Grinding coffee beans is a must for the freshest cup of joe.
But what if you don’t have an electric grinder? We’ve got you covered with 8 ways to grind coffee without one! From using your blender, food processor, or even your mortar and pestle, we’ll show you how to grind that perfect pot of java in no time.
I. What is a coffee grinder and why do I need one for my brewing process?
A coffee grinder is a machine that crushes and grinds coffee beans into a powder. Coffee ground in this way exposes more surface area, allowing for extra flavor to be released during the brewing process.
If you don’t have a grinder, you can still get great results by crushing your beans with simple tools or household items! Keep reading for eight fantastic ways to grind coffee without a grinder.
The first step in brewing a perfect cup is grinding the beans immediately before use. A full, flavorful taste takes time to develop and intensify, which is why you need a high-quality coffee bean grinder that produces an even powder.
The process of grinding the beans increases the surface area of the beans, which allows for better flavor extraction.
It’s a myth that coffee should be ground to different consistencies depending on what type of brewing method you’re using.
Most brewers recommend a medium-coarse grind to best extract flavor from your coffee grounds-you can even use coffee filters as a sifter of sorts and measure out the proper amount to use.
The coffee grinder is a versatile machine that can be used to grind more than just coffee beans-you can also grind nuts, whole spices, and even small pieces of herbs.
However, you’ll want to make sure the consistency of your ground ingredients are similar for best results. For example, finely ground cinnamon will clump up when combined with coffee grounds.
Grinders (“mills” in the UK) can be electric or manual. For home use, an electric grinder is the best option because of its simplicity and efficiency-it’s also easier to control your grind results.
Electric grinders are available in blade or burr styles-when shopping for a grinder, make sure to check what type of grind style it can achieve before making a purchase!
II. Why grind the beans before you brew them?
Grinding your beans right before brewing exposes more surface area, which results in better coffee flavor.
Coffee ground too far ahead of time will lose its aroma and flavor over time-so while it’s okay to store pre-ground coffee in an airtight bag or container for up to two weeks, try to grind the day you plan to brew to enjoy the fullest taste.
III. 8 ways to grind coffee without an electric grinder
1. Use a blender:
Place your beans in a clean and dry blender and pulse until ground to desired consistency. If you’re using more than one cup of coffee, grind the appropriate amount of beans at a time-otherwise, it may overflow and create a big mess! Make sure to hold the lid on tightly before pulsing.
2. Use a food processor:
Insert your beans into the bowl of the food processor and pulse until ground to an even consistency. As with the blender, it’s important to avoid overfilling-if you’re grinding more than one cup at a time, this is especially true. Hold the lid on tightly before pulsing.
3. Use a mortar and pestle:
If you’re looking for something old-school, try using a mortar and pestle to grind your coffee by hand! Just as with the other tools on this list, make sure not to overfill the bowl-a tablespoon of beans at a time is best. Crush or grind until your desired consistency is reached, then enjoy!
4. Use a rolling pin:
Place your beans on a clean and flat surface with plenty of space. Then, use the rolling pin to crush them until they become finely ground. Just like with the other tools, make sure not to overfill-a tablespoon of beans at a time is best.
5. Use a grinder:
If you have an electric coffee grinder, this is the easiest way to quickly grind your beans! If you only have a manual coffee grinder, however, be sure to clean it thoroughly before using so that your results are as full-bodied as possible.
This is also true if you use other tools on the list to grind your coffee-just make sure all residue is removed before grinding.
6. Use a can:
Poke several holes into the lid of an empty and clean metal or glass coffee can, then place your beans inside and shake until ground to desired consistency. The sharp edges of the lid will break the beans into small pieces quickly, so be sure to hold the can in place firmly so it doesn’t slide around.
7. Use a rock:
Believe it or not, you can also use a large flat rock to grind your coffee! Just place your beans in the middle of the rock, then rub another rock over them until they’re ground to your desired consistency.
This may take a while-especially if you’re working with larger beans! It’s also probably best to avoid this method if you value your equipment or don’t want to clean up coffee powder afterward.
8. Use a mortar:
Just like with the mortar and pestle, it’s best to crush your beans by hand with a mortar and pestle. If you’re using a different type of mortar, make sure to crush until the coffee is finely ground-this should only take a couple minutes.
Just be careful not to inhale too much caffeine while you work! You can also make a “coffee ice cream” out of this method if you want to save some for later.
IV. Tips for getting the most flavor out of ground coffee beans-airtight containers, freshly roasted beans, and storing coffee
Beans in the freezer:
Unused coffee beans stored in airtight containers will stay fresh for months.
However, once you grind your coffee beans, they “become alive” and begin to lose their aromas and flavors quickly-so you should buy a small amount of beans each time so that they don’t sit in your cupboard for too long.
It’s best to grind your coffee just before brewing for the freshest taste possible!
Coffee beans in the pantry:
If you prefer to use whole-bean coffee instead, make sure to store it in an airtight container after opening the bag!
When stored correctly at room temperature, roasted and unopened whole-bean coffee beans will stay fresh for up to six months.
Once you open the bag, they become alive and start to lose their aromas and flavors quickly-so you should buy a small amount of beans each time so that they don’t sit in your cupboard for too long.
Coffee beans in the refrigerator:
If you prefer to keep your whole-bean coffee in the fridge, make sure to take them out at least thirty minutes before you brew so they can reach room temperature. Storing them in the freezer could damage the oils inside, leaving an unpleasant taste.
Source image: Alexandra Gorn| unsplash.com