How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

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There is never an ideal time for any mechanical breakdown, but having your coffee grinder fail can be downright catastrophic. It may take a bit of ingenuity, but you can grind coffee beans into usable coffee when your coffee grinder dies.

Can You Grind Coffee Beans In A Blender?

If your coffee grinder dies and you’re in a pinch, you can grind beans in a blender. The issue to watch out for is over-grinding.

Blenders have a lot more power than your favorite coffee grinder, so be careful or you’ll turn your coffee into flour. A few short bursts of power should reach an acceptable grind. Using an immersion blender may also be possible.

Related | Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder

Can You Grind Coffee Beans In A Food Processor?

It is possible to get a decent grind quality from a food processor, but you need to take care and review your food processor manual. While blenders are generally glassy, food processors are nearly always plastic and can be scratched by the beans.

However, beans coarse ground in a food processor can be ideal in a French press.

  • Pulse the beans to start the chopping process. Process on high for no more than 30 seconds or until the larger grind particles are approximately 1/8″ across. Don’t process it until it’s a fine powder.​
  • Knock on the top of the processor to get the fine grains off, then pour the ground coffee into your French press.
  • Sweep away all the remains with a paint brush and wash the food processor immediately.

How To Grind Coffee Without A Grinder​ With Elbow Grease

There are several mechanical methods that will break up coffee beans into usable-sized pieces of powder. With some time and a little elbow grease, you can grind coffee with

  • Mortar and Pestle.Mortar and pestle tools have been used to grind and pulverize things for generations, and coffee beans will crush well. You’ll get a nice rounded texture via this crushing method and avoid jagged cuts as created by food processor and blender blades. It will take time, however.
  • Hammer and Bag. Contain your coffee beans in a sack that won’t allow fine grains to escape, then pulverize the captured beans with a hammer. It won’t result in a very even grind and may have to steep for a time due to the uneven quality of the coffee, but once you filter away the grounds you will have a drinkable cup.
  • Rolling Pin. Again, contain the beans. A heavy duty plastic freezer bag would serve well in this case, because you can keep an eye on the particle size. Crush the beans with the rolling pin until the grind sizes are of an even size, then brew as usual.

Related | How To Make Cowboy Coffee

Final Thoughts

Finding that your coffee grinder died can be a bad beginning to your day! However, if you’ve still got power, you can use a blender or food processor to get you over the caffeine hump. If you’ve got water and heat, you can still make coffee with some basic tools.​

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.