How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

Everyone wants to wake up and go about daily activities in high spirits. And what better way do you do that than grabbing a cup of coffee? A cup of coffee will boost your energy level and set you in a productive mood.

Let's say you breezed into the kitchen to make yourself a cup of coffee, only to discover that what you got from the coffee shop the previous day was coffee beans instead of ground coffee. And to make matters worse- You do not have a grinder.

That's definitely a mood killer for any coffee lover but do not worry, all hope is not lost. In this article, you'll learn how to make freshly ground coffee without a grinder. Let's get straight to business.

Use a Blender

top view of blender

A blender might not be able to produce fine coffee particles but it can create a manageable quality.

A rule of thumb is not to blend them for more than 30 seconds. This is to prevent cooking the coffee oils by accident due to the heat generated by the blender.

Below are the steps for blending:

  • Measure between a ¼-½ cup of beans and put them in the Blender.
  • Lock the lid and adjust the Grinder setting to the Medium High setting if it's available (not all blenders have that setting) or Pulse Setting.
  • Blend the beans for 5 seconds and pause. Do this 4-6 times to achieve a total of 20-30 seconds.
  • Transfer the blended beans to another container and pour another batch of fresh coffee beans into the blender. Repeat the process with it.
  • Wash the Blender with soap and water immediately after Blending to get rid of the coffee odour.

If you want coarser grinds, then use an Immersion Blender.

Food Processor

food processor

There's not much difference between using a food processor and a Blender, only that the food processor is wider and can grind more beans at a go.

These electric devices produce coarse grinds although these grinds can also be used to make coffee.

  • Measure between ½ cup and 1 cup of beans and put them in the processor.
  • Adjust the settings to Grind Mode or Pulse Setting.
  • Pulse the beans for 5 seconds while bending the processor to make the particles become of consistent grind size. Do it 6 times.
  • Wash the food processor after usage to remove the smell of coffee.

The grinds produced by blenders and food processors are uneven grinds which lack Grind consistency. These coarse grinds are suitable for French press and Percolator Coffee makers.

Rolling Pin

rolling pin

This method produces finer grinds than the previous two. However, it takes more time and effort since it is a manual process.

The rolling pin produces medium fine grinds and fine grinds which are suitable for coffee types like Espressos and Drip Coffee.

  • Put the coffee beans in a Ziploc bag to prevent them from scattering.
  • Place the bag on a flat surface (a Wooden cutting board for instance).
  • Break them down by pressing them with the pin. Try not to apply too much force while you're at it.
  • Roll the pin over the beans in a continuous rolling motion until you get your preferred consistency.

You don't necessarily need a rolling pin for this method. Any object with a cylindrical shape (such as a wine bottle) will do the trick. In the absence of a Ziploc bag, sheets of parchment paper would make a good replacement.

Mortar and Pestle

white mortar and pestle on a white table

This one involves more elbow grease than the rolling pin. Unlike the rolling pin method, the coffee beans are exposed and can fall out.

With this method, you can produce a small amount of ground coffee at a time. You can only fill the mortar up to ¼ of its capacity.

  • Pour 1-2 tablespoons of coffee seeds into the mortar.
  • Support the mortar with one hand and use the other to crack the beans with the pestle by moving it sideways or in a circular motion.
  • After cracking them, use the pestle to pound them gently.

Keep pounding until you've achieved your preferred consistency. If you want to produce more, remove the ground particles and repeat the whole process for a fresh batch.

This method is more efficient because you won't end up making excess coffee grounds which would end up as pre ground coffee.

Use a Hammer


This is similar to the rolling pin method. All you have to do is put the beans in a Ziploc bag and crush them gently with a hammer.

If you hit them too hard, the bag will burst and the coffee will spill. While you're at it, ensure to separate the freshly ground coffee from the raw beans. It also produces medium fine to fine grinds like the rolling pin.

If you don't have a hammer, use a Meat Tenderizer Mallet.

Spice Grinder

spice grinder

You may be wondering 'It's a spice grinder for Pete's sake. What's it got to do with coffee?' You might be shocked to find out that a spice grinder can serve as a Coffee Grinder Alternative.

However, there are some things you need to take into consideration before making use of it. 

Firstly, Spice Grinders are blade grinders, not burr grinders which are a piece of better grinding equipment. There are two kinds of spice grinders, each with a different grinding process-  one for soft spices and the other for hard spices.

The latter can be used to grind whole bean coffee even though there's a tiny chance its blades could get damaged. With the soft spice grinders, that risk is amplified so you're better off using other grinding alternatives.

The second factor is the condition of the grinder. Is it brand new or old? The older your spice grinder, the more likely it could get damaged by coffee beans. The risk is a tiny one though so there are not many worries there.

To make coffee with a spice grinder:

  • Measure 56 g of coffee beans into the grinder and cover it with the lid.
  • Mount the grinder on its base and position it properly.
  • Press the grinder down and grind for 10-30 seconds.

Why Do We Grind Coffee Beans?

6 wooden spoons each containing coffee grounds in various grind sizes

The taste of coffee is in the drinking. We grind coffee to speed up its Brew Time and bring out its taste. The finer the ground coffee, the more concentrated its taste will be and the more you get to enjoy your cup of coffee.

There are various brewing methods for coffee grounds depending on the type of coffee ground. They include the Pour Over Method, French Press Method, Cold Brew Method, Coffee Maker method, French Press method and Siphon Method.

Final Take

No situation should stop a coffee enthusiast from enjoying a cup of coffee, and that is why you have this article as a guide.

However, let's keep things real, none of the methods will give you the same quality and grind consistency of coffee grounds which you would get from an actual coffee grinder. But if you do find yourself in a position where you do not have a grinder, these methods will suffice.

We hope you found this article helpful and will be able to make coffee without grinders, cheers to a sweet coffee experience.