How to Grind Coffee Beans without a Grinder

Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
Reviewed By
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: August 12, 2023
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Whether you are an average coffee drinker or a hard-core coffee aficionado, you definitely know the benefits of having a coffee grinder. With a good grinder, you can be sure of getting fresh, rich, and delicious coffee every morning. But what should you do if your grinder is broken, or you visited a friend or relative who doesn’t have one? You don’t have to head out to a convenience store to get a new grinder or run to the nearest coffee shop to get an average cup of coffee, as there are many easy ways to grind whole coffee beans at the comfort of your home. In this article, we will be looking at some of them.

Blender/ food processor

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderBlenders and food processors are a great alternative if you don’t have a coffee grinder. You probably know that blenders have a specialized blade that can effortlessly pulverize the coffee. Bear in mind that the result from a blender won’t be as consistent as a burr grinder.

Before using a blender to grind your coffee, make sure you first check if it is designed to grind solids. Some blenders on the market come with a grinder setting that is meant for grinding coffee.

To ensure that you get the best result with your blender, grind with quick, short button pushes, and avoid running the blender continuously. Ignore this, and you may end up with a bitter-tasting cup of coffee.

Before using your blender, make sure you wash it carefully and remove remaining food residue.

Pro tip: tilt your blender slightly while grinding to ensure a right texture.

Mortar and pestle

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderThe mortar and pestle are excellent tools that have been used for centuries by cooks to grind spices and herbs into a fine powder. It is also perfect for crushing coffee beans, although it requires some level of effort to get a fine grind. One of the advantages of using this method is that it gives you the freedom to control the coarseness of your coffee beans.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Step 1

Clean your mortar under running water and wipe it dry.

Step 2

Carefully fill your mortar with a small number of coffee beans.

Step 3

With a twisting motion, use the pestle to crush the coffee beans.

Step 4

Use your pestle to roll on the crushed coffee beans until you achieve a consistent texture.

Step 5

Empty the content of the mortar into your coffee maker or bowl. Repeat the process if you need more ground coffee.


How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderThe hammer is another great tool for crushing coffee beans. Use this tool with extreme caution so that you don’t damage your kitchen counter or injure your hand. With this method, you can be sure of getting a coarse to medium grind. If your goal is to brew a cup of delicious espresso, then you shouldn’t use this method, as is it will be very difficult for you to get a fine grind.

Below are some things you will need:

  • A hammer or mallet.
  • Large cutting board
  • Ziploc or freezer bag. If you don’t have them, you also can use parchments sheets.

How to do it?

Step 1

Carefully fill the plastic bag with coffee beans.

Step 2

Use your hammer or mallet to carefully press down on the coffee beans until you get your desired consistency. Resist the urge to hit the beans.

Step 3

To achieve a fine grind, start crushing from on one side and gradually work your way to the other side.

Rolling pin

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderIf you want a medium to fine grind, then you should try out the rolling pin method. The main reason why this ageless method is effective is that it allows you to grind and crush your coffee beans simultaneously. Bear in mind that using this method requires some measure of efforts and a watchful eye to ensure a great result.

With this method, you can be confident of getting a fine grind, which is perfect for pour-over or drip brewing method.

Here are some things you will need:

  • Rolling pin (you can use other solid cylindrical objects like a wooden dowel or a wine bottle)
  • Ziploc bag.
  • Cutting board.

How to do it?

Step one

Put some fresh coffee beans into the Ziploc bag or plastic bag and lay it on the cutting board

Step two

Use the pin to crush your beans. Move it back and forth until you achieve your desired grind.

Meat tenderizer

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderA meat tenderizer is a great tool for grinding coffee beans. Its efficiency and results are somewhat similar to that of a blender. Depending on the type and model you are using, you can choose the appropriate options to get the consistency you need.

To achieve a fine grind, you may have to pass your coffee beans through it two or three times. With a good meat tenderizer, you can be sure of getting a near-perfect grind, ideal for espresso. If your goal is a coarse or medium grind, then you should pass it through only once.

Before using your meat tenderizer, do well to rinse it thoroughly. You don’t want the remains and smells from the previous grind to get into your coffee.

Hand mincer

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a GrinderA hand mincer isn’t a tool you find in everyone’s home, but if you have it, you can try to use it to grind your coffee beans. With it, you can be sure of getting a coarse to medium ground, which is a fair result. To get the most out of this method, you are going to put in some effort.

How to use it?

Most manual mincer on the market has a feeder on top and an extruder at the other end, as well as a crank. To ensure you keep it stable, you will have to secure it to your table.

Be careful when using the mincer, as it is heavy and may fall if not properly secured.

After you finish the installation, follow the steps below.

Step one

Fill the feeder of the mincer with coffee beans.

Step two

Rotate the crank to grind the beans. Continue until all the beans are out.

Step three

Put the ground beans back into the feeder to get a smoother grind.

Final note

How to Grind Coffee Beans without a Grinder

As you likely know, the secret to brewing a delicious coffee lies in the uniformity of the grind. If your grind is consistent, you’re sure of getting a near-perfect cup of coffee. An inconsistent grind, on the other hand, leaves the coffee with an unpleasant chalky after taste.

The best way to ensure that you get an ideal grind, especially if you don’t have a coffee grinder, is to crush only a small amount of beans at a time. Take your time, and go slowly until you achieve your desired grind.

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