If you have ever wondered how to grind coffee beans, this article will teach you the basics. The process used to grind your coffee beans is very similar no matter what grinding tool you use. The only difference is the type of bean and the pressure levels used in the grinding process.

Keep in mind that each different method will produce different results. For example, some ways may produce coarse coffee grinds, while others may produce finer grinds. Of course, if you own a professional coffee grinder, use that.

Grinding coffee is one of the most crucial aspects of the coffee-making process. Without grinding your beans, you will not be able to enjoy fresh-tasting coffee. So, try not to purchase beans already ground. Instead, it is always better to buy whole beans, so you can grind the beans immediately before you brew your coffee.

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How To Grind Coffee Beans At Home

Below are 12 tools for grinding coffee beans. So, without further ado, let’s talk about all the ways you can ground your beans at home with ease. Well, a few of the options might make you sweat!

1. Blade Grinders

Are you entering the world of fresh coffee today? Blade grinders are a common choice. They are pretty easy to use, not to mention affordable. As such, they are ideal for beginners. They are commonly known as general-purpose coffee makers.

If a high-speed whirling sound from neighbors characterizes each morning, it’s probably coming from a blade grinder. That’s how common they are. Being famous does not mean that they are the top choice, though. Here’s more on blade grinders.

How To Use

Blade grinders typically have a blade that looks like a propeller in the middle. It somewhat resembles the one in a blender or food processor. This dices and hacks coffees beans while twirling around. Then, all one has to do is throw the coffee beans into the bowl and switch on the motor.

The most significant disadvantage of this tool is the inconsistency in flavor. Nevertheless, it is a popular choice; it grinds coffee in variable sizes, giving fine and coarse particles in the same batch. Some bigger chucks will leave a bold taste in the mouth, while finer particles tend to be bitter.

Luckily, there’s a cheat tip on how to gain more consistency. Use a pulsing motion to grind the coffee instead of holding down the grinder in one fluid motion. This allows the beans to fall back toward the blade and readjust. As such, this powerful machine can achieve some semblance of consistency.

2. Burr Grinders

Iconic coffee lovers know a winner when they smell one. And this one is on top of the list when it comes to fresh coffee aromas. How so? — Burr Grinders yield better consistency, thereby giving a rich, smooth uniform flavor.

How To Use

Burr grinders, or burr mills, have two revolving discs or plates that spin and smash coffee beans. Again, all one has to do is pour the coffee beans into the bowl and turn on the motor. The secret behind their consistency is in spinning and smashing. As the beans spin, they mix and are ground.

The result of this? Precise uniform grinds! They increase the contact of the grinder and beans, which makes them a top choice for coffee enthusiasts. Sure, they are more expensive, but what’s a couple of dollars compared to the rich taste of well-ground coffee?

Get a flat burr mill when looking for overall uniformity, quality, and consistency. Remember, however, that, like with all machines using a motor, they risk running hot. As such, they can scorch the beans and spoil the broth!

3. Conical Burr Grinders

Conical burr grinders are a type of burr grinder that is a notch higher in quality. However, a grinder in this class makes them a tad bit more expensive than the previous flat burr grinders.

How To Use

Conical burr grinders have a cone-shaped center burr and an outer serrated burr in place of the two flat burrs mentioned before. As such, they produce well-ground coffee, and all one has to do is pour in the beans and turn on the switch. Unfortunately, though they are superior in quality, they don’t surpass the flat burr inconsistency.

Of course, anyone following through probably wonders why they have to be more expensive. Well, this type of grinder is as heat-resistant and energy-efficient as grinders come. In addition, its design helps regulate energy, thereby preventing any overheating that may scorch the beans.

Without a doubt, this has made them an excellent option for coffee enthusiasts, professionals, and home baristas. They are renowned workhorses and, even then, will last as long as a grinder could. The minor inconsistencies are well compensated for by their slow, excellent motors that are relatively superior in precision grinds.

4. Hand Grinders

Nobody has to break the bank for a fresh cup of coffee! If money is a problem, a hand grinder is a good choice. It has the same working principle as an electric grinder, only this time; your hands are the motors. Gym lovers might also skip their upper arms workout sessions because their hand grinder will do that for them.

How To Use

To use this small handy machine, start by setting the grind size. Next, take off the lid and load the hopper with beans. Finally, lock the top and take up a grinding position!

After gaining the preferred consistency, remove the glass catcher and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee.

  • Pros: Saying goodbye to pre-ground, store-bought coffee is an affordable option sure to save you cash.
  • Cons: takes an awful lot of effort and the quality isn’t always up to par.

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How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

5. Mortar and Pestle

It is the oldest trick in the book. Since coffee brewing began in its native homeland, Ethiopia, a mortar and pestle have been an essential tool. Ethiopians would wash green coffee beans, roast them over an open fire then grind them using a pestle and mortar.

Just as it was then, the mortar and pestle remain handy tools today. Not just in grinding coffee beans, but for spices as well. Pharmacists also use these iconic tools to prepare a fine powder from medicinal extracts.

How To Use

Scoop small amounts of coffee beans and place them in a mortar. Hold the mortar (cup) down with one hand while holding the pestle (a heavy tool with a rounded end), with the most dominant hand. Crush the beans forcibly and evenly using a twisting motion in intervals, inspecting the beans. Continue until the desired consistency and uniformity are achieved.

Though the process may take longer, especially when grinding coffee for many, it gives more control. This is because the texture achieved is entirely dependent on the force of a person. As such, course textures yield an excellent cup of French-Press, but nothing stops one from making fine Turkish coffee as well!

6. Meat Tenderizer

It is yet another easy and pretty self-explanatory method of grinding coffee beans. Meat tenderizers look like hammers, just with a larger hitting surface. As such, they can be pretty helpful in smashing coffee beans and filling out those biceps!

How To Use

Place an average-sized scoop of coffee beans in a zip lock bag or cling wrap. Wrap the bag with a tea towel to contain the mess and any damage to the polythene bag. Place them on a wooden cutting board or a stable area of the kitchen counter. Pound away or smash like the Hulk!

With its big broad head, it is possible to smash coffee beans faster and to the desired consistency. It is also more sanitary than using a hammer used to build and break things around the house.

7. Food Processor

Remember the blade grinder? Yes, the one that uses a motor to grind fast, but isn’t as good as the burr grinder? Well, the food processer is a larger version of the blade grinder. It works the same way, but it givers users minimal control over the grind size.

How To Use

Place a couple of scoops of coffee beans into the bowl and place the lid firmly on the container. Turn on the motor, preferably in the pulsing motion, which yields better consistency. One could also shift the beans manually as they grind by moving the machine from side to side.

Also, pulsing motion helps gather the beans together and increases the contact of larger chunks with the blades. As such, it gives a more decent cup of coffee. Sure, the food processer will not provide the consistency of a burr grinder, but it will come in handy when working with a limiting budget. Why buy a grinder and food processor if the latter can do the job of both?

8. Blender

So, you want to know how to grind coffee beans with a blender? Well, say you’re stuck in a vacation rental with no way to make coffee grounds? Worry no more! Throw in the mangoes, avocadoes, and strawberries, and right after they are done, throw in your coffee beans! Yes, just like juice and smoothies, a blender can also make a decent cup of coffee.

Blenders are pretty much like food processors and use a revolving motor to move a propeller-like blade to cut and chop. They’re a great hack, even though they won’t give the consistency of a burr grinder. Note, however, that some blenders can break from grinding coffee beans. As such, read through the manufacturers’ instructions for details.

How To Use

Place a couple of scoops into the bowl, then place the lip firmly. Select the medium-high speed, but grind the beans intermittently. This is because blender motors move at very high speeds. Therefore, they heat up quite fast. As such, they could easily scorch the beans, giving a harsh, bitter taste.

Also, some blenders have a grinding option, which you can select. Others come with a grinder as well, which will come in handy. Whichever the case, grind carefully while taking note of the consistency and moving the beans around to encourage uniformity. Put the ground beans aside and add in more until the desired amount is achieved.

9. Rolling Pin

Under the unusual circumstance where a kitchen has no blender, mortar, and pestle, or even a meat tenderizer, this is the next option. Rolling pins yield a coarse texture, but a little precision could also give a medium and fine grind because the roller can crush and grind the beans quite well.

How To Use

Put a scoop of coffee beans in parchment paper or a plastic ziplock bag. Wrap the bag with a tea towel, and place it on a cleared counter or large cutting board. Hold one end of the pin, then smash the beans with as much force as possible. After they are crushed, roll the pin on the ground beans to grind them further. This improves the consistency.

One would be surprised by the kind of quality of coffee that a rolling pin can give. However, with the right type of commitment, coffee enthusiasts can enjoy high-quality coffee with this simple classic tool. In place of a rolling pin, you can use a wooden dowel, or even a wine bottle can be used, but with caution.

10. Hammer

Nails, wood, metal…coffee beans, anyone? The hammer can handle pretty much anything when it comes to smashing. Plus, it can be a valuable tool in grinding coffee beans—it’s an easy-to-use tool, albeit crude. In place of a hammer, you could also use a mallet.

How To Use

Add a scoop of coffee beans into a ziplock bag or between two sets of parchment, then fold over the edges. Next, wrap them with a tea towel, then place them over a stable surface. Following this, crush the beans to the desired consistency.

Of course, it’s a blunt force tactic. As such, expect a coarse to medium texture of coffee. The more comprehensive the head of the hammer, the faster the process. Starting on one side then moving to the next will also give a better texture. Note that a hammer needs safety precautions, especially if children are in the vicinity.

11. Hand Mincer Or Meat Grinder

Meat grinders, meat mincers, or hand mincers are also great out-of-the-box tools. They grind spices and could be used in grinding coffee beans as well. Old traditional ones were typically heavy metallic ones, but today there are plastic mincers as well.

How To Use

Using a measuring cup, determine the amount of coffee needed. Put the coffee beans into a clean hand mincer and place a collection bowl at the end. Turn the handle to grind the beans or use an electric version. A versatile tool, it is excellent for Turkish, filter, french press, and cold brew.

12. Knife

What if a kitchen has none of those as mentioned above tools? In the least, it should have a knife. A knife, though dangerous, could also be used to chop coffee beans. Crush the beans with the flat side of the blade.

How To Use

Place a scoop of beans in a bag and wrap them with a tea towel. Place the flat side of the blade on the beans and press down firmly to crush them. The larger the butcher knife, or chef’s knife, the faster the process. A knife will give a coarse grind, but commitment could also provide a medium-fine grind.

Avoid the temptation to strike the blade. A knife is a dangerous tool, so it should be handled with care. However, with the knife method available, nothing will keep you from a cup of freshly ground coffee! So get the knife and enjoy the swift aroma of fresh coffee in minutes!

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Grinder Guide

Get a Quality Grinder

Believe it or not, but the grinder you purchase and use for your coffee beans plays just as much of a role in the quality of beans you are grinding. Therefore, you want to ensure that you are using a quality grinder for your beans.

While you could opt for blade grinders, it wouldn’t be recommended. Instead, you should look to invest in a conical burr grinder. A burr grinder will give you better precision with your grinds, and it will provide you with many fine-tuned adjustments. Better accuracy alone can help ensure that you can grind according to your brew type.

Hand grinders are very simple to use and may produce a more consistent grind size, while electric burr grinders are much more convenient and can handle a more significant amount of coffee. Likewise, it can grind your beans without heating the beans.

Figure Out The Optimal Grind

When you are about to brew coffee, you must be aware of the different grinds before grinding your beans. After all, the optimal grind for your beans will primarily depend on your preferred brewing method.

How To Grind Coffee Infographic

If you are brewing for an espresso machine, you will want the finest grind possible. Whereas, if you are looking to grind coffee for a Chemex or even a French Press brew, you will want to stick to coarse grind size. Figure out your preferred brewing methods and grind your coffee to meet its needs. If you do that, you’ll have perfect coffee each morning.

Time It Right

As mentioned, you will need to be sure that you are grinding your beans immediately before you begin the brewing process. This is one of the most critical steps to take when you are looking to brew fresh-tasting coffee.

Believe it or not, but your coffee will begin to lose its natural oils and aroma not long after you grind it. Therefore, timing is everything to ensure maximum freshness. Again, this is another reason why you want to grind the exact amount of beans you need for your brew method.

In addition, you should get a coffee scale (if your grinder doesn’t have one built-in) to ensure that you are grinding the right amount every time.

Get Fresh Beans

One of the best things that you can do to improve the grinding of your beans and the taste of your coffee is to get fresh beans. While you could always purchase whole beans from your local grocery store, it would be better to find a local roaster.

If you are busy, you can have some great whole beans like the following delivered to your home or office:

Grinding Roasted Coffee Beans Tips

A freshly brewed cup of coffee makes for one of the pleasures of life. You can always use pre-ground coffee, but the best cup of coffee is from coffee beans that have been freshly ground.

As we have discussed, there are many types of grinders. They are the blade grinder which is the most popular but does not give you even grinding. Also, their motors get hot and this can change the coffee flavor.

Burr grinders use spinning disks to grind the coffee beans, but can also run hot. Conical burr grinders give precision grinds and have a slow motor that prevents the ground coffee from heating. Hand grinders require a bit of effort but give you complete control over the fineness of the coffee powder. You can also use a pestle and mortar to grind your coffee, as well as a rolling pin, blender, or even a knife or hammer.

Further, coffee beans can be ground coarse, medium, or fine depending on the method of brewing. The coarse ground powder is best used in coffee percolators as you need to leave the coffee in contact with water for a longer time.

Medium ground coffee is best for drip or vacuum coffee makers. Fine ground coffee is best for espresso, or drip and filter coffee makers. Turkish coffee requires powder that is extra fine.

If you are not comfortable with grinding your own coffee beans, you can always buy pre-ground coffee from a coffee roaster. They can grind your coffee to the consistency that you require. Some will even have a wide variety of coffee that is grown in different parts of the world, each with its own distinctive aroma and flavor.

Below are two more great whole bean options:

As you can see, there are a lot of intricacies involved in making coffee. Grinding your beans is one of the most critical steps. Follow the tips above, and you should be able to get the best results out of your brews.

FAQs

How long does it take to grind coffee beans manually?

If you are grinding coffee for one, or about one cup, it will take about one minute.

How many coffee beans should I grind per cup?

If you want a perfect cup of coffee, I suggest you follow the Golden Ratio. The math breaks down from 1 gram of coffee to 18 grams of water. This ratio provides lots of caffeine while being flavorful, too. For accuracy, you want to use a scale.

How to grind coffee beans for the French press?

The secret to great coffee for your French press is coarse, even grind. A burr grinder will provide the best ground coffee. A coarse grind size will keep grounds from clogging the built-in filter of your french press.

How to grind coffee beans for espresso?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use all of the cool tricks above to make espresso coffee. Espresso grind size should be a fine substance. So, mincing, using a blender or mortar and pestle will not work. For the best espresso grind, I suggest a burr grinder. Keep in mind, the best burr grinders have a setting for espresso. If yours doesn’t, pull out your user manual to find out your settings.

How to grind coffee beans for cold brew?

When grinding beans for cold brew, you will want medium to coarse grounds. If your grounds are too fine, it will result in too much oil being extracted. The final taste is bitter. On the other hand, if your grounds are too coarse, your cold brew is going to taste weak.

How to grind up coffee beans?

The easiest way to grind coffee is with a Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. The stainless steel professional-grade conical burr coffee grinder ensures none of the bean’s essential oils are lost by way of oxidation, ensuring the richest quality flavor and aroma.

How to grind coffee beans in a Vitamix?

First, you’ll have to attach the dry grains container. Next, pour your aromatic coffee beans into the holder and put the lid on securely. Put your variable setting to nine or ten. Finally, put the position on high for approximately ten seconds. Your grind will be medium to coarse.

How to grind coffee beans for Keurig?

A single-cup maker like a Keurig is a drip brewer, so it calls for a medium to medium-fine grind size, which is comparable to that of table salt.

Final Thoughts

To produce a perfect cup of coffee, it is essential that coffee beans be ground to a uniform size and with a degree of consistency. Consistency in the grinding ensures that all the flavors in the coffee are extracted after it is brewed. Inconsistent grinding can lead to under or over-extraction and a chalky taste.

For most people, the coffee produced by grinding two tablespoons of roasted coffee beans per cup should give a strength of brew that is acceptable. If you are using a grinder, make sure that you use it in short bursts and not continuously. This will ensure that the resulting powder is not overheated, as this can lead to a deterioration in taste. You need to experiment with the time period for these bursts. The coarser powder will require shorter bursts, while finer powder will require them to be longer.

So, now you’ll never have to be without fresh coffee again. Out of the twelve ways listed, I’m sure you will find one of the items in your house or while on vacay. If you want a robust, fresh cup of coffee, the most crucial thing should be coffee grinds that have just been ground.

Remember, coffee is a fruit. If you leave bananas, apples, lemons, or coffee sitting around too long, they become stale. Flavorful brew and tasty coffee go hand in hand.

Further Reading

Want even more information on coffee beans, grinders, coffee makers, and more? Go to my Favorite Things.

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Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris, a bonafide coffee brewing and tasting enthusiast, is the founder of Coffee Shop Lady. She writes for regular coffee drinkers who like being informed about the best coffee beans from around the world, espresso machines, coffee makers, grinders, and delicious coffee drinks and recipes.