Le French
Press

5 Ways To Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder!

By Robert Parsons October 27, 2020

If you want the freshest coffee experience, you need to learn how to grind coffee beans. There are a few ways to grind coffee without a grinder that we’ll cover today. While this may sound complicated, doing so ensures 3 things: 

  • – Offers complete freshness
  • – Reduces exposure to flavour destroying oxygen 
  • – Protects the natural flavours 

The best part? It’s really not that complicated! 

If you don’t have a coffee grinder, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll cover 5 simple ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder. We’ve included the materials and steps necessary for each one.

1. Mortar and Pestle 

This method has been used by cooks for centuries to grind spices and herbs into a fine powder. Using the hammering and rolling motion, you’ll create the texture and grind you want (from French press coarse to Turkish coffee fine).

Steps: 

  1. Fill your mortar with a scoop of coffee. Be sure you don’t ever fill it more than ¼ full; otherwise, it will be hard to control.  
  2. With your dominant hand, hold the pestle. Then, use your other hand to hold the mortar in place. 
  3. Forcibly press down the pestle and crush the coffee beans using a twisting motion. 
  4. When all beans are crushed, utilise the pestle to roll the coffee around in the bowl. Do this until you reach the texture and consistency that you want. 
  5. If necessary, repeat this process to create another batch. 
  •  

2. Blender

If you don’t have a coffee grinder, a blender makes for a nice replacement (even though it’ll never be as effective as a burr grinder!). However, when you don’t have a grinder, your blender will do the trick!

Steps:

  1. Pour a small amount of coffee into your blender. 
  2. Place the lid on firmly and select a medium-high speed. Some blenders may offer a “grinder” setting. If they do, use this feature.
  3. Grind the beans to your desired consistency using a “pulse” technique. Grinding beans in short, quick bursts is the best way to achieve the texture that you want.
  4. Empty the blender. If you’d like, add new beans for a larger batch. 
  •  

Pro Tip: Always, always, always leave the lid on while grinding coffee beans. Beans have a tendency to fly out while the blender is running.

  •  

3. Rolling Pin

We can’t forget to mention the classic rolling pin method. These kitchen tools are able to crush and grind beans all at the same time. The best part is you probably already have all the tools necessary for this technique (a little table grease, a rolling pin, a large cutting board, and a plastic Ziploc bag). 

Steps: 

  1. Add a scoop of coffee into the plastic bag and lay the bag flat on the counter. 
  2. Press down on the beans with the rolling pins like a hammer. 
  3. Once your beans are crushed, roll over them. Be sure to press down hard. 
  4. Roll the pin back and forth until you reach your desired consistency. 
  •  

4. Hammer 

This is a very easy and effective way to crush your beans. Because you are using a hammer, use with caution. For this method, you will need a hammer (or mallet), a plastic Ziploc bag, and a large cutting board. 

Steps:

  1. Add a scoop of beans to your plastic bag. 
  2. Using the hammer, crush the beans by pressing down firmly. DO NOT hit the beans. This will only cause them to fly around and damage your surface. 
  3. For the best consistency, crush on one side of the bag and then turn around and crush the other. 
  4. Repeat until you’ve reached the desired texture and consistency.
  •  

5. Knife

We only recommend this method if it’s your absolute last choice. It’s a bit harder than the previous ones and because you are using a knife, a little more dangerous. For this technique, you will need a large butcher knife and a wide cutting board. 

Steps:

  1. Place your coffee beans on the cutting board. 
  2. Using the flat side of your knife, press down on the beans. The sharp side of the knife should sit on the board. 
  3. Using a flat palm on top of the knife blade, press down to crack the beans. Don’t ever strike the beans. This will only cause the beans to bounce away. 
  4. Continue pressing down on the blade until you get the grind that you want.
  •  

Conclusion 

Now you know how to grind coffee beans without a grinder! As you can see, you have several options – some being more convenient than others. Our preferred method is the mortar and pestle one. This technique will allow for a finer grind that resembles those used in espresso machines! 

If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, any of the other methods will do. Just be sure to proceed with caution, especially when using the hammer or knife technique. 

Ready to purchase a coffee grinder? Be sure to check out our reviews to make an informed buying decision.