Is It Cheaper To Grind Your Own Coffee Beans? Or Buy Ground Coffee Beans?

Is It Cheaper To Grind Your Own Coffee Beans?

Should you ground your own coffee beans, but worry if the time and effort are worth it? Or maybe you’re purchasing pre-ground coffee and thinking if by grinding your own you can save a couple of bucks.

Were you trying to find out the cost difference between grinding and pre-ground purchasing your own coffee beans?

Perfect, you’re in the right place. You will find out in this article if grinding your coffee beans or purchasing pre-ground is a good idea to save time and effort.

The battle between pre-ground coffee vs whole coffee beans

coffee beans

There is not much difference in price when it comes to buying pre-ground coffee or whole coffee beans. Many brands sell their coffee at the same price whether it’s pre-ground and whole beans.

A typical 12-ounce bag of coffee for $6 to $18. Starbucks is currently selling pre-ground and whole beans at $8 each in 12-ounce packs, while La Colombe is pricing them at $13.

  • Starbucks House Blend Medium Roast Coffee, Whole Bean, 12-Ounce Bag – ($0.97/oz)
  • Starbucks House Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag – ($0.56/oz)

Is Pre-Ground Coffee Cheaper?

Looking at pre-ground coffee and whole beans rates, you’ll find that companies mostly market pre-ground coffee at lower prices. This is because a huge amount of low-quality coffee is made. Several factors allow pre-ground coffee producers to sell at lower prices.

For the most part, low-price pre-ground coffee sales are low-quality coffee. According to ACS there is also a possibility that pre-ground coffee has additives in it that are not coffee beans. There is a lot of demand for pre-ground coffee, so more is made, contributing to low prices.

Another consideration is that the price of pre-ground coffee is smaller than that of whole beans, reducing costs of transportation and storage.

For ground coffee, there is a broader price range than in whole beans. If you’re hunting for quality pre-ground coffee, the costs will be much higher than for whole beans.

Should You Grind Your Own Coffee Beans?

scaling coffee beans

Coffee fans realize that grinding beans freshly is the only way to get the best coffee taste. Let’s look at how it operates.

1. The roasting

The coffee beans accumulate a lot of carbon dioxide in the beans during the roasting process. Carbon dioxide presence is important as it adds to the coffee’s flavor. Sadly, during the cooling process, much of this gas is lost and more is lost during the grinding process.

In about 60 seconds of grinding, about 80% of carbon dioxide gas is released. You’re probably going to wind up with a bad taste of coffee in storage within a week or so. Grind your coffee before brewing to solve this issue!

2. The aroma and the taste

Ground coffee is vulnerable to contamination. The oil in the coffee beans is very prone. Contaminants will readily find their way through ground beans, contributing to an unpalatable taste that aggravates the more they are exposed to the atmosphere.

When whole coffee beans are crushed, just 15 minutes of grounding, they lose 60 percent of their inherent aroma. Exposure to air raises the degradation rate within the coffee beans of the aromatic compounds so that the taste is bland the more the beans are exposed to sunlight.

coffee beans

3. Lasts longer

A freshly roasted coffee bean lasts about 30 days after the roasting for the freshest flavor.

And, if you choose ground coffee beans, worry about how much taste you sacrifice. The ground coffee beans would have lost almost all of their taste to the end of their shelf-life; thus, it is safer to eat them entirely.

Moisture may also influence ground coffee’s taste. Once subjected to even a slight amount of moisture, ground coffee starts to dilute the oils, which is the basis of the distinct scent and flavor of the coffee. That’s why ground coffee must be stored in a storage container that is airtight.

READ Related Article:  Burr vs Blade Grinder for Coffee

4. The method

When you want to experience the different flavors and aromas of your coffee, ground coffee is not for you as it creates consistent taste. You’re limited to using a particular brewing system for ground coffee, which in effect limits the brew change options. If you order a semi-fine ground versus coarse, you’re stuck with using a Chemex versus French Press. That means you will need to buy another bag of coffee if you want to switch things up a bit. You can decide at that moment when you’re about to grind your own coffee, what you feel like drinking.

5. Grinding

Upon roasting, the next step is to ground the beans. You should use the coffee within an hour of grinding to get the best flavor.

Does this mean that there is no complete taste in pre-ground coffee? Sure, pre-ground coffee is never going to have the complete flavor of freshly ground coffee. Manufacturers, though, seek to maintain the flavors by various methods, including adding additives.

It’s obvious that grinding your own beans would lead to coffee being better, but what about the cost?

Grinding your coffee versus coffee pods

coffee accessories

Let’s see how much money you can really save by grinding your own coffee beans, compared to buying a coffee pod.

1. Whole Coffee Beans

Let’s take into account that you start from scratch with a whole coffee bean. An inexpensive grinder is about $20 dollars, and it grinds a minimum of 5,000 cups. The expense is 1 cent for each grinding. The expense of a cheap coffee pot is about $10. When you purchase a filter, the cost 1 cent each.

Some people think it’s enough to make a cup containing 0.25 ounces of coffee. So, if you’re buying an $18 40-ounce of coffee, 1 cent is the expense per cup. It will be 14 cents a cup if we include the above-calculated costs.

2. Coffee Pods

So, what if you use a coffee pod? How much is it going to cost you? It would run you $50 for the cheapest coffee maker. The average of Amazon’s 96 Senseo pods is about 25 (at the time of writing), so it costs approximately 25 cents a pack.

It would be a sum of 26 cents if we included the expense of a coffee maker at 1% per cup. This is about twice the rate than grinding your own coffee beans.

But Do You Need an Expensive Grinder to Grind Coffee?

There are three main types of coffee grinders to consider when grinding your coffee beans. And none of them cost you a fortune in comparison to buying coffee every day at a coffee shop. Take a look at our coffee grinder hub to learn more about these grinders.

Electric Blade Grinder

  • Cheapest
  • Inconsistent coffee grinds

Manual Burr Grinder

Electric Burr Grinder

  • Mid-range price
  • Consistency coffee grinds


Before you make your decision, whether you want to sacrifice flavor for a fast jolt or cost reasons, ask yourself these questions before making the final decision:

  • How often do you drink coffee?
  • Do you have enough time to make coffee?
  • How much are you willing to spend on your coffee?


Our calculation above suggests that it is much easier to grind your own coffee beans than to use coffee pods. If you are a regular coffee drinker, the long-term grinding of your coffee can save you a good amount of money. In fact, right after grinding, you’re controlling the flavor of the coffee, you can have the best flavor.

But, you can go with any choice if you don’t drink coffee daily. This depends on your convenience. You can go with coffee pods if you want to save time. You can choose to roast your coffee beans if you want to have the best taste each time.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.