Photo of the Kenmore Grind and Brew coffee maker on a white kitchen counter with light blue coffee mugs and a plant arranged around it

The history of humans enjoying coffee dates back centuries

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with a history dating back hundreds of years. Millions of people enjoy at least one cup every day, and if you're reading this you are probably one of them! Whether you savor your coffee at home over the morning paper, sip from a travel mug during your commute, or share a pot and a conversation with friends, we're here to show you how to brew the freshest and most flavorful cup you can.

Photo of an old-fashioned hand-cranked coffee grinder, a white coffee cup, and an open burlap bag of coffee beans with a wooden scoop on a wood table
Coffee + People = A tale as old as time

Freshly ground beans make all the difference

Although there are many ways to brew coffee, most coffee experts will tell you to always start the process with fresh ground coffee beans. There are several benefits to using fresh ground beans when making coffee, including improved flavor, increased aroma, better extraction, and overall control over the finished product.

Closeup photo of two cups of coffee and a notebook on a wooden table. Two people's arms are visible, showing that they are sitting together drinking coffee and talking
Sharing a cup of coffee and conversation with a friend is a great way to spend an afternoon

Balanced Flavor

One of the main benefits of using fresh ground beans is the improved flavor of the coffee. Freshly ground beans have a higher level of volatile compounds, which are responsible for the taste and aroma of the coffee. These compounds are sensitive to light, air and moisture, and can quickly degrade if the beans are not stored properly.

Closeup photo of a person wearing a blue shirt holding a white much full of coffee in their hands
Freshly ground beans produce a full, balanced flavor that's incomparable

When the beans are ground just before brewing, the volatile compounds are released and the coffee has a much stronger and more complex flavor. This makes the coffee taste fresher and more satisfying.

Fragrant Aroma

Another benefit of using fresh ground beans is the increased aroma of the coffee. The smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning can be what motivates us to start the day. Aroma is an important part of the coffee experience, and freshly ground beans have a much stronger aroma than pre-ground beans.

Closeup photo a brown mug full of steaming coffee surrounded by coffee beans
Few things are more motivating than the delicious aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee

This is because the compounds that give coffee its aroma are released and strongest when the beans are first ground. When the coffee is brewed, the aroma fills the room and creates a more pleasant and inviting atmosphere.

Consistent Extraction

In addition to flavor and aroma, using fresh ground beans also results in better extraction of the coffee. Extraction is the process by which the flavors, aroma and caffeine are extracted from the coffee beans and into the water. The particle size of the ground coffee affects the extraction rate.

Photo of a person's arm pouring coffee from a glass carafe into a light blue mug in front of the Kenmore Grind and Brew coffee maker on a white kitchen counter
The right size and an even, consistent grind produces a well-balanced cup of coffee

If the coffee beans are ground too fine, the extraction rate will be too high, resulting in a bitter taste. If the coffee is ground too coarse, the extraction rate will be too low, resulting in weak coffee. Freshly ground beans have the optimal particle size for extraction, resulting in a well-balanced cup of coffee.

Complete Control

Another benefit of using a coffee maker with a built-in grinder allows for greater control over the final product. When using pre-ground coffee, you have little control over the grind size or quality of the original beans. However, when using fresh ground beans, the consumer can control the ideal grind size for their taste and choose the beans they prefer. This allows for greater customization and a more personalized coffee experience.

Choosing your coffee grinder: Blade or Burr?

Electric coffee grinders fall into two main categories based on the tool used to grind the beans, blade or burr, and each has its pros and cons.

Blade Grinders

As the name implies, a blade grinder has a propeller-like blade in the center which mixes and chops the coffee beans as it spins. Blade grinders are generally smaller and less expensive than burr grinders. While they offer a lot of power and speed, they tend to produce an uneven grind with a mix of larger and smaller pieces.

Closeup image of ground coffee in a blade grinder with some larger and smaller pieces visible
Blade grinders are powerful and fast but produce an inconsistent grind

For a more consistent grind when using a blade grinder, The Roasterie Coffee Company suggests pulsing rather than grinding continuously, but this will make the grinding process take longer.

Burr Grinders

Although they tend to be more expensive than blade grinders, burr grinders are generally preferred for their consistency, quality, and overall uniformity. A burr grinder works by crushing the coffee beans between two revolving abrasive surfaces called burrs.

Closeup image of the
Burr grinders crush the coffee beans evenly between two revolving surfaces

This grinding method produces coffee grinds that are consistent in size and shape, resulting in even extraction and a full, balanced flavor in your brewed coffee. Burr grinders tend to be quieter than blade grinders, which is a benefit for those who prefer to make coffee in the very early or late hours of the day.

Grind & Brew Machines: The Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to convenience, affordability, and flavor, a combination grind and brew coffee machine is definitely the way to go, and the Kenmore Elite Grind and Brew Coffee Maker is one of the best all-in-one machines on the market. It has a distinctive Grind Control feature with 10 different burr grinder settings. This allows for a greater opportunity to get the most out of your beans, and not many other coffee makers offer this selection.

Three closeup images of the Grind and Brew features, labeled
The Kenmore Grind & Brew features customizable grind size, stainless steel burrs, and an airtight bean hopper

The Kenmore Elite 12 cup Grind and Brew machine features a burr grinder and allows you to further customize your brew from a selection of mild, medium or strong brew, and you can even select exactly how many cups to brew by selecting 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 cups of coffee brewed at time.

Experts and coffee-lovers agree that fresh is best

Pre-ground coffee can sit on store shelves for long periods of time, losing its freshness and flavor. Making coffee with fresh beans that are ground right as you brew your coffee has many benefits.

Photo of the Kenmore Grind and Brew coffee maker on a white kitchen counter with light blue coffee mugs and a plant arranged around it
The Kenmore Grind & Brew with built-in burr grinder gives you the best of both worlds

Using fresh ground beans results in better flavor, increased aroma and better extraction and greater control over the quality and taste of your coffee. Investing in a grind-and-brew coffee machine is a small price to pay for the superior taste and aroma of high-quality coffee each and every day.

Have you tried freshly grinding your coffee beans? Did you notice a difference? Follow Koolatron on Facebook and Instagram and tell us your thoughts!