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

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 1st, 2023

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 will teach you how I manage to grind my beans with other tools.

brown powder on white ceramic bowl

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

Why grind your coffee beans?

Grinding your coffee beans has many advantages. First, you will get fresher coffee, as the beans will be ground before you brew them. This will result in a more intense flavor and aroma. Also, grinding the beans yourself allows you to control the size of the grind, allowing you to tailor the flavor to your taste preferences. Finally, grinding your beans is a great way to save money, as pre-ground coffee can be more expensive than buying whole-bean coffee.

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 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 get the right quantity and 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 call it a meat hammer, 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

The traditional way to grind coffee beans involves a mortar and pestle. This ancient tool is used for crushing and grinding items like spices or grains.

  • To use this method, put the beans in the mortar, then use the pestle to crush them.
  • You can adjust the grind size by crushing for less or longer periods. This method requires some elbow grease but will give you a consistent grind.

Hand mincer

Hand mincer

Seeing how you can grind coffee beans with a hand mincer is effortless. 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 your specific grinder. 

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

Hammer

brown hammer on focus photography

If you don’t have a grinder and don’t want to invest in one, you can grind your coffee beans with a hammer and a zipper bag.

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

  • To do this, place the beans in a sturdy zipper bag and press out as much air as possible before sealing it.
  • Take the bag and place it on a cutting board or hard surface.
  • Using the hammer, gently tap the bag until the beans are ground to your desired consistency.
  • Be careful not to hit the bag too hard – you don’t want to break the seal or make any holes in the bag. This method takes some time, but if done carefully and with patience, can yield good results.

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. A rolling pin doesn’t provide a more uniform grind than a hammer.

Using a rolling pin to grind your coffee beans is a traditional and satisfying way to get the job done.

Grinding guidelines:

  • Start by placing the coffee beans in a zip lock bag and squeezing out any air before sealing it.
  • Place the bag on a cutting board, and use the rolling pin to roll over the bag, applying pressure and rolling back and forth until the desired consistency is achieved.

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

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 opposite sides, and push down. That is all!

Coffee shop grinder method

If you don’t have a grinder home, you can visit your local coffee shop and ask them to grind your beans. This can be a great option too. Many coffee shops are more than happy to grind beans for customers, and they often have high-quality grinders that can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Just make sure to purchase the right amount of beans, so you don’t end up with too much or too little. Additionally, it’s important to tell the barista exactly how fine or coarse you’d like your beans ground so they can grind them to your specifications.

Preground vs. Freshly Ground Coffee

When it comes to coffee, freshly ground beans are always superior to preground. This is because preground coffee begins to lose its flavor and aroma as soon as it is ground. When coffee beans are ground, they release essential oils and aromas that can dissipate quickly if not used immediately.

By grinding your beans, you can ensure that the flavor and aroma of the coffee remain intact, and you get the best taste possible. Freshly ground beans also allow you to experiment with different grind sizes and textures, allowing you to customize your coffee experience.

Tips for Improving Results When Grinding without a Grinder

When grinding coffee beans without a grinder, it is important to take extra care to make sure the grind size is consistent. Uneven grinds can lead to a poor-tasting cup of coffee. Here are some tips to help ensure you get the best results when grinding without a grinder:

  1. Take your time – Grinding coffee beans by hand requires more time and effort than using a grinder. Be sure to take your time and don’t rush the process.
  2. Use a sieve – Once you’ve finished grinding, use a sieve or strainer to filter out any large pieces that may have been missed.
  3. Store properly – If you aren’t using your ground coffee immediately, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. This will ensure that your freshly ground coffee stays fresh for longer.
  4. Experiment with the grind size – If you’re unsure what grind size to use, experiment! Different grind sizes can lead to different flavors in your cup of coffee, so feel free to experiment until you find the grind size that best suits your tastes.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your efforts in grinding coffee beans without a grinder are successful and that your cup of coffee tastes great!

Conclusion

Grinding your coffee beans without a grinder is a great way to enjoy fresh, flavorful coffee, even if you don’t have access to a grinder. There are several methods for grinding beans without a grinder, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Whichever method you choose, the key is to be patient and consistent so you get the perfect grind size for your preferred brewing method. With a little effort, you can enjoy freshly ground coffee beans without needing a grinder.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.