Updated: Jun 12
Not being able to make your cup of Joe in the morning just because you mistakenly grabbed a bag of coffee beans the last time you went to the grocery is frustrating. Worse, you don’t have a coffee grinder because you usually purchase ground coffee. Fret not! There are tried and tested ways to grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder.
What Can I Use if I Don’t Have a Coffee Grinder?
Making coffee from freshly ground beans tastes a lot better than the one you make with pre-ground beans.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can use various kitchen gadgets and tools to crush those Java beans.
Below are a few methods to apply in the absence of a coffee grinder. Although some of them are laborious, the results will make it totally worth it.
Mortar And Pestle
This method is pretty old school and will take some time and effort. However, using a mortar and pestle helps you control the coffee grind size.
Using this technique, you can achieve coarse, medium, or fine consistency in coffee grounds.
To grind coffee beans using your mortar and pestle, here’s what you need to do:
Pour a small number of coffee beans into the mortar, ensuring you don’t fill it more than a quarter.
Grab the pestle in one hand and hold the mortar with the other to secure it in one position.
Start pounding the beans with the pestle by pressing them down forcibly, using a twisting hand motion.
Once crushed, rotate the pestle in a circular motion, which will grind the coffee further.
Keep an eye on the grounds in the process, and stop when you reach your desired consistency.
Transfer the ground coffee into a bowl and proceed with the second batch of coffee beans.
Repeat the process till you get your desired quantity of coffee grounds.
A rolling pin is found in every kitchen. This sturdy pastry tool can serve as a grinding tool to get a coarse ground coffee.
Using a rolling pin to granulate coffee beans is a bit noisy and takes time and muscle action.
Still, it is a straightforward method. It’s also safe enough to be used by people who belong to the younger age group.
The steps in grinding your coffee beans with a rolling pin are as follows:
Place coffee beans inside a ziplock bag and seal it close.
Lay the bag flat on your kitchen countertop or a chopping board.
Crush the beans by using the rolling pin like a hammer.
Roll the pin firmly on the coffee shreds when all the beans are crushed to grind them down to your desired consistency.
Also known as a meat tenderizer or kitchen hammer, you probably use this kitchen tool for tenderizing slabs of meat and steaks when preparing them for cooking.
You can also use this handy tool to grind your coffee beans, but with extra caution.
That’s because it’s a heavy tool that tends to smash everything that comes in its way, including your fingers(ouch!).
You will be able to get a coarse or medium grind of coffee through this method.
What you need to do to grind coffee beans with your meat mallet are:
Place your desired quantity of coffee beans in a Ziplock bag and seal it.
Lay the bag flat on your countertop and use the mallet to press down firmly on the beans, using slight pressure.
Make sure you don’t hammer the beans as you would with a nail since you might damage your countertop or tear open the Ziplock bag.
Continue grinding till you reach the desired consistency of the grounds.
This multipurpose knife can perform numerous kitchen tasks, one of them being grinding some coffee beans for you.
A chef’s knife has a 1.5-inch wide blade that is heavy and stiff, making it an excellent tool for grinding hard food or ingredients.
This technique is more comfortable for those who have knife skills.
Be careful when dealing with a knife to avoid any cut accidents. Expect to get a coarse to medium grind coffee with a chef’s knife.
Here’s what you need to do to grind coffee beans with your chef’s knife:
Place a chopping board on your countertop and lay a small number of coffee beans on it.
Hold the knife in one hand and position it flat on the beans, keeping the sharp side of the blade facing away from you.
Press the blade down with the palm of your other hand and apply gentle force to crack the coffee beans underneath.
Make sure you don’t hit the blade too hard since this will make the beans slip away from underneath the knife.
Continue pressing the blade while dragging it towards you to grind down the broken piecer further.
You probably have this metallic, old-school kitchen appliance stacked in the corner of your kitchen cabinet.
Though you may not use this meat grinding gadget too often, you can bring it out to convert coffee beans to coffee grounds.
It may take a while because you must repeat the process several times to get your desired grind consistency.
You can achieve a coarse, medium, or extra-fine grind consistency with a meat mincer.
For this technique on how to grind coffee without a grinder, here are the steps you need to follow:
Put a small quantity of the coffee beans in the mincer.
Rotate the handwheel and gather the crushed beans in a bowl at the hole plate end.
Repeat the above steps when you have crushed all the beans in the mincer to get a coarse grind.
If you want to achieve a medium or fine grind, you have to repeat steps one and two several times to reach your desired consistency.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can grind coffee beans in food processors. It is a quick, effortless, and effective method.
When you grind coffee beans in a food processor, though, you have little control over the grind consistency.
You also have to grind many beans since a food processor is big; designed to process food in bulk.
This method is best when you want coarse-grind coffee for a group or a stock for a few days.
Following these steps, you can grind coffee beans in food processors successfully:
Place around one cup of coffee beans in the food processor and lock the lid in place.
Use the pulse option for three to five seconds. Do it at intervals of 30 seconds to avoid heating the blades.
You can also tilt the food processor to ensure proper grinding.
FAQs About How To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Coffee Grinder
1. Can I Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?
The answer depends upon what type of blender you have. Not all blenders are intended for grinding hard material.
So, before you attempt to crush up your coffee beans in a blender, make sure you go through its manufacturer’s specifications.
If you do have a suitable blender, here are some things to keep in mind:
Grind coffee beans in small batches and use the lowest setting of the blender and the pulse option.
Slightly tilt your blender and pulse for two seconds with short intervals of 10 seconds. This way, you will prevent the blades from heating up and cooking coffee beans, making them bitter in the process.
Using a blender, you can’t control the coffee grounds’ size, so expect to get a coarse or medium-coarse grind size.
2. What Is the Best Way to Grind Coffee Beans for Flavor?
Besides the DIY techniques for grinding coffee beans without a grinder above, a burr grinder is the best tool.
Professionals use burr coffee grinders to get a consistent grind, which is the key to maximum flavor.
3. Where To Grind Coffee Beans For Free?
If you don’t want to go through the hassles of grinding the beans yourself, there are places where to grind coffee beans for free.
You can go to a local coffee shop or a famous chain coffee house.
Try to go during non-busy hours, and they will happily grind your entire bag.
4. Can You Brew Coffee Beans Without Grinding Them?
Yes, you can. Coffee beans are ground only to shorten the brewing process.
Therefore, brewing whole coffee beans to make a cup for yourself can be fun if you have time and patience.
It will just take an hour or so to extract the beans to make a perfect cup of coffee.
How To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Coffee Grinder: The Bottom Line
Making delicious coffee with freshly ground beans is likely to make you a fan of whole coffee beans.
Whatever technique on how to grind coffee without a grinder you apply, if you grind only a small amount of beans at a time, you will get a consistent grind.
Also, consistently brew the coffee immediately after grinding it to preserve flavor and freshness.
Otherwise, oxidation, moisture, and carbon dioxide will quickly make coffee grounds lose their flavor.
Lastly, grind a batch enough for a week and store it in an airtight container to save the hassle of grinding them every time.