The absolute best way to drink coffee is to make it with freshly ground beans. Professional baristas and coffee experts know when the beans are at their best and the exact time moment to grind the beans before brewing. This ensures that your coffee is at its most flavorful and most aromatic. Whilst all good coffee shops will have their own grinder, many home coffee makers do not. There are, however, lots of alternative options to using a coffee grinder that will still enable you to make a great cup of coffee. For all the coffee lovers out there, this article is a guide on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder as well as what kind of coffee different sized grains should be used for.
1. Crush the Beans with a Heavy Object
The first solution to preparing beans without a grinder is to use a heavy object to crush them. Take the beans and put them in a ziplock back or a pouch so that they don’t fly everywhere, place the bag on a hard surface that isn’t breakable like a thick wooden chopping board, and then smash the beans with a rolling pin, a hammer or some other heavy object. This is a particularly useful method if you have gone camping or are making coffee in some other outside situation and have forgotten to bring your grinder. Be cautious using this method at home early in the morning because nobody likes to be woken up by the sound of something getting smashed with a rolling pin. It is difficult to achieve a really fine grind with this method so it is best used for coffees that can be made with a coarser grind such as a cold brew.
2. Grind the Beans with a Pestle and Mortar
The next way to grind your beans without a specialized coffee grinder is to use a pestle and mortar. These are great for all kinds of things in the kitchen but are particularly good for grinding coffee beans. Grinding coffee beans in a pestle and mortar is really easy and can be extremely therapeutic but you have to be careful about not overdoing it. It is really important that you achieve the ideal grind size and this helpful page can give you some tips on how to measure different grind sizes. Pestles and mortars are such effective equipment for grinding coffee beans that you can end up grinding them into dust. This is ideal if you are looking to brew a really fine coffee like Turkish coffee but it is no good if you want to put the coffee into an espresso machine or coffee maker because it will be too fine. For these, you want to stop when the grind is just a little finer than sugar but still has a smooth consistency.
3. Grind the Beans in a Pepper Mill
Pepper mills are so great for grinding coffee beans and with a bit of hard work, you can really get an excellent grind. Either empty the peppercorns out of your own pepper mill or buy an extra cheap one from the supermarket. If you do use your current mill, just make sure to clean it out thoroughly before you put the coffee beans in because otherwise, you will end up with a peppery coffee. Some pepper mills are better than others and so if yours is struggling to grind the beans, crush them a bit with a rolling pin first and then put them in the pepper mill to grind. Pepper mills give you a nice even, medium to medium-fine grain which is perfect for making classic drip coffee in a drip-brew machine.
4. Blend the Beans
The last solution for grinding coffee beans without a grinder is to pop the beans in a blender or food processor. This is basically the same as using a bladed coffee bean grinder which professional baristas tend to avoid due to their inconsistent grind sizes. It is however the fastest grind solution on this list and the resulting grind can be used in most versatile coffee makers and espresso machines. Make sure that you give your blender blades a thorough clean before you use it for blending the beans or you will end up with little flecks of food ground up into your coffee.
It is so important to grind your coffee beans just before brewing to ensure the best flavor and fragrance. This may not always seem possible if you don’t have your own coffee grinder at home. Fortunately, there are some great alternative methods which can provide you with a great grind. If you find yourself without a grinder, try out some of the solutions in this article.