How To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

If you enjoy brewing a fresh cup of coffee from the comfort of your own home, chances are that you own a coffee grinder.

But, what happens if you don’t have a coffee grinder and want to make a fresh cup of coffee?

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your daily caffeine fix; there are many alternative ways to grind coffee beans.

In this article, we’re going to look at 5 different ways how to grind coffee beans without a grinder, using common household items.

1. Mortar and Pestle

Grind coffee beans using a mortar and pestle

The mortal and pestle have been used for centuries by pharmacists and cooks to grind herbs and medicines into powder and is a traditional method you can use to grind coffee beans.

You can get a consistent and fine grind with the mortar and pestle if you take your time and use it correctly.

How to grind coffee beans by hand with a mortar and pestle

  1. Place a few small scoops of coffee into the mortar – don’t fill it more than ¼ full to ensure you get a good consistency.
  2. Hold the pestle with one hand, and the mortar with the other.
  3. Press the pestle down and crush the coffee beans by twisting the pestle until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

2. Rolling Pin

Grind coffee beans using a rolling pin

A rolling pin is a great alternative to a coffee grinder if you’re willing to put in some elbow grease to get a good grind.

A rolling pin can crush and grind coffee beans at the same time.

To grind coffee beans with a rolling pin, you’ll need to apply quite a bit of pressure.

You can get a medium-fine to fine-grind with a rolling pin.

How to grind coffee beans with a rolling pin

  1. Place the coffee beans into a plastic bag.
  2. Lay the bag flat onto the counter.
  3. Using the pin, press down to crush the beans.
  4. Once the beans are crushed, roll the pin evenly over the beans with pressure. Make sure you are pressing hard enough to crush the beans.
  5. Roll the pin back and forth until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

3. Hammer

Grind coffee beans using a hammer

If you have your tools handy, a hammer can also do the trick when it comes to grinding coffee beans.

When you use a hammer to crack and crush coffee beans, make sure to be careful with the hammer so that you don’t damage your countertop.

With a hammer, you can get a coarse to medium grind. 

How to grind coffee beans with a hammer

  1. Fill a small plastic bag with coffee beans.
  2. Press down firmly onto the beans with the hammer to crush them (make sure you are pressing down and not hitting the beans).
  3. Crush the beans until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

4. Blender

Blender

Another household item you can use to grind coffee beans is a blender.

A blender is a great alternative to a coffee grinder and it does the job well.

The blades of a blender will cut the coffee grinds just like a coffee grinder would.

How to grind coffee beans with a blender

  1. Pour a small number of coffee beans into the blender and place the lid on top.
  2. Grind your beans in short, quick bursts. If you leave the blender on for too long, the heat from the blades could burn the beans and leave them tasting bitter.
  3. Tilt the grinder from side to side while grinding to give the beans a more even grind.
  4. Grind the coffee beans until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

5. Food Processor

food processor

A food processor works similar to a blender, as the blades will work to grind the coffee beans.

Although you won’t get a grind as consistent as you would with a coffee grinder – it will still work well enough to give you a grind that you can use to make a fresh cup of coffee.

How to grind coffee beans with a food processor

  1. Pour a small number of coffee beans into the processor bowl and place the lid on top.
  2. Grind your beans in short, quick bursts to avoid burning the coffee beans.
  3. Tilt the food processor slightly from side to side to ensure an even grind.
  4. Grind the beans until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

How to control the consistency of your grind

When using each of these methods to grind coffee beans, it’s important to know how to control the consistency of your grind.

For all of these alternative methods to grind coffee beans, you should be using a small number of coffee beans at a time.

When you use a small number of coffee beans, you can better control the consistency of your grind. 

When using the mortar and pestle, rolling pin, or hammer, you control the consistency of your grind with how much pressure you apply, and how long you grind the beans.

With the blender and food processor, tilt them from side to side slightly when grinding so that all of the coffee beans get ground completely and evenly.

How to grind coffee beans without a grinder

Can you brew coffee beans without grinding them?

You might be wondering whether it’s possible to ditch these methods and brew coffee beans without grinding them at all.

Technically, you can brew coffee beans without grinding them but, the end result won’t taste as good as it would if the beans were ground.

When whole coffee beans are brewed, it takes a much longer time for them to brew and the water will end up cooling down.

If you prefer a fresh hot cup of coffee, you’ll probably want to grind your coffee beans before brewing them.

Can you grind coffee beans in a pepper mill?

If you don’t have any of the tools and items above but have a pepper mill, you can still grind your coffee beans and make a tasty cup of coffee.

If your pepper mill has a coarse setting, you can use that to grind your coffee beans.

A pepper mill won’t give you the same consistency a coffee grinder would, but if you’re in a pinch and need to grind coffee beans, a pepper mill is a great alternative.

Can you grind coffee in a grain mill?

Yes, you can! Coffee enthusiasts around the world, rejoice, you can use a grain mill to grind coffee beans.

As with a pepper mill, you won’t get as consistent and even of a grind as you would with a coffee grinder, but a grain mill will still do the trick.

Final thoughts on grinding coffee beans without a grinder

Brewing coffee is a process that many people enjoy, but it can be difficult to do without the proper tools.

If you are looking for an alternative way to grind your coffee beans, there are several methods that you can try.

The most popular methods include using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin, hammer, blender, or food processor.

Each of these ways to grind coffee beans has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand how each one works before deciding which one is right for you.

Nothing is quite as convenient and accurate as a good-quality coffee grinder, but these alternatives will get the job done in a pinch.

Related: