I think that this question has been asked so many times that it has gotten quite old. However, the fact that people keep asking it over and over again means that it is not that clear to many how grinding your own coffee beans can make a difference in the quality of your coffee.
To be honest with you, I was one of those people who kept asking this question. I normally use my good old drip coffee machine. It is just really more convenient (prep time and clean up time) than using my espresso machine (which, by the way, is in storage – yeah I know, sacrilege!). When I did get a grinder (Krups) and tried grinding my own beans, however, I discovered what I had been missing out on.
It is hard to explain, really. All that I can say is that when you buy freshly roasted whole beans and then you grind a small amount to brew, the flavor is just so wonderful! Naturally, the quality of the drink would depend on the kind of beans that you get but given the same kind, freshly ground beans are the best.
Another thing about grinding your own beans and preserving the flavor of the coffee is that you can store the whole beans for a longer period of time than you could store coffee grounds. I have noticed that even if you store coffee grounds in a sealed container, the freshness deteriorates much more quickly than if you stored the whole beans.
So to answer that question – yes, grinding your own coffee beans is definitely worth the extra effort that you have to put into measuring out the beans, grinding them, and then cleaning out the grinder. It’s a small price to pay, really.