Preground coffees from the supermarket

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

#1: Post by jayjp04 »

Hello everyone,

I am a poor graduate student and am receiving an espresso machine for x-mas. I have been reading some of the articles/forums on here, and just thought I would ask about coffee. I understand that many of you buy your coffee directly from a roaster, but I am quite poor and am on clinical, so I move frequently (every 2 months!). Are there any roasts that can be bought at the regular supermarket that anyone can recommend? Does anyone ever use Peet's, Seattle's Best, or anything similar that can produce an O.K. espresso? After reading on this site, I realized I should not buy a grinder, as I do not have 200 dollars or more to spend, which is why I will be buying beans that have already been ground. Thank you for your time, and if there is already a post about this I apologize... I searched but was unable to find what I was looking for!


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#2: Post by sweaner »

You will not have much success with your plan. Here is a better plan: Get yourself a good hand grinder. Either find local roasters, or mail order fresh coffee. It is really not that much more expensive, and will be MUCH better. ... ath=124_95
LMWDP #248

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#3: Post by HB »

jayjp04 wrote:...I will be buying beans that have already been ground.
Scott's right. Better to have freshly ground coffee to make French press than stale coffee for espresso. To elaborate, I am taking the lazy way out and excerpting my response several years ago from Use preground coffee while saving for an espresso grinder?:

Preground coffee = stale coffee. The oils that make up the crema are volatile; as they evaporate, so does the potential crema. And to make matters worse, the grind fineness changes as they evaporate (finer and finer). The only machines that can readily produce a non-gusher with preground coffee are those with "pressurized portafilters," but the result is lifeless, dull, black bitter brew.

Unfortunately I speak from experience, as documented in Hall of Shame: ''What I did when I was a newbie...'' :oops:
Dan Kehn

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#4: Post by keno »

Using store bought preground coffee with an espresso machine is a terrible waste. If you use regular ground coffee it just won't work for espresso, since the grind is too coarse. You can use Illy, but I'm not sure you'll save much money over purchasing better quality coffee. In any case, once you open it it will start to go stale very quickly and you'll waste a lot of coffee unless you are drinking large quantitites.

A better strategy may be to stick with a drip machine and first buy a good grinder and then to add the espresso machine later when you can afford it. The coffee is easy - buy a $10 hot air popcorn popper online and some green beans, then roast your own coffee. This would be cheaper than buying roasted beans and you will learn a lot about coffee in the process. Read about it here:

Good luck,

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#5: Post by sweaner »

I just noticed that you are in Portland. It should be easy to find fresh coffee there.
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