Coffee grinders help break down beans for easy brewing. But what if you don’t have a coffee grinder? Here are the best coffee grinder alternatives.
To all coffee drinkers who brew their coffee at home: Do you prefer pre-ground coffee or whole beans? An online survey found that more people prefer to buy pre-ground coffee in stores and online for convenience. Pre-ground coffee gives busy individuals more time to do something else.
However, grinding whole coffee beans at home is the key to a fresh, flavorful, aromatic coffee. If you don’t have a coffee grinder at home, check your kitchen and look for the alternatives listed below.
- Types Of Coffee Grinds
- Top 5 Best Alternatives To Coffee Grinders
- Grind Coffee Using Kitchen Tools And Devices
- FAQs About Coffee Grinder Alternatives
Types Of Coffee Grinds
Grind consistency is critical in making the perfect cup of Joe. While pre-ground coffee is excellent for faster preparation and cheaper than whole beans using coffee grinders, crushing coffee at home lets you control the type and size of the grind. It’s perfect for accommodating your tastes.
Here is a guide for the correct type of grind for each cup of coffee:
The size and texture of a coarse grind look like rock salt. Because of its large particles, longer brewing will fully extract its flavor. It’s excellent with a French press, coarse-grind coffee is best for hot and cold brews.
You might also be interested in our coffee grinder vs. blender guide.
Medium grind has a sand-like consistency and is the most popular. This type is best for drip coffee and pour-over coffee.
Its texture is similar to a lump of regular table sugar or salt. Fine-grind coffee is excellent for espresso machines, Moka pots, and AeroPress.
A super fine’s consistency and feel are similar to powdered sugar, where you will not be able to feel the grains. Turkish coffee commonly uses this pulverized grind.
Coffee enthusiasts who want to make their coffee at home should invest in tools and machines to get cafe-level drinks. If you want to get an idea of a coffee grinder’s price, check out our guide on How Much Does A Good Coffee Grinder Cost?
Top 5 Best Alternatives To Coffee Grinders
A coffee grinder is still the best option to grind coffee at home. Whether you're currently low on cash and can’t purchase one, or you want to change the grind you bought, here are some substitutes you can use:
Mortar And Pestle
Mortar and pestle are not only used in crushing, meshing, and mincing various ingredients. It’s also the most authentic and native way to grind coffee beans.
This method can create all types of grinds – from coarser grounds for a percolator to finer grounds for Chemex. Since this is a time-consuming and labor-intensive alternative to a coffee grinder, the result depends on your patience.
Use the pestle to crush the beans, and then start moving the pestle in a swirling motion until you get the right consistency. One advantage of using this method over coffee grinders is it is easy to clean.
It’s another by hand method mainly used to get coarse to medium coarse grinds. More time and labor are needed to get medium to finer grinds.
First, put your coffee beans in a sealable bag and crush them using the rolling pin. After airing it out, seal it, then apply a little pressure. Gently roll your pin to grind the mashed beans.
Be patient and keep rolling your pin back and forth until you have the right consistency. Use a reliable freezer bag like this Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Freezer Bag so it won't burst while you’re rolling the pin.
You can also utilize a sealed container to store fresh coffee grounds for at least a week. If you keep them in the freezer, do not leave them there for too long to avoid freezer burn.
- Grip ‘n Seal technology and triple seal system featuring extended tab, easy-grip texture and double zipper for maximum ease of use
- Designed to help protect from freezer burn
- Perfect for storing fresh food items (e.g. meat or fish) in the fridge or freezer
- Safe for use in the microwave (when used as directed), freezer and fridge
- 60-gallon Ziploc bags made of durable BPA-free plastic
Using a blender to grind coffee is one of the most popular alternatives for coffee grinders. Blenders are great for getting any type of coffee grind.
However, as blenders are commonly for softer ingredients, prolonged use can cause overheating. To ensure equal grinds, pour at least one quarter to one-half cup of the beans into your blender, and always check the consistency by scooping or stirring the grounds.
To get the same results with coffee grinders, ensure that the process will only take 20 to 30 seconds to avoid burning your coffee. Use pulse or short bursts instead so you can control the grind.
Food processors are a must-have in any kitchen for their many uses. This appliance is bigger than regular blenders that can grind and mix various food ingredients. It works similarly with blenders and coffee grinders but is best if you need to mill a considerable amount of coffee beans.
A food processor is excellent at creating coarse to medium grinds. This appliance can also produce finer grinds for any type of coffee. To avoid overprocessing, grinding should only take 30 seconds or six sets of three to five seconds in a pulse setting.
Coffee grinders have conical burrs to grind coffee beans, whereas spice grinders have blades used to mince various spices and herbs. This blade can also grind soft and hard spices like coffee beans.
A spice grinder’s overall design is very similar to coffee grinders. However, expect that the grounds will still be inconsistent and require more work than a regular coffee grinder.
Aside from spice grinders being easy to clean, you can even add nuts and other spices to your grind to experiment with how they’ll affect the taste of your drink.
Grind Coffee Using Kitchen Tools And Devices
While coffee experts and baristas recommend using proper machines and tools like coffee grinders in making coffee, not everyone can just visit the store and whip out cash for expensive items.
Check out our Best Coffee Grinders for Home: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide before purchasing your first coffee grinder.
If you’re looking for more ways to grind coffee beans, whether temporary or long-term, here are the other options you may be interested in:
- Immersion Blender
- Magic Bullet
- Meat Tenderizer
- Garlic Press
- Hand Mincer
FAQs About Coffee Grinder Alternatives
What Can I Use Instead Of A Coffee Grinder?
While its recommended to use a coffee grinder, alternatives are not prohibited. You can use small appliances like a blender, a spice grinder, and a food processor. Kitchen utensils like mortar and pestle, rolling pin, meat tenderizer, and garlic press are great temporary alternatives.
Can You Ground Coffee Without A Grinder?
There are many alternative ways of grinding coffee without a grinder. However, note that the coffee’s grind will affect its taste.
Can I Use A Blender To Grind Coffee Beans?
You can use any type of blender to grind coffee. To ensure a good result, grind beans in a small amount and use a short burst or pulse instead of continuous grinding. Blenders can “overcook” the beans because of the heat from the motor.
How Do You Make a Homemade Coffee Grinder?
If you are looking for an authentic way to grinding coffee, use mortar and pestle. This method is laborious and time-consuming but can create any type of coffee grounds by hand. Add a small number of whole coffee beans into the mortar and start crushing with the pestle.