When it comes to coffee, there are so many variations and options that it can almost be overwhelming. But if you want a rich, pure cup of coffee, then you've undoubtedly discovered for yourself that whole bean coffee is the best option. The best coffee is the freshest coffee, and whole bean coffee is the freshest you can get. Pre-ground coffee has been sitting for anything from a couple of days to many months, and it's just not the same as brewing a cup of coffee immediately after grinding the beans. Even cheaper whole bean coffee blends taste good if you grind the beans and brew the coffee straight afterwards.
If you have the opportunity to buy good whole bean coffee in bulk, then it's worth freezing the unopened bags. This helps keep them fresh for even longer. Of course, there is a downside to whole bean coffee - you have to grind the beans. For most of us that means buying a coffee grinder. If you're in a hurry, it can be annoying to have to take the extra step of grinding the beans, but once you sit down with that beautiful cup of coffee you'll forget the extra time it took to prepare it. The euphoria may even carry you right through the task of cleaning the coffee grinder!
The reality is that whole bean coffee isn't an instant coffee fix - it takes time to get that perfect cup of coffee. So if flavor isn't really of top importance to you, or you're lacking time or patience, then you may be better off sticking with instant coffee varieties. Most people, unfortunately, can't get past the instant gratification approach of today's society, and chucking a spoonful of coffee into a cup and pouring in hot water is about as instant as it gets.
Still, there are ways around this. When I want to make a fresh cup of coffee, I grind the beans and put the coffee onto brew. Then, as the coffee grinder is already on the bench, I grind some extra beans and store the resulting coffee in an airtight jar. Sometimes it's handy to be able to pull out pre-ground beans for a quick cup of coffee. Maybe it's not quite as good, but sometimes I'm willing to sacrifice a little bit of flavor to gain some time.
Founder of Atitlan Network