How To Grind Coffee Beans With And Without A Grinder

Are you a coffee fan who swears by freshly ground coffee?

You probably have a high-quality grinder that you can use at any time.

But what happens if your grinder suddenly malfunctions?

This article gives you tips on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

Let’s find out.

Related: 9 Best Keurig Coffee Makers 2021

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How To Grind Coffee Beans With And Without A Grinder

The 4 Types of Coffee Grounds

Coarse grind: With a consistency similar to chunky sea salt and clearly defined particles, this is ideal for French press coffee and cold brews.

Medium grind: This has the same texture as coarse sand and is best suited for drip or pour-over coffee.

Related: The Different Types Of Coffee Beans That Exists

Fine grind: It’s the same inconsistency as refined sugar and is excellent for espresso.

Extra fine: It’s similar in texture to powdered sugar, and it’s suited for Turkish coffee.

The Benefits of Coffee Grinding 

Stronger aroma: Freshly ground coffee gives your coffee a delicious scent, unlike pre-ground coffee, which has already lost its flavor.

Better flavor extraction: Roasted coffee beans have carbon dioxide trapped in them. This trapped gas gets quickly lost in grounded coffee beans.

Grinding your coffee just before brewing helps it retain the carbon dioxide for more flavor.

Long-lasting: When coffee beans are ground and stored, they lose their flavor. Whole coffee beans can last for long periods without losing flavor if well kept.

Fewer absorbed flavors: Coffee is very porous. Keeping whole beans is a great way to limit moisture effects from the coffee.

How To Grind Coffee Beans With A Grinder

A grinder is a device for crushing coffee beans into grains or powder. It’s the easiest and the most effective way of grinding coffee beans. 

This vital tool produces coffee with a consistent grind. It helps extract the aroma and taste from coffee beans resulting in delicious, high-quality coffee.

Related: 13 Coffee Drinks You Need To Try At Home

Grinders come in different types and shapes, including blade grinders, burr grinders, disc, and conical grinders. Burr grinders are considered the best.

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How to Grind Coffee Beans Mechanically 

Use a blender

Did you know that you can use an ordinary home blender to grind your coffee? Although it’s a simple way to grind coffee beans, this method results in grounds of pre-ground different sizes.

The blender whirls, crushing the beans into coarse to medium-coarse ground like a blade grinder. 

Related: 10 Best Espresso Machines Under $100

Some blenders come with a coffee-specific grinder function, while others don’t. Ensure that you use the pulse setting.

To avoid burning the beans while blending, ensure the grinding process takes a maximum of 30 seconds.

You’ll need

  • A blender
  • Coffee beans
  • A cup

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Blender

  • Use the medium-high or grinder setting on your blender.
  • Put an ideal amount (¼ or ½  cups) of coffee into the blender and firmly close. 
  • Grind the beans in bursts of 3-5 seconds using the pulse settings
  • Repeat for a maximum of 30 seconds or six bursts
  • Slightly tilt the blender from side to side while grinding for a more consistent grind.
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Food processor

Are you stuck on a vacation with no means of getting your coffee beans ground?

Can you spot a food processor somewhere in there?

Although not as efficient as a regular grinder, this method will save you from daily driving through a coffee spot.

The food processor gives similar results to a blender but produces an enormous amount of coffee.

So, how exactly do you put it into use to grind your beans?

Let’s find out, shall we?

You’ll need

  • Coffee beans
  • Food processor 
  • Power source

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Food Processor

  • Put an appropriate amount of coffee, preferably ½ -1 cup, into the processor.
  • Put the processor on pulse setting and grind the beans in short bursts of 3-5 seconds.
  • Tilt the processor while grinding for better results. It will make the larger sections of the beans move into the blades.
  • Empty the processor, add new coffee, and repeat the process till you achieve your desired ground.
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Mincer or garlic press

Related: How To Make Stovetop Coffee

It is a super simple method that involves squeezing the beans out of the area that houses garlic or meat. Sounds tiring, right?

Though simple, this method will require you to put your patience into use. These devices only grind a small number of beans at a time and produce extra coarse grinds.

However, you can repeat the process severally to achieve your desired consistency.

Here is how to use either of these devices to get the best results:

You’ll need

  • Coffee beans
  • Garlic press or  mincer
  • Bowl

How to Grind Coffee with a Mincer or Garlic Press

Follow these steps to grind your coffee:

  • Add a small number of beans into the mincer or garlic press.
  • Ensure you place a bowel below the mincer or press to catch the coffee grinds.
  • Tightly squeeze the device or crank it until all the beans have passed through
  • Add back the contents of the bowl into the mincer or press and repeat the process until you achieve your desired type of ground.
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How to Grind Coffee Beans Manually 

Grinding manually involves using your hands without any electric appliances. These methods take quite some time and would require some bit of patience. 

The various ways of grinding coffee beans manually include:

A rolling pin

Are you in a pinch with no coffee grinder, food processor, or blender?

No worries. That humble rolling pin in your kitchen will hack the trick.

It may produce a pretty uniform grind due to its design, but you will need to pay great attention to the grinding process.

Here is how to do it, but first:

You’ll need

  • Counter space or a large chopping board
  • Rolling pin
  • Ziplock bag or parchment paper

How to Grind Coffee with a Rolling Pin

  • Put the desired amount of coffee in the plastic bag. Ensure you squeeze out the resulting air before sealing to avoid popping the bag
  • Place the bag flat on the counter or chopping board.
  • Smash the beans using the pin just like you would use a hammer
  • Roll over the beans gently yet firmly, applying pressure to the beans in the bag
  • Roll your pin back and forth until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Repeat the process if necessary

Related: 8 Best Coffee For Cold Brew

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Mortar and pestle

Although time-consuming and quite labor-intensive, this method will give you control for various grounds ranging from coarse to fine.

The type of ground will depend on how long and how firmly you grind your beans. The method combines hammering and rolling motions to generate a consistent blend.

You’ll need

  • Mortar and pestle
  • Bowl
  • Coffee beans
  • Patience

How to Grind Coffee Beans with Mortar and Pestle

  • Fill your mortar roughly a quarter full with beans to avoid spills and for better control
  • In your dominant hand, hold the pestle, and use the other to hold the mortar
  • Use the pestle to press down and twist them in a swirling motion to crush them.
  • Roll them around in the mortar and repeat until you get the consistency you want

Related: The Benefits Of Putting Cinnamon In Your Coffee

If you desire more coffee, empty all the ground into a bowl and process over again.

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A Hammer

A hammer is another handy tool that you can use in place of a grinder. Be sure to use low to medium pressure to reduce the chance of the bag popping while grinding your beans.

You’ll need

  • Hammer
  • Plastic or freezer bag or any other similar material
  • Countertop or a large chopping board.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Hammer

Here’s how to grind coffee beans using a hammer:

  • Fill a ziplock or freezer bag with your preferred amount of beans. Squeeze out the air before sealing it.
  • Holding the hammer in your stronger hand, press down the beans firmly without striking like you would a nail.
  • Move the crushed beans continuously to one side for finer ground.
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A knife

Have you run out of all other options?

Don’t worry, as your kitchen knife with a wide blade can crack the trick as well.

Let’s find out how it works.

You’ll need

  • A wide chopping board
  • A big knife (Butcher’s or Chef’s knife)

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Knife

  • Spread out your coffee beans on the chopping board
  • Use the sharp edge of the blade on the board and place your blade’s flat directly on top of your beans.
  • Place your palm on the blade and forcefully press down against the beans to smash them.
  • Continue pressing down on the blade once the beans break, bringing the knife slightly towards you to make the grind finer.
  • Related: 10 Best Espresso Beans – Review And Buying Guide
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How To Grind Coffee Beans With And Without A Grinder

Coffee Grinding Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the best way to grind coffee beans?

A burr grinder is the best way to grind coffee beans as it will crush your beans uniformly to your desired coarseness or fineness. 

Does a finer grind make stronger coffee?

Yes, a finer grind produces more robust coffee due to its larger surface area resulting in a higher level of flavor extraction.

Is grinding your coffee worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it. Grinding your coffee just before brewing helps preserve its flavors resulting in a fresher, better-tasting cup of coffee with a delicious smell. 

Can you grind coffee beans in a Ninja?

Yes. A majority of ninja blenders are sufficiently powerful to blend coffee beans. A blender with a minimum of 500 watts will grind your beans consistently.

Can you grind coffee beans in a Nutribullet?

A Nutribullet can grind whole coffee beans, but you will need to replace the extractor blade with a milling blade to accomplish this.

Can you grind coffee beans in a Vitamix?

Yes, a Vitamix blender does an excellent job at grinding coffee beans. It requires you to be keen on the blender to regulate the grind size.

Does grind size affect coffee flavor?

Yes. Whether coarse, medium, or fine, the grind size determines the extraction rate, which in turn impacts the taste of your coffee. 

Does coffee grind matter?

The coffee grind determines the brewing method to be used. The finer the grind, the larger the surface area and the faster the extraction, and vice versa.

Final Thoughts

All coffee enthusiasts agree that freshly ground coffee beans produce a great cup of coffee. 

Although a grinder is the most effective and the easiest way of grinding coffee beans, it’s not the only way.  At times, it may be unavailable due to various reasons. 

However, You don’t have to skip your favorite cup of joe as a result. Make use of the above tips while ensuring a consistent grind size and enjoy your drink.