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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.