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How To Grind Coffee: Everything You Need To Know About Grinding Coffee With No Grinder

Yes, you can grind your whole bean coffee without a grinder. There happen to be several ways to do this and some will only require you to look around your kitchen to get the items needed.

I will tell you everything you need to know about, how to grind your coffee beans without a grinder.

This is really a very simple task and with practice, you may find that you will hit that perfect grind that makes you the best cup of coffee you ever had.

Some people find that grinding their own beans each time they want to make coffee is much better than grinding away and storing it. It will all depend on your tastes and how much you want to put into getting that perfect cup.

Time is the biggest factor in grinding beans, learning how to grind them and what type of grind you need will be a trial and error time that you will have to go through. Perfection comes with time and experience and practice.

You will want to decide how you want your coffee to taste? how long do you want to brew it? what kind of coffee brewer you are using, the water temperature, and what kind of grind do you want? You can brew coffee from whole beans, course ground, medium ground, fine ground, and even a very fine ground.

Each of these grinds will change the brew time type of brewer, water temperature, and the taste of the coffee. Some will require some muscle work and patience. I will even tell you what size grind works best with what brewing style. And why the size of the coffee grinds is as important as the type of coffee and the type of brewing.

So let’s get into How To Grind Your Coffee Without A Grinder? Let’s get excited for the taste of coffee made from freshly ground beans. And the feeling of accomplishment having ground the beans yourself without a grinder.

It will take a lot more patience and work to get the grind as consistent as a burr grinder will get it.
It will take a lot more patience and work to get the grind

What To Do Now?

So whether you bought the wrong bag of coffee, or your grinder just quit working you need your coffee now not after another trip to the store. Do you have a blender, a food processor, electric dicer, or mincer?

These electric devices will also work to grind your coffee beans. I say they will work and they will. I have used them myself in the past before deciding to buy a coffee grinder. However, it will take a lot more patience and work to get the grind as consistent as a burr grinder will get it.

There are also ways you can grind the coffee beans by hand using things almost every kitchen has and a few that you may have just lying around. Things like a plastic storage bag, a rolling pin, a hammer, mortar and pestle, a hand mincer, or garlic press.

These methods will take a little longer, and more work on your part. However, you may find these methods will give you a more consistent grind.

Before starting to grind your coffee beans, you may wish to use the same grind as you normally do. Unless you are just trying it out for something new as an experiment. If you normally buy the pre-ground coffee at the store, you are going to want a medium-ground coffee to get the same results that you usually get.

However, the taste will be different using freshly ground beans than the pre-ground. Once air hits the grounds they start to oxidize, so grinding them at the time of use makes for a much better tasting cup.

Blenders And Food Processors


Some of these will have a grind setting on them, if yours does then use it here. If not select a medium-high setting using pulse. If you do not have a pulse you will have to manually turn it on and off. It will mostly consist of turning it on and right back off a little shake and then on and off again.

Put in the desired amount of coffee. You will want to make sure that the lid has a good seal so that coffee dust doesn’t escape. Run for 3-5 seconds, shake very lightly to re-arrange the beans and grounds. Repeating this action 4-6 times until you have the desired grind.

You may need to tilt this machine during the run time to ensure a consistent grind. This will probably not be as easiest way to get the most consistent coarse grind, as it is much too easy to get past the coarse grind with just a few times of turning it on. So if you are wanting a coarse grind be very careful and make your run time very short.

Check the grind after every run. Inconsistent grinds can ruin the desired taste that you are looking for.

Food Processor

You will need to use more beans in the food processor as the base is wider, you can store any extra grounds in an airtight storage bag for use at a later time. Be sure to use the grind setting if your processor has one. It will be easy to over-grind the beans if you are not careful.

If you are looking for a coarse grind, you will want to check very often and run the for a very short burst till you get what you want. You will run the food processor in the same manner as the blender. Very short burst with just a bit of shaking between them.

Watch out that you do not end up with an inconsistent grind that is larger or smaller than you desire. Be sure to allow a minute to pass between running times so that you don’t get things hot enough to start cooking the coffee.

A good place to start with the beans is about 1/2 a cup for the blender and about 1 cup for the food processor. For a coarser ground coffee reduce the number of times you run the machine, for a finer coffee you may need to add an extra cycle to this configuration.

You will need to be careful not to blend for more than 30 sec, this will heat things and start to cook the beans. Once you start cooking the beans it will change the taste and flavor of your coffee.

Kitchen Items for Coffee Grinding
Kitchen Items for Coffee Grinding

Other Electric Kitchen Items

You may also have one of many small electric dicers or mincers that will also do the job of grinding your coffee beans in a pinch. These do not usually have a pulse setting so, you will want to be careful to not over-grind or heat the beans. Use them in short spurts and check the grind consistency often.

My little electric mincer made a more consistent medium grind with less fiddling than did my blender. In fact, when I started looking, it actually resembled some of the blade coffee grinders. So I used this for a considerable amount of time while deciding exactly what grinder I wanted.

I liked that I could grind just enough for one cup or pot. and have fresh ground every time I made coffee.

Hand Grinding Your Beans

If you do not have the items listed above you are not out of luck. You can still get the desired grind from your coffee beans. It will take longer and require more work from you. But it will still get the job done and will not risk heating the beans in any way. These hand methods are also easier to keep a consistent grind to your beans.

It is easier to see when you have reached the grind you want without going too far. These methods are really good if you are wanting a coarse grind and the electric equipment can go past the coarse and into the medium before you realize it.

Many people think that hand grinding is the only way to get the perfect grind. It is easier to monitor the grind size that you want and to make sure that it is consistent throughout. It is also the most labor-intensive and time-consuming way to grind your beans.

If what you want is a perfect cup and can put the time and effort into it the taste that you will experience is one you will not soon forget.

Rolling Pin and Hammer

Put the desired amount of beans in a plastic zip-tight bag and remove all air to avoid popping the bag. You will first start by striking the beans firmly. You do not want to pound them like you were trying to drive them through the counter. Just use a firm grip and a light strike to get the beans broken up.

Once the beans are cracked and broken you can roll over them again and again till the desired consistency is achieved. You may even wish to use just the end of the rolling pin for more precise placement in spots where the beans have been stubborn. Stopping to get the grounds back together to make it easier to achieve.

With the hammer, you do not have to use the head like you were attacking a nail, you can use the side of the head so that it will cover more space. You can even use the top of the head, handle pointing skyward, and rock it back and forth over the beans. Placing the head in a certain spot and twisting it on the beans can achieve a finer grind.

There is no restriction on what hammer you use. I found that I preferred a rubber mallet. It had a very good solid strike and when using the head it covered more space than the claw hammer did. I would still use the side for a better effect.

When standing it up with the handle skyward I had good leverage for force and the rocking motion would make easy work of the beans.

These two will allow you to achieve a coarse grind with a consistency more easily than the power appliances will. You can visually see when you have reached your desired grind. You can also separate spots that need a little more and ignore the areas that are already just right.

Mortar and Pestle

If you have this and choose to use it, you can get an extra-fine grind with it. Put in the desired amount of beans and get started. You will pound the beans to get them started. This will break the harder outer shell easily. You will then want to do a swirling motion around the beans to grind them up more.

If you desire a very fine grind, then you will want to roll the pestle through the bottom of the grounds moving them up the side as you go. This method will not be fast but is the best way to get a very fine grind.

I have never used this method myself, however, it seems to be something that would work rather well. You would be in control and be able to visually tell what beans still need work and concentrate your efforts into that area. I may have to get one of these just to try it.


The different grinds can change the brew time, type of brew, and the flavor of the coffee. You will not want to use the wrong grind with the process that you use to brew your coffee or you are most likely not going to be happy with the results.


This happens most often when using a grind that is too coarse for the brew style. This leaves the coffee tasting salty, sour and acidic. With under-extraction, it means that most of the flavorful part of the bean was not brought out by the water during the brew time and method.

Coffee Extraction
Coffee Extraction


This occurs most often when the grounds are too fine for the brewing style. This leaves the coffee tasting bitter, dull, with little flavor. This means that too much water has penetrated too far into the bean and washed too much of it out and into your coffee.

Both of these will leave your coffee with a less than desirable taste and you will not enjoy it and may not be able to drink it at all. This is why it is important to know how you are brewing it and what grind you need before grinding the beans.

If you can do grind fresh beans before making every cup or pot. Once air hits the ground beans, it starts oxidizing and the taste will be different. Some people say grinding it even a day in advance will ruin it I am not as sure as they are about this.

Extra Coarse grinds

Are just a bit larger than Kosher sea salt, this grind is ideal for cold brewing?

Coarse grinds

Resemble the size of Kosher sea salt and are great for french presses. If it is too hard to press the plunger the grind is too fine and if it is too easy to press the grind is too coarse. Play around to see what works best for you.

Medium grinds

This grind resembles table salt. It is best for drip coffee makers. And is what most ground coffee you buy in the store is.


This looks like flour. It works best for espresso brewing.

When grinding your beans the most important part is to get the right grind and have a consistent grind. Using the wrong grind can make your coffee undrinkable. And if your grind is not consistent (you have a mixture of some coarse and some fine) then you will be getting a mixture of both over-and-under extracted coffee.

They do not then blend it is just a very bad-tasting coffee. It is not always easy to get just the right grind, and you may have to play with it a bit to get just what you want. Once you find that perfect blend for you, your coffee buds will believe that are in heaven and you will then be able to get that same taste every time you brew.

Grind coffee without a grinder
Grind coffee without a grinder


Clearly, you can grind coffee beans without a grinder. That there are many ways to do so. When asking what is the best way to do this you will find that like everything else, you will get many different answers. You will have to be the judge for yourself oh what is the best.

It may be something I have listed and maybe you will come up with something I have not.

Please feel free to leave a comment on what worked best for you, especially if it isn’t listed here. And please ask any questions that you want, No question is a dumb question unless it isn’t asked.

It’s now time to get to grinding. Now that you know you can grind coffee beans without a grinder. And in some ways, it is much better. But the biggest difference is in the taste of the coffee when you use fresh ground coffee over the pre-ground packaged stuff you buy.

Now grind away, Brew it up! and sit back and relax while you enjoy that great taste you created.

About Rencel Leyran