Which type of coffee beans should you buy? Whole or ground? Here's a quick guide to help you decide.
Ground coffee, with its higher proportion of surface area, goes stale more quickly than whole beans. If you have the time, energy, and equipment, grind your own coffee each morning. If you're not ready to take on that level of commitment, you can still have delicious fresh coffee if you use whole beans within a month of roasting and ground beans within two weeks of roasting.
DIY Roasting and Grinding
If you're a coffee connoisseur, you might want to try buying, roasting, and grinding your own green coffee beans. Green coffee beans are often available from high-end coffee retailers. Green beans store better and last longer than roasted coffee beans; stored properly, they can stay fresh for more than a year.
With a little work, you can roast green coffee beans at home and then grind them as needed for the freshest coffee possible.
In the first few days after you roast your coffee, the beans will put off a lot of carbon dioxide. Store them in a valve-sealed bag or put them in an airtight container and open the container once a day for the first several days after roasting to release the built-up carbon dioxide.
For the freshest coffee, choose brands that use valve-sealed rather than vacuum-sealed packaging.