Coffee gear can be expensive, so it's certainly more economical to buy pre-ground coffee beans than to purchase a grinder and grind the beans yourself. However, if you're buying coffee beans at Costco, there are in-store coffee bean grinders that you've probably been overlooking, allowing you to opt for a bag of whole beans that you can grind on-site. Simply follow your nose to the smell of fresh coffee grinds and you will find the machine.
Although purchasing pre-ground coffee beans can feel like a money and time saver, freshly ground beans have many advantages. For one, don't buy ground coffee beans before knowing about the oxidation process. Coffee beans trap carbon dioxide and aroma compounds responsible for that great coffee flavor. After the beans are roasted, the process of releasing these compounds slowly begins. However, once the roasted coffee beans are ground their surface area significantly increases, thus exposing the beans to even more air and speeding up oxidation. This means that pre-ground coffee on the shelves has already lost a bunch of its freshness and aroma qualities in comparison to whole beans. For a richer cup of coffee, take advantage of the grinders in Costco and buy whole beans instead.
Using Costco's Coffee Grinders
Thankfully, Costco's coffee bean grinders are straightforward to use. After you've located them (often by the exit or food court), open your bag of whole beans and pour it into the top of the machine. Make a selection for the best grind size for how you make your coffee, then place the empty bag under the spout to catch the grinds, and press start.
While convenient, using Costco's in-store coffee bean grinders also comes with a few minor disadvantages. Remember that you're not the only person using these machines. Customers put many types of beans, some flavored, through the grinders and residual grinds may end up in your bag. You're also not the one cleaning the machine so you're taking a leap of faith it's been cleaned recently and thoroughly. Most importantly, Costco sells big bags of beans. By using their in-store grinder, you are committing to grinding the whole bag at once and the freshness of the beans starts fading once they are ground.
To maximize the freshness of your freshly ground Costco coffee, check the roast date. The more recently roasted the beans are, the better. Next, invest in an air-tight container for your coffee grinds. Finally, try your best to use up all the grinds within around 2 weeks before the flavor starts to fade.
Read the original article on Mashed.