There are many reasons to grind your own coffee beans. For one, freshly ground coffee is smoother and less bitter than preground coffee. For another, the sound of a coffee grinder at 7:30 a.m. is the perfect way to say to your 24-year-old neighbors “Good morning, douchebags, and thanks for the three hours of keg stands last night. I hope you’re all pregnant.”
According to Chowhound, there’s at least one more reason to buy whole beans and grind them yourself. It would appear that ground coffee is chock full of insect parts:
It seems Douglas Emlen, a biology professor at the University of Montana, was doing a research trip with an older entomologist who was obsessed with good coffee, and who kept making deviations from the trip route to get it. In the pre-Starbucks ’80s, Emlen says, it was hard to find whole coffee beans, and the entomologist would sometimes go 45 minutes out of his way to find it. Why? As the entomologist finally explained, he had to drink only freshly ground coffee, because he had a serious allergy to cockroach.
“Preground—you know, your big bulk coffee that you buy in a tin—is all processed from these huge stockpiles of coffee … that get infested with cockroaches,” says Emlen. “And there’s really nothing they can do to filter that out. So it all gets ground up in the coffee.”
I’m sure you’re not surprised by this, since we’ve known for a long time that small animals are often caught up in the machinery of modern food processing. And because Juan Valdez died when cockroaches attacked him and his burro. But still, it’s pretty gross.
Fresh, Hot Cup of Cockroaches [Chowhound]