How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: An Introduction

If you accidentally bought coffee beans instead of ground coffee and didn’t have a grinder, you may worry that all of these will get wasted because you don’t have the device. However, you don’t need to worry as you can still enjoy fresh coffee without a grinder. With simple kitchen appliances, you can easily replicate the results made from a traditional coffee grinder, allowing you to enjoy your cup of coffee with ease. To make it easier for you, here we have listed the different ways on How to Grind Coffee Beans without using a conventional grinder, giving you fresh morning brews every day.

Grinding whole beans right before you brew them provides freshness and retains its vibrant flavors. The grinding of coffee reduces its exposure to oxygen, which can deteriorate the coffee’s natural flavorings.

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How to Grind Coffee Beans

Besides learning how to use a french press coffee maker and knowing the correct ratio of coffee to water to make the best brews, you need to ensure that you use freshly grounded coffee for the best results. And the best way to make the freshest cup of coffee possible is grinding coffee beans every day. Although the easiest way to grind the coffee is using proper grinders, you can still achieve excellent results in several ways without using coffee grinders. 

What follows are the different methods you can use to coffee grinding without using a blade grinder, allowing you to enjoy a fresh cup of joe.

Crushing Beans Using a Mortar and Pestle

The mortar and pestle method has been used by many people for centuries to grind just about anything, from grinding coffee, herbs, medicine, and spices into powder. The technique uses a rolling and hammering motion in creating a consistent fine texture. It gives you full control for an array of grinds, from coarse grounds for a classic French press drink to sand-like grounds for Turkish coffee. 

Below are the different steps in coffee grinding using a conventional mortar and pestle. 

  1. Fill the mortar with a handful of whole beans and don’t fill it more than ¼ full to achieve the best control. 
  2. Hold the pestle using your more dominant hand, and secure the mortar in place using your non-dominant hand. 
  3. Press down the pestle utilizing the weight of your hand and start crushing the beans by following a twisting motion. 
  4. Use the pestle and roll the forming grounds around the mortar until you reach the texture and consistency you need for your brew.

If you need more grounds for your brew, remove the coffee grounds you have made and place a new batch of beans. Repeat the steps until you have enough coffee.

Grind Whole Beans Using a Classic Rolling Pin

The rolling pin is an everyday staple in most kitchens, and using it can crush and grind whole beans simultaneously. Grinding coffee using this method allows you to produce even textures and produce finer grinds than other alternatives in coffee grinding. However, using a rolling pin requires elbow grease and a little observation to achieve even consistency and texture. 

If you properly follow the steps below, you can get medium to fine grounds, which are ideal for Turkish coffee and other pour-over brewing methods. 

  1. Place the beans into a plastic or ziplock bag. 
  2. Place the bag onto a sturdy kitchen countertop. 
  3. Using the rolling pin like a hammer, press it down to start crushing the whole beans. 
  4. Continue rolling the pin over the beans while exerting a force that’s sufficient to break the remaining coffee bean fragments. 
  5. Continue the process and move the pin over the grounds until you achieve the texture and consistency you want for your brew.

If you plan to make many brews, repeat the process using new plastic or ziplock bags to create a new batch of freshly ground coffee beans.

Grinding Coffee With a Hammer

Using any hammer variation such as a mallet, meat tenderizer, or standard hammer can easily crush your beans. However, this method can be dangerous as it can also break your hand or countertop, so make sure you practice this technique with caution. And because of the jerky effect of the hammer, you cannot achieve finely grounded coffee, so this method is only ideal if you want to brew classic French press coffee, cold brews, or make coffee from you modern drip brewers. 

Achieve coarse to medium grinds to brew a fresh cup of java by following the steps below. 

  1. Fill a plastic or ziplock bag with beans. 
  2. Using the hammer, press it down firmly on the whole coffee beans and break them until you reach the consistency and texture you want. Never hit the beans, as this can get very messy and ruin your beans.
  3. If you want to achieve a consistent grind, begin crushing the beans on one side of the bag, and gradually progress to its other side.

If you need more grounds for more brews, grab a new plastic or ziplock bag, and repeat the hammering process until you make enough ground coffee for the drinks you plan on making.

Chopping Beans With a Knife

Using a knife can help you achieve magnificent grounds. However, the best way to grind your beans is by using a flat blade and not an edge one. The design of a larger butcher knife provides extra leverage to enhance the crushing and cracking process of the beans, making it easier to get even consistency and textures.

Chopping the beans using the flat part of the blade provides full control, allowing you to make medium to medium-fine grounds, here are the different steps to follow when you want to grind beans using a knife.

  1. Place the whole beans on a sturdy cutting board.
  2. Put your knife flatly on top of the coffee beans, ensure you keep the sharp edge of the blade on the board to avoid accidental injuries. 
  3. Place a kitchen or paper towels over the blade to prevent messy grounds from getting all over the place. 
  4. Put your palm on top of the knife and using the weight of your hand, press it down firmly to begin cracking the whole bean. Never strike the blade as this will lead to flying beans. 
  5. Once you see the coffee beans are fragmented, continue pressing down on the knife’s flat side and pull it towards you to make the grounds finer.

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Can you make coffee with whole beans?

Yes. You can make coffee using whole beans, but the process is lengthy and can last up to an hour, and nobody wants to wait that long for a morning cup of coffee. Its extraction time can take too long and result in the water cooling down, extending the process even farther. However, whole bean coffee is ideal because it maintains the beans’ optimal freshness and natural flavors. It gives you more flavorful and aromatic cups than pre-grounds coffee, and the best way to achieve a fresh cup of whole-bean coffee is by grinding the beans before making a brew.

How fine Do you grind coffee beans?

One of the essential steps in the coffee-making process is grinding coffee. Whether you are grinding the beans using a convenient blade grinder or using different alternatives, you can create various consistencies and textures ideal for different brew methods. You can grind your beans until they reach sand-like consistency if you want to brew an espresso shot or grind them coarsely if you’re going to make French press coffee. 

The following are the different grind sizes you can create and use for various brewing methods, achieving the freshest cup of coffee at home.

  • Extra Coarse Grind – The grounds should resemble distinct and pebble-like particles. You can use these coffee grounds if you want to create cold brews. 
  • Coarse Grind – The results of this ground level should resemble chunky particles that look like potting soil. It is the ideal grind size for French press coffee.
  • Medium Coarse Grind – This one is in between medium and coarse grounds, and resembles rough sand. It is best to use for unique brewing methods, such as creating Chemex coffee.
  • Medium Grind – This grind size is the most balanced and typically resembles fine sand. It is the ideal size for Aeropress or drip coffee. 
  • Medium Fine Grind – This should be finer than sand, but not as small as sugar. This grind size is the best for cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers.
  • Fine Grind – This one resembles your typical pre-ground coffee from your local grocery stores, it should look like sugar, and it should be finer than table salt. This grind size is best to use on espresso machines or for making Turkish coffee.

Can I grind coffee beans in a blender

Yes. You can use your standard home blender as a coffee grinder alternative, helping you achieve different consistencies and textures just like proper grinders can. It comes with a similar blade system to a grinder, which can break down the beans efficiently. Some blenders even have their unique grinder setting that you can utilize for crushing whole coffee beans. 

Learn how to program a Cuisinart coffee maker or read coffee espresso machine reviews to get the best brewer for your fresh grounds. The following are the different steps in grinding beans using a standard home blender for a fresh mug of java or two.

  1. If your blender has a separate grinder setting, select that. However, if it does not, place the device on medium-high speed. 
  2. Pour a handful of beans into the blender and securely place the lid on top to avoid flying coffee beans in the kitchen. 
  3. Grind the whole beans until they reach the consistency and texture you need for your brew. The best way to achieve this is by using a ‘pulse’ technique, which means grinding in short and fast bursts. 
  4. If you want to make the best results, a great way is to tilt the device slightly from side to side while grinding the beans. Doing this causes the more significant fragments of the whole coffee beans to move into the blender’s blade path, giving you a more uniform grind.
  5. Once it reaches the consistency you prefer, empty the device and add new beans until you reach the desired amount.

When blending the beans, make sure you keep the blender’s lid on at all times, because these whole beans tend to fly out when the device is running.

Can I grind coffee beans in a blender?

Yes. A blender is an excellent replacement for grinders when you are in a pinch because the blender’s blade system can efficiently crush the coffee like conventional coffee grinders. Although it can never be as consistent as premium burr grinders, it does the job.

However, remember that when using a blender, you should only grind small batches of beans each session rather than running the machine continuously. That’s because the blender blades move at high speeds and can overheat the beans, affecting the beans’ natural oil, producing robust and extremely bitter brews. 

Because of the on-and-off grinding process, the best results you can achieve from your handy blender are coarse grounds that are perfect for a classic French press coffee. After each coffee grinding session, make sure you clean the blender properly so that it does not retain the stale coffee’s taste and aroma.

Can I grind coffee beans without a grinder?

Yes, and knowing how to grind beans without a grinder can be useful when you accidentally buy whole coffee beans instead of pre-ground coffee or when your coffee grinders decide to give up on you, and you’re in desperate need of your fresh morning brew. Although these whole beans are difficult to grind, you can still achieve great results using standard kitchen tools. So read about Keurig vs. regular coffee maker or the Moccamaster coffee to help you find the best brewer to accompany the best grounds you are about to make.

Making a DIY coffee grinder

If you want to have consistent grounds but don’t want to spend your budget on expensive electric coffee grinders, and don’t have the time to do any of the alternative methods. You can follow these simple steps in creating your very own DIY coffee grinder at home. 

This DIY method requires you to have a preexisting hand crank grinder, as you will create a unique wooden base and place it on top of a jar for easy catching of the fresh grounds. 

  1. Select the wood you want to use as the grinder’s base. 
  2. Draw out the inner and outer dimensions of the coffee grinder onto the wooden material, and you can use a lid of a jar as the base. 
  3. Drill a two-inch hole through the center of the wood, and this is where you will mount the coffee grinder. 
  4. Mill out the inner circle. 
  5. Cut off the base of the coffee grinder; you can use a bandsaw or a jigsaw. Follow the outer circle dimension you drew earlier. 
  6. Sand the base and shape the outer edge of the wooden disk. 
  7. Apply beeswax or mineral oil to give it a beautiful finish. 
  8. Drill two holes for the grinder mounting bolts, this is where you will place the hand crank grinder.
  9. Get a metal lid and cut off the inner part of it.
  10. Glue the metal lid onto the wooden base’s recess, and you can use epoxy to attach the two pieces. Let it dry overnight.
  11. Use two bolts and nuts and place the hand crank coffee grinder onto the wooden base. 
  12. Attach the crank handle at the top. 
  13. Finally, put the coffee grinder hand crack on top of a mason jar.

How to grind coffee beans in food processor

A food processor is also a great way to grind beans when you do not have proper coffee grinders. However, it cannot produce the same texture and consistency that premium burr grinders can, but it can create decent coffee grounds for better mornings. Below are the steps to follow when you want to grind the coffee using a food processor.

  1. Pour a handful of beans into the processor’s bowl and securely place the lid on top. 
  2. Follow the same ‘pulse’ technique when you use a blender, and grind in short, quick bursts. 
  3. Continue to grind the beans until you reach the consistency you prefer. 
  4. When you achieve the perfect coffee grounds, empty the container, and add new beans, repeating until you have made enough ground coffee.

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Conclusion

Never settle for mediocre coffee ever again now that you know How to Grind Coffee Beans without using proper grinders. Follow the techniques we have listed throughout the article to achieve the fresh grounds with little effort. We suggest following the mortar and pestle technique for the best consistency and texture. We hope this post helped you learn more about the importance of grinding coffee beans and embraced the alternatives, try any of the methods above today to make better coffee for a lifetime. Happy grinding!