I use a lot of cloves. I prefer to purchase them whole, as they do lose their flavor and pungency quickly once ground.
Cloves are little fragile dried flowers on stems. Commercial spice milling plants can grind the whole things to a fine powder. A cook can spend a good while and crush them to a gritty dust, but not much further than that without real dedication. Being so pungent, this can cause coarser particles of material to create unbalanced flavors in a dish.
I have found two solutions for this issue, which are conditional on the requirements and type of dish being made.
I remove the delicate flower heads, crush them, and use them alone. The flavor is herbal, floral, and light, rather than medicinal. This works remarkably well for refined and delicate dishes.
For bolder flavors in simmered dishes, I frequently stick the clove stems, without the flower heads, into an onion, chunk of ginger, garlic clove, tea ball, (empty) tea bag, or other holder. I can then easily remove them from the pot after they have done their job, without risking someone getting hurt on one.