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How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

In order to get from coffee beans to a delicious cup of coffee, there is a vital step in between: grinding the coffee beans.

So in case you were in a hurry and ended up buying coffee beans instead of your regular coffee grounds, don’t worry: we’ll teach you how to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

How to grind coffee beans at home without a grinder

Before we start, it’s worth noting that the most effective way to grind coffee beans is with a proper burr coffee grinder.

Burr grinders produce the most consistent grounds, and as a result, the best flavor.

Just something to consider for the future :). If you’re interesting in learning more about coffee grinders, check out our buying guide here.

Anyhow, on to how to grind coffee beans at home.

Coffee beans are quite hard, so you’ll need something really strong to be able to crush them effectively.

Here are our 6 favorite methods of grinding and crushing coffee beans. Some require more elbow grease than others, so be prepared!

Grind coffee beans with a blender

BLACK+DECKER BL1220SG, 6-Cup, Black/Silver

Blenders are one of the most common household appliances, so there’s a good chance you have one in your kitchen.

Blenders are effective because of the smaller blades, so you can use a smaller volume of coffee, too.

Here’s how to grind coffee beans with a blender

  1. Add 4 tablespoons of coffee to your blender. 4 tablespoons is good for about 2 cups of coffee. You can do up to 6 tablespoons, but don’t do any more in a single go.
  2. Put your blender on the “grind” setting if it has one.
  3. Use the “pulse” function and grind in intervals of 2 to 3 seconds
  4. Look at the coffee beans after every 2 pulses to see if you’ve reached the desired consistency
  5. Give the blender a little shake when pulsing to get the beans evenly distributed around the blades

Blenders generate heat because of the spinning blades, it’s important to not pulse for more than 2 to 3 seconds at a time.

Any extra heat can inadvertantly cook your beans and alter the flavors!

How to grind coffee beans in a food processor

GE Food Processor | 12 Cup | Complete With 3 Feeding Tubes, Stainless Steel Mixing Blade & Shredding Disc | 3 Speed | Great for Shredded Cheese, Chicken & More | Kitchen Essentials | 550 Watts

The grinding process with a food processor is similar to that of a blender, but food processors are typically much larger than blenders.

Because of this, you’ll need to use a larger volume of coffee to achieve a consistent grind.

Aside from that, the instructions are the same.

Here’s how to grind coffee beans in a food processor

  1. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of coffee beans to your food processor
  2. Put on the lid 🙂
  3. Pulse the coffee beans in 2 to 3 second intervals
  4. Pulse 3 to 4 times or until you get the desired consistency

Food processors are fine for grinding large amounts of coffee thanks to their size. If you accidentally bought beans instead of grounds and want a quick solution, a food processor should do the trick very nicely.

How to grind coffee beans in a Nutribullet

nutribullet Personal Blender for Shakes, Smoothies, Food Prep, and Frozen Blending, 24 Ounces, 600 Watt, Gray, (NBR-0601)

Many of us have an even higher speed blender in our kitchens: the Nutribullet or Magic Bullet. You can certainly grind coffee beans in this machine as well, but you’ll have to be a little careful.

First, a warning: the Nutribullet’s instructions say that you should not use it with dry things. While I have used the Nutribullet with dry powders on multiple occassions without any issues, please proceed at your own risk.

Here’s how to grind coffee beans in a Nutribullet

  1. Add 4 to 8 tablespoons of coffee beans to the Nutribullet and screw on the blade attachment. Use the attachment with the two flat blades if you have it.
  2. Attach the canister to the main unit, but don’t fit it in all the way that it starts blending. You will need to be really quick.
  3. Screw in the canister to start the motor, and quickly screw it out in 2 to 3 seconds. The blades are super fast so blending too long will both heat up your grounds and make them too fine. As the motor is spinning, give the whole unit a shake to evenly distribute the coffee beans.
  4. Repeat the screwing and unscrewing method two to three times until you get the desired consistency.

The Nutribullet is not very effective for coarser grinds like french press and cold brew. The blades are so fast that you end up with a finer ground than what you’re looking for.

However, the high speed makes it superb for grinding for espresso and Turkish coffee, both of which require fine grinds.

How to grind coffee beans by hand with a hammer

Amazon Basics Fiberglass Handle Claw Hammer - 20 oz.

In case your blender is broken and you need to vent some frustration, you can use a hammer to crush up coffee beans. You may find it difficult to get them very fine, but this will do the job for coarse grounds.

Warning: this can get messy, so use a plastic bag or a handkerchief.

Crushing coffee beans with a hammer

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of coffee beans into a plastic bag or wrap them in a handkerchief
  2. Place the bag on a hard surface
  3. Use a hammer and evenly crush the beans using consistent and light taps
  4. Go all over the bag two to three times depending on the consistency you are looking for

The jagged edges of the crushed coffee beans may tear the plastic bag, which is why I prefer using a handkerchief instead.

The key is to tap consistently and lightly. You may be tempted to go Thor on the beans but that will just end up making a mess.

How to grind coffee beans by hand with a mortar and pestle

For an even more labor intensive grinding session, you can grind the coffee beans using a mortar and pestle.

The amount of coffee beans you can grind depends on the size of your mortar and pestle.

Grinding coffee beans with a mortar and pestle

  1. Add one to two tablespoons of coffee beans to your mortar, or more if you have a bigger one
  2. Use your pestle to slowly crush the beans. Work in a round motion from the sides down into the center
  3. Keep at it until you get the consistency you want

The mortar and pestle method is the least fun of the whole lot unless you enjoy using a mortar and pestle for extended periods of time.

Still, if you want to be very traditional with your coffee, you can give this a shot.

How to grind coffee beans by hand with a rolling pin

The last method we’d like to cover here is using a rolling pin. This method is very similar to the hammer method.

Using a rolling pin to crush coffee beans

  1. Add one to two tablespoons of coffee beans to a ziploc bag or wrap them in a handkerchief.
  2. Use the rolling pin as a hammer to start crushing the beans into smaller chunks
  3. Once the beans have been broken, roll the pin over the bag multiple times with considerable downward force to crush the beans to the consistency you are looking for.

Frequently asked questions

Where can you grind coffee beans?

Most small cafes will happily grind coffee beans for you. The advantage of getting your beans ground at a cafe is that you get them done on a commercial burr grinder that will produce consistent and accurately-sized grounds.

How long should you grind coffee beans?

The amount of time you want to grind coffee beans depends on the type of grinds you’re looking for. Go for 4-6 seconds total for cold brew, 5-10 seconds total for drip coffee, and 12-15 seconds for espresso. If the grinds are still not fine enough, pulse it a couple of more times.

How do you make coffee with whole beans without grinding?

It’s very difficult to make coffee with whole beans without grinding them first. Grinding helps to increase the surface area and allow the water to fully interact with the coffee.

Conclusion

These methods should tide you over in an emergency. You may notice that coffee made from freshly ground coffee beans tastes much better than coffee made from pre-ground coffee.

To level up your coffee brewing, I strongly recommend you invest in a burr grinder and start grinding whole bean coffee just before brewing. The difference in taste is remarkable and you’ll never go back.

Last update on 2022-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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