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Jul 11, 2012 02:11 PM

Grinding coffee beans

I like to grind my own beans, but I hate to run the grinder in the morning before anyone else is out of bed. You know how noisy the grinders can be. I would like opinions as to how much flavor would be lost if I grind the beans the night before brewing and put them in the drip basket, so I can just flip the switch in the morning. Hope some of you "barristers" can give me guidance

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  1. I'd wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate it until the next morning, but grinding the night before is unlikely to have any affect that you or your family will detect in the flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      The refrigerator is a terrible place to store coffee. The coffee is porous and will act in the same manner as baking soda absorbing moisture, odors and odd flavors of everything else in the refrigerator.

      I would probably try to find a way to deaden the sound and continue to grind fresh in the morning. But maybe the OP should try grinding at night and see if he/she can detect any difference. Depending on the age and quality of the bean, the quality of the grinder and the OP's tastebuds it may not make much of a difference.

    2. I've done this before - for starters I don't grind my own coffee at work. You can still get a decent pot/cup out of it. There is some loss of quality. How much exactly is hard to pinpoint. It seems to me, from my sporadic and very unscientific experiments, that some beans are more hurt by early grinding than others. To my palate, I've had problems grinding some nutty South American medium roasts early, and some African light roasts seem to change flavor but aren't entirely bad. I will say that grinding a little early doesn't seem to make as much of a difference to me as whether or not I'm using beans that are recently roasted.

      I might suggest leaving it in the grinder or some fully enclosed vessel and refrigerating until the morning, rather than leaving it in the drip basket. Really the best advice I can give is to try it for yourself and see whether you mind the difference. Worst case scenario, one pot of coffee doesn't meet your standards and you don't repeat the experiment.

      1. Sorry to suggest there is a likely difference but probably proportional to the quality and freshness of the beans. Older commodity level beans like Starbucks have already progressed down the degradation curve to where 8 hours of ground exposure may prove just barely discernible but for recently roasted (say within three days...think cafe vivace here), the degradation would border on criminal. How insane are your coffee drinkers? You could always do a doubleblindtaste test to see what actually transpires.

        1. I grind my coffee beans in the evening every weeknight. I don't notice any difference. Try it once or twice and see how you like it.

          1. I set up the coffee pot every evening for the following morning. Grinding beans and pouring water are not tasks I want to deal with first thing out of bed.
            Hell, I just cleaned this mornings pot and am probably going to go fill and grind for tomorrow sometime soon. And I think we make pretty good coffee.