a one-way valve that allows coffee gases to escape but stops oxygen from getting in. Nifty!


grinding coffee into Two Chimps coffee bag


Do your bit - find out how to keep coffee fresh at home!


Top quality grinding

Not all grinders are created equal.

If you choose to buy speciality coffee beans to grind at home, you really do need a good grinder. You could use that £11.99 one on Amazon. You could even use a food processor. But your grinds will be jaggedly and uneven, and your brew a bit mehhh…

Here at Two Chimps, we only use high-quality burr grinders for your ground coffee order.

Unlike blade grinders, which smash the beans into uneven shards, burr grinders grind beans into uniform pieces. The result? A balanced extraction and utterly gorgeous coffee. Whichever brew method you choose at the checkout, Mads and Laura will make sure your speciality grounds are spot-on every time!


Tamping ground coffee for espresso



The Ground Coffee or Whole Bean debate won’t be settled easily. It’s not arm wrestle kind of material, to say the least.


Fancy learning more about home coffee? Then grab yourself a FREE Brew Guide Handbook. Jam-packed with handy tips and step-by-step instructions, it’s your go-to guide for making coffee at home. Simply click the link and we’ll pop one in the post!

Get it here!


yellow coffee mug on a wooden table




Whether you like lovely fresh grounds or whole bean coffee to grind at home, you’re sure to find plenty of selection in our online shop.


Head there now!

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