If you drink coffee regularly, you might have wondered which coffee is the best one out there like me. Although there is no right or wrong here, I will explain the differences between these coffee beans.

So which should you choose? Let me explain the differences in the coffee beans in this article. I will get into the flavor, the ease of use, and the price of the coffee beans. Hang tight and read along!

What is pre-ground coffee and whole bean coffee?

Understanding the difference between these two is very important. Pre-ground coffee is coffee that is already ground to a specific grind size. This type of coffee is most commonly used in regular coffee makers which you can find in almost every household.

The pre-ground coffee is quick to use as you won’t have to grind it before making a cup of coffee. Just add the pre-ground coffee beans to your machine, add water and let it do its thing.

Whole bean coffee, on the other hand, needs some more attention to detail. Whole bean coffee is the whole beans, straight from your coffee roaster. It has not been altered in any way. It came from the coffee farm and went to the coffee roaster. After roasting these whole beans, you can buy them.

Whole coffee beans compared to ground coffee

The best part about using whole bean coffee is that you can use them to make any variant of coffee you would like. You only have to adjust your grinder or ask your coffee roaster to grind the coffee for you.

Now I hear you thinking, can’t I just buy pre-ground coffee then?

The short answer is: yes, you can, but you will miss out on so much of the flavor and fun you get from buying, grinding, and manually making your coffee.

Using pre-ground coffee beans at home

I think everyone has used pre-ground coffee at least once in their life. It’s easy to use and can sometimes be cheaper than most of the alternatives out there. While these are some of the pros of using pre-ground coffee, there are some cons too.

When you buy pre-ground coffee, you won’t know how long the coffee has been in the package, when it was roasted and when it got to ground. The flavor of the coffee beans will decay just after they left the coffee roaster. What this means is, the beans get less flavor each day.

Does the packaging of the coffee beans matter?

The best way of buying pre-ground coffee beans is to check if there is any indication on the packaging of when the coffee beans have been roasted and/ or ground. This will give you a general idea of the freshness of the coffee beans.

The good thing about pre-ground coffee beans is the way they are packaged. The packs of pre-ground coffee beans are packed up really nicely.

Most of the coffee bags are either valve-sealed or vacuum-sealed. If you have ever been in front of a shelf full of coffee beans, you might have noticed that there are some coffee bags with a small hole in them.

This means the coffee beans are valve-sealed. After being roasted, the coffee beans are cooled and then immediately stored in their little package. This will keep them fresh for a very long time.

Bag of coffee where you can see the valve of the package

The bag allows for the carbon dioxide to escape the package without oxygen getting back in. The bag tries its best to keep your coffee beans fresher for longer.

If the coffee beans are vacuum-sealed, it means that the coffee beans must have a degassing period before packaging.

In short, this means that the coffee beans are stale before they are even in our home. The gas-forming inside of the coffee bean is a sign of fresh coffee. This is the same reason why we bloom coffee first; to get rid of the excess gasses.

If the beans are not degassed before entering the coffee package, the bag will most likely explode because the gasses can’t get out.

Buying whole bean coffee to summon your inner barista

Whenever you want to start grinding coffee at home, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment. If you do not have a good quality coffee grinder, the coffee won’t taste good.

If you don’t want to invest in a coffee grinder of any sort, I suggest you keep buying the pre-ground coffee beans. The coffee is ground in an excellent consistency, which will give you a proper brew every time.

If you are looking to buying your first bag of coffee beans, I suggest going to a local coffee roaster. They will usually have some sort of tasting assortment for you to try!

This is pretty awesome because this way, you will be able to taste a lot of different coffees while keeping the price low. You also won’t have to get big bags of coffee beans to try, as they will usually come in a small bag meant for a few brews.

One of the pros of buying whole bean coffee is that you can make any coffee you like at home. When you buy pre-ground coffee, the coffee gets ground to a specific grind size, and you will not be able to use it for the French press and also for Chemex.

Chemex and french press next to each other with coffee beans in front

If you have just one coffee brewer at your disposal, and you don’t want to invest in a coffee grinder, you can also ask your coffee roaster to ground the coffee for you.

When comparing this to buying pre-ground coffee at the supermarket, you will get fresher coffee beans at your local coffee roaster. They usually roast coffee every day or every other day, depending on how well the coffee beans are sold.

Whether or not you bought pre-ground coffee at your supermarket, coffee roaster, or whole beans anywhere, you want to make sure to store them properly.

I will get into this a bit further on, explaining why it is imperative to store your coffee beans correctly.

Alternative to coffee beans; Nespresso cups

If you cannot choose between buying pre-ground coffee to save time or buying whole bean coffee for the price and multi-purpose, you might want to consider buying coffee cups. Like Nespresso or K- cups.

These coffee cups are sealed directly after the coffee is ground, thus keeping the coffee inside extremely fresh. Because of the smaller surface area that the coffee cups bring, the cups’ seal is really tight. If you compare this to a packed of pre-ground coffee, the quality difference is insane.

The ease of use of coffee cups is unbelievable. All you have to do is turn on your coffee machine (this being the Nespresso or Keurig variant), preheat the boiler by running hot water through the machine, and then adding the coffee cup to start the process of coffee making.

You won’t have to go through so much trouble to get a nice cup of joe in the morning.

You can also choose between a variety of flavors. The coffee beans all come from different countries and regions, all with their unique flavor. Once you put your machine on, you will be able to make delicious coffee at home using a button. It has never been so easy.

Multiple nespresso cups for comparison

There are multiple ways to enjoy these coffee cups at home. There are espresso and lungo variants; the grind size in these cups differs to bring out the best flavor possible. If you have bought the fancy Nespresso machine, you will also be able to make a delicious ristretto at home.

If you get the hang of making coffee with cups at home, you want to try to make a ristretto using the machine with the espresso/ lungo function. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Add your espresso coffee cup to your machine.
  2. The machine will now start to brew your espresso. You want to stop about halfway through your cup to get a ristretto.
  3. You can stop the machine from running by pressing the espresso button once again.

Once you get used to putting your coffee mug under the machine and pressing a button to get your morning coffee, you will not want to change this anytime soon.

Did you know that you can also make great iced coffee using Nespresso pods? If you didn’t know, you could check it out here.

What is the difference in flavor between whole beans and ground bean coffee?

The biggest flavor difference between the ground coffee beans and the whole bean is the ability to choose your own grind size when buying whole beans. If you want to make a perfect cup of coffee at home, you should remember that fresher is always better.

This means that buying whole bean coffee at your local coffee roaster will bring you the best flavor. The coffee beans have just been roasted, cooled down, and stored. This is where you come in and buy a bag of coffee beans. You are now in possession of a very fresh bag of coffee beans.

Once you start grinding these coffee beans, the smell and flavor difference that these coffee beans will give off; are next level. No pre-ground coffee will even get close to these coffee beans’ flavor profile because the coffee beans are already stale before even reaching the supermarket.

Hand coffee grinder with coffee beans in front

I suggest trying this at home for once. Buy a bag of freshly roasted coffee and a bag of pre-ground coffee you normally buy.

If you are using a drip pot, ask your coffee roaster to grind the correct size for the drip pot; this will give you an even comparison and will save you time and money because you won’t have to buy a coffee grinder.

Now make your coffees and try them out. You will be able to taste the freshness of the just roasted coffee beans instantly.

You might notice some more subtle flavors coming through your coffee while tasting as well. Once you start buying freshly roasted coffee beans, you probably won’t go back anytime soon.

The pro of using coffee pods at home is that the flavor will never change. The batch you buy now will have the same flavor a year from now. This is because the coffee in these pods is a blend.

These blends have a recipe to make the same coffee over and over. This way, you won’t have trouble choosing which beans to use and what technique to use; just add the pod to the coffee machine and enjoy your coffee!

What is the difference in price?

Let’s look at the prices for all the pre-ground coffee beans, whole beans, and coffee cups.

Price of pre-ground coffee$0.30 to $0.60 per OZ
Price of whole beans coffee$0.45 to $0.80 per OZ
Price of Nespresso cups$0.70 to $1.10 per cup of coffee

When comparing these prices, it is tough to make an average price; because the prices differ big time. This has to do with the quality of the coffee beans, whether they are pre-ground or not.

If you want to get cheap coffee, you should go with pre-ground coffee. If you want to grind the coffee at home and try out different brewing techniques, whole beans will work best.

Whenever you are not feeling like going through so much trouble making coffee in the early morning, you might want to consider buying some coffee cups.

How to store your coffee beans

When you have bought a nice bag of coffee beans or pre-ground coffee, you want to make sure you store it the right way to keep them fresh for a long time. I will give you some tips to ensure the proper freshness of your coffee beans.

Using the valve- sealed package

The best way to store your whole coffee beans is in the same bag you bought them in. This will only work when there is a valve- seal in the package. Storing them in the same bag will give you a few benefits.

Valve seal of coffee bag

First of all, you will know which coffee beans you are using to make your coffee because you can look at the coffee bag’s contents. Using the same bag will also save you money because you won’t have to buy a different glass to store the beans in.

Glass containers

If you want to get a good look at your coffee beans, you can also buy some glass containers to store your coffee beans in. This will be very nice because you will be able to look at them at all times.

Glass container with coffee beans inside

When you are buying these containers, I suggest getting some containers with a good lid, which is equipped with a pouring spout of some sort.

This will make your life a lot easier, as you won’t have to open the whole lid. You can just shake the right amount out of the container every time you need some coffee beans.

Where to store your coffee beans?

When you are looking for a good place to place for your coffee containers to be placed, make sure you are placing them out of reach of direct sunlight.

The UV coming off the sun will make your coffee beans go bad a bit quicker. The heat from the sunlight will also make the coffee go stale faster, which is not nice.

I suggest using a cabinet to store all your coffee beans in, this will prevent the sun from reaching the beans, and it will look really nice.

If you’ve got multiple coffee brewers, you might want to think about creating a “coffee corner” at home. This will include your brewers and all kinds of coffee beans in glass containers, and this will look badass!

Which coffee type is right for you?

So… which coffee variant should you choose? I have made a list for you, shortly explaining which is right for you, based on a few decisions:

Whole bean coffee, ground coffee and nespresso cups next to each other

If you want to learn more about coffee, I suggest buying whole coffee beans. The coffee beans will let you experiment with the grinding of the coffee beans. It will also allow you to try out multiple brewers, which all give off their unique flavor.

If you want to save a few bucks, I recommend buying pre-ground coffee. This will give you a good enough quality coffee bean to make a good cup of coffee at home. While still keeping some money in your pocket for other things in life.

When you want to save time while making coffee, if you need to get up early in the morning and still want to get in a cup of coffee before work, I would suggest buying coffee cups. You won’t have to grind your own coffee beans in the morning before starting the brewing process.

Whenever you want to save time and money, you can also choose to buy pre-ground coffee and make coffee using the Hario V60. This technique is easy to use, and you will be able to drink a nice cup of coffee in no- time.


There it is, all the information you need to make an informed decision on which coffee beans you should buy. This being the pre-ground, whole bean, or coffee cups!

The fun thing about coffee is trying out all the different techniques and flavors that they produce.

I have also given you insight into which coffee is right for you and compared the prices of all the different coffee beans, so the decision is even easier to make.

If you’re interested in learning more about home brewing coffee, you can do so down below. I’ve listed a few beginner guides to help you get started on this amazing journey.

Which coffee bean variant are you currently using? I would love to hear from you. Do you have any questions regarding coffee, then let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

Coffee beginner guides

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