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Let me create a scenario for you. You grab some coffee beans from the kitchen shelf but notice they feel different. Oh no, they are the wrong ones! Now you quickly search online: ‘How to grind coffee beans without a grinder’.
Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry you’re not alone. We’ve dedicated an entire post to helping you and the many others that have found themselves in this situation.
How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: The Options Available
These are the most common ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder:
- Mortar and Pestle
- Rolling pin
- A hammer
- With a blender
- A knife
Try a Traditional Mortar and Pestle
The mortar and pestle have been used to ground up coffee beans, herbs, and spices for centuries. By using the pestle to hammer and roll the coffee beans into a much finer grind, you can have more control over how fine you want your coffee beans to be.
So, what’s the procedure when using a traditional mortar and pestle for your coffee beans?
- Place some coffee beans into your mortar. We recommend that you only put a few coffee beans in at a time to achieve a better and more consistent grind.
- Pick up the pestle and start forcing it down into the coffee beans, crushing it to a pulp.
- Go around the mortar, and make sure every single coffee bean has the same treatment as the rest.
- Roll the pestle around the coffee to ensure a uniform grind.
- After you are happy with the fine texture of the coffee, pour it out and add more coffee beans in and repeat the steps, until complete.
How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: Using a Rolling Pin
A rolling pin is a tool that almost everybody has somewhere in their kitchen drawer. And although it’s mainly used to bake delicious cakes, it now has another use: to grind up coffee beans.
The design of the rolling pin allows you to crush up coffee beans much easier than you would with other options. Due to the size and shape of the rolling pin, the coffee beans will be ground up to a finer level all across the board.
However, in order to ensure these coffee beans are all ground to the same level, you need to put some force into them to achieve the grind that you want to achieve.
But what are the steps to do this? Take a look here:
- First, put your coffee beans into a plastic bag and place them flat against a surface of your choosing.
- Secondly, grab hold of the rolling pin and start smashing the beans and rolling over them as you hear the sounds of the beans being crushed into little pieces.
- Keep on rolling over all of the beans, until they all have the same level of consistency across the board. If there are some particles bigger than others, keep on crushing them until you achieve the desired result.
It’s Hammer Time
Unlike the song where ‘U can’t touch this’, the grinding process with a hammer is a little different. If you don’t have a hammer to hand, a meat tenderizer or mallet will also work. Here’s what you need to do:
- Find a small plastic bag, and place the coffee beans in it.
- Place the bag on a chopping board
- Using the hammer, mallet, or meat tenderizer press down on the beans until they’ve been crushed.
- For greater consistency, begin at one end of the bag and move over to the other side.
The result should be coarse to medium grounds.
Use a Blender
A standard blender is the easiest method on the list for grinding coffee beans. Unlike the other approaches that can be somewhat strenuous, a simple touch of a button gets the job done here.
Some blenders come with different grinding settings, providing you with even more control over the consistency.
So, you’re probably thinking: ‘why didn’t you mention this one first?’ Well, there are a few issues that usually come from using a blender to grind coffee beans.
For example, only a small amount of beans can be put into the blender, meaning that the process can take a long time. Another problem you’ll most likely run into is the heat generated from the process will cook the natural oils in the coffee beans, causing them to taste bitter.
- Find the grinder setting or set the blender to a high-speed option.
- Put a small number of coffee beans into the blender (and remember to put the lid on)
- Begin the process until the desired consistency has been reached.
- Add more beans until you’ve ground the amount needed.
How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: Using a Knife
Although it’s not the best choice on the list, it will do the job when you don’t have access to the other items mentioned.
To start, find a butcher’s knife. This type is recommended because the blade is wide, allowing you to apply more force when attempting to break the beans. Now, follow these instructions carefully:
- Put coffee beans on a chopping board
- Lay the knife’s blade on top of the coffee beans
- Using your palm, push down on the blade to break the beans
Overall, you’re expected to receive a medium to medium-fine grind.
Your full attention will be needed for this method. The chances of injury are higher than the other ways we’ve listed.
How to Achieve Consistency
Coffees that have the most consistent grind always taste much better than those that aren’t as consistent. Think about it, if your grinds are constantly inconsistent no two cups of coffee that you brew would ever taste the same.
What’s more, inconsistent coffee grinds over-extract and under-extract some of the grounds, leading to that disgusting chalky aftertaste that some coffees have. By using these tips above, you are sure to create flavorful coffees that will outperform many coffees made in cafes.
How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: The Different Grind Types of Coffee
When using the methods listed, the outcome will typically result in one of the four types:
- Super fine grind (commonly known as ‘pulverized’)
- Fine grind
- Medium grind
- Coarse grind
If you’re wondering what the most common grind is, it’s medium. This is great considering all the methods we’ve listed can produce a medium grind.
For a stronger tasting coffee, the finer the grind the stronger it will become. Although, this can impact the taste. Overall, it really depends on your tastebuds to determine which grind is best.
Can You Brew Coffee Using Whole Coffee Beans?
Although it’s possible for you to brew coffee using whole coffee beans, the result is not likely to be as enjoyable as one that has been finely ground down.
But why is that? In two words, the answer is extraction time.
If the extraction time takes way too long, the water will cool, lengthening the extraction time process.
Many coffee experts believe that the optimal time for coffee extraction is between 25 to 30 seconds. Experiment with your own coffee beans or consider trying different grind sizes. If it lands on either side of this number, then you can always try again to get it just right.
However, if you don’t have the time to ground coffee beans to perfection, you could always just get some pre-ground coffee beans helping to save time, all while giving you the perfect ingredients for a delicious cup of coffee.
Is it Better to Buy Whole Bean Coffee Than Pre-Ground Coffee?
Although it is much more convenient to buy pre-ground coffee beans, it often doesn’t provide the same quality taste.
Grinding the beans directly before making the coffee is the best way to make the freshest cup of joe. In comparison, it’s hard to know how long the pre-ground coffee has been on the shelves, so is bound to be less fresh.
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