How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: 8 Easy Ways

By Harry •  Updated: 07/11/22 •  14 min read

Do you love coffee but don’t have a grinder? Or maybe your grinder is broken and you don’t have the money to buy a new one. Never fear, because there are many ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

So, how do you grind coffee beans without a grinder? Today, I will show you the easiest ways to do it. Keep reading to find out how!

Why Grinding Coffee Beans Is Important

Why Grinding Coffee Beans Is Important

Grinding coffee beans is important because it makes the coffee more flavorful and aromatic. When you grind the beans, it releases the oils and aromatics that are locked inside the bean. This is what gives coffee its signature flavor and aroma.

If you don’t grind your beans, and buy pre-ground coffee, you are missing out on all of those flavors and aromatics. The coffee will still be drinkable, but it won’t taste as good as freshly ground coffee.

Is A Coffee Grinder A Must-Have?

No, a coffee grinder is not a must-have. If you don’t have one, or can’t buy one, there are many ways to grind your coffee beans without a grinder. All you need is something that can break the beans into smaller pieces.

The three main grind sizes are:

All three of these grind sizes are achievable without a grinder. And with a little practice, you’ll be able to get the perfect grind for your coffee!

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

There are 8 different methods that you can use to grind your coffee beans without a grinder. Let’s check each one out!

1. Use a Blender

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder - Blender

The first and most obvious way to grind coffee beans without a grinder is to use a blender. A blender can give you a fine grind, similar to what you would get from a grinder.

To use a blender, simply add your coffee beans to the blender and pulse it until the beans are the desired grind. Be careful not to over-blend, or you will end up with a powdery grind that is too fine for most coffee makers.

The trick when using a blender is to do different tests at different times to find the perfect grind for you. Take paper and a pen and make some notes. This will help you remember how long to blend the beans next time!

Important: If you want to play with the grind size, you can do that by changing the amount of time you blend the beans. If you want a finer grind, blend the beans for longer. For a coarser grind, blend the beans for less time.

2. Mortar and Pestle

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder - Mortar and Pestle

The next way you can grind your coffee beans without a grinder is to use a mortar and pestle. This is an ancient way of grinding spices and herbs, and it works great for coffee beans!

How to Use A Mortar And Pestle:

  1. Start by measuring out the number of coffee beans you need. Then, add them to the mortar.
  2. Use the pestle to break the beans up into coffee grounds.
  3. Keep grinding and crushing the beans until they are the desired grind size.
  4. Once the beans are ground, remove them from the mortar and start brewing your coffee!

TIP: You need to be careful with the force you use when using a mortar and pestle. If you use too much force, you may lose consistency in your grind.

3. A Rolling Pin

Rolling Pin

This method doesn’t only require a rolling pin, but it’s the main tool. You will also need a meat tenderizer or a hammer.

How to Use A Rolling Pin:

  1. First, measure out the number of coffee beans you need. Then, place them in a ziplock bag.
  2. Use a rolling pin to roll over the beans and break them up into smaller pieces.
  3. After you have broken the beans up, use a meat tenderizer or hammer to break any leftover beans up into coffee grounds.
  4. Be sure to use a light hand when hitting the beans so you don’t overdo it and make them too fine.

TIP: You can get a large wooden cutting board to use as your surface. This will make it easier on your arms and also help with the rolling process.

4. A Garlic Press

If you don’t know what a garlic press is, it’s basically a small kitchen gadget that is used to crush garlic cloves. And it turns out that this same gadget can be used to grind coffee beans!

All you need to do is put your beans into the garlic press and then start cranking away. It won’t take long before you have ground coffee.

You can do this multiple times to get the beans to the right size. From my experience, it took me around 3-4 times before I had freshly ground coffee beans.

A garlic press is a great alternative to using a grinder, and it’s also very inexpensive. But I would recommend this method if you already had a garlic press laying around the house.

5. A Knife

grind coffee beans with a cooking knife

A knife is another great kitchen gadget that can be used to grind coffee beans. And it won’t be used as you might think.

Instead of chopping the beans like you would garlic, you want to use the back of the knife and press down on the beans. You want to do this with a lot of pressure so that the beans start to break apart.

Do this for a few minutes and you’ll have ground coffee. It’s important to mention that this method will take a bit longer than using a garlic press or blender but it’s still a viable option.

If the grind is too coarse and you want to make espresso, do this same method but with a cutting board. Place the beans on the cutting board and use the back of the knife to press down and grind them.

A cutting board will help you control the grind better than using a knife on a countertop.

6. A Food Processor

A food processor is another appliance that can be used to grind coffee beans. It’s like the blender but fancier and it can grind the beans much better.

To use a food processor, simply add your beans to the processor and then turn it on. Let it run for 30-60 seconds until the beans are ground to your desired consistency.

I would recommend starting with 30 seconds and then checking the grind. If it’s too coarse, let it run for another 10-15 seconds.

You can use an app like Brew Timer to help you keep track of the grind time.

Related Read: Coffee Grinder vs Food Processor

7. A Spice Grinder

A spice grinder can be an excellent way to grind your coffee. Since it’s very cheap, many people recommend this method.

The biggest downside to using a spice grinder is that it can be difficult to get a consistent grind. If you’re not careful, you can end up with coffee that is sometimes too fine and other times too coarse.

But if you’re willing to take the risk, then a spice grinder can be a great way to grind your coffee. Simply add your beans to the grinder and turn it on. Let it run until you have the grind you want!

As I mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to get a consistent grind with this method. So, you may want to experiment with it and see what works best for you.

8. Bonus: Go to The Grocery Store

If you don’t like DIY methods or can’t be bothered to grind your beans, you can always go to the grocery store and tell them to grind the beans for you.

This is the easiest way to get ground coffee without a grinder, but it’s also the trickiest. Try to negotiate with the grocery store so they give you a good deal on the coffee.

Also, make sure to tell them how coarse or fine you want the grind. The last thing you want is to get coffee that’s already been ground and it’s the wrong grind for your needs!

What You Need to Know About Grind Consistency

 Coffee Grind Consistency

Grind consistency is key when brewing coffee. Many people believe that grinding the coffee to a powder will do the trick, but this is not always the case.

The type of grind you use will depend on the brewing method you’re using. For example, if you’re making a French press, you’ll need a coarser grind than if you were making espresso.

Also if the coffee grounds aren’t evenly ground, it can lead to an inconsistent cup of coffee. So if you’re using any of the above methods to grind your beans, make sure to check the grind consistency before brewing.

Why Is This Important?

Well, let’s say you’re making a cup of coffee with the AeroPress brewing method. If the grind is too coarse, the coffee grounds will literally float in your cup.

And if the grind is too fine and packed inside the AeroPress, you’ll have a very hard time pressing the plunger down. So make sure you get the grind right and your coffee will taste much better!

Tips To Get A Consistent Grind Every Time

If you’re using any of the methods mentioned above, there are a few tips you can follow to get the perfect grind:

1. If possible, use whole beans instead of pre-ground coffee. This will give you more control over the grind size and will also taste fresher.

2. If you’re using a blender, start by pulsing the beans for a few seconds before blending them on high. This will help to evenly grind the beans without overdoing it.

3. If you’re using a food processor, same as with the blender – start by pulsing the beans for a short period before running the machine on high.

4. When using a knife, make sure to apply even pressure when pressing down on the beans. This will help to evenly grind them.

And that’s it! These 4 tips will definitely help you grind beans without a grinder. Just remember to choose the right grind size for your brewing method and you’ll be all set!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder - FAQ

Is it Better to Grind Coffee Beans by Hand?

There are several methods for grinding coffee beans, ranging from simple mortar and pestle to electrical and manual coffee grinders. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, using a coffee grinder is generally considered the most effective way to grind coffee beans, as it results in a more consistent grind. However, it can also be more expensive and difficult to clean than alternative methods.

It all comes down to what you have available to you and what your personal preferences are. If you want to get the most out of your coffee, it’s worth getting a coffee grinder. But if you’re on a budget or don’t mind a little inconsistency in your grind, any of the alternative methods will work just fine.

Can You Use A Blender to Grind Coffee Beans?

Yes, you can use a blender to grind coffee beans. The blades in a blender are designed to chop and grind food, so they will work just as well on coffee beans. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using a blender to grind coffee.

First, only grind a small number of beans at a time. If you try to grind too many beans at once, the blades will not be able to chop them all up properly and you’ll end up with a mixture of powder and larger pieces. Second, pulsing the blender rather than running it continuously will help to prevent the beans from flying out of the container while they’re being chopped.

And finally, be sure to clean the blender thoroughly afterward, as coffee grounds can be difficult to remove from the blades. With a little care and attention, you can use a blender to create perfectly ground coffee beans.

Will Starbucks Grind Your Coffee Beans?

A lot of people think that Starbucks will grind their coffee beans for them, but the answer is no. If you go to Starbucks and ask for your coffee beans to be ground, they’ll probably give you a funny look!

The reason is that Starbucks is all about selling rather than grinding. They want you to buy their coffee because it’s more profitable for them. So if you’re looking to get your coffee beans ground, you’ll need to do it yourself, or find a grocery store or coffee shop that offers this service.

Is Whole Bean Coffee Better Than Ground?

Buying whole coffee beans and grinding them yourself is always going to be the best option in terms of quality and freshness. However, it’s not always the most convenient option.

If you don’t have a grinder or you’re in a hurry, pre-ground coffee can be a good option. Just make sure to buy from a reputable source and check the grind size before brewing.

Can You Grind Coffee Beans in A Bullet?

Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a Bullet. The Magic Bullet is a popular blender that many people use for grinding coffee beans. It has a strong motor and sharp blades that make it ideal for grinding coffee beans.

The Magic Bullet is also relatively inexpensive and easy to find. However, it is important to note that the Magic Bullet is not designed for grinding coffee beans. Therefore, it is important to clean the blender regularly to prevent the build-up of coffee grinds.

How Much Coffee Should I Grind in One Time?

That depends on a few factors, including the brewing method you use and how much coffee you want to make.

For example, if you’re using an AeroPress coffee maker, you’ll need to use a medium-fine grind. If you’re using a French press, you’ll need to use a coarse grind. And if you’re making espresso, you’ll need to use a very fine grind.

As for how much coffee to grind, this again depends on the brewing method you’re using. For instance, if you’re using an AeroPress, the coffee to water ratio is 1:16. This means that you’ll need to use 1 gram of coffee for every 16 grams of water.

This is the same for other brewing methods, such as a French press or an espresso machine. The only difference is the coffee-to-water ratio.

Why A Grinder is Better Than Any of These Methods?

There are a few reasons why using a grinder is better than any of the methods mentioned above:

1. It’s faster and easier – once you get the hang of it, grinding coffee beans with a grinder is much quicker and easier than any of the other methods.

2. You have more control over the grind size – with a grinder, you can choose how fine or coarse you want your coffee to be. This means that you can get the perfect grind for your brewing method.

3. It’s more consistent – since all of the beans are ground to the same size, you’ll end up with a more consistent cup of coffee.

4. It’s less messy – grinding coffee beans can be a messy business, but with a grinder, it’s much easier to keep things clean.

5. You can grind more beans at once – if you’re making coffee for a group of people, or you want to have some on hand for later, a grinder lets you grind up a larger quantity of beans at once.

All of these factors make a grinder the best option for grinding coffee beans. If you have the budget for it, I highly recommend investing in one.

The Verdict

So, there you have it – 8 easy ways to grind your coffee beans without a grinder. I hope this article was helpful and that you will find the perfect method for grinding your coffee beans based on your individual needs and preferences.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. And be sure to download our free grind size cheat sheet so you can make sure your coffee is being ground properly every time.

Happy Brewing!


Harry is the founder of The Coffee Wave. He is an expert at grinding coffee and he drinks at least 5 cups of coffee a day! His mission is to make coffee grinding easy for everyone and each year he helps thousands of readers with grind size, types of grinders, and more.

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