A cup of coffee has always been reputed to be a lifesaver, a day-starter, and a mood-lifter. It does not matter if you are burdened with work or you are pulling an all-nighter in the office. You might be waiting to start the day or trying to focus and put yourself back into the work mood. Alternatively, you might want to enjoy a quiet evening in the house, by the window with your favorite book. Whatever is the situation, a cup of coffee enhances it all.
Coffee adds to the variety and spice of life. A brewed cup of coffee can work wonders and is a perfect drink for any mood, occasion, and event. However, there might be a fundamental misconception associated with the coffee grinding process. Did you know that freshly grind coffee beans can taste better than pre-ground coffee?
Grinding coffee beans is done to break the whole beans into smaller pieces so that the consumer can brew coffee more quickly. Many of us might have the wrong notion that the coffee brands, after grinding the beans, indulge it into some flavor infusion process. However, that is not the case as the process is carried out to quickly brew coffee.
Your french press might be doing a perfect job at nailing the coffee but the pre-ground coffee that you use or the grinder that you have might be the pebble in the way. This is because when grinding whole bean coffee it is crucial to have a grinder that does not overdo or underdo the process. This means that grinding coffee beans diffuses some heat, which can lead to the process of oxidation that interferes with the quality of the whole beans.
A low-quality grinder will grind your coffee beans into uneven particles. This in turn results in extraction at different rates. Under extraction might result in a sour taste of the coffee and over-extraction might give way to a bitter taste. Moreover, it is imperative to understand that perfectly grind coffee shall have a consistent grind with a balanced taste.
Therefore, leave your grinder alone and give your coffee grinding experience a more organic and manual approach. If you are wondering about how to grind coffee beans without a grinder then you have come across the right article. Furthermore, you might not be aware of the significant advantages of grinding beans right before the brewing process. So give this article a good read to grind coffee without a grinder.
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Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder – Everything You Need to Know
There are a few ways to grind your coffee beans. However, you must understand that opting to grind the whole beans is a much wiser way to drink your coffee rather than going for previously ground coffee. A spoon of already ground coffee might lose its aroma and flavors as it has been exposed to moisture and heat. However, whole beans have a hard outer coating that keeps the flavors inside the bean intact for a longer period until you grind it. For better understanding, let us look into the benefits of grinding whole bean coffee.
Benefits of Grinding Whole Bean Coffee
If you are still skeptical about grinding the coffee beans on your own, then go through the following pointers to get more clarity. Keeping the roasted beans whole will certainly prevent the process of oxidation and restore the quality of the seeds. However, to understand how exactly it will contribute to your cup of freshly ground coffee go through the following pointers.
1. Aroma-powered coffee
Coffee is better known as an aromatic drink. However, the enticing fragrance of coffee starts dissipating immediately after it has been ground. To be precise, the aroma starts leaving the coffee within around twenty minutes after grinding it. Therefore, to have the drink with the attributes that it is reputed to have, one has to grind the coffee beans right before drinking it.
2. Enhanced extraction of flavor
While the coffee beans are roasted carbon dioxide gets trapped inside the hard shells of the beans. The beans tend to lose the carbon dioxide when they are brewed resulting in more flavor-infused water as the gas forces its way out of the seed. Therefore, real-time coffee grinding is essential for some of the famous coffee types like espresso.
3. Keeping the flavors intact
Coffee is permeable in nature. This means that it can be easily brewed. However, in the case of storage, coffee can take up the moisture-laden odors from the air around. If the beans are kept whole, then the moisture-laden air affects the coffee minimally, sealing the flavors inside the whole beans.
4. Lasts longer
Keep the whole beans inside an air-tight container and you will be able to seal the flavors as well as the coffee for months. However, ground coffee, even if, tightly sealed and kept inside an air-tight container will lose its freshness within a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Therefore, grind your beans only when you need them.
Ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder
You are about to explore the benefits of manually grind coffee. You might own a high-end coffee grinder that can grind the beans just fine, but you never know the magic you have got in your hands along with some other household tools or appliances. Moreover, you should not be denied a good cup of coffee even if by chance the coffee grinder stops working. Here, is a list of the potential ways to grind beans without a grinder.
1. Using a Blender
If and when the need arises, you can use a blender as a replacement for the grinder machine. The blades of a blender more or less match with the blades of a grinder. Moreover, the spinning blades of a blender can crush the beans from a coarse grind to a medium-coarse grind.
Some blenders even come with a preset button of a grinder. In such a case you have to switch to the grinder mode on your blender to grind coffee beans. To understand the coffee grinding process in a better way, go through the following steps.
- Switch to your blender’s grinder mode, otherwise select the medium-high setting in your blender.
- Pour one-fourth or a half cup of beans into the blender.
- Switch on the blender by using the pulse settings for three to five seconds. You should be mindful of the fact that blending the beans for more than five seconds might result in overheating the beans, which would result in a coarse grind and a bitter-tasting coffee.
- Keep grinding the coffee beans for a maximum of six spells with each not lasting for more than five seconds.
- For a more consistent grind, tilt the blender to either side. This also ensures that the beans do not jam the blades and cause the motor to burn out.
- After you have reached your desired consistency, put the coffee into the French Press or other coffee maker.
2. Mortar and Pestle
Grinding your coffee with a mortar and pestle is by far the most authentic and traditional way to have the drink. With the recent surge in technology, smart kitchen appliances have taken over the counters leading to this old kitchen tool, stranded at a corner of the kitchen cabin. Well, not anymore, the mortar and pestle will get their lost glory back.
Moreover, making coffee with a mortar and pestle might take more time than usual but they give a remarkable amount of control over your grind and let you have anything from a coarse to a fine grind. Follow the steps given below to grind coffee with a mortar and pestle.
- Fill the one-fourth part of the mortar with coffee beans. Such an amount of coffee beans will enhance control over the grind.
- Use your dominant hand to hold the pestle and crush the beans in the mortar.
- Roll the beans around in the mortar and keep crushing till you reach the desired grind size.
- Put the coffee in your coffee maker or a bowl according to your convenience.
3. Using a Hammer or a Meat Tenderizer
It is not only kitchen tools that can help you with your pursuit of the perfect coffee but also the garage tools, like a hammer. A hammer is a popular way to grind the beans. It can be a potential way to grind coffee. Moreover, you can also use a meat tenderizer if you do not own a hammer. Follow the steps given below.
- Put your coffee beans inside a freezer bag or a Ziploc bag. Force all the air out of the Ziploc bag and then seal it. Keep the bag on a cutting board or any other smooth surface. Avoid the kitchen counter as it might get damaged.
- Now take the hammer or the meat tenderizer and press the coffee beans. Do not hammer the beans as you would do to a nail. Softly press them.
- You can take a few beans at a time to ensure that a coarse to medium coarse grind is achieved.
- Put the coffee into the coffee maker.
4. Rolling Pin
The rolling pin is one of the most commonly used conventional kitchen tools and it can be used as a potential way to grind coffee. Due to the construction and the design of the rolling pin, it can facilitate a uniform coffee grind. However, this process will require some elbow grease. Follow the steps given below.
- Put the beans inside a Ziploc bag. Force all the air out of the bag and then seal it.
- Keep the bag on any smooth surface like a cutting board or the kitchen counter.
- Put a towel around the bag and start pressing using the rolling pin.
- Press and roll the pin back and forth over the plastic bag.
- The beans might get scattered out of the surface area of the pin. So place the beans in the center of the bag after a few rolls and keep rolling till you hit the desired consistency.
- Pour the coffee into the coffee maker machine.
5. Hand Mincer
A hand mincer consists of a blade that is integrated within the meat mincing tool, which enables the mincer to finely cut the meat or whatever else is put into it. You can also put coffee beans inside it. However, it is crucial to understand that a hand mincer will not be able to crush the beans in extra-coarse grinds. Moreover, while making use of a hand mincer you can pound the coffee as many times as you need, to reach a finer grind.
While using the hand mincer, it is also crucial to remember that you can only grind a handful of beans at a time. However, the fact that the hand mincer gives you an enormous sense of control and can grind the beans from a medium-fine grind to an extra-fine grind makes it one of the widely used ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder. Follow the steps given below.
- Put a handful of beans inside the mincer. Keep a bowl under the mincer to catch hold of the coffee grounds.
- Press the device firmly or turn the crank and let the coffee beans pass through it.
- Check the grind size and put it back into the mincer to get the desired consistency.
- Take your bowl of the extra fine coffee grind and put it inside your coffee maker to enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee.
6. Butcher Knife
In case, the above options are not suitable for you, then you can go for a sturdy knife like a butcher knife. When using a knife, one must understand that it has to be used to squash the coffee beans like in the case of garlic. Using a knife requires utmost focus and patience as you cannot just chop the beans off.
You might use the knife to cut the beans but it will not serve the purpose and is dangerous. Moreover, it would take too much time. You have to crush the coffee beans with the knife, which lets you achieve something between a medium grind to a fine grind. Follow the steps given below to grind coffee beans with a knife.
- Put the coffee beans on the cutting board
- Keep the flat edge of the blade on the beans with the sharp side on the board.
- Place your palm on the positioned knife and press gently to crush the coffee beans.
- After the beans have been crushed, repeat the process using the knife to reach the desired consistency.
- Do not rush while using a knife as patience and focus are the keys to a perfect grind of coffee.
7. Food Processor
This is another kitchen appliance that can be used as a replacement for a coffee grinder. A food processor can be an easy and quick way for grinding your coffee in case your grinder has stopped working. Follow the steps given below.
- Clean the food processor thoroughly. Ensure that the unit is free of any strong food odor.
- Put the beans inside the food processor.
- Grind the coffee beans with the pulse setting on the device for a burst not lasting for more than five seconds.
- Keep shaking the processor or use a spatula to scrape the coffee on the sides of the bowl so that they reach the blade of the processor.
- After reaching the desired consistency, put the grind in your french press and enjoy it.
8. Immersion Blender
We know how important it is to start the day with a cup of coffee. Therefore, we have come up with an emergency option in case of grinding coffee without a grinder. An immersion blender can be used to crush the coffee beans by putting the beans inside a bowl. You should make sure that the blender can fit the bowl and also endure the blades. Switch on the blender and start the grinding process. Make sure that you keep shaking the bowl to reach the desired consistency.
9. Frying Pan
Last but not the least, a frying pan can also be used to smash the coffee beans. However, you should not pound the beans with the pan. You have to apply pressure gently on the beans. A frying pan can crush a greater number of coffee beans in a single time due to the larger surface area of the pan. You have to lay the beans on a chopping board and arrange them at an adjacent angle. Then use the pan to gently apply pressure on them. Crush the coffee beans to your desired consistency and enjoy the coffee.
Tips to grind the coffee perfectly
Although different types of coffee require different brewing methods, it is important to grind the coffee perfectly in the desired consistency so that you can have your perfect cup of coffee. We have gone through a few potential ways to grind coffee without a grinder. Now let us look into some of the essential tips to grind the coffee perfectly.
While grinding the coffee beans you should keep checking the texture of the grind. Although when using a grinder, you can reach the desired consistency in a few seconds, manually you have control over the grind size and can check the coffee grind periodically.
Medium Grind is the safest option
If you are not sure about the type of grind that you want for your perfect cup of coffee, go for the medium or the medium-fine grind. A medium-grind coffee is well known for its versatility and can be relied upon for brewing a good cup of coffee.
Do not pre-grind the coffee
This is one of the crucial ways to drink your coffee fresh. Even if you have a busy schedule and have nailed the way to grind the coffee manually, you should not grind it beforehand and keep it stashed in your kitchen cabinet. Ground coffee tends to lose the aroma and flavors and starts to turn stale within a few hours of getting crushed. Therefore, it is recommended to crush the coffee beans right before you drink them.
If you are trying to achieve a perfect cup of coffee then it is equally important to measure the beans before grinding them. Initially, to be on the safer side, you can start with two tablespoons of coffee beans.
Can I grind the coffee beans beforehand?
No, it is wiser to grind the coffee beans right before you drink as such a process keeps the bean flavors and aroma intact inside it.
How long will the grinding process take?
This depends on the method that you are using to grind your beans. If you are making use of a kitchen appliance like a blender or a food processor then it will take much less time than crushing the coffee beans manually with a mortar and pestle or a knife. It should be remembered here that manual grinding processes give you an immense sense of control over the grind size.
Is it safer to freeze the coffee?
No, freezing the coffee will expose the coffee to moisture that will hamper the quality of the grind.
These are some of the ways to grind coffee without a grinder. You should remember that the quality of the coffee depends on the extraction process. Over-extraction of the coffee beans will give it a bitter taste while under-extraction will make it sour. Therefore, while brewing a perfect cup of coffee it is crucial to hitting the right balance. Moreover, it is not at all recommended to pre-grind the coffee and keep it inside an air-tight container for later use. This will deteriorate the quality of the grind. Furthermore, the quality of the coffee beans that you are using also matters. Make sure that you use good quality beans and grind them according to your desired consistency for having the perfect start to the day.