The Aeropress is a postable coffee brewer that only brews single cups of strong espresso-like coffee. It usually only takes the coffee a minute or so to brew before you press it through a special filter into your mug.
You may be wondering however if pre-ground coffee is acceptable to use in an Aeropress.
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between pre-ground and whole bean coffee for an Aeropress.
What Happens When you Grind Coffee Beans?
The main differences between pre-ground and whole bean coffee can be summarized by referencing taste, freshness, and smell.
Once coffee beans are ground, they start to lose their flavor and aroma pretty quickly. Even pre-ground coffee in vacuum-sealed packages are still at risk of this.
The reason why coffee grounds tend to lose flavor has to do with oxidation and loss of oils.
The majority of the flavor and aroma from coffee come from volatile oils, which are present inside of the coffee bean. When you grind coffee, it disrupts the shell of the bean, releasing the oils.
Once the oils are released, they mix with oxygen in the air. This oxidation happens quickly, and leads to a reduction in aroma and flavor even within minutes.
Coffee Confidential states that up to 60% of the coffee’s aroma is lost within 15 minutes of grinding!
Due to the majority of the flavor in the coffee coming from its oils, that also means that ground coffee is able to soak up odors that are nearby. This may further reduce or contaminate the flavor of pre-ground coffee.
Can You Uuse Pre-Ground Coffee in an Aeropress?
The short answer is yes, you can use pre-ground coffee in an Aeropress. You can use pre-ground coffee for any method of coffee brewing.
However, it’s possible to make a more flavorful and rich cup of coffee if you are using whole bean coffee that you grind yourself.
Not only will grinding the coffee yourself result in better flavor it will also allow you to dial in the correct grind size for Aeropress which will also give you better coffee in the end.
Benefits of Using Pre-Ground Coffee in an Aeropress
There are some upsides to using pre-ground coffee with your Aeropress. The main benefits are time and convenience.
You can save yourself time by buying pre-ground coffee, since you get to skip the step of grinding the beans yourself.
Many people find pre-ground coffee to be a more convenient way to buy and make coffee.
Downsides to Using Pre-Ground Coffee in an Aeropress
The main downsides to using pre-ground coffee in an Aeropress have to do with flavor, aroma, and richness of the coffee.
As mentioned above, the oils that make up the aroma and taste of the coffee start to break down as soon as the coffee bean is ground. If you want the most flavorful cup of coffee, you may want to purchase whole bean coffee and grind it yourself.
The other main problem with using pre-ground coffee is usually the grind size. Most pre-ground coffees come with a medium particle size.
The Aeropress makes it’s coffee best with a fine particle size.
When you brew with a size that’s bigger than ideal you usually get underextracted coffee that may taste a bit sour or watery.
See this post for a comparison of sour vs bitter coffee to learn more about flavor extraction.
Yes, you can use pre-ground coffee in an Aeropress. A trade-off of saving on time and convenience may result in a less flavorful cup of coffee.
If you are concerned about time, you can use pre-ground coffee.
If you are concerned about having the best tasting coffee, you should grind your coffee beans right before brewing them in the Aeropress.