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December 14, 2023 4 min read

There's nothing like starting your day with a steaming cup of black coffee brewed from freshly ground beans. The rich smell and flavor are enough to keep you going. However, what happens when you're all set for your morning ritual, only to realize you don't have a grinder on hand? How do you brew coffee? In this guide, we'll walk you through some easy and practical ways to grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder.


Using a Mortar and Pestle

 

mortar and pestle on blue table
Credit: Envato Elements/ Nikolaydonetsk

A mortar and pestle may seem like a traditional choice, but it's one of the oldest and most reliable tools for grinding. It consists of a bowl (the mortar) and a rod (the pestle) used for crushing and grinding various substances. Here's how to grind beans using this tool:


What You'll Need:

  • Fresh whole-bean coffee beans
  • A mortar and pestle

Steps:

  • Place your coffee beans into the mortar, but don't overcrowd it. If you have too many beans at once, it might become harder to grind them effectively.
  • Use the pestle to press down gently on the coffee beans and start crushing them. Begin with a circular motion, and then apply a bit of pressure while grinding in a back-and-forth motion.
  • Continue this process until you achieve the desired consistency, whether that's a medium-fine grind or coarse grind.

Using a Hammer

 

hammer placed on wooden cutting board
Credit: Envato Elements/ indigolotos

If you have a hammer in your toolbox, you're all set for this method. All you need to do is wrap your coffee beans in a cloth or towel and use the flat side of the hammer to crush them gently. This might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it gets the job done.


What You'll Need:

  • Fresh coffee beans
  • A clean kitchen towel or cloth
  • A sturdy zip-lock bag
  • A hammer

Steps:

  • Find a clean, flat surface in your kitchen where you can work comfortably. Lay down a kitchen towel or cloth to catch any runaway coffee beans and to protect your countertop.
  • Place your coffee beans inside a sturdy zip-lock bag. Make sure the bag is sealed tightly to prevent beans from escaping during the pounding process.
  • Use the hammer to gently and evenly crush the wrapped beans. Start with lighter taps and gradually increase the force until you achieve a consistent grind.

With a Blender or Food Processor

 

mixer on countertop with fruits around
Credit: Envato Elements/ seventyfourimages

If you have a blender or a food processor at home, you're in luck. These appliances are great multitaskers, and they can also serve as a makeshift grinder for your coffee beans. Just a few pulses, and you'll have freshly ground coffee ready for brewing.


What You'll Need:

  • Fresh coffee beans
  • A blender or food processor

Steps:

  • Place your coffee beans into the blender or food processor.
  • Use the pulse function on your appliance rather than continuous blending.
  • After each pulse, check the consistency of the coffee grounds by stopping the machine and opening the lid. You can rub a small amount of the ground between your fingers to assess their coarseness or fineness.
  • Depending on your preference, continue pulsing until you achieve the desired grind. For a cold brew, you'll want a coarse grind while drip coffee calls for a finer grind.

With a Garlic Press

 

garlic press with garlic on wooden countertop
Credit: Envato Elements/ vanillaechoes

This might be a weird way to grind coffee beans but it actually works. However, keep in mind that this method is usually better suited for a smaller amount of beans. Here's how to do it:


What You'll Need:

  • Fresh coffee beans
  • A garlic press

Steps:

  • Make sure your garlic press is clean and dry. Any lingering garlic aroma or moisture could affect the flavor of your coffee.
  • Put your coffee beans into the chamber of the garlic press. Don't overload it.
  • Position the garlic press over your coffee cup or a small bowl. Gently squeeze the handles of the press to crush the coffee beans.
  • You can adjust the fineness or coarseness by varying the pressure and the number of times you press the beans.

Using a Rolling Pin

 

wooden rolling pin on black wooden countertop
Credit: Envato Elements/ bogdandreava

For this method, all you need is a common kitchen tool – a rolling pin. This cylindrical tool is typically used for flattening dough, but it can also come to the rescue when you need to grind coffee beans without a grinder.


What You Need:

  • Coffee beans
  • A plastic freezer bag
  • A rolling pin or a sturdy glass

Steps:

  • Place your coffee beans into the plastic freezer bag.
  • Seal the bag, leaving a little bit of air inside.
  • Lay the bag flat on a countertop.
  • Use the rolling pin (or glass) to gently crush the beans.
  • Continue rolling until you achieve your desired grind consistency.

Using a Knife and Cutting Board

 

sharp knife on wooden cutting board
Credit: Envato Elements/ zeffss

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, a simple knife and cutting board can do the trick. This method might require a bit more manual effort, but it's a practical option for grinding coffee beans without specialized equipment.


What You Need:

  • Coffee beans
  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting board

Steps:

  • Spread the coffee beans on the cutting board.
  • Hold the knife's blade against the beans and press down, rocking the knife back and forth.
  • Continue until you achieve the desired grind.

Summary


Grinding beans without a coffee grinder may require a bit of creativity and effort, but it's entirely possible with the right tools and techniques. Experiment with these methods to find the perfect grind for your preferred brewing method, and you'll be enjoying delicious, freshly ground coffee in no time. And, for a convenient and traditional grinding solution, consider the Pepe Nero mortar and pestle. Shop with us today.


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