close-up image of whole coffee beans inside a manual coffee grinder

How to Grind Your Coffee Beans (Even Without a Grinder)

For many people, coffee is not just a beverage they have once in the morning for a quick pick-me-up — rather, it’s a way of life. Coffee can be enjoyed in many ways including hot, iced, frozen, with milk, black, etc. But the one thing that stays consistent, no matter how you enjoy your coffee, is that the coffee beans need to be ground before you can start brewing.

Just like there are many ways to enjoy your coffee, there are many ways to grind your coffee beans. As many coffee drinkers will surely tell you, grinding fresh whole coffee beans instead of buying them pre-ground can make a world of difference for your cup. Here are some tips to take your coffee to the next level by grinding your coffee beans yourself.

What Are the Types of Coffee Grinders?

Grinding coffee beans generally requires a grinder. However, there are exceptions which we’ll go over later. Coffee grinders typically come in two types: burr and blade and two subtypes: manual and electric. Depending on how much work you want to put into your cup every morning (or night for some of us), finding the right grinder for you will really make your coffee-making experience enjoyable.

Most coffee experts and enthusiasts will tell you to go with an electric burr grinder as you will get the most consistent grind. However, electric burr grinders can be expensive. If you’re looking to save some money, it’s recommended to go with a manual grinder. In general, blade grinders are not recommended as they tend to produce a very inconsistent grind that can make reproducing your ideal cup of coffee difficult or impossible.

How Do You Grind Coffee Beans?

For both types of grinders, you need to weigh the amount of coffee you need along with the correct amount of water. Finding the right ratio requires trial and error and is mostly dependent on your own preference. This is something you will discover over time. Kitchen scales are great tools for measuring your beans. If you’ve decided to go the electric grinder route, you may find that your grinder has a built-in system that will take care of the weighing for you.

Once you have your coffee beans weighed, you can then proceed to grind them. If using a manual hand-crank grinder, you simply place the whole beans inside the grinding chamber and crank the lever. Some grinders allow you to control the consistency of the grind by turning the crank in a certain direction. Once you no longer hear a grinding sound, you can stop grinding and retrieve your ground beans from the reservoir. Using an electric grinder is simple: you just press the button.

After your grind has been completed, it’s important to clean your coffee grinder of any leftover coffee residue. Without regular cleaning, oils from the coffee can build up and cause bad smells or less effective grinding. Some grinders are dishwasher safe, but if not, you can just use warm soapy water and a small brush to clean your equipment. Make sure to dry it completely before using it again.

How Do You Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder?

If you find yourself with a bag of whole beans but no coffee grinder to grind them with, you may feel hopeless. Luckily, there are methods to grind coffee beans without the assistance of a dedicated grinder. Here are some ways you can accomplish that goal:

  • Use a mortar and pestle.

Yes, you finally have a reason to use the mortar and pestle you bought on a whim but never actually used. Simply fill the mortar with whole coffee beans and use the pestle to crush and roll the beans until you get the desired consistency and texture.

  • Use a rolling pin.

Similarly to the mortar and pestle method, you can use a rolling pin to crush and roll over the beans. When using this method, we recommend putting the beans in a bag of some sort to eliminate spilling and scattering the grounds.

  • Use a food processor. 

While not the most elegant grinder out there, a food processor can grind coffee beans with little effort. When using a food processor, it’s important to pulse the processor in short increments to end up with a good grind.

Coffee making can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when you get your technique down. For many people, the process of grinding beans and brewing coffee becomes an important part of their everyday life. Join us at Hub Coffee to take your coffee brewing and drinking experience to the next level with our coffee subscriptions, recipes, biodegradable cups, and more.

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