Whole Bean vs Ground Coffee: Which Should You Buy?

Whole bean and ground coffee

When making the perfect cup of coffee, one of the most important decisions is whether to use whole bean or ground coffee. Whole bean coffee is the original form of the bean, while ground coffee is the processed version. Both have their advantages and drawbacks, and the type of coffee you choose can greatly impact the flavor and strength of your cup. This article will compare whole bean and ground coffee, discussing their differences and helping you decide which is right for you.

What is Whole Bean Coffee?

Whole Bean coffee is coffee that has not been ground, allowing it to retain its flavor, aroma, and freshness for longer. This type of coffee is great for those who prefer to grind their own beans and make their own custom blends. Whole Bean coffee is also an excellent choice for those who want to experiment with different brewing methods. The beans can be ground to suit any brewing technique, allowing for a more customized cup of coffee.

Coffee beans

What is Ground Coffee?

Ground coffee is a popular form of coffee that has been processed into small particles. It is the most common form of coffee used in brewing and is used in both automatic and manual coffee makers. Ground coffee is widely available in various grinds, which refer to the size of the particles. Coarser grinds are used for French press and drip brewing methods, while finer grinds are used for espresso and moka pot brewing. 

Ground coffee

What is The Difference Between Whole Bean and Ground Coffee?

As the main difference between whole bean and ground coffee is already clear, let’s dive into a more detailed comparison.


The freshness of coffee depends on the type of coffee bean and the way it is processed. Whole bean coffee will stay fresher for longer due to its protective outer coating, which prevents it from losing its flavor and aroma. Ground coffee, on the other hand, is more exposed to oxygen, which can degrade its flavor and aroma over time. Additionally, whole bean coffee can be ground before brewing, ensuring the freshest flavor.

Woman Holding White Cup


The flavor of whole bean and ground coffee can vary greatly depending on the beans used, the roasting process, and the brewing method. Generally, whole bean coffee has a bolder, more robust flavor than ground coffee due to the beans retaining more of their essential oils. This can make whole bean coffee more full-bodied and aromatic, with more complex notes and flavors.

Ground coffee, however, has a more mellow flavor due to the oils being released during the grinding process. 


Convenience is a major factor when deciding between whole bean and ground coffee. Whole bean coffee requires the user to grind the beans before brewing, which can be time-consuming. The main convenience of pre-ground coffee is that it is ready to use immediately and requires little effort to prepare. All you need to do is measure the right amount, add it to your coffee maker or French press, and brew.


Woman holding dollar bills

Whole bean coffee tends to be more expensive than ground coffee because it requires more labor, time, and resources to process and package. It is impossible to disguise low-grade beans when sold as a whole, so the selection process for choosing the best beans for sale is more complex and pricier than when purchasing pre-ground coffee. In addition, the cost of shipping whole beans is higher as they must be shipped as quickly as possible to avoid contamination and spoilage.

Do You Get More Coffee With Whole Beans or Ground?

It depends on how you prepare the coffee. Generally, whole beans yield more coffee than pre-ground coffee because you can grind them to the perfect size for your brew method.

So is it Better To Buy Ground Coffee or Beans?

The better option depends on your needs and preferences. Ground coffee is cheaper and more convenient for those who don’t have the time or equipment to grind their own beans. On the other hand, grinding whole beans just before brewing will give you the freshest and most flavorful cup of coffee. Whole beans also allow you to experiment with different grind sizes and flavor profiles.


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