Why Are Coffee Beans More Expensive Than Ground?

If you have really browsed different coffee types and forms in your local coffee shops or supermarkets you probably have noticed that coffee beans are more expensive than ground coffee which can seem quite odd at first because why is the product that needs more processing cheaper?

There are valid and logical reasons behind that and this article will teach you everything there is to learn about it in addition to some other subjects about ground and whole coffee bean coffee. Before we get into those things we need to first understand why are coffee beans more costly than ground coffee?

Coffee beans are always more expensive than ground coffee because it produces a better cup of coffee. This is because you can grind the bean just before brewing and it contains only one coffee type whereas ground coffee usually is a mixture of many and that is easier to come by which results in cheaper prices.

As we start to see the bigger picture on the coffee prices we need to dive more in-depth into the subject so we can really understand the factors that affect it in addition to some other price-determining factors. Let’s take a look at those.

Only one coffee variety

It is extremely rare that multiple different varieties or types of coffee beans would be placed into the same packaging and this creates increased pricing for the whole bean because you may get only a specific type of bean from one farm which is more pricey.

In-ground coffee is usually always a mixture of many different lower quality beans that are brought from all over to a single factory and ultimately packaged into the same package. This makes it way cheaper to mass-produce the coffee ground and it can be sold to the sellers by the bulk.

Supply and demand

The supply for coffee beans is smaller in most places than for ground coffee yet the demand is really high, therefore the prices are forced to rise as well. This does vary between coffee varieties because there are huge coffee bean farms that ship mainly whole beans to the public, however coffee beans such as Jamaican Blue Mountain are expensive due to the fact that the farming area is a specific part of a specific area so there are really low supply but extremely high demand.

Mostly quality varieties

Last but not least whole bean coffee is usually top quality because of many reasons. First, the customer can easily see if there are some flaws in the whole bean so it needs to be quality and there is no way to truly get past that. Also, many cafés, coffee roasters, and coffee shops buy only quality whole coffee and grind the beans on the spot so it can’t be low quality in any means.

When looking at this subject from the perspective of ground coffee, every coffee that isn’t fit to sell as a whole bean gets to go to the grinder, therefore the lowest coffee quality is found in the form of ground coffee.

With these things in mind, it isn’t hard to understand why the whole bean is more expensive than ground coffee and the difference really is worth paying whether you are a coffee enthusiast at home or work in a huge coffee roaster.

Is it better to buy coffee beans or ground

Generally, buying whole bean coffee is always the better choice because it will last longer, it tastes better, you get it freshly grounded every time you make coffee, and it is fun to grind. The only con is that it costs more but a pack of coffee lasts a while so if the $2-$3 difference isn’t hard to pay I say go for the whole bean.

This will vary between different people and someone just might not want to grind their own coffee and will rather keep the saved $2 so it is totally understandable if someone chooses ground before the whole bean.

Are expensive coffee beans worth it

If you are a coffee enthusiast then more expensive varieties are totally worth it because the unique aromas, rarity, high grade that reflect the smoothness of the coffee, and perfect roast level will give the cup of coffee really a different feel it when compared to a basic coffee variety.

However, I would advise caution in this because if the coffee is solely expensive due to branding and it turns out it is some bulk order Robusta coffee, then it certainly isn’t worth paying double the price.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive coffee

There are many noticeable differences between expensive and cheap coffee, however, there are also some differences that really aren’t an interest for the average joe of coffee drinkers. Let’s take a closer look at the noticeable differences.

The most important and noticeable difference is the coffee quality. If the coffee is high-quality Arabica bean then it will certainly taste better, feel better, and smell better than cheap low-quality Robusta bean. Also, if the more expensive coffee has certifications such as fair trade or organic it will up the price as well and fair trade particularly is well worth the cost.

There are also some differences that widen the price gap but aren’t so meaningful for most coffee drinkers. For example, the coffee’s origin country can have a huge price difference even if it isn’t a guarantee of more tasty coffee.

For example, Ethiopian coffee can cost much more than coffee from Uganda because the farming methods have been more natural which increases the time to produce them and this will obviously increase the price but isn’t so big a concern to most coffee drinkers.

Do coffee beans last longer than ground

Yes, whole beans last fresh 2-6 months on average, whereas ground coffee lasts 2-3 weeks after opening the bag. However, after the coffee bean has been ground it starts to lose its best flavor and freshness after 20 minutes so you can get the maximum aroma if you buy the whole bean and grind it before brewing it.

Is grinding coffee beans cheaper

In general, you can get pre-ground coffee with a cheaper price tag however it usually is at the cost of quality, aroma, and definitely freshness. So if you want to save money between whole bean and ground coffee, then may want to consider buying ground coffee.

Do you get more coffee with whole beans or ground

In most cases, coffee is sold by weight so you won’t get more coffee whether you decide to buy whole beans or already ground coffee.

Should I grind coffee beans daily

If you have whole beans and the opportunity to grind when ever you want, then you should grind coffee beans daily and don’t stop there. Coffee start to lose it’s freshness after 20minutes when it is grinded, therefore I personally grind the beans minutes before brewing so I can get the most aromatic cup of coffee.

Does grinding coffee finer make it stronger

Finer grind doesn’t make the coffee stronger, however, it will extract the maximum amount of flavor and aroma so grinding the coffee beans too fine rather than small pieces will give you a much more enjoyable coffee drinking experience.


There are many valid reasons for buying whole bean coffee even when it is more expensive. If you have the money to invest you should get only whole beans because the benefits outweigh the couple bucks that you pay extra every time you buy a pack of coffee which isn’t probably even every week.

I hope that this article gave you some real value that you can implement into your everyday life because that is the ultimate goal of this article, to help you in your life! Until next time, keep it brewing.

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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