It may come as a surprise, but not everyone owns a coffee grinder. If you’re serious about your coffee, and you buy whole bean, then you’ll most likely have a decent coffee grinder in your home, but if you’re someone who uses k-cups or pods, or goes with already ground coffee, you may not have the need for a coffee grinder.
What happens when you receive a gift, or find a whole bean coffee, that you need to grind in order to try. I don’t think most people are going to run out and buy a new coffee grinder just for a single use. Thankfully there are other options for grinding coffee if you don’t own a coffee grinder.
Let’s take a look at what other appliances and objects you can use to grind your coffee beans if you don’t own a coffee grinder.
Grinding Coffee Without a Coffee Grinder
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to grind coffee beans, but didn’t have a coffee grinder? Here are some other items you can use to help grind those delicious whole coffee beans.
A blender or a food processor can be a great way to grind up your whole coffee beans when a coffee grinder is not available. Most households have one of these appliances and the process for grinding up coffee beans is the same as if you were blending or processing any other type of food.
Place the beans in the appliance and pulse the blending action until you get the consistency that you desire. We recommend tilting and moving the blender/food processor around so that you are grinding all of the beans as evenly as possible.
Of course, these appliances don’t have the same settings that coffee grinders do, so you’ll have to use your best judgement to determine when the beans are ground to the consistency that you’re looking for.
Do you have a spice grinder in your kitchen? You know, one of those wooden or glass containers with the grinder attached to the top? These can also be a great way to grind coffee if a coffee grinder isn’t available.
Spice grinders are designed to grind up tough/coarse spices and seeds so coffee beans are no problem for these little guys. You’ll want to make sure if you’re using one that has been previously used, that you clean it out properly before and after you use it, so you don’t get any extra flavors in your beans – unless you’re looking for that sort of thing.
Mortar and Pestle
You may not have this one in your house, but if you do, it’s also a great way to grind up coffee beans. Obviously it’s not going to be the easiest method and will take some work to get the beans to the consistency that you’re looking for, but if you’re in a pinch and need a way to grind those beans, a mortal and pestle will get the job done.
Meat Tenderizer, Rolling Pin, or Hammer
What if you have none of the items mentioned above and you really want to brew a delicious cup of your whole bean coffee? Well, if you have anything remotely hard and a plastic bag, then you can definitely grind down those coffee beans for brewing.
A hammer, rolling pin, or meat tenderizer are all great tools for smashing/grinding those coffee beans down to the desired consistency for your cup, but you’ll want to be careful. First, you’ll want to make sure that you have a tightly sealed plastic bag to put the coffee beans in. Next, you’ll want to put your whole coffee beans in the bag and find somewhere safe to place them. We don’t recommend placing the beans directly on your countertop as you could cause a lot of damage, so a cutting board on top of a table, or something else that won’t damage easily, is your best option.
Finally, take your hammer, tenderizer or rolling pin and gently hit the beans until they are the consistency you’re looking for. The rolling pin can also work when rolled, but you may have to start out with hitting the beans first to break them down a bit.
Be careful with this method as the beans will break apart pretty quickly and it could leave you with coffee powder instead of finely/coarsely ground coffee beans.
You Don’t Need a Coffee Grinder
Grinding coffee can definitely be done without the use of a coffee grinder, but if you’re going to be buying a lot of whole bean coffee, we highly recommend picking up a true coffee grinder for the house.
Coffee grinders can be expensive depending on what sort of options you’re looking for, but a basic coffee grinder for most people’s needs can be purchased relatively cheaply. It’s a great investment for any coffee drinker and it will pay for itself quickly as you start to drink more and more delicious coffee at home instead of while on your way to work.