Why you should grind your specialty coffee at home
Listen, we are always happy to grind your Westonia coffee for you. We love you. But we have to be totally honest, when we grind your entire bag of Westonia coffee right before we deliver it, something sad begins to happens.
It starts to break down.
The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)and other coffee sages give a lengthy and super-scientific explanations for why this is so, but it all boils (ha!) down to your coffee going stale. According to the SCA, "When coffee is ground, the porosity and surface-to-volume ratio increase, which accelerates degassing and staling. A group of studies have found that losses of a few specific volatile compounds are responsible for a majority of coffee aroma loss."
Pesky volatile compounds.
Roasted, whole coffee beans create a sort of protective coating around themselves, like little brown vacuum sealers that hold in all the compounds, oils and flavor that - trust us - you want in your cup. When we grind your coffee for you, all those delicious things begin to fade. Because we deliver our coffee as soon as we grind it, that means (if you brew soon after) your first cup will be relatively spot on. But by the time you reach the bottom of the bag? You've probably noticed the difference for yourself. Still great coffee, but a little... less great - and now you know the super-scientific reason.
For the best cup of home-brewed, specialty coffee, it really is best to grind your own. Not only for the freshness, but also for the grind size and consistency. If you want to start playing with different brew methods, like french press or pour-over or an AeroPress (if you're new to specialty coffee, hang onto your hat - the options are endless), you'll need a different grind size for each. The key is to grind just enough, at just the right size (coarse, medium, fine, etc.) for each cup to achieve the perfect freshness, extraction and flavor.
Now, if we grind your specialty coffee for you, does that mean you won't get a good cup of coffee at home? No. You will. But if you grind your coffee just before you brew, then you'll brew an amazing cup of coffee, every time.
All this grind-talk begs the question: what kind of equipment should you use to grind your coffee? If you were to say, "That's easy, I already have a coffee grinder. It has a spinning blade like a food processor so I'll just use that," then we would most enthusiastically respond:
Sorry for the yelling. A blade grinder (a.k.a. Destroyer of Coffee) is okay for grinding spices or flax seed or chia, but please keep it far, far away from your coffee. The blades will create a chaotic mess of grind sizes so different that it becomes physically impossible to brew a good cup.
So what should you use to grind your coffee? We'll be sure to answer that in next week's post :)
In the meantime, if you don't have a machine at home (seriously, step away from the blade grinder!) we're still more than happy to grind your Westonia specialty coffee for you. We promise. We don't mind a bit.