How To Easily Grind Coffee Beans (With and Without a Grinder)

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You went to the store and bought your favorite kind of coffee–the only problem is, once you got home, you realized you bought the coffee in whole-bean form. 

How do you grind those beans down so you can brew your coffee? While it’s easy to grind coffee beans, the consistency you’ll want will vary. There are many different ways you can accomplish the perfect grind, even if you don’t have a grinder.

Coffee Grind Sizes Compared

As you grind coffee, be mindful of how much you’re grinding the beans down. Smaller grounds will have an impact on the flavor of your coffee, and different sizes are best for different brewing methods

If you grind your coffee for a long time, you’ll have more of a powder consistency, but in some cases, it’s best to grind it just a little bit, so you get chunkier pieces. 

To figure out what grind size is best for your situation, take a look at these coffee grind sizes compared: 

  • Coarse, which results in chunky, bigger-sized pieces. A coarse grind is best if you are using a French Press to make your coffee or are using the cold brew method.
  • Medium coarse, which is slightly less chunky. This is best if you are using the pour-over method to make your coffee.
  • Medium, which will have a salt-like consistency. The pieces aren’t chunky, but you can still see all the individual pieces. This grind is best when you are making traditional drip coffee.
  • Fine, which is smaller than salt-like pieces but not to the point where any powder has begun to form yet. This method is best if you are using a mocha pot or are making espresso.
  • Extra fine, which has the consistency of powdered sugar. This method is usually only used when coffee is being brewed in a Turkish coffee pot.

In most cases, you’ll be creating either a coarse or medium grind, unless you are using a specialty brewing method or machine.

How To Grind Coffee Beans With a Grinder

It’s well-known in the coffee world that freshly ground coffee is best. Even if you made a mistake by buying a whole-bean bag, it’s worth it to learn how to grind your coffee, so you get an excellent, fresh cup every single time. 

There are many types of coffee grinders out there, so it’s simple to find a tool that will help you get the perfect grind. Types include: 

  • Burr grinders, which come in both automatic and manual models. These have two plates that crush the coffee beans and are the preferred tool by many coffee professionals. The grounds will be in a consistent size, which leads to better extraction of flavor. You’ll be able to find either flat-disk burr grinders or conical burr grinders.
  • Blade grinders, which are the most common type of grinder you’ll find in people’s kitchens. They’re readily available and cheap. These grinders involve a spinning blade that chops up the coffee beans. While they’re cheaper, blade grinders do not provide as consistent of a grind each time, which means the flavor of your cup of coffee will vary.

Whichever type of grinder you choose, it’s easy to grind coffee beans at home with these devices.

How To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

What happens if you didn’t mean to buy whole-bean coffee, and you don’t have a grinder? The good news is, you’re not stuck with having to venture out again and purchasing pre-ground coffee from the store. There are a couple of ways you can grind your beans with regular kitchen tools. 

To grind your coffee beans without a grinder, you can use: 

  • A blender. Use either the “pulse” or “grind” setting on your blender to get ground coffee beans. Grind in 5-second increments for about 30 seconds. While this is a quick and easy solution, keep in mind that the grind will likely be inconsistent, so you won’t get as much flavor extraction. 

  • A food processor. Like the blender, this is an easy solution, as many people have a food processor in their homes. This is one of your best options for grinding your beans. Again, use the pulse setting in 5-second increments. 

  • A rolling pin. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you’ll end up having to grind your beans by hand. While this is more extensive, it is possible. Put your coffee beans in a secured plastic bag, and use the rolling pin over the bag. It’ll take some time, but as long as you have patience, you can grind your beans this way.

  • A mortar and pestle. Like the rolling pin, this method is labor-intensive and will take some time. Still, if you have a mortar and pestle in your kitchen, you’ll have another option for grinding by hand. This method also helps create finer grounds than a rolling pin, so use it if you are making espresso or Turkish coffee.

Which Type of Coffee Grinder is Best?

In general, the finer that the grind is, the bolder the flavor will be. When you buy a cup of coffee, in most situations that coffee is made with a medium grind and brewed in a drip coffee maker. Unless you like to make espresso or cold brew, a coffee grinder that helps you achieve a medium grind is best. 

Whether you decide to grind by hand or you purchase an automated coffee grinder, the key to an excellent cup of coffee is a consistent grind. Equal consistency will boost the flavor extraction. Burr coffee grinders provide the most consistent grind, which is why they are the grinder that many coffee professionals choose to use.

Freshly-Ground Coffee for An Excellent Cup

Grinding your coffee beans just before you brew will provide the freshest cup of coffee you can get. Luckily, there are many different ways you can grind your beans. 

Even if you don’t have a mechanical grinder at home, you will still have lots of options. Just keep in mind your brewing method so you can create the perfect consistency of grounds each time.

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