How To Make Coffee With Whole Beans (Without Grinding)

how to make coffee with whole beans

The most traditional way of drinking coffee involves grinding up coffee beans and combining them with water in some way. You may get pre-ground beans or grind them yourself. What you might not know is that you don’t have to grind your coffee beans to get a delicious cup of joe.

Making coffee from whole beans is a rather straightforward process. The flavors are much more bold and the aroma will have you going back for a second cup. 

When you follow no-grind coffee methods, you don’t have to do anything special. All you need is coffee, water, and some way to combine the two such as a pot, French press, or a jar to keep in the fridge. Coffee techniques with whole beans are similar to what you already do at home but allow for a bolder and more consistent cup of coffee.

Key Takeaways

  • When you brew with whole beans, you get better preservation of both flavor and aroma. 
  • The main three ways to make coffee with whole bans without grinding are cold brew, direct boiling, and French press. 
  • It’s important to practice patience if you want a deep extraction of the natural coffee flavors.

How to Brew Coffee Without a Grinder?

It’s easy enough to brew coffee without a grinder. It just takes a little practice. 

French Press

The French press method is the fastest option. It works similar to standard coffee with a French press, it just takes a little longer. You won’t need to do anything extra or buy extra equipment to brew whole beans in this method at all. 

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients

First, you want to make sure you have everything you need. Gather enough hot water to fill your French press, a spoon, coffee, and your French press itself. The general guideline is 1TBSP or 7g of whole coffee to half a cup of water. 

  1. Heat the Water

Using a kettle or a pot on the stove, you’ll want to heat enough water to fill up your French press. Between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (90 to 93 degrees Celcius) is the optimal coffee brewing temperature to ensure that your beans don’t burn. 

  1. Add Your Beans

While your water is boiling, add your beans to the French press. You may have to experiment a few times to figure out how much coffee you’ll need to make a cup of coffee you enjoy if the guideline above doesn’t work for you.

  1. Pour the Water

When the water reaches the ideal temperature, pour it over your beans inside the French press. You can fill it up until it’s full or until you have the amount of coffee you want. 

  1. Steep

Give the beans a quick stir and then place the lid on the French press. Your coffee should be ready in as little as five minutes, but some people prefer closer to an hour. 

  1. Press

Once it’s steeped, press the plunger down slowly until the beans are secure.

  1. Serve

Pour the coffee into a cup of your choice. Drink it as is, or add cream and sugar. 

Cold Brew

Like a cold brew coffee? You can get great results from allowing your whole beans to soak overnight. Pour in your favorite creamer and some extra ice and you’ve got the perfect drink to get you through a rough day at work. 

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients

Get a jar or other container to hold your coffee, your beans, cold water, and some filter or cheesecloth. The general ratio of coffee to water is an ounce of coffee, or 28.3g to two cups of water. 

  1. Add Your Beans

Once you have the perfect number of beans, place them in the jar. They can just go right on the bottom of the jar. 

  1. Pour the Water

Next, pour the water. Cold or cool tap water is best.

  1. Seal

Close your container or seal the jar you are using to prevent any smells from changing the taste of your coffee. It also prevents spills in your fridge. 

  1. Steep

Place the sealed container in the fridge. You’ll want to steep for a minimum of 12 hours, up to 24 hours 

  1. Filter

Once your coffee has steeped for your preferred time, filter the whole coffee beans out.

  1. Serve

Pour into your cup or container of choice. If you want, you can add your preferred creamers or dilute it with water, and serve. 

Direct Boiling

You can boil your coffee right on the stove too. You don’t need a fancy coffee pot or anything to get a delicious cup of coffee.

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients

All you need for this method is a bit of water, a pot, and whole coffee beans. Roughly half a cup of whole beans is a good start for a large cup of coffee. If you don’t like your coffee all that strong, consider a quarter of a cup to start. 

  1. Add Water and Beans

Pour your water and coffee beans into the pot at the same time. Then start your pot. 

  1. Boil

Bring your water to a boil. You’ll want to stir frequently to stop your beans from burning on the bottom of a pot.

  1. Simmer

Once the coffee boils, reduce the temperature to a low simmer. It only needs about five minutes of simmering.

  1. Cool

Remove from the heat when it’s done. This stops the beans from cooking more than they should. Let your coffee cool a little before moving on to the next step. 

  1. Filter

Using a fine mesh or cheesecloth, separate the beans from the now-brewed coffee.

  1. Serve

Pour the coffee into a cup, add your other ingredients of choice, and enjoy.

Benefits of Brewing with Whole Beans

There are a few benefits to using whole coffee beans. Ultimately, it comes down to the flavor profile and freshness. 

Freshness

If you don’t have a grinder at home, you’re likely buying pre-ground coffee beans. This works in a pinch but isn’t the best option if you want the most out of your coffee. As soon as you grind coffee beans, oxidation starts to set in. Oxidation changes the flavor profile the older coffee gets, which means every cup may taste a little different. 

Flavor and Aroma

Coffee beans are full of oil. Carbon dioxide plays a large role in allowing those oils to spread throughout the coffee. When you grind up coffee, the oils, and carbon dioxide react at a much faster rate as there is more surface area for them to interact. 

Top Brands for Whole Bean Coffee Brewing

Any coffee brand you traditionally use, if they have a whole bean option, is fine to use. If you want to expand your flavor profile, there are some brands known to be a little better quality than others. 

  • Stone Street Coffee Company
  • Illy Classico
  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters
  • LIFEBOOST
  • LavAzza

Conclusion

Now you see that it’s relatively easy to use fresh coffee beans. There are no fancy techniques to use unground coffee. It sometimes takes a few minutes longer, but the coffee flavor profile that comes from fresh whole beans is worth it. 

FAQ

Is it more expensive to buy whole beans than ground coffee?

Whole beans are often more expensive than ground coffee. The main difference is that whole beans are generally better quality and the coffee bean origin focuses on one location.

Does brewing with whole beans take longer than traditional methods?

Brewing coffee with whole beans takes longer. Since there isn’t much surface area, and the water has to soak into the full coffee ban for more flavor, you can expect your coffee to take a bit longer to make. 

How do I store whole coffee beans for freshness?

The best way to store whole beans is to keep them in a container that doesn’t let in any air or light

What equipment do I need to brew coffee with whole beans?

You don’t need anything special to brew coffee with whole beans. That’s part of the beauty of it. You need less equipment, since there’s no need to buy a coffee grinder. 

Can coffee be made with raw beans?

It is possible to brew coffee made with raw beans. It is a quite delicious drink but isn’t much like the coffee you’re used to drinking. Green coffee has a more grassy, herbal, and mild flavor, similar to some green teas.
Christopher Mize

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