With a manual coffee grinder, you can brew coffee anywhere—camping, on an airplane, in a hotel room, your grandparents’ house, you name it.
While the freedom to make coffee anywhere is a perk, the most common manual grinder complaint is the physical effort required. After all, it is a manual grinder.
Yes, a bit of work is required, but it’s well worth the reward when you take that sweet first sip!
Lucky for you, we know a few tricks that’ll make using a manual coffee grinder far easier.
In this guide, we’ll show you:
- 4 tricks to make grinding coffee by hand less of a hassle
- How to keep your hand grinder in top shape (+ why this makes grinding coffee easier!)
- Why using a manual grinder will transform your coffee routine
Ready to grind?
4 Manual Coffee Grinding Tricks You Can Use Today
Using a manual coffee grinder doesn't have to be a chore. Our four tricks will help you grind coffee quickly, efficiently, and precisely for better-tasting coffee every morning.
1. Place Grinder in a Vertical Position
Think about how you physically use a manual grinder.
Do you hold it in one hand with your wrist at an angle and use the other hand to turn the crank with all your might?
Although this position feels natural, it’s making grinding and obtaining a delicious coffee harder for you!
When we grind coffee beans, we want the grounds to be all the same size. This ensures that we get the most balanced flavors in our coffee.
However, if we tilt the grinder and misalign the burrs responsible for that even grind size, it’s not possible to maintain uniformity.
Instead, always grind coffee in a vertical position. This will make it easier for your arms and your grinder as gravity funnels the beans through the burrs.
2. Grind Only What You Need
Do you find it’s taking you a long time to grind your coffee? If so, try grinding less!
Depending on the size of your manual coffee grinder, you can fit up to 40-50 grams of coffee inside. But, this doesn’t mean you should.
Simply put, the more coffee there is to grind, the more tired your arms will be! And, efficient grinding practices lead to fresher, better-tasting coffee anyway.
Only grinding as much coffee as you need makes the process far easier.
3. Position the Grinder on a Table
Another way to make the process less strenuous is to anchor your grinder on a table, counter, or other sturdy, flat surface (in a vertical position, of course.)
In addition to making sure the beans are properly funneled into the burrs, it takes the stress off of your arm.
Is it the most practical way to grind? Maybe not. But, the results are consistent and your arm will thank you!
4. Adjust Your Grind
If you feel like you’ve completed a full arm workout after grinding coffee, chances are your grind size is too fine. The smaller the grind size, the more effort you’ll need to put into grinding the coffee beans.
Unless you’re making a Moka pot or attempting to brew espresso, you don’t need a super fine grind size. Coarsen the grind size appropriately for your brew method and you’ll find that it’s far less difficult to grind!
How to Keep Your Manual Grinder in Top Shape
When’s the last time you cleaned your manual grinder?
If you can’t remember, it’s time to give your grinder a deep cleaning!
When we grind coffee, micro particles and natural oils build up on the burrs and inside walls of our grinder. These excess particles not only alter the flavors of your next brew but also make it difficult to grind.
Fortunately, cleaning a manual grinder is simple.
If you’re using your manual coffee grinder daily, try to clean it every month to keep it in top shape. By eliminating all the build-up inside, it’ll be smooth sailing the next time you grind.
Is It Time to Replace the Burrs?
After a year or so of constant use, you may notice that it’s becoming harder and harder to use your manual grinder.
If it’s increasingly difficult to manually grind coffee, your burrs might have gone dull! Replacing your burrs after 1-2 years of use can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you exert when grinding coffee beans.
However, this will be the last case scenario. Don’t replace your burrs until you’re sure they’ve lived out their lifespan.
5 Ways Using a Manual Coffee Grinder Enhances Your Coffee Routine
You might be reading this guide and wondering, “If using a manual coffee grinder requires all this physical effort, is it worth it?”
Yes, it is!
Owning a manual coffee grinder will transform your coffee routine from just another part of your morning to what you look forward to as you fall asleep at night. Here’s how:
More Flavorful Coffee
When you begin to use a manual coffee grinder, you’ll quickly notice your coffee tastes more balanced and flavorful.
No, it’s not by magic! Manual coffee grinders offer a variety of benefits that lead to a tastier cup of coffee.
Consistent Grind Size
Brewing coffee with unevenly ground coffee (like that from a blade grinder) leads to sour, bitter, or even bland coffee. We want to evenly extract the natural flavors from our coffee beans, which means we need our grounds to be uniform in size.
Manual coffee grinders are built to produce a consistent grind size, no matter if you’re grinding fine for a Moka pot or coarse for a French Press.
Manual grinders are built to withstand travel and constant use. From the burrs to the outer materials, every aspect of the grinder is designed with delicious coffee in mind. Cheap parts lead to an uneven grind size, which leaves you with a poor-tasting coffee.
Adjustable Grind Sizes
No two brew methods or coffee beans are alike. Each requires a specific grind size to properly extract the natural flavors into the bean. But, if you’re using a basic electric grinder or worse, a blade grinder, you won’t be able to adjust it to the right grind size for your brew method.
With a manual coffee grinder by your side, you’ll never have to worry about brewing with the wrong grind size again. You’ll enjoy coffee bursting with flavor every single morning.
Full Control Over the Coffee
One of the reasons people love to brew pour over coffee is the element of control. From the water temperature to the brew ratio, you manage every element of the process.
But, if you use an electric grinder, you’re giving up some of that control.
If you want to fine-tune every aspect of the process and be fully in touch with the brewing experience, there’s no better option than a manual coffee grinder.
Portable Coffee Grinder
Whether you’re a world traveler or always on the go, a manual coffee grinder gives you the freedom to brew wherever you may be.
For instance, if you wake up late and have to rush into the office, you have three choices:
- Spend a lot of money at the local coffee shop and potentially be late to work
- Subject yourself to the old, musty, likely sour-tasting coffee in the company break room
- Brew from your desk since you have a manual coffee grinder!
We’ll gladly choose option #3 any day.
Or, if you’re embarking on a road trip and want to save money and time, a manual grinder lets you brew delicious coffee from the car.
Your morning routine is guaranteed to be filled with tasty coffee, regardless of your location.
Affordable Coffee Equipment
It’s not hard to experience sticker shock when you discover the price of most electric coffee grinders.
Sure, there are cheaper options, but one look at the reviews and you’ll think twice.
That’s why so many coffee pros and home baristas alike love manual coffee grinders—they’re super affordable and high-quality.
When you opt for a manual coffee grinder, you can achieve the same quality grind size for a fraction of the cost of an electric grinder.
If you want to elevate your morning coffee without also escalating your credit card bill, a manual grinder is the best option.
Slow Down & Appreciate the Process
Our coffee routines are sacred.
It’s a moment in our hectic day when we get to slow down, practice mindfulness as we brew a cup of delicious coffee, and savor each sip.
Adding a hand grinder to your manual brewing routine only enhances this transcendent experience. Trust us, you’ll find yourself looking forward to these little tasty moments of calm each morning.
We’re Giving Our Manual Burr Grinder Away for Free!
Grinding coffee by hand doesn’t have to be tiresome!
Whether you’re ready to make the switch to a manual coffee grinder or you’re looking to upgrade your existing hand grinder, we’ve got your back.
We’re giving away our #1-rated manual coffee grinder for FREE when you try JavaPresse coffee.
Seriously. It’s that easy to get your hands on a 100% free grinder.