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How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder. [9 Methods]

brown powder on white ceramic bowl

Sometimes the things we count on to start our days on the right foot fail us terribly. I can remember vividly how my adorable coffee grinder not once failed to cooperate and almost started my day without a freshly brewed cup of joe. 

But what did I do to enjoy my brew as usual? In this piece, I’m going to teach you how I manage to grind my beans with other tools.

But before doing that, it is worth noting that when using any other tool to grind your beans, your goal should to get as close as possible to the usual consistency. Grind consistency and uniformity are vital when it comes to producing a great cup of java. Grind consistency ensures you extract flavors present in your beans with much greater accuracy. With an inconsistent grind, there will be under extraction or over-extraction, leading to an undesirable taste.

Alternative methods

Now let’s dive into these other methods that come in handy when my grinder fails to cooperate.

Blender

Blender

We all know a blender works well when there is liquid to help move around the solids you put in it. If you have ever tried to prepare something more solid with your blender, you know how it can hang up your blender blades and overwork the motor. 

Now think of what will happen when you toss coffee inside? It might be chaotic, right? However, if you follow the right procedures, you don’t need to worry. Here are the procedures to Follow:

  • Use the grinder setting on the blender or any other high-speed setting
  • Place a small batch of coffee into the blender and cover it
  • Grind your coffee to the desired consistency
  • Continue adding the coffee until you got the right quantity and the desired consistency.

Food processor

Food processor

A food processor can grind your coffee beans just like a blender. It is fast and short bursts are preferred to not over-process the beans. After the first few bursts, check the beans before each pulse to get them to the perfect texture.

Meat tenderizer

Meat tenderizer

Some people call it a meat hammer, and it is a common kitchen tool used for flattening and softening cuts of meat.  Its head has two sides covered in little spikes or bumps. Perhaps now you can guess how to proceed, but before you begin, do this.

  • Pour your coffee beans into a zipper freezer bag. 
  • Squeeze all the air out before sealing the bag closed. 
  • Wrap the bag in a dishtowel. This makes sure you won’t puncture it with the hammer.
  • Apply a little bit of force to hammer the beans as evenly as possible. 
  • Monitor your progress after every few whacks so you don’t render your coffee beans useless.

Mortar and pestle

Mortar and pestle

This option may be new to some but isn’t. it dates back many years ago when it helped prepare ingredients or substances by grinding or crushing them into a fine paste or powder. If you happen to have them in your kitchen for making aioli, pesto, or chimichurri, then do the following to grind your beans:

  • Put a small amount of coffee into your mortar. A small batch of coffee allows you to achieve a consistent grind within a few minutes.
  • Use your main hand to hold the pestle while the other hand holds the mortar. Make sure to hold the mortar firmly, so it doesn’t slip during the heavy pounding with the pestle.
  • Forcibly crush down the coffee beans using the pestle. Ensure you grind every corner to get a consistent grind.
  • Continue adding the beans and crushing until you have achieved the desired amount of coffee. 
  • After crushing, roll the coffee grounds around using the pestle while grinding the beans to achieve a finer texture.
  • Continue with the grinding and rolling motion until you have achieved the desired texture and consistency.

Hand mincer

Hand mincer

It is effortless to see how you can grind coffee beans with a hand mincer. In fact, it is suitable for French press, Turkish, and cold brew. Follow the steps below to do a decent job with it:

  • Measure out your coffee. Measure only the amount of coffee you need to brew with. 
  • Transfer your beans into the hand mincer and position a container to collect the ground coffee
  • Start turning the handle.

Note that the grind size you end up with will depend on the specific grinder you are using. 

Ensure your mincer is clean for the best results. You don’t want any meat in your cup.

Hammer

brown hammer on focus photography

While a hammer doesn’t have nearly the surface area of a meat tenderizer, it does the same job and in the same manner. To crush your beans, follow the meat tenderizer’s procedures. To attain the desired consistency, I recommend you try crushing from one side of the bag to the other.

Rolling pin

brown rolling pin near pink flowers

Your rolling pin is another tool you can use to grind your beans. It doesn’t matter which rolling pin you have, whether wooden, stainless steel, or marble, use it. In fact, a rolling pin doesn’t provide a bit more uniform grind than a hammer.

Grinding guidelines:

  • Pour the preferred amount of coffee into a plastic bag or similar material
  • Position the bag flat on the cutting board or counter
  • Using the pin like a hammer, smash the beans and roll over them. 
  • Roll your pin back and forth till you have attained the desired consistency. 

A butcher knife

brown handle knife on brown wooden table

I’m sure you are asking, “why a butcher knife?” The butcher knife has a slightly wider blade that offers a larger surface area suitable for crushing beans. With this method, you can get medium to medium-fine grind. Here is what you need to do:

  • Place coffee beans on a cutting board
  • Position the knife flatly on the coffee beans
  • Press down firmly using your palm to crack the bean

Frying pan

black and orange frying pan

Just like a knife, a frying pan also does a decent job of crushing the beans, thanks to its large surface area. This large surface area makes a frying pan an ideal tool when grinding beans for a crowd.

To get the most out of your pan, position your hands on its opposite sides, and push down. That is all!

Can you over grind coffee beans?

It is not recommended to do so. Just stick to a grind suitable for your brewing method, such as coarse grind for a French press. 

Conclusion

As you can see, you don’t need a grinder to grind and make your favorite brew. While having a grinder is the ultimate goal, never go without sipping coffee because your grinder is faulty, or you don’t have one. Try these other methods, and you will be grateful!  Which method would you like to try first, and why? Let us know in the comment.

Get crazy with caffeine!

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