If you love coffee, there’s a good chance you’ll have all of the best coffee equipment in your kitchen. However, if you’re limited in counter space and you’re looking for alternatives to grind your coffee beans without a grinder, then you might need to consider some alternatives.
You might want to save money and not invest in a coffee grinder, as high-end burr grinders can get very expensive. Or, you might want to save some electricity and the environment by avoiding an electric coffee grinder.
In this article, we’ll share 7 ways to grind your coffee beans – without the need for a grinder.
We hope you enjoy our top tips and hacks. Let’s get started.
Why Is It Important to Grind Coffee?
You could start by asking the question, “why don’t I just use pre-ground coffee?”
Well, most people know that if you really want a delicious cup of coffee each morning, you’re going to need to grind beans fresh each morning.
If we use the analogy that coffee is just like bread, it’ll all make sense.
Would you leave bread on the side of the kitchen counter for 2 hours and then eat it? It’s unlikely. Oxygen very quickly deteriorates the quality of the bread as it dries out the load and make it go stale.
Coffee is exactly the same. If you left pre-ground coffee on the kitchen table for just half an hour, you’d have a dramatically reduced product.
Unfortunately, oxygen has the same affect to ground coffee. The ground coffee quickly oxidizes and loses much of its freshness. The stale ground coffee first loses most of its aromatic compounds that give the coffee its fresh, unique flavors.
That means its important to grind your coffee beans right before brewing. We have seven recommendations to grind coffee without a grinder. The list is ordered starting with the best and most recommended, and ending with our least preferred (yet doable) method.
Using a kitchen blender that you already own will probably be the best suggestion for grinding your coffee beans without a grinder. It’s not the perfect solution, as the benefit of a proper coffee grinder is it precisely grinds the coffee particles into very equal coffee grounds. The precise grind has a big impact on flavor, which enhances the overall experience in the cup.
By using a kitchen blender to grind your beans, you’ll be “chopping” the coffee beans into powder. Monitor the time the beans are in the blender, as it will only take seconds to get proper ground coffee.
The blender will get the job done but coffee aficionados might raise an eyebrow or two. However, if you don’t have access to a coffee grinder, the kitchen blender is probably the best alternative you can use. It will lead to a decent cup of coffee to get you through your day.
Mortar & Pestle
A mortar and pestle is second on our alternative coffee grinder list. The traditional way of grinding food and spices is the perfect method to grind down the beans as fine as you want.
This option gives you full control of the process because its manual. You can vary the grind consistency and simply grind by eye until you find the grind quality you want.
The only downside to this is that it might take you a little while to grind up those coffee beans, particularly if you’re trying to grind for espresso (the most finely ground option).
Rolling Pin to Grind Coffee?
The next suggestion is a rolling pin. You don’t have a container for the coffee like the prior two methods, so we recommend placing the coffee beans inside a freezer bag or clear sandwich bag before using the rolling pin. That way, you won’t have a big mess, and you can see the grind consistency.
This won’t be the perfect solution, but the benefit is that the rolling pin moves to apply pressure as you roll over the beans. This process helps grind the coffee beans while you don’t have a grinder.
Would you ever think to use it as an alternative to a coffee grinder? We have and love this one.
We chose this method to grinding coffee beans without a grinder because you can easily achieve this wherever you are. Also, a garlic crusher is something you’ll find accessible in most kitchens around the world.
You can use a garlic crusher to grind your coffee beans without a coffee grinder. Simply, fill the compartment of the garlic crusher with your freshly roasted beans and squeeze shut to crush the coffee beans into ground coffee.
The downside to this method is the consistency of the coffee grind. You may not get the perfectly powdery grind that you’d get with some of the other methods we’ve shared today.
Hammer your Coffee Beans!
A hammer is a decent option because it’s heavy and will apply quite a bit of force. However, you are likely going to shatter the coffee beans rather than grind them evenly.
Nevertheless, it’ll do the job, and you’ll enjoy a hot cup of caffeine, which is what life is all about.
*Be careful with the hammer and ideally use it on a surface that can handle the blows and isn’t fragile. We like to lay the beans on top of a wooden cutting board, which works well to cushion the force.
A knife is another solution if you’re looking to find out how you can grind coffee beans without a grinder. We suggest using a large kitchen knife with a wide blade. This will allow you to get as much surface area when cutting the coffee beans.
If you can find a knife with a little bit of flex in it, this will help you too. You’ll be able to crush the coffee beans with the pressure and slight movement of the blade.
Again, you can use a bag to crush the ground coffee first so that you don’t waste any of the best coffee beans in the UK.
*Be careful when using a knife and make sure not to cut yourself.
Have you ever thought about using a cheese grater as an alternative method to grinding coffee beans?
To make this work properly, you’ll need two kitchen accessories. First up is a cutting board. Preferably a wooden cutting board as it’ll provide you with a stable surface to grate and grind the beans.
Secondly, you’ll need a handheld cheese grater. The cutting board gives you a surface for the grater and beans to apply enough force. Then, simply grind the beans with the grater and watch your freshly roasted beans turn into a beautiful coffee powder ready for brewing.
Similar to the garlic crusher, the cheese grater method won’t grind the coffees in a perfectly even grind style compared to the earlier methods such as the mortar and pestle or the blender.
These methods are different ways to grind coffee, all utilizing objects in almost every home. You have various ways to grind coffee if you don’t have a grinder on hand. These seven ways aren’t as common, but they will take care of that morning caffeine boost you’re after.
About Balance Coffee
This article was contributed by Balance Coffee, an online specialty coffee company supplying some of the best coffee beans in the UK. You can visit Balance to buy freshly roasted coffee which will be delivered to your door. Alternatively, you can join their popular coffee subscription service and receive additional benefits to enjoy coffee at home. Check out their coffee blog for information on coffee, machines, and everything in between.