How to Grind Coffee Beans With/Without Grinder.

If possible, freshly ground coffee could become one of the wonders of the world – it’s that important for coffee aficionados! A steaming cup of smooth, bold, and flavorful coffee in the morning is like a warm, much-needed hug, right?

But freshly ground coffee comes at a cost, which is that you have to know how to grind coffee beans with or without a grinder. All that deliciousness, boldness, and flavors are a result of freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee. There’s a whole science behind this!

The flavor lies in the freshness of the coffee. So that means if coffee is exposed to external elements like moisture, oxygen, heat, direct sunlight, etc., it will begin to degrade. Hence, most of the original flavor becomes void.

And then you have the heavenly aroma of coffee as well. Natural flavors and aromas remain intact, meaning they don’t become bland or stale when well-protected from air, moisture, and heat. And losing your coffee’s delicious exquisite scent to air seems like such a huge, unnecessary loss.

So let’s find out how to preserve all the original properties of coffee by understanding the different grinding methods.

How to Grind Coffee Beans With A Grinder

How to Grind Coffee Beans With A Grinder

First and foremost is the type of coffee grinder you should be using for grinding those freshly roasted beans you just bought. There are manual coffee grinders, coffee grinders for French Press, pour over coffee grinders, and also coffee makers with built-in grinders.

So how do you decide? I mean between blade and burr coffee grinders? The blade design is beginner-friendly, and affordable as well. Think of blade grinders as multipurpose spice grinders. If you’re new to the whole world of coffee grinding at home, it’s highly advisable to choose a blade-style grinder.

The only con here would be grind size inconsistency, hence uneven coffee flavor extraction.

In that case then, why not upgrade to a burr coffee grinder? It comes with lots of advanced features and settings for pulverizing the beans. As a result, you get a grind size that’s super-consistent. Thus, burr coffee grinders activate transformative flavor extraction with all the subtlety and depth you expect from a fresh brew.

Now we can move on to the step-by-step instructions of grinding coffee beans using a grinder (i.e. a coffee bean grinder).

  • Fill the machine with your choice of coffee beans; please leave some space at the top to prevent the grounds from overflowing during or after the grinding process. In simple words, don’t stack those beans too high.
  • Place the lid or cover and keep your hand over it while grinding.
  • Make sure you grind in intervals; short spurts, so you reach all the way to the bottom. The goal is not to grind the coffee beans too thin, rather you should get some chunks since they carry plenty of flavor that will be put to use later.
  • Once the grinding process is over (depending on what grind size/setting you picked based on your preferences), transfer your freshly ground coffee to a container (airtight and opaque). And then store this container either in a cool, dry, and dark place or a refrigerator.
  • As for the coffee grinder, rinse the bowl with clean water, wipe dry, and that’s it!

7 Different Ways to Grind Your Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

Coffee beans, whole coffee beans are just like magic beans – you have to use them wisely!

Only when you grind them the right way can you smell that heavenly, crisp aroma and taste the bold character of all the coffee oils and flavors. So how can you make this happen without the help of a grinder?

Quite surprisingly, grinding coffee beans by hand is a very common and simple task, unlike what most people think.

Using the Rolling Pin

No denying, this sounds like quite a tedious undertaking, but it’s not as time-consuming or labor-intensive as you think. It’s actually one of the easiest manual coffee grinding methods, and fun too!

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Rolling Pin:

1. Start by placing the coffee beans inside a plastic or Ziploc bag (cause who would want beans flying around in the kitchen!). But make sure that you flatten all the air out from inside the bag, otherwise it will pop.

2. Now begin crushing the beans with the help of a rolling pin. Do it firmly and gently; drive the pin over those coffee beans by applying some pressure. Assemble them all in the center after every roll and keep rolling.

3. Once the consistency you want is created, which does require a little bit of effort on your part, it’s time to brew!

Using the Knife

You can use the flat blade part of a knife (and not its edge) for crushing/grinding coffee beans. The stiffer and wider the blade’s surface area, the more leverage and control you get for cracking those beans.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Knife:

1. Lay the coffee beans on a cutting board.

2. Then place the knife flat over the beans; the sharp edge should be placed on the board. You can place paper towels or a kitchen towel on the knife for keeping coffee grounds from straying all over your kitchen floor.

3. Start grinding by flattening the coffee beans with your palm pressing down firmly on the top of that blade, just as you would crush garlic.

4. The most suitable grind size here is medium or medium-fine, so continue flattening the beans/grounds till they become the desired amount of fine-sized.

Using Mortar and Pestle

Grinding coffee beans this way is becoming more and more common these days, even though it involves a bit of time and effort. Plus, you also have to prevent the beans from overflowing or hopping out of the limited-capacity mortar.

In comparison to the rolling pin method, this manual technique produces smaller, finer coffee grounds. Thus, the best for drip coffee makers.

On the other hand, you can also keep the grind size on the coarse side, which is suitable for French Press brewing. It all depends on the level of pressure you apply and the amount of time you spend grinding. If you want a more consistent grind, then grind the coffee beans in small batches.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with Mortar and Pestle:

1. Cover only 1/4th of the capacity of a small-sized mortar and 1/3rd of the capacity of a large-sized mortar with your freshly roasted coffee beans.

2. Grab the pestle and begin grinding using your dominant, stronger hand (while the other hand holds on to the mortar for maximum stability and efficiency).

3. Swirl around with the pestle to thoroughly crush the beans. Do it for a longer time if you want to form a finer grain texture. The consistency and grind size of the coffee grounds depend on how strongly and for how long you move the pestle around in that circular grinding motion.

4. Once done, remove the grounds and put in the next batch of beans.

Using the Blender

A normal, conventional blender is obviously one of the most common alternatives to grinding coffee beans in a proper coffee grinder. The blade of the former is much like the blade of the latter, although don’t expect burr-coffee-grinder-type consistency with your traditional home blender.

With a blender, you should grind the beans in quick, short bursts instead of just blending them all in one go. But why is that? So you avoid the possibility of your precious coffee beans and their natural oils from heating up due to the high-speed blades of the blender. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bitter-tasting, harsh cup of coffee!

Also, blender grinding gives you the best coarse grounds.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Blender:

1. Does your blender feature any “grinder” setting? If the answer is no, then the medium-high speed works just fine.

2. Add some coffee beans into your blender, firmly place the lid, and start grinding till you get the preferred consistency. “Pulsing” in quick, short bursts is the best way to go about it.

3. Tilt the appliance slightly from one side to another during the grinding action. It ensures the larger beans come in contact with the blades, thus creating a more consistent and even grind.

4. Then empty the blender and add another batch of coffee beans until you have the amount of grounds you need for brewing.

Using the Hammer

This surely is a very handy and efficient way of crushing coffee beans in order to break them down to get a finer grind size.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Hammer:

1. Add the coffee beans to a Ziploc or plastic bag.

2. Then smash using low or medium pressure (with the hammer, press down firmly). But just because you’re using a hammer doesn’t mean you’re striking a nail, meaning don’t strike the bag if you don’t want it to pop.

3. Keep moving the crushed coffee beans onto one side so you can produce a fine-sized grind.

But what if you don’t have a hammer? Then consider using a big knife instead, but crush and grind the beans with its blade’s fatter side and not the edge.

Using the Garlic Press or Hand Mincer

A simple method to grind coffee beans when you don’t have a coffee grinder to do the job for you!

The only setback I see here takes the form of the large holes that are a part of the design of a garlic press or hand mincer. These will surely yield coarser coffee grounds, so you may have to repeat the whole grinding process or combine that with the hammer or rolling pin method.

Also, you should be grinding in small batches if you want the grind size to be more consistent and also suitable for the brewing method you prefer.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Garlic Press or Hand Mincer:

1. A limited amount of coffee beans are added into the press or mincer.

2. Gently but firmly squeeze the tool till all of the coffee passes through. And then repeat the entire thing till the desired grind size is achieved.

The grounds will surely come out too coarse, which requires you to repeat the grinding process as many times as needed.

Using the Food Processor

The seventh and last solution is how to grind coffee beans with a food processor. The steps involved are the same as how to grind coffee beans with a grinder or blender.

The only difference is that a food processor will accommodate more beans because of its wider circumference. But don’t forget to store the extra coffee grounds in an opaque, airtight container.

How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Food Processor:

1. Place the amount of coffee you need into the appliance (a cup of beans or maybe half a cup). Shut the lid firmly.

2. Using the “pulse” feature or setting, grind those coffee beans in quick, short bursts (3–5 seconds). Make sure to tilt the processor, so the size of the grounds can be even and consistent.

And that’s about it!

What About At-Home Coffee Grinding Machines?

Now here are the different types of coffee grinders you can buy that are specially crafted to work with coffee beans:

1. Blade Coffee Grinder

The blade design is the most affordable, hence the most common choice for home coffee grinding. These are perfect for those new to the world of artisan coffee and home brewing.

The features include a simple, standard blade and speed settings. And the grind size needed for this is anywhere between coarse and medium because the speed settings are limited. Any other size or type of grounds and you end up with inconsistent results and/or uneven flavor extraction.

2. Burr Coffee Grinder

You go one step forward and higher with burr-style grinders that prepare the most consistent and even grind size for French Press and pour over coffee. Every list of the top coffee grinders for French Press and also the best coffee grinders for pour over coffee consists of the burr-type of grinders.

A multi-blade mechanism here has a larger surface area for crushing coffee beans; hence the more consistent and even grind size. A burr coffee grinder pulverizes the beans (this is so much better than cutting or slicing) to produce the perfect grounds that are also super-consistent. Thus, flavor extraction is maximized!

3. Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

All you should know about these professional-grade conical burr grinders is that they have a conical shape, of course, and also that they’re equipped with various speed settings. The latter feature is what provides the texture and size that’s the most accurate.

4. Hand or Manual Coffee Grinder

The best manual grinders make a huge difference when you’re pairing them up with gourmet coffee. These don’t require any electric power, which means they can accompany you outdoors as well.

Although I would admit that manual coffee grinders are becoming less and less common since now you can buy coffee makers with built-in grinders. However, the latter does need to be plugged in, hence not suitable for on-the-go coffee lovers!

The Final Say

Under-extraction, over-extraction, too bitter, chalky aftertaste, and so on – these are the most common complaints when you brew and grind your own coffee at home. One of the most common causes of the problem is inconsistent grind size.

We grind coffee beans, to begin with, so as to broaden the surface area of the coffee, so more of it comes in contact with water, correct? The finer or coarser the grounds, the less or more quickly the water will pass through. This obviously has an impact on extraction efficiency and brew time. As I mentioned in the introduction, there’s a whole science behind it!

The best part is that you can grind your delicious, bold, and flavorful coffee beans in multiple ways, and without using a legitimate coffee grinder. You can do that and, at the same time, create the right grind size consistency. “Consistency” here makes or breaks the entire experience!

As long as you’re purchasing freshly roasted whole bean coffee, you have nothing to worry about. Just pick a manual coffee brewing method depending on your preference, convenience, and the like, and you and your daily coffee are all set!

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