how to make coffee with whole beans | (An easy guide!)

Growing up I only knew two ways to use coffee beans to brew a cup of coffee either to buy a grinder to grind the whole bean coffee or to buy a pack of pre-ground coffee.

Grinding coffee beans do not actually improve the taste of your brew but it can speed up the rate of the brewing process. When we grind the coffee beans the surface area increases and increased surface area enhances the rate of extraction of flavors from the coffee beans.

I always thought that it will take days to brew a cup of coffee with whole bean coffee and the taste will be watery.

But actually, there is a quick method (Not so Quick!) of brewing coffee with whole beans that I am going to discuss in this article. I bet that you will get a strong cup of coffee (not watery). It will take more time to brew but it will not take days to brew a single cup of coffee. 

So, whether you want to try this exciting new method or you don’t have a budget to buy a new grinder for yourself this article will be very helpful for you.

Things you need to brew coffee with whole beans

First, let us look at the supplies you need to brew coffee with whole beans coffee. These supplies are already present in almost every kitchen you don’t need to buy anything extra.

  • Water (Filtered water would be better)
  • A saucepan to boil the water
  • Stovetop or anything to boil the water
  • A Mason Jar (should be made of strong glass)
  • A spoon for stirring
  • And obliviously a mug and whole coffee beans 


How do you make a cup of coffee with whole beans?

Let’s dive into a complete step-by-step process on how to make coffee with whole beans.

how to make coffee with whole beans
How to make coffee with whole beans

i- Heat the water in a saucepan

The first step is to heat the water in a saucepan near its boiling point. Using filtered or bottled water is recommended.

ii- Measure the coffee beans

Meanwhile, the water is boiling, put coffee beans into the mason jar. The amount of coffee beans depends on the amount of coffee you want to brew. Using a 2:1 ratio of coffee beans to water is recommended (that is 20 grams of coffee beans for a 10-ounce cup).

iii- Pour the water

Now pour the boiling water into the Mason Jar that already has the coffee beans in it.

iv- Heat the water

Again, fill the water in the saucepan and put it on the stovetop. You can use unfiltered or tap water in this step as you are not going to drink it.

v- Place the Mason Jar in Saucepan

Now place the Mason Jar in the Saucepan. Make sure that the level of water in the saucepan meets the level of water in the Mason Jar.

vi- Allow it to steep

Keep the heat of the stovetop to medium and allow the coffee beans to steep for 1 hour. (Stirring is also recommended after every 5 to 10 minutes)

vii- Pour and strain

Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and remove the Mason jar from the saucepan carefully using some towel pads. Put the strainer on the top of your coffee mug and pour the freshly brewed coffee into your mug slowly.

viii- Sip and Enjoy

Take small sips and enjoy your cup of joe! I am sure that you will like the taste of coffee brewed from whole beans coffee.

How to make Cold Brew with whole bean coffee?

For making cold-brew coffee extra coarse grounds are usually used. The essence of cold brew is that it is never exposed to heat. While using whole beans coffee to prepare cold brew you have to steep it for a little longer. As whole beans have a small surface area and they extract flavors slowly.

i- Put the coffee beans and filtered water into a glass jar or whatever container you want to use (Using an airtight container is a good option). Recommended coffee to water ratio for cold brew is 1:4 (That means 1 cup of coffee beans for 4 cups of cold brew). Obviously, you can adjust this ratio according to your taste. Take 1:4 as your starting point and adjust it to match whether you want a strong cup of coffee or a lighter one.

ii- Allow it to steep for 24 hours either in a fridge or at room temperature. 

Keeping it at room temperature will make the brew stronger compared to the fridge.

iii- After 24 hours, shift the cold brew to another container using a strainer to remove the extracted coffee beans. 

iv- Sip and enjoy fresh cold brew coffee. 

Can you use whole beans to make coffee?

Most of us use coffee grounds to brew a cup of coffee. It is the most common way and almost all the coffee makers do not allow you to put whole coffee unless they have a grinder. 

On the other hand, you can also make a great cup of coffee using whole-bean coffee and it actually has many benefits.

i- Ultimate Freshness: Ground coffee deteriorates more quickly than whole bean coffee because of its enlarged surface area. Whole bean coffee can stay fresh for up to 3 to 5 months while ground coffee only stays fresh for one month if stored properly.

ii- Consistent taste: If you are using a blade grinder or cheap grinders to grind your coffee beans then in my opinion it’s better to use whole beans to brew instead. Because blade grinders always produce inconsistent grind sizes which will result in a cup of coffee with unbalanced flavors. For perfect grind size, you have to invest in an expensive burr grinder.

There is another con of using a grinder which is that it generates a lot of heat during the grinding process. And the heat makes the oxidation process of coffee grounds quicker which causes degradation in taste.

Another great advantage of brewing coffee with whole beans is that you can brew it anywhere. Whether you are on a camping trip or shifted to a new home or office (where you don’t have access to a grinder) this method of brewing will be very delightful for you.

Cons of using whole beans to brew coffee

Despite having some benefits this coffee brewing method also has some disadvantages

i- The first one is obvious you have to wait for a long time to brew coffee. You can brew a good cup of coffee using grounds in three to four minutes max, while you have to wait for an hour while using whole-bean coffee.

ii- The second con is you have to use more coffee per cup while using whole beans. Economically speaking buying a good quality grinder will be more cost-effective than using whole beans.

Final Thoughts

Brewing coffee with whole beans takes so much longer but it can yield an excellent cup of coffee. This method is a lifesaver for folks who don’t have a good quality grinder or facing a power outage. Also, this method is perfect for brewing coffee while on a camping trip.

If you already have a quality burr coffee grinder then brewing with whole beans coffee does not make sense as it takes a lot of time. But even then you can try brewing with whole beans if you love to try new brewing techniques. I bet you will fall in love with the consistent and balanced flavors of coffee prepared with whole beans.

Want to try something different? Read an interesting guide on Kopi Luwak AKA poop coffee


What’s The Best Way To Store Whole Coffee Beans?

The best way to store whole bean coffee is in an airtight container at room temperature. And also try to keep coffee beans in a dark place away from light.

How Long Do Whole Beans Last?

If stored properly in a sealed container coffee beans can last up to 3 to 4 minutes. The shelf life of roasted coffee beans can be extended by properly freezing them up to 4 to 5 years.


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Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.