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6 Ways to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder at Home

Coffee Geek Lab / 6 Ways to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder at Home

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I’m ready to kill for a cup of coffee.

And nothing (seriously, nothing!) can stop me from getting it.

Even the fact that I don’t always have a coffee grinder in my possession.

If you have such days too, don’t worry. I will teach you how to grind coffee beans without a grinder at home. All these methods were tested by me, and all the tools I’ve used can be found in any household!

#1 Blender

One of the fastest, easiest ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder is by using your kitchen blender. Most of them have small, thin blades that can offer you a decent grind. What you will need:
  • a kitchen blender;
  • coffee beans of your choice;
  • a cup (or a container to transfer your ground coffee into);
  • a spoon.
Time: 1-2 minutes Step-by-step guide:
  • Take the needed amount of coffee beans and transfer them into your kitchen blender.
  • Close the lid.
  • Using short pulses (2 seconds each), grind coffee beans to the needed consistency (around 10 seconds should be enough).
  • Transfer the ground coffee into your cup or a container. Make sure you get everything out of the blender (you can use a spoon to reach tougher places).
Grinding your coffee beans right before brewing them preserves the flavor, the precious oils, and the rich chemical compounds of coffee.
Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:
  • Because this method results in a relatively coarse grind, it is perfect for making coffee in a French press.
  • When you grind coffee beans with a blender, use smaller portions of beans and grind them one by one for a more consistent texture.
  • If you only have an immersion blender, you can use it too. Just put the beans into the container, insert the blender, and cover the top of the container with your hand (to prevent the coffee bits from flying out). Making short strokes, grind the beans to the needed consistency, but don’t expect a very even grind.

#2 Food Processor

Just like a blender, using a food processor is a way to grind coffee beans with minimal time and effort.

What you will need:

  • a food processor;
  • coffee beans of your choice;
  • a cup or a container;
  • a spoon.

Time: 1-2 minutes.

Step-by-step guide:

  • Load the beans into your food processor.
  • Close the lid and press the Pulse button (if your model has such a function).
  • Use short repeated pulses to grind your coffee beans until you get the proper consistency.
  • Transfer the coffee into your cup or a container.

Coffee oils tend to absorb flavor. So, if you buy pre-ground coffee and let it sit, it might absorb the flavors of your kitchen, especially if you don’t store it in an airtight container. Obviously, this can ruin the taste of your beverages.

Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:

  • Always make sure you clean your food processor and other coffee-related devices after each use. Coffee beans produce oils that can build up in your kitchen utensils.
  • When grinding coffee beans without a grinder, check their texture after every few bursts in the food processor. This way, you won’t overheat or overgrind them.
  • This method results in a medium grind, which might look rather choppy (especially if your food processor has larger blades). Therefore, after brewing the coffee, make sure you run it through a sieve to prevent those large bits from getting into your cup.

#3 Mortar and Pestle

Taking us back to the ancient times, this way to grind coffee beans at home requires manual labor, but it’s definitely worth the effort. And yes, it does require you to buy this tool but also gives you the chance to get pretty much any texture you need. What you will need:
  • a mortar and a pestle;
  • coffee beans;
  • a cup or a container.
Time: 10-15 minutes. Step-by-step guide:
  • Put the beans into the mortar. Use around 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Use the pestle to crush the beans. You can cover the mortar with a towel to prevent the beans from flying out.
  • Stir the coffee occasionally to make sure you crush all the beans.
  • Transfer the ground coffee into your cup or container.
Smaller grind allows for more efficient and faster extraction.
Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:
  • Using a ceramic set is the best option since this material is more resistant to coffee oils and will serve you much longer.
  • This grinding method can help you achieve a very fine grind, which is perfect for Turkish coffee.
  • Make sure you use small amounts of beans for the most consistent texture.
  • Be careful not to turn your coffee beans into dust, which you won’t even be able to filter when brewing.

#4 Zipped Bag with a Rolling Pin, a Hammer, or a Frying Pan

This is probably the cheapest way to grind your coffee beans since it does not require any special equipment and can be done with regular kitchen utensils. Actually, you can also use it as a stress relief and just bang your stress and anger out. What you will need:
  • a plastic zipper bag;
  • a rolling pin, a hammer, OR a frying pan;
  • a cup or a container.
Time: 5-7 minutes. Step-by-step guide:
  • Put your coffee beans into a bag.
  • Make sure you close it tightly.
  • Place the bag on the table (or a cutting board) and spread the beans in it to make sure they are lying in one layer.
  • Lay a towel or a cloth on top of the bag.
  • Start cracking the beans using a rolling pin, a hammer (a meat tenderizer will be fine too), or a heavy frying pan.
  • Once you get the desired grind, transfer your coffee into a mug or a container.
If you don’t have any of this equipment at home, your only option is going to your local coffee shop. Many of them grind their customers’ coffee beans, using powerful burr grinders. It’s a good option if you live very close to a coffee shop or need to grind a large amount of coffee.
Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:
  • This “grinding” method usually results in a rather coarse texture, which is great for the cold brew coffee.
  • Try to be progressive when crushing the beans. Start on one side and move to the other one to get an even texture.
  • If you don’t have a zipped plastic bag, you can place your coffee beans between two towels or sheets of parchment paper.
  • Make sure you use a heavy frying pan. You can damage a thin pan when using it like this.
  • Rolling the beans with a rolling pin after you’ve crushed them can help you achieve a more consistent texture.

#5 Hand Mincer

Designed to cut up meat and vegetables, hand mincers typically have a powerful blade system inside. It can easily deal with coffee beans but usually offers a rather coarse grind.

What you will need:

  • a hand mincer;
  • coffee beans of your choice;
  • a bowl or a mug;
  • a fine sieve.

Time: 4-5 minutes.

Step-by-step guide:

  • Place a bowl or a mug under the “exit” part of the hand mincer (also called meat grinder, by the way). This is done to catch the ground beans.
  • Pour the beans into the grinder part and start turning the arm of the mincer.
  • Make sure your moves are slow and careful (you don’t want to flip the device over).
  • Sift the ground coffee. If there are some larger parts, you can run them through the mincer one more time.

Someone might also recommend grinding your beans with a pepper mill, but I personally don’t think that’s a good idea. Firstly, the majority of pepper mills are quite small and cannot accommodate large coffee beans, which means you will have to crush them beforehand anyway. And secondly, unless it’s a brand new pepper mill, it will have bits of pepper between its blades, which means they will mix with your coffee.

Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:

  • This method is ideal when you need to grind coffee at home in large quantities.
  • If you want a finer grind, you can run the ground coffee through the mincer a couple of times more.

#6 Knife

Now, a knife is another common item you can find in your kitchen. It may come in handy when you need a medium (or maybe even medium fine) grind.

What you will need:

  • a large knife (preferably a butcher knife or a cleaver);
  • a wide cutting board;
  • a mug or a container to transfer your ground coffee to.

Time: 8-10 minutes.

Step-by-step guide:

  • Place your cutting board on a flat surface.
  • Spread the coffee beans on top of it (in one layer).
  • Place your knife flat on top of the beans.
  • Put your palm on top of the blade and press down firmly.
  • Crush the beans to the needed consistency. It’s better to work in smaller batches.
  • Transfer the ground coffee into a cup or a container.

Tips and tricks from Lola Peterson:

  • It’s better to use your body weight to push down onto the knife. This way, your hands won’t get tired too fast. Additionally, you will apply more pressure and finish crushing the beans faster.
  • You can use a regular knife if you don’t have a large one. However, you need to be very careful with the blade in order not to cut yourself. Besides, it will take more time and effort to crush your coffee beans.

So, what are you ready to do to get a cup of hot, flavorful coffee? How do you grind your coffee beans? Feel free to share in the comments down below!

Julie Lambert

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