What are the benefits of Whole Bean Coffee?

It is so much better to store your coffee beans in whole bean form.

Not only does it smell amazing when it’s freshly ground, but it also keeps your coffee fresher for longer. Read on to see why…

Here at Two Chimps Coffee, we only use the highest grade of Arabica coffee beans, known as speciality coffee. Speciality coffee is the best of the best, and we source it because we only want to use the best single-origin coffee beans for roasting.

We ethically source our beans from small family run farms and cooperatives from all over the world via direct trade; which means the farmers are receiving more money for their coffee due to the shorter supply chain. As well as this, we pay between 30-150% more for speciality coffee than for commodity grade coffee; also adding to that better price.


Coffee cherries in the hands of the farmers


When the beans arrive at HQ

When our beans arrive, they are what’s known as green beans. This means that they’ve gone through the process at the farm, and they are ready for roasting. In fact, a coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee cherry! Speciality coffee beans are cared for and nurtured throughout their life cycle. Everything is done by hand from picking the ripe cherries to processing them and hand-sorting to remove any impurities or defective beans.


farmers working in a coffee farm in rwanda


They are packed with flavour, and so when roasting by hand, we take extra care not to over roast the beans. We want to ensure that we get to taste those wonderful flavours. We know that coffee is at its best the fresher it is, which is why we only lightly hand roast our coffee multiple times each week to get the best from it.

On the other end of the scale, commodity grade coffee needs to be roasted for a long time. This is to hide any impurities inevitably left within the coffee beans, which can often leave the coffee tasting burnt and of very little flavour.

full coffee sacks at a farm in colombia


Fresh is best

Because we know that the freshest coffee is the best coffee, we only ever roast in small batches and to order. Storing the beans in their green form and then roasting them means that every customer receives super fresh coffee. The coffee is at its freshest between three and fourteen days after it has been roasted. After this, very little degradation is noted for at least 12 weeks. If we were to roast the beans and store them roasted, the beans would start to deteriorate from that moment. This means if you order coffee that was roasted 6 weeks ago, it is already half-way past it’s best. We never store roasted coffee for this reason.


coffee in a cooling bin


When a customer orders ground coffee, we only ever grind it on the day of despatch, to ensure that it’s as fresh as possible when it is received. Once the coffee has been ground, it will deteriorate a lot faster than in its whole bean form. This is because coffee deteriorates when it comes into contact with oxygen. When kept in its whole bean form, the outer layer of the bean acts as a barrier to protect the bean from oxygen. Although there will inevitably be some deterioration over time, it is a lot slower than when the beans are ground.


coffee grinding into portafilter


When the beans are ground, each bean turns into 100’s of little pieces, meaning there is a lot more surface area that is available for the oxygen to attack. This will speed up the deterioration process, 100 times faster!

One of the benefits of using whole bean coffee is that you’re able to change the grind size each time to suit your specific brew device.

Espresso Coffee

If you use a home espresso machine, then you can grind your beans super fine, perfect for espresso. Because espresso is a forced method of brewing, the coffee isn’t in contact with the water for very long and so, the larger the surface area of coffee for the water, the more you’re going to get out of the coffee in a short space of time.


Adding coffee to a portafilter



Filter Coffee

Maybe you fancy a filter coffee? In that case, you’d need to adjust your grinder to allow it to grind your beans much coarser than for espresso. If you tried to use the same grind size across several different brewing devices, you will notice that the coffee will taste different in each one – and not necessarily in a good way!

Brewing coffee in a filter is a gravity brewing method and takes a lot longer than an espresso. A shot of espresso should only take between 20-25 seconds to extract all that lovely flavour from the beans. Whereas a filter is a much slower process. The coffee needs minutes in contact with the water, slowly extracting the flavour and dripping through filter paper to give you a super clean and fresh coffee. This is much different to the thick, dark sweet consistency of an espresso.


A V60 coffee maker with coffee and water


Cafetiere Coffee

Another similar method of gravity brewing is using a cafetiere. The grind size we recommend is very similar to that for a filter, and because of this, when grinding coffee at home you can grind for a cafetiere and filter with just a small tweak. This only works if the grind sizes are very similar, as I mentioned earlier; if you tried putting coffee ground for filter through the espresso machine, you’ll end up with a very sour tasting, under extracted coffee indeed, yuk!


A Cafetiere with a how many is a Brazilian sample coffee being added


Ground to order

Although we only ever grind on the day of despatch, we’d always recommend using whole bean if possible. It’ll stay fresher for longer, you’ll get to smell the amazing aromas released as you grind your beans yourself. You’ll know that each time you make a cup of coffee, it will be as fresh as possible every time. De-lish!

If you do need to order your coffee pre-ground, then don’t feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick however! We only grind on the day of despatch, and our special one-way valves on our coffee bags. This means that the gasses released from the coffee can escape, but oxygen can’t get in! We also have some funky branded coffee tins that are perfect for keeping your coffee fresh. Let’s face it though; the coffee is so delicious it won’t last long enough to deteriorate!


looking down onto latte art on a cup of two chimps coffee


Gasping for a brew?

Head to our website to see what coffees we have; in whole bean or ground.


Show me the coffee

Andy Cross

Meet the chimp behind this article!
Head Chimp founded Two Chimps alongside Laura in 2016 after being self-employed from the age of 21. He caught the coffee bug from using an at-home roaster, and the rest is history!

What Andy does outside of the treehouse:
When the weather’s nice, Andy loves going on bike rides with his trusty sidekick, microchimp Felix (who always leads the way, of course). Andy also enjoys spending time tending to the family’s vegetable garden, and looking after their at-home farmyard, which includes a cat, two guinea pigs, and six chickens!

Andy says…
“I believe every day is a school day, and I’m always looking for opportunities to stick my head in a book and absorb new knowledge. I also love a problem to solve and fix – there’s no such thing as problems, only solutions.”

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