Grinding whole-bean coffee just before brewing assures freshness, decreases exposure to flavor-destroying oxygen, and helps to keep the coffee's natural flavors from turning bland and stale. But how can you get the most consistent grind? How to grind coffee beans with a blender? Can you grind fresh coffee beans in the morning for that all-important cup of coffee to start your day? But what if you don't have access to a coffee grinder?
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Of course, you can! You can replicate the texture and consistency provided by a grinder with some simple kitchen tools and a little elbow grease without having to run out and buy one before breakfast. Even if it doesn't brew the ideal cup, you'll save yourself the shame of having to use pre-ground coffee or visit the coffee shop. However, if you have a blender, such as a Ninja or a Vitamix, and if you grind a lot of coffee, this may be the machine for you, especially if you're used to using a blade grinder anyhow. A blender grinds coffee more evenly than a small blade coffee grinder. If you don't mind using pre-ground coffee, you can save yourself the trouble of getting out the blender. However, the blender is enough to get the job done if you want freshly ground coffee. Remember that the quality will not be the same as pre-ground coffee from the grocery store.
Is It Possible To Use A Blender As A Grinder?
Why do coffee beans need to be ground? It is technically possible to brew coffee beans with whole, unground beans. However, we grind our coffee beans because grinding is the most efficient way to increase the entire surface area of the coffee's contact with hot water. This allows for a significantly less extraction time than if we did not grind coffee beans. The more the surface area is exposed to hot water, the finer you grind your coffee. So, hypothetically, anything that may help increase the amount of exposed surface area does the same task as a coffee grinder.
However, this is not the end. The issue is not whether or not your coffee is ground but how and when it is processed. Here's the quick answer to whether you can ground coffee in a blender. Yes, if you're in a hurry, you can grind your coffee in a blender. A blender is not the best long-term solution for serious coffee lovers or those who like to enjoy a quality brew. But first, take a look at what grinding coffee beans in a blender does.
How To Grind Coffee Beans With A Blender
The hard grinding is done by the rotating blades at the bottom of the blender pitcher. This is comparable to a blade coffee grinder in this sense. The main difference is that you have more area to grind coffee in a blender. Many household blade grinders have a volume limitation. If you like to grind enough coffee beans for an entire pot, you may need to repeat the grinding cycle two or three times. Of course, it all depends on how strong you want your brew to be.
Burr Grinder Or Blade Grinder?
If you've never heard of a Burr grinder, it's time you have. Burr grinders are available in the market, both manual and electric. This is the best way to ensure a balanced grind for your regular brew. Blade grinders process the beans into precise ground sizes depending on how long they are ground. As a result, most consistently, the beans are just ground. Burr grinder grinds the coffee beans against a burr, ensuring that only the precise size is collected. As a result, the grind becomes more constant. The size of your coffee bean grounds will be the same.
Burr grinders are grouped into two different types. The burr of a wheel grinder spins like a wheel. Usually, the speed is faster. They are louder and messier. They're also good for your wallet. These are the best-known burr grinders available on the market. They grind coffee less quickly because they are more thorough and spin slower than a wheel grinder. However, if you want the most consistently ground cup of coffee, this is the machine for you. It will pay you back in flavorful and smooth coffee to drink.
How Do I Get The Right Coffee Grind Size?
The grind size spectrum is a range having a bottom and a top. The size of coarse particles is over 1mm per particle. Extra fine particles have a size of less than 0.25 mm per particle. It is not recommended to use any blade grinder or a blender since the grind size is so exact, and our eyes are not error-free when it comes to judging particle sizes. You will not only have a problem with consistency with these machines, but you will also have a hard time knowing the average particle size. This is why any home coffee drinker should invest in an electric burr grinder with preset adjustments. You don't even need to be a connoisseur to enjoy it. With some machines, it's as simple as turning the bean hopper from fine to coarse.
Pre-Ground Coffee Is That Bad?
If all of this information about different grinders have you grinding your teeth, or if it's simply too much for you, you can always get pre-ground coffee. However, you should be aware and It is not an alternative for grinding it fresh. We know Grandpa enjoyed his pre-ground Folgers. It was helpful for him. But based on the taste, you'd believe he scooped from his ashtray, and he missed the can instead. With so much good coffee available these days, it's fair to say that "the best part of getting up is not having Folgers in your cup." Grandpa did not come across nearly as many independent roasteries as we have now.
Coffee is not a perishable item, contrary to the belief of some. Although drinking expired coffee grounds is unlikely to get you sick, it will taste stale. Many people drink stale coffee for years without realizing that coffee beans, whether whole bean or ground, have a shelf life. However, once ground, their duration on the shelf accelerates. The chance to enjoy more flavors from the freshly roasted bean is what you'll lose with pre-ground coffee. When coffee is ground, oils and gases are released, which give the coffee its flavor and aroma. It's like leaving a slice of bread on the table.
However, grinding the beans too fresh can result in 'gassy' coffee. Within a few days after roasting, the beans release a lot of carbon dioxide and other gases. Before the beans are ready to drink, they need time to 'settle.'
5 Simple Ways To Grind Coffee Beans
Thankfully for you, we've written a straightforward guide on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder. We'll also briefly discuss the various types of coffee grinds and what they're most typically used for. Keep in mind that alternative methods will provide different results; some will produce finer coffee grounds, while others will produce coarser grounds.
Get The Following Items Ready:
As beans tend to fly, you'll need a large butcher block, cutting board, or counter space.
A scoop (optional)
Large parchment paper sheets or plastic Ziploc bags.
Paper towels to prevent scattering or a selection of kitchen towels.
Patience: grinding coffee beans without a grinder is a labor-intensive method.
You might want to use our coffee grind chart, but this is a 'how-to hack' post on alternative ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder, so getting consistent grinds will be challenging.
1. Mortar And Pestle
For centuries, cooks and pharmacists have employed mortar and pestle to grind spices, medicines, and herbs into a fine powder. It combines rolling motion and hammering to help create a consistent texture. Also, the method allows you for fine control over a wide range of grinds, from French-press coarse to Turkish-coffee fine.
How To Do It
- Scoop a few small scoops of coffee into your mortar. Don't fill it more than a quarter full for the best control. You can always grind another batch.
- Use your primary hand to hold the pestle and your other hand to keep the mortar in position.
- Using the pestle, forcefully press down and twist to grind the coffee beans.
- Once ground, roll the coffee around the bowl with the pestle until you see the texture and consistency you want.
- If you still want to grind more coffee beans, empty the previously ground coffee into your coffee maker or a bowl and repeat the process until you have enough coffee.
2. A Rolling Pin
The classic rolling pin can grind and crush coffee beans at the same time. This results in a more even texture and a smoother grind than other methods. This item requires a little elbow grease and an alert eye to ensure uniformity.
If done correctly, this method can produce a medium-fine to fine grind, which is perfect for drip or pour-over brewing.
What You’ll Need
This can be any long-lasting cylindrical item, such as a can of food, wooden dowel, or a wine bottle).
Counter space or Large cutting board.
Parchment paper or plastic Ziploc bag.
How To Do It
- Fill a plastic bag or between two sheets of parchment paper with a measured amount of coffee. Tip: Fold the sides of the parchment paper over to seal them to reduce the scattering of the grounds.
- Place the bag flat on the counter.
- Press down to crush your beans using the pin like a hammer.
- Once the beans have been crushed, roll the pin over the beans, pressing down strongly enough to crush the bean fragments.
- Roll the pin forth and back over the grinds until they reach the consistency you like.
- If the grounds are still too large, keep crushing and rolling.
3. A Hammer
A meat tenderizer, hammer, or mallet, can easily crush your coffee beans and the kitchen counter or your hand, so use with care. As you break down the coffee beans, you'll be able to fine-tune your technique and crush the beans into a fine powder.
However, due to the jerky, explosive action of the hammer (even if you aren't going to whack the beans!), Don't expect to brew espresso with these grounds. The best you can expect is a coarse to medium grind. This grind is excellent for cold brew, the Chemex, and drip coffee makers.
What You’ll Need
- Meat Tenderizer, Hammer, or Mallet.
- Freezer bag, parchment sheets, or plastic Ziploc bag.
- Large cutting board.
How To Do It
Place your coffee beans between two sheets of parchment, or fill the plastic bag with coffee with the edges folded over.
Press down firmly on the beans with your hammer to crush them until the proper consistency is met. Do not hit the beans!
Crush on one side of the bag when you start and gradually move to the other side to grind more consistently.
4. A Knife
The best method to grind coffee with a knife is to use the blade's flat rather than the edge. The design of a chef's knife or butcher knife, with its slightly wider and stiffer blade, helps crush and crack the beans.
Crushing coffee with the blade's flat gives you excellent control and makes it easy to produce a medium to medium-fine grind. It will be easier if you have spent more time in chef school. So, if you're like us and aren't a cook, try a different way!
What You’ll Need
- Wide cutting board (to help catch flyaway beans).
- Chef's knife or a large butcher knife.
How To Do It
Place the coffee beans on a cutting board.
Put your knife flat on top of the coffee beans, carefully placing the sharp edge on the board. Tip: Lay paper towels or a kitchen towel over the knife to help prevent runaway coffee grounds.
Place your flat palm on the blade and press down hard to crack the beans. Don't be tempted to strike the blade like you're crushing garlic: the beans will bounce and fly away, resulting in not only more cleanup but also the chance of losing some of them.
After the coffee beans have been broken, continue pressing down on the blade while moving the blade slightly towards you to fine-tune the grind.
5. A Food Processor
This is a larger version of the blade grinder, similar to a blender but not as good as a burr grinder for particle adjustability or size consistency. However, this is about survival, so if you're trapped in a vacation rental with no way to prepare coffee grounds other than a Cuisinart, here's how to save your sanity without having to the drive-through espresso stand everyday morning.
How To Grind Coffee With A Processor
Pour a couple of scoops of coffee into the processor bowl and secure the cover on top. Use your processor's "pulse" function to grind in short bursts. While grinding, tilt the processor gently from side to side for the best results.; this causes the bigger pieces of the coffee beans to move into the blades.
Empty the processor, add new beans, and continue until the desired amount of ground coffee is obtained. The pulse technique is important for making a good cup of coffee (if not a great cup of coffee). Grind in short, repeated increments, shaking your blender in between grinds. Turning on your machine in short, quick bursts will coarsely ground up the beans closest to the blades, and shaking will cause the bigger bits to fall closer to the bottom blade.
Is It Necessary To Grind My Coffee Beans Regularly?
Your coffee beans do not have to be ground regularly to brew coffee. However, evenly ground beans can drastically improve the flavor of your coffee. Flavors of coffee beans are steeped and extracted into hot water at a rate based on the surface area of the beans. As a result, if the surface areas are vastly different, the brew will produce a bitter cup of coffee and be inconsistent.
How Can I Ensure That My Beans Are Consistently Ground?
The simplest way to ensure a consistent grind for your beans is to use a burr coffee grinder made for coffee beans. The burr mechanism properly funnels the coffee beans through the burrs, ensuring that each bean is ground up evenly.
Will Grinding The Beans Damage My Blender?
Grinding coffee beans will not damage your blender, although doing it on a regular basis may cause the blades to become blunt faster. The sides of a plastic blender may get scratched due to the hard beans. Using a glass blender will help prevent scratches and extend the life of the blender.
It is important to grind your coffee beans at home to ensure the freshness of the coffee and the grind size and consistency. However, there are many ways to grind coffee without a grinder; a mortar and pestle are the best options for perfect consistency and texture, especially for a finer grind like that used in espresso machines. There are many ways for grinding coffee beans at home that do not require a specialized coffee grinder. One of these methods is to use a standard blender that you already have at home. You may have excellent ground coffee as long as you take care not to blend the beans for too long.
So now you have it: how to grind coffee beans with a blender. With the availability and improved quality of fresh whole-bean coffee, grinding your beans may quickly become an irreplaceable part of your daily routine. In a pinch, though, many kitchen tools offer a great way to prepare a freshly ground cup of coffee. Keep in mind to strive for accuracy in grind size, not overheat your beans if using a blender, and have a larger workspace if using hand tools.
Do you know any other ways to grind beans without a grinder? What are your thoughts on these methods?
How To Grind Coffee Beans With A Blender 101
How to grind coffee beans with a blender? Can you grind fresh coffee beans in the morning for that all-important cup of coffee to start your day? But what if you don't have access to a coffee grinder?
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