We're often asked, " Is buying whole bean coffee really worth the extra effort?" The short answer is yes! Just as a fresh loaf of bread begins to go stale at an accelerated rate once you've cut into it, so does coffee once its been ground.
There are many compounds within the coffee that break down over time and exposure to light and oxygen will hasten this process further. Once ground these compounds will breakdown at an accelerated rate. There are also oils within the beans that, once released, begin to breakdown and can introduce off flavors into your cup.
Bottom line, if you're looking to get the best flavor from your freshly roasted coffee then you'll want to grind your beans immediately before using them. If that simply isn't something you are either willing or able to do, try using your coffee as close to the roast date as possible.