How to Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

Are you wanting to grind coffee beans, but don’t have a grinder? We review the different methods!

Have coffee but no grinder? Don’t worry our guide will provide you with step-by-step directions on how to grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder.

Having a fresh bag of coffee beans but no grinder on hand can be a serious problem! In this scenario you have a few options to consider: a) Give up and have no coffee b) Cry and hope they grind themselves or C) Come up with an alternate means to grind those beans so you can enjoy a warm, fresh cup of joe! 

At Cozy we definitely vote for option C, and today we will provide you with many options for grinding your coffee beans without a grinder. 

Don’t want to have to MacGyver grinding your coffee? Check out our list of top Grind and Brew Coffee Makers.

How To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

Coffee beans mixed on top of coffee grounds.
Coffee beans ground into its simplest form mixed with water allows for a flavorful cup!

The reason coffee beans are ground is to ensure that the water used to brew your coffee is able to extract the delicious flavors and oils in your favorite coffee beans. Today we share with you our guide on how to grind coffee beans with no grinder necessary! We will also provide you with an overview of the different types of coffee grinds and what they are best used for. 

As a last resort, we have also provided you with a recipe for how to make coffee out of whole coffee beans. Believe it or not, it is actually pretty delicious. Don’t expect a quick brewing experience using this method though.

Each method we will introduce will produce different size grinds from fine to coarse. They will require different levels of exertion but will provide you with a ground coffee you can brew!

Use a Blender or Food Processor

One of the easiest go to’s for grinding coffee beans without a grinder is to use a blender or food processor. If you have one of these on hand, grinding the beans should be a fairly easy task.

Below we provide you with a step by step guide on how to use the blender or the food processor to grind those beans!

Grinding Coffee Beans With A Blender

The pros of using a blender to grind coffee beans is that it is an easy way to grind the beans and it will provide you with a decent consistency. One con is that there will be no way to produce an even grind like you would with a grinder, but the consistency will be enough that it is usable in a pinch. 

There are a few blenders that have a grind option, if they do go ahead and use that to grind your coffee beans. If your blender does not come with a grind option, go ahead and select the pulse setting or you can even do a manual blend of the beans. This Black and Decker Top Counter Blender is an economical option to consider.

One important note to make is that blenders will produce heat that can burn your beans if you have them blending in the blender for too long. To avoid scorching your coffee beans, make sure you are blending for a 30 second max period of time. 

How To Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender

1. Pick the blender setting. We recommend either a medium-high speed or grinder option.
2. Pour ½ cup of coffee beans into the blender and place the lid on firmly.
3. Selecting the pulse setting, begin grinding the beans in 3 to 5 second intervals.
4. Repeat this process up to 6 times for a maximum time of 30 seconds.
5. You’re done! You can now remove the ground coffee from  your blender and brew.

Grinding Coffee Beans With a Food Processor

The food processor is another option that will provide you with a quick and easy grind. The ground coffee will very closely resemble what you would produce using the blender, however, you will need a larger volume of beans to grind as the food processor is larger.

Remember you can ground your beans and store them in an airtight container to be used at a later time. So don’t worry if you need to produce a larger batch, any leftovers won’t go to waste.

To find out how long coffee beans last and how long you can store them, check out our guide on everything you need to know.  

How To Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor

1. Pour a minimum of 1 cup of coffee beans into the food processor and firmly place the lid.
2. Opt for the pulse setting, grind the beans in intervals of 3 to 5 seconds.
3. Repeat this process for up to 30 seconds, until the coffee beans are at your desired consistency.
4. Process is complete, you are ready to brew!

Ways to Grind Beans By Hand

A garlic press being used to grind coffee beans.
Did you know you can grind coffee beans using simple household items such a hammer or rolling pin?

This method admittedly will require more elbow grease, but can be effective in providing you with brewable beans when in need. The pros of this approach is that you don’t need much as far as equipment and can result in a finer grind. The cons is this approach will take longer than if you grind with a machine. Just keep envisioning that warm cup of coffee at the end to stay motivated!

Grinding Coffee Beans With a Rolling Pin

This method is a good fit for a french press, as you will typically have coarser grounds than what you would want to use for drip coffee. We recommend placing your coffee beans in a sealable plastic bag before grinding them down to prevent a huge mess and stray coffee beans everywhere. We like this durable rolling pin to get the job done.

How to Grind Beans with a Rolling Pin

1. Place ½ cup to 1 cup of coffee beans in a resealable bag. 
2. Before sealing the bag, squeeze out all the air so the bag does not pop. Once all air has been squeezed out, seal the bag.
3. Firmly roll the rolling pin over the coffee beans in the bag applying pressure.
4. After each pass with the rolling pin, position the coffee beans so they are together in the bag and then repeat the rolling process.
5. Continue until the beans are ground to the desired consistency.
6. You are all done! Now rest those tired muscles and enjoy a fresh cup of joe. 

Grinding Coffee Beans With A Mortar and Pestle 

A mortar and pestle have been used since ancient times to crush and grind ingredients into a fine powder. They are used in kitchens, labs and pharmacies. While the history of the mortar and pestle makes it an interesting tool, it does require a good amount of labor to grind your coffee beans using one. If you decide to go this route, we love this Health Smart Mortar and Pestle. 

The pros of this method is that it allows you to grind smaller amounts which is great for a single serving. The cons is that there is a lot of sweat equity that goes into properly using a mortar and pestle. 

With a mortar and pestle you can control the grind size by how firmly you choose to grind your beans, with the ability to create finer grounds for drip coffee or coarser grounds for french press coffee.

How to Grind Beans with a Mortar and Pestle

1. FIll the mortar ¼ of the way full with coffee beans.
2. Holding the pestle with your dominant hand and the mortar in your other hand, apply pressure with the pestle onto the coffee beans.
3. Continue applying pressure using the pestle in a firm swirling motion to break down the coffee beans.
4. Once the coffee beans are crushed you can use the pestle to grind your beans down into a finer grain if you prefer.
5. Once coffee beans are ground to your desired texture, you are ready to rest, relax and enjoy a cup!

Grinding Coffee Beans With a Hammer

We are the first to admit that using a hammer to grind your coffee beans is not the ideal option. However, if you are desperate this method will allow you to get your coffee beans grounded and ready to brew.

Much like the rolling pin technique we mentioned above, you will want to place your coffee beans in a resealable ziplock bag to keep the coffee beans all in one place. You will want to use enough pressure to break down the coffee beans but will not want to be hammering the beans like you would if putting a nail into the wall. 

The pros of this method is that it is convenient in that hammers are easy to come by. You also don’t need any electricity to complete this technique. The cons are that it is a lot of work and you won’t be able to produce a thoroughly consistent grind. Check out our pick for a reliable and affordable hammer. 

How to Grind Beans with a Hammer

1. Place ½ cup to 1 cup of coffee beans to a resealable bag, push all the air out and seal.
2. Using the hammer gently but firmly strike the coffee beans in the bag.
3. Continue the process until the coffee beans are to your desired consistency.
4. Put the hammer down and enjoy a cup! You have successfully ground your coffee beans.

Grinding Coffee Beans with a Garlic Press

This option uses a common kitchen utensil to grind your coffee beans. A garlic press, also known as a garlic crusher, is used to crush garlic cloves by using pressure to force the garlic through a grid of small holes.

The pros of this method is that it utilizes a tool that is typically on hand in most kitchens. The cons is that you can only do small batches at once and it will produce a coarser ground versus a finer one. This is ok for french press brewed coffee but will not work as well for drip coffee.

How to Grind Beans with a Garlic Press

1. Place a small portion of coffee beans into the garlic mincer.
2. Firmly squeeze the garlic mincer to push the coffee beans through the holes.
3. Repeat with a new batch of coffee beans until you have ground the desired amount.
4. If your beans are too coarse for your liking you can put the ground coffee beans back through the garlic mincer again to get a finer ground.
5. Once you have ground your desired amount of coffee beans, you are ready to brew!

Popular Coffee Grinds

There are many different types of coffee grinds, each ideal for different brewing methods.

 The reason for grinding coffee is to increase the surface area that comes into contact with the water. The finer or coarser the grind is the more or less quickly the water can pass through the coffee grounds. 

Some of the more popular grinds are:

Coarse Grind.  This is a larger coffee grind and a good choice for immersion brewing methods, such as a French Press. 

Medium-Coarse Grind. This is a smoother yet larger coffee grind. This is a great grind option for pour-over brewers. 

Medium Grind.  One of the most preferred grinds. With a sand like texture this is a good choice for an aeropress or drip coffee. 

Medium-Fine Grind. This grind resembles a silky sand in texture. This grind does not stick together and is a perfect choice for pour over brewing methods. 

Fine Grind. Finer than table salt, this grind is a great option for brewing espresso. 

In the market for an espresso machine? Be sure to check out our top picks for automatic espresso machines! 

Brewing Coffee That Has Not Been Ground 

If the above methods fail, you do have the option of brewing coffee with whole coffee beans. The pros of this method is that you can enjoy a cup of coffee even if you aren’t able to grind your coffee beans. The cons are that this method is not quick, and will take some time to complete. 

To brew coffee with whole coffee beans you will need the following:

  • Boiling water
  • Small Saucepan
  • Mason Jar
  • Whole Coffee Beans
  1. Fill the mason jar with the coffee beans up to 3 ounces.
  2. Add 1 cup of the boiling water. 
  3. Put the mason jar inside the sauce pan. Fill the sauce pot with hot water that matches the water level of the coffee beans inside the jar. 
  4. Place the saucepan on the stove and simmer the water for one hour.
  5. Once an hour has passed, carefully remove the mason jar from the water.
  6. Slowly pour the brewed coffee into a cup, leaving the coffee beans in the mason jar. 
  7. You are now ready to enjoy a cup! 

Cozy’s Conclusion

Grinding coffee beans does not always need to be completed by using a coffee grinder. There are a variety of methods available to grind coffee beans that are readily available in your home if you ever find yourself in the situation where you need ground coffee but don’t have a grinder handy. We have also provided a recipe for brewing a cup with whole coffee beans in the event you aren’t able to grind your coffee beans.

Although each method does require a bit of sweat equity, the return will result in the ability to brew a fresh cup right when you want one. As we all know coffee is life and with these techniques you won’t have to miss out on a minute.

Sending you a big coffee filled cheers!

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