Is it better to grind my own coffee and keep beans whole, or is it should I have it ground?
Burr or blade
Of course we all know that it is better to buy freshly roasted coffee and keep them as beans until we need them and then grind as required.
Well, not necessarily!
There are other factors that come into play. If you do have a grinder, is it a blade or a burr?
The difference is significant. With a blade grinder the blades whizz around chopping the beans at an uneven particle size which for coffee extraction is not ideal. It will work but not as effectively as using a consistent particle size that is achieved through the use of a burr. Whether it is drip filter or Turkish coffee the end result is paramount and will be effected by your grind size consistency. If you don't have a burr, have us grind it for you to the correct size for your method and see the difference it makes.
So, in this case I believe you are far better off to use fresh pre-ground coffee that is used within a fortnight of being roasted than buying beans and grinding them improperly.
My first grinder was an old hand burr, purchased for 50 cents from an OpShop. It was very good but incredibly labour intensive to produce small amounts of espresso ground coffee. It wasn't long before I removed the handle and attached my drill to it's shaft, this considerably reduced the time it took to grind and made it far more enjoyable. Probably for this reason I've never been keen on selling hand mills.
If your not prepared to pay around $200 for a grinder, keep your eyes peeled for a new hand mill we will be getting in from Hario, as it has ceramic blades that cuts extremely well and quickly for a hand mill and should be under $90.00.