Grinding coffee beans?

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I don't grind my own coffee.  But I have accumulated lots of foodie gifts that include coffee beans and I'd like to grind them.  I've had some for years (they do keep for a long time don't they?)  Anyway I only have one small electric grinder that I use to grind spices and my Mom always told me to keep separate grinders for coffee beans.  So what kind of grinder should I get?  The one I have for grinding spices is too small anyway.
 
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I don't grind my own coffee.  But I have accumulated lots of foodie gifts that include coffee beans and I'd like to grind them.  I've had some for years (they do keep for a long time don't they?)  Anyway I only have one small electric grinder that I use to grind spices and my Mom always told me to keep separate grinders for coffee beans.  So what kind of grinder should I get?  The one I have for grinding spices is too small anyway.

I grind coffee everyday before brewing a pot 'o Joe. I have a really simple and cheap Mr. Coffee grinder and it's worked for 3 years, never a problem. There aren't any standard settings for grinds, you just whizz and go (which I prefer because I like my own experimentation)

 
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We use a Krups GVX212 burr grinder ((around $45). Doing my research I found pretty consistent preference for burr units. The only thing I find a bit annoying about it is that the ground coffee is subject to a significant amount of static 'cling' inside the collection box so I have to slap the side of the unit and then the box before opening it. I still get a bit of 'fly around' even after that.
 
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Yep.  I'm afraid the beans you've had "for years" need to go in the compost.  It depends, but more than two or three weeks after roasting and they're not gonna be much good. 

For just occasional use the $10 whirly-blade grinders work fine, as do mortar/pestles, though both make a lot of dust which is not ideal for a consistent brew.  But unless you're going to switch to grinding regularly, it's not worth the money to buy a serious burr grinder.
 
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You must be a masochist.
LOL. No to me it is meditative, as are most processes in cooking. Plus I savor the results more being a tactile type of guy. When I am really on my meditative game, I am rewarded by discerning subtle differences as I sip the results. :~) Wax on. Wax off.
 
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Yep.  I'm afraid the beans you've had "for years" need to go in the compost.  It depends, but more than two or three weeks after roasting and they're not gonna be much good.

I get that coffee 'purists' want freshly roasted beans and grind just before brewing, but wonder if a vacuum sealed package isn't able to be kept longer than that after purchase. I'd think it may be much like wine preservation and depend a lot on the experience and palate of the end user.
 
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.............. but wonder if a vacuum sealed package isn't able to be kept longer than that after purchase.........
Nope.  Once roasted, coffee beans outgas lots of CO2     which accounts for the one-way valve on sacks of freshly roasted coffee beans.
 
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No "bad" in the sense of botulism or hairy purple mold, but bad in the sense that there won't be much flavor left.  This varies a bit by packaging, as folks have noted, and also by roast.  Light to medium roasts, where you're trying to bring out the flavors of an interesting varietal, start tasting like cardboard in couple of weeks.  Dark roasts keep much of their character for longer. 
 
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So a package of coffee beans I got as a Christmas present is now bad?
Not at all if the package hasn't been opened yet.

If you opened but didn't grind and resealed tight (I use clothes pins lol) should be ok as well.

If the flavor is not to your liking (too weak) just add more grinds next time you brew it.

mimi
 
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H
Not at all if the package hasn't been opened yet.
If you opened but didn't grind and resealed tight (I use clothes pins lol) should be ok as well.
If the flavor is not to your liking (too weak) just add more grinds next time you brew it.

mimi
Having trouble squaring this with the replies above by Colin and cocopuffs. Think it's a matter of degree and sensitivity (as I said with wine) but not sure.
 
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Not at all if the package hasn't been opened yet.
If you opened but didn't grind and resealed tight (I use clothes pins lol) should be ok as well.
If the flavor is not to your liking (too weak) just add more grinds next time you brew it.

mimi
Having trouble squaring this with the replies above by Colin and cocopuffs. Think it's a matter of degree and sensitivity (as I said with wine) but not sure.
December is a scant few months ago and if the beans were resealed tightly there should not be a problem.

Not a big enuf deal to toss the whole pkg anyways IME.

Unless of course your palate is so delicate as to detect the most subtle changes.

Plus the fact that one would need to be familiar with said variety and have a baseline to compare.

mimi

Think of the beans sold from bins in most stores.

People buy them every day and think their cup'a joe is the bomb.

It is a matter of palate and degree of change wrought by weeks? months? just sitting there hoping someone will buy them and take them home....

So yes...kinda like wine.

m.
 
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Not trying to hijack the thread, just inserting some links with info from well informed resources (and some drone on blabbing from me) for those who might be interested.

https://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee-storage

http://legacy.sweetmarias.com/packaging.woes.html

Being a severely anal-retentive chef type, when I had my own restaurant and first started to really get into coffee, I setup a side by side tasting for the staff one day.

We tasted:

grocery store bought pre-ground

grocery store bought whole bean

professional roaster bought whole bean bag at 4 days of age, which I ground 3 days earlier than the tasting

professional roaster bought whole bean bag at one week of  age

chef in house roasted whole bean at 2 days of age, which I ground 3 days earlier than the tasting

chef in house roasted whole bean at 2 days of age

I like side by side tastings because it gives me my best chance at forming a more educated opinion. Also side by side tastings with the staff helps them to better understand what and why we do things the way we did, and enabled them to be more enlightened when interacting with guests.
 
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The original question was whether it's worth buying a new appliance just in order to grind and make some roasted coffee that has been around "for years."  Koukouvagia has to make that call...

But FWIW coffee is emphatically not like corked wine, which can keep a very long time if stored properly.  OTOH it's certainly less volatile than wine after it's opened, which becomes undrinkable in a few days.

Anyone who googles "coffee staling" can find much more on this theme, and the links below are good.  

Coffee *is* like wine in that there's a great range of tasty varietals, and there's a lot of scope for a skilled roaster to bring out specific qualities of a bean.  Most of these qualities are lost a week or two after the roast date.  

I think its reasonable to point this out on a cooking forum, where we're used to the idea that there's a difference between a twinkie and a freshly-made cake, or between a frozen chicken burrito and a well-roasted chicken.  A lot of people don't care about those differences.  

I can still remember my first good cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, some 30 years ago.  It was a revelation.  I had no idea that coffee was capable of that depth or complexity of flavor.  It was like moving from Gallo jugs to real wine.  It was like going from a lifetime of microwaved burritos to a real roast chicken.  So sure, a lot of people are happy with twinkies, frozen burritos, and stale coffee!  That shouldn't limit us.
 
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