Grinder Free Grit How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

Written by: Raj Jana

grinding coffee beans without a grinder

Coffee lovers know the importance of grinding coffee beans just before brewing for the freshest and most flavorful cup of coffee. However, not everyone has a coffee grinder at home. But fear not, there are alternative ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

Firstly, why grind coffee beans? Grinding coffee beans increases the surface area, allowing more of the coffee's flavor and aroma to be extracted during brewing. This results in a richer and more satisfying cup of coffee.

There are two main types of coffee grinders – blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders use a spinning blade to chop the beans, resulting in uneven and inconsistent grounds. On the other hand, burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to crush and grind the beans, resulting in a more consistent grind.

types of grinders

If you do not have a grinder, you can still enjoy freshly ground coffee beans using these alternative methods:

  1. Mortar and Pestle: A traditional kitchen tool that is perfect for grinding small amounts of coffee beans.
  2. Rolling Pin and Plastic Bag: Place the beans in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them to your desired consistency.
  3. Hammer and Towel: Wrap the beans in a towel and use a hammer to gently crush them.
  4. Food Processor: Similar to a blender, a food processor can also be used to grind coffee beans. However, be careful not to over-grind them.
  5. Blender: Pulse the beans in a blender until you achieve the desired consistency.
  6. Pepper Mill: A pepper mill can be used to grind coffee beans into a fine powder.

To ensure the best results when grinding coffee beans without a grinder, follow these dos and don'ts:


  • Use a coarse grind for French press and a fine grind for espresso.
  • Use a consistent and steady motion when grinding.
  • Use fresh, high-quality coffee beans.


  • Don't grind too much at once as the grounds may lose their freshness.
  • Don't use only one method, try different ones to find the best one for you.
  • Don't store ground coffee for too long, as they may lose their flavor and aroma.

It is possible to achieve a consistent grind without a grinder by using a few different methods and experimenting to find the best one for you. Once you have ground your coffee beans, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for maximum freshness. With these tips, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without a grinder.

Key Takeaways:

  • Grinding coffee beans is essential for a delicious cup of coffee
  • Alternative methods for grinding coffee beans include using a mortar and pestle, rolling pin and plastic bag, and a food processor
  • When grinding without a grinder, it's important to avoid using a hammer or towel and to properly store ground coffee beans for freshness


    Why Grind Coffee Beans?

    Grinding coffee beans is crucial for unlocking the rich flavors and aromas trapped inside the beans. Freshly ground coffee offers a more intense and flavorful taste compared to pre-ground coffee. The process of grinding coffee beans releases oils and compounds, resulting in a fresher and more vibrant cup of coffee.

    The practice of grinding coffee beans dates back to the 15th century when the Turkish people began using a mortar and pestle to grind the beans into a fine powder for brewing.

    What Are the Different Types of Coffee Grinders?

    blade grinders vs blade grinders

    When it comes to grinding coffee beans, most people automatically think of using a traditional grinder. But did you know there are actually different types of grinders? In this section, we will dive into the world of coffee grinders and explore the two main types: blade grinders and burr grinders. By understanding the differences between these two options, you can determine the best method for grinding your beans without a traditional grinder.

    Read: 6 Types of Coffee Grinders (+ How To Pick The Right One)

    1. Blade Grinders

    • Blade grinders use a spinning blade to chop coffee beans into grounds.
    • For even grinding, pulse the grinder in short bursts.
    • Avoid over-grinding to prevent heat buildup, which can affect the flavor of the coffee.

    Did you know? Blade grinders are budget-friendly but may result in inconsistent grind sizes.

    2. Burr Grinders

    • Consistent grind: Burr grinders provide uniform particle sizes, which are crucial for achieving a balanced extraction.
    • Adjustable settings: With a variety of grind sizes, from fine to coarse, burr grinders are suitable for various brewing methods.
    • Heat reduction: By minimizing heat during grinding, the flavor and aroma of the coffee are preserved.
    • Durable construction: Burr grinders are constructed with sturdy materials, ensuring long-lasting and consistent performance.

    Read: Conical VS Flat Burrs: What You Need To Know

      What Are the Alternative Ways to Grind Coffee Beans?

      alternate ways to grind coffee without grinder

      Grinding coffee beans is an essential step in brewing a fresh cup of coffee, but what if you don't have a grinder? Don't worry, there are several alternative methods you can use to achieve the perfect grind without a traditional grinder. In this section, we will explore six different ways to grind coffee beans using common household items. From a mortar and pestle to a blender, we'll cover all the creative ways to get your coffee beans ground and ready for brewing.

      1. Mortar and Pestle

      • Use a heavy, unglazed bowl (mortar) and a club-shaped grinding tool (pestle) to crush your coffee beans.
      • Place the beans in the mortar, making sure it's no more than one-third full.
      • Grip the pestle with one hand and brace the mortar with the other.
      • Crush the beans using a firm, rhythmic motion until they reach the desired coarseness.
      • Repeat until all beans are uniformly ground.

      2. Rolling Pin and Plastic Bag

      1. Place the coffee beans in a sealable plastic bag, making sure there is enough room for them to move around.
      2. Seal the bag and place it on a flat, sturdy surface.
      3. Using a rolling pin, gently crush the beans by rolling back and forth. Apply even pressure with the rolling pin to achieve a consistent grind.
      4. Check the grind consistency by feeling the bag and adjust the rolling if necessary.
      5. Once the desired grind is achieved, carefully open the bag and pour out the ground coffee for use.

      3. Hammer and Towel

      To grind coffee beans without a grinder using a hammer and towel, follow these steps:

      1. Place the coffee beans in a sturdy plastic bag.
      2. Wrap the bag with a kitchen towel and place it on a flat surface.
      3. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a regular hammer, gently pound the coffee beans through the towel until they reach the desired consistency.

      For a more consistent grind, it may be worth considering investing in a budget-friendly manual grinder or electric grinder. These alternatives provide a more uniform grind, which can enhance the overall quality of your coffee.

      4. Food Processor

      • To prepare the coffee beans, make sure they are clean and dry.
      • Next, place the desired amount of coffee beans into a food processor.
      • Pulse the food processor in short bursts to avoid overheating the coffee beans and achieve a consistent grind.
      • Throughout the process, monitor the grind consistency by checking the texture.
      • Once finished, transfer the ground coffee to an airtight container for storage.

      5. Blender

      • First, measure the coffee beans based on the desired amount of ground coffee.
      • Next, add the measured coffee beans into the blender.
      • Then, cover the blender and pulse the beans at short intervals until the desired consistency is achieved.
      • After grinding, carefully remove the ground coffee from the blender and use as needed.

      I once forgot my coffee grinder on a camping trip but luckily had a blender. I successfully ground my coffee beans in the blender, and my friends were amazed by the smoothness of the coffee we enjoyed amidst nature's tranquility.

      6. Pepper Mill

      • Select a high-quality pepper mill with a durable grinding mechanism.
      • Adjust the coarseness setting to achieve the desired grind for your coffee.
      • Pour a small quantity of coffee beans into the chamber of the pepper mill.
      • Grind the coffee beans by rotating the handle of the pepper mill in a consistent and steady manner.
      • Check the consistency of the ground coffee and make any necessary adjustments to the grind setting.
      • Transfer the freshly ground coffee to a suitable container for storage.

      What Are the Dos and Don'ts of Grinding Coffee Beans Without a Grinder?

      do's and dont's when grinding without a coffee grinder

      Grinding coffee beans without a grinder may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques, it can be easily achieved. However, there are certain dos and don'ts to keep in mind when attempting to grind coffee beans without a grinder. In this section, we will discuss the dos and don'ts of this method, ensuring that you end up with perfectly ground coffee every time. So, let's get started and learn how to grind coffee beans without a grinder like a pro!

      1. Dos

      • Use a mortar and pestle to manually crush beans for a coarse grind.
      • Wrap beans in a towel and gently crush them with a hammer for a slightly finer grind.
      • Experiment with different methods and find the one that suits your preference.

      When grinding coffee without a grinder, it's essential to be patient and mindful of the texture you aim to achieve. Embrace the process and enjoy experimenting with various techniques to find what works best for you.

      2. Don'ts

      • Avoid using a plastic bag and rolling pin as this can result in uneven grinding and puncturing the bag.
      • Do not grind coffee beans with a hammer and towel, as this can lead to an inconsistent grind and potential damage to the countertop.
      • Avoid using a blender for grinding coffee beans, as it may produce an inconsistent grind due to the high-speed blending action.
      • Do not use a pepper mill for grinding coffee beans, as it may not provide a consistent grind size for brewing.

      Can You Get Consistent Grind Without a Grinder?

      Is it possible to achieve a consistent grind without a grinder? Yes, there are alternative methods you can use. You can utilize a blender, mortar and pestle, hammer, rolling pin, or even a plastic bag and a heavy object to crush the coffee beans. For a more uniform result, you may also want to consider sifting the ground coffee to separate finer particles. Pro-tip: Make the grinding process easier by freezing the coffee beans for a few minutes beforehand.

      How to Store Ground Coffee Beans Without a Grinder?

      storing coffee beans without a grinder
      • Airtight container: To properly store ground coffee beans without a grinder, it is important to use an airtight container to prevent exposure to air and moisture.
      • Cool, dark place: It is recommended to keep the container in a cool, dark place such as a pantry to maintain the freshness of the ground coffee.
      • Avoid heat: To ensure the coffee retains its flavor, it is best to avoid storing the container near any heat sources.

      Read: Freshness First The Best Ways to Store Coffee Beans

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What are some methods for grinding coffee beans without a grinder?

      There are a few methods you can try, such as using a mortar and pestle, a blender, or other kitchen items like a rolling pin or hammer. You can also ask a local coffee shop to grind the beans for you.

      What is the best option for grinding coffee beans without a grinder?

      The best option is to have someone else do it for you, such as borrowing a grinder from a friend or asking a coffee shop to grind the beans for you. However, if you prefer to do it yourself, a mortar and pestle or a blender can work.

      How can a mortar and pestle be used to grind coffee beans?

      A mortar and pestle is the oldest kitchen tool and gives the most control over grind size. Simply fill the mortar 1/4th with beans and use the pestle to crush and twist the beans. Roll the pestle in a circular motion for the desired consistency, and only fill 1/4th of the mortar at a time for the best control.

      Can a blender be used as a substitute for a grinder?

      Yes, some blenders have a "grinder" setting that can function like a blade-type grinder. Simply pour a small amount of beans, secure the lid, and grind in small bursts to avoid overheating the oils. Tilt the blender from side to side to move larger chunks into the blade's path.

      What grind size is best for different brewing methods?

      The grind size for French Press is coarse, Moka pots and espresso machines require a fine grind, and pour over coffee is best with a medium grind. Choose your method based on the desired grind size and adjust as needed.

      How can grinding beans without a grinder affect the taste of coffee?

      Grinding beans too fine can result in a bitter and over-extracted cup, while grinding too coarse can result in a weak and under-extracted cup. It is important to adjust the grind size based on personal preference and brewing method for the best flavor.