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Learn How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

Arguably the most socially acceptable, delicious drug on the market, coffee is an absolute necessity to start the day for most of us. The exhausted parent, the tense and hurried workaholic, the college student, cranky from the latest all-nighter. And while we all love the convenience of our K-cups and the Starbucks drive-thru, there is something to be said for a beautifully brewed, freshly ground, homemade cup of coffee.

Every sense is involved in the morning ritual when done properly. From dipping your hand delicately into the cool, smooth beans, letting them slip through your fingers, to the whir of the grinder, pulsing, and singing. The aroma of the fresh brew filling the air is intoxicating. And that first taste hitting your lips, kissing you good morning with its dark mischief. The whole experience borders on sensual.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Blender

  • Food processor

  • Zip-top bag

  • Mortar and pestle

  • Rolling pin

  • Meat mallet

But what if you've stumbled into the kitchen, sleep still clouding your eyes, and reached for the coffee grinder, only to find it broken... or filled with ground-up crayons from your daughter's "art project?" Not to worry. Here are a few ways you can be sure nothing stands between you and your morning brew.

manuals guide perfect cup coffee beans in hands
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?

Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a blender. Albeit, carefully. The blades from a blender create heat, which could possibly cook and burn your beans, causing a chalky, bitter flavor. If you do use a blender, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make sure you're only pulsing for, at most, 30 seconds.

This helps you avoid cooking the beans.

Step 2: Also, be sure you have the right amount of beans.

Too few, and they're likely to burn. Too many, and it will be difficult to get a good consistency in your grind.

Step 3: Use around a 1/2 cup.

Step 4: A food processor works similarly if you have one on hand.

If using a food processor, however, be sure to double the number of beans due to the larger size of the machine.

cafe volan, coffee beans
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Other Ways to Grind Coffee Beans

Of course, there are non-electrical methods of grinding your coffee beans. Let's say the power is out, or you find yourself in a kitchen without any modern technology. What then? This is where things can get fun and you can let loose your pent-up aggression in a tasty way.

Step 1: Fill a zip-top bag with coffee beans.

Step 2: Grab a rolling pin, frying pan, meat mallet, or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Step 3: Bang away.

Keep in mind, that no matter how much aggression you may be releasing, this method will leave you with a coarser, more uneven grind on your beans. If it's a finer grind you're after, you may try using a mortar and pestle. Though be warned, that this method may cause you to break a sweat.

Is Grinding Coffee Beans Worth It?

We're all guilty of putting a little convenience first, especially on hurried mornings. Who among us hasn't reached for the store-bought, bottled cold brew, so easily poured into our trendy tumblers? And can't we all admit that those cute little k-cups sure do make the early morning routine a little easier? But if we're honest, waking up just a few minutes earlier seems like a small sacrifice to ensure the day starts off right with a luxurious treat.

The benefits of freshly ground coffee are surprisingly vast. In addition to the amplified flavor, there are added health benefits to freshly ground coffee as well. Pre-ground coffee contains more free radicals than freshly ground, which can contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, according to Science Direct. Freshly ground beans are also packed with even more antioxidants than pre-ground, helping the body fight off everything from heart disease to cancer.

So even if you find yourself grinder-less, know that there's no reason not to enjoy some beautiful freshly ground coffee. Whether it's a hot morning cup you're after, a cool espresso martini, or even a delicious brisket, coffee is so much more than just an AM pick-me-up. And as such, it deserves to be treated as the versatile, deliciously healthy, dark, and mysterious ingredient it is.

"We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup." - Jerry Seinfeld

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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