If you’re an avid coffee enthusiast, you probably know that grinding whole coffee beans add a unique touch of freshness and aroma to your cup of coffee.
And to achieve this, you need a powerful appliance like a coffee grinder to turn the whole coffee beans into fine or coarse ground coffee, depending on your preference. However, if you don’t have a coffee grinder, what else can you use?
To grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder, you can use:
- Food processor
- Magic bullet
- Mortar and pestle
So, if you’re looking forward to making your essential cup of coffee using freshly ground coffee beans but don’t have a coffee grinder, you’re in the right place.
This article offers a step-by-step guide on grinding coffee beans using some readily available kitchen appliances other than a coffee grinder. I’ll also provide a detailed grind chart on what each ground coffee consistency is best suited for.
A blender can be an excellent alternative to a coffee grinder any time you want to grind coffee beans. The blender’s blade works similarly to a coffee grinder’s blade, as it chops coffee beans to produce freshly ground coffee.
However, the end product from a blender isn’t as consistent as that from a conventional coffee grinder designed explicitly for coffee grinding.
Some modern blender models come with a “grind” setting that makes them more suitable for chopping coffee beans. If your blender doesn’t have the grind setting, you can still use it on the “pulse” mode with a medium-high setting.
If you aren’t sure of your blender’s setting, please refer to the user manual.
When using the pulse mode, ensure you stick to short pulses. The short pulses are recommended because by running the blender continuously at high speed, the blades create a high heat capacity to burn the natural oils in coffee beans. Your short pulses should amount to a total of approximately 20 or so seconds.
If the natural oils are burnt, you end up with harsh or bitter-tasting ground coffee.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?
You can grind coffee beans in a blender if you use a small number of beans at a time. You need to pulse your blender for a few seconds at a time, then empty the canister. Once you’re done, wash the canister and dry thoroughly.
Let’s take a closer look at these steps.
- Assemble your blender and select the “grind” or “medium-high” setting, whichever is available.
- Pour a few coffee beans into the blender. You should grind your beans in batches of about ¼ or ½ cups for uniform consistency. After pouring in your beans, close the lid and ensure it’s firmly held in place.
- Turn on your blender. If you use the pulse setting, grind in short pulses of about 3 to 5 seconds each.
- Repeat the pulses about 5 to 6 times until you reach 20 to 30 seconds total grind time. Here, you can tilt your blender at an angle to ensure all the beans are ground to a uniform consistency.
- Empty the blender and add another batch. Continue adding your beans at intervals until you get your desired quantity.
- Empty the contents and thoroughly clean your blender to prevent the build-up of a stale coffee smell.
Grinding coffee beans using a blender produces coarse to medium ground coffee ideal for making cold-brew, French press, and drip coffee.
2. Food Processor
A food processor is another handy countertop kitchen appliance that you can use to grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder.
Grinding coffee beans using a food processor follows the same concept as a blender. Still, you can grind more beans at one time because it has a larger holding capacity. The end product from grinding coffee beans using a food processor is coarse to medium coffee.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor?
You can grind coffee beans in a food processor if you want coarse to medium ground coffee. Grind a small number of coffee beans at one time using short pulses to achieve uniform consistency in each batch.
So, how can you grind coffee beans in a food processor? Let’s find out through the step-by-step guide outlined below:
- Assemble your processor and attach it to a power source.
- Pour in a ½-1 cup of your whole coffee beans. Close the food processor by firmly placing the lid in its position.
- Turn on your food processor. Use the pulse setting to grind the beans in short pulses of about 3-5 seconds for up to 20-30 seconds.
- Check the consistency of the beans after every pulse and continue grinding until you achieve your desired results. You can tilt the food processor for even grinding. Like a blender, a food processor also gives coarse to medium ground coffee but is still drinkable.
- Once content with the ground quantity, and consistency, disassemble the machine and wash it immediately.
If you’ve ground more coffee than you need, ensure you store the remaining in airtight containers or plastic bags to maintain its freshness.
3. Magic Bullet
A magic bullet is another kitchen appliance that you can use to perform a little magic on your coffee beans in the absence of a coffee grinder. This powerful countertop kitchen appliance works on coffee beans to give freshly ground coffee depending on your preferred consistency, whether a little coarse or fine.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans With a Magic Bullet?
You can grind coffee beans with a Magic Bullet and feel like a pro doing so. This countertop kitchen appliance produces coarse to finely ground coffee based on your preference.
Grinding coffee beans using a magic bullet isn’t a highly technical process. However, below is a simplified guide that you can use:
- Assemble your magic bullet and begin by replacing the standard cross blade used in chopping onion, meat, and vegetables with a flat blade. The flat blade is used for grinding hard spices, making it ideal for coffee beans. If you aren’t sure how to change the blades, refer to the user manual or ask for help.
- With the flat blade securely attached, add your coffee beans into the grinding cup.
- Attach the cup to the base of the magic bullet. Lock it in properly and connect the machine to a power source.
- Twist the cup on the base to initiate the grinding process and allow it to work on the beans for about 10 seconds. Turn it off by untwisting the cup or pitcher, removing it, and shaking it for about 3 to 5 seconds. The shaking allows the large coffee bean particles to settle at the bottom of the cup, with the finer ones rising above them for an even grind.
- Keep grinding until you achieve your desired grind consistency, depending on whether you want to make French press, espresso, or Drip coffee. You can take a few pauses in between to gauge whether you’re on the path to your desired results.
- If you want to make french press coffee, a coarse texture is okay. But you should strive to get a bit finer texture for Espresso or Drip coffee.
- Once you’ve achieved your desired results, unplug the unit and pour out your ground coffee. If you want to make another batch, you can add more coffee beans. And if you’re done with your grinding, wash your grinding cup immediately to prevent the build-up of a stale coffee smell.
There’s an adage that says necessity is the mother of invention. And true to these words, as a coffee enthusiast, you can go the extra mile to devise methods to grind your coffee beans if you don’t have a coffee grinder or if it has functional issues.
And if you have a ninja blender in your kitchen, you’re probably debating whether to use it for the coffee grinding task or not.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Ninja?
You can grind coffee beans in a ninja until they get to the desired consistency. But you need to use short pulses for uniformity. Besides, you need to clean your ninja bullet thoroughly after grinding to avoid the build-up of a stale coffee smell.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grind coffee beans using a Ninja like a pro:
- First, assemble your ninja bullet. Connect it to a power source, and check to see that the blade is working.
- Pour your coffee beans into the grinder. Don’t overfill the grinder, as ¾ to 1 cup of coffee beans is recommended for a single serving.
- Turn your unit and grind your beans to perfection. You’ll need to grind your beans in short pulses. For a single serving, you can use up to 12 short pulses. However, you can adjust them to suit your needs.
- Keep stirring the resulting product after every pulse to keep it from clumping together and for even grinding.
- After achieving your desired ground coffee texture, pour it out and brew your magical cup of coffee.
- Once everything is done, clean your ninja bullet. Allow it to dry completely before storing it.
The absence of a coffee grinder shouldn’t keep you from enjoying a freshly brewed morning cup of coffee. Your ninja bullet is always there to save the day!
A Nutribullet is another powerful and highly functional countertop kitchen appliance that you can use to grind your coffee beans. The secret behind getting perfect results when grinding coffee beans is knowing how to play with the blades.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Nutribullet?
You can grind coffee beans in a Nutribullet to your preference. However, you need to use the right grinding blade to achieve the desired results. Nutribullets aren’t explicitly designed for grinding coffee beans. However, taking care of the blades gives you the results you are looking for.
So, how can you grind coffee beans in a Nutribullet? Here’s is a step-by-step outline:
- First things first, you need to change the blades. If you don’t know how to do it, take your time and read through the user manual. Carefully remove the extractor blade (the one fitted with four prongs) and replace it with a milling blade (the one with two prongs). The latter is considered ideal for coffee grinding because it’s thin, and the prongs are super sharp.
- Connect the base of your Nutribullet to a power source.
- With the milling blade attached perfectly in place, pour a significant amount of coffee beans into the pitcher or cup until slightly below the ‘Max’ line.
- Attach the pitcher or cup to the motor by twisting it until it’s firmly secured in place. Now watch your coffee beans grind. Note that, unlike other blenders that come with a dial or power button, which you use to start the grinding process, a Nutribullet starts grinding once the pitcher is securely fit in its position.
- Grind your beans in short pulses. To do this, press down the cup or untwist it from the base motor after about every 2 to 3 seconds. Here you can also shake the cup to create room for an even grinding of all the beans. Continue pulse grinding until you achieve your desired texture consistency.
- Once you have your desired quantity and the preferred texture, empty your contents and wash your grinding cup or pitcher immediately.
As simple as that, no special skills are needed!
The good thing about using a Vitamix is that you can achieve different textures from coarse to finely ground coffee. The secret to achieving quality results using a Vitamix is grinding your coffee beans using a dry-blade grain container instead of the standard wet-blade container.
Although you can still use the latter, the results won’t be as good as those of a dry-blade grinding container because the dry-blade is specially designed for hard grains, such as coffee beans.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans in Vitamix?
You can grind coffee beans in a Vitamix to your desired texture, either coarse, medium-coarse or finely ground, to mention a few. However, you need to vary the grinding speeds depending on your desired texture.
Here’s a step-by-step outline on how to effectively grind coffee beans in Vitamix:
- Assemble your unit and connect it to a power source.
- Pour about 1 cup of coffee beans into the grinding container, either the wet-blade or dry-blade, whichever you choose. But the dry blade container works best.
- Select VARIABLE speed 1 and slowly turn on your machine. You can then vary the speed depending on how fine you want your coffee to be. However, be sure to check your Vitamix’s user manual because different units come with different settings.
- Starting at speed 1, quickly increase the grinding speed to 8. Let the beans grind for about 10 seconds if you want a coarse-textured grind and 20 seconds for an extremely fine grind. For even grinding, stop after every 5 seconds, shake the contents and check the texture.
- Now pour out the contents and brew your favorite cup of coffee, and make sure you enjoy every sip of it.
- Disassemble the unit and wash the grinding container.
- Mortar and Pestle
7. Mortar and Pestle
In the absence of blenders and food processors that use mechanical and electric ways to grind coffee beans, you can still enjoy your freshly ground coffee using manual means. The most common method of grinding coffee beans manually is using a mortar and pestle.
The mortar and pestle method is a little bit time-consuming and labor-intensive compared to mechanical methods. But the beauty of this method is you can grind your beans to almost any consistency you need, from coarse to finely ground, provided you put in the effort required.
Invest in a quality mortar and pestle set that can withstand the pressure used in the grinding process. Additionally, it’s advisable to use a set made of granite or similar material to avoid cases of paint or coat finishing chips getting into your ground coffee.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans With a Mortar and Pestle?
You can grind coffee beans with a mortar and pestle to your preferred texture. It’s the cheapest but most labor-intensive and time-consuming method of grinding coffee beans.
So, how can you grind coffee beans with a mortar and pestle? Let’s find this out in the simple outline below:
- Pour a small number of coffee beans into your mortar. About ¼ full for a small mortar and ⅓ full for a larger one. Using a small amount allows for even grinding and gives consistent results within a short time.
- Hold the pestle with your strong or dominant hand, depending on whether you’re right or left-handed, and the mortar with your other hand.
- Exert some force on the pestle and use it to smash the beans in the mortar until you break them all. Begin by using a hammer-like motion before moving on to a swirling movement.
- Continue crushing the beans until you achieve your desired texture. Be ready to put in some effort and time if you want finely ground coffee.
- Once you have attained the desired quality, pour out the contents. Add another batch if you need to make some more or brew your cup of coffee.
Coffee grind consistency is vital if you want to brew a perfect cup of coffee that leaves your taste buds aroused. The following is a simplified coffee grind chart to guide you on the right grind consistency depending on the type of coffee you want to brew.
|Grind||Consistency Similar to||Best Used For|
|Coarse||Coarse sea salt||Percolators, French press|
|Medium||Beach sand||Drip coffee maker, pour-over, Chemex|
|Medium fine||Table salt||Siphon brewer, Aeropress, Moka pot (stove-top espresso)|
|Fine||Fine granulated sugar||Espresso|
|Superfine||Flour||Turkish coffee, Greek coffee|
Wrapping It Up
Being a coffeeholic doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve to invest in pricey coffee grinding machines. The good news is most of the appliances in your kitchen, such as a food processor, blender, Nutribullet, and Vitamix, are multipurpose, and you can therefore use them to grind your coffee beans.
However, although their results aren’t as consistent as those of a coffee grinder explicitly designed for this purpose (grinding coffee beans), they’re still perfect for coffee brewing.
Feel free to share these coffee grinding hacks with other coffee lovers within your circle.