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How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

Grinding coffee beans before brewing guarantees you fresh and delicious coffee every day. And if you are a certified coffee lover, then chances are that you already own a good-quality grinder at home. After all, nothing beats enjoying a cup of fresh and flavorful coffee every morning.

Unfortunately, coffee grinders are mechanical devices that can break down if not well maintained. When this happens, you shouldn’t be left to deal with stale coffee or suffer long queues at the coffee shop.

Well, you’re in luck because there are lots of other methods you can try to get nicely ground coffee beans when your grinder is out of commission.

If you want to know how to grind coffee beans without a grinder, do read on…

Can I Grind Coffee Without a Grinder?

coffee beans with coffee grinder

Yes, with the right equipment and skills, you can easily grind the roasted coffee beans to perfection. With a bit of effort and some kitchen tools, you can enjoy your fresh coffee without rushing to the store and buying a new one.

So, instead of missing your morning coffee, you can grind the coffee beans using the following methods:

1. Pound in Mortar and Pestle

grind coffee beans with mortar and pestle

Mortar and pestle are a unique set of grinding tools that have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In fact, these tools are still quite famous with chefs who use them to grind spices and herbs. Therefore, it’s no surprise why mortar and pestle have topped our list of the best ways to grind coffee without a grinder.

This method combines the rolling-and-hammering motion to grind coffee beans. The hammering and rolling method gives you control over the size of the coffee, ranging from fine to coarse.

But before you use a mortar to grind the coffee, you should make sure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. To get the required grounds using pestle and mortar, you should:

  • Pour some beans in the mortar, making sure that you don’t exceed 25% of its volume. Remember, you can grind as many batches as you want, so you should not be in a hurry to grind many coffee beans at once.
  • Hold your mortar with one hand and then press and crush them using your dominant hand.
  • After all the beans have been crushed, you can roll the grounded beans in the mortar using the pestle.
  • Once it’s ready, you can empty the mortar into a cup and then crush more beans using the same procedure.

2. Using a Rolling Pin

grinding coffee with rolling pin

Another reliable manual grinding process makes use of a tool that’s been in the kitchen for many centuries—the rolling pin. A rolling pin can produce a finer and even texture. The good thing about this method is that you won’t need an observant eye to guarantee uniformity. All you need are a chopping board, a rolling pin, and a plastic Ziploc bag. To grind the roasted beans using this method, you should:

  • Start by pouring some coffee beans into the Ziploc bag and lay it on the chopping board.
  • Crush the beans by pressing the pin on the beans gently.
  • Once all the roasted beans are crushed, press and roll the pin hard on the beans.
  • Roll the pin back and forth until you get the desired ground consistency, and then add the ground coffee to a bowl. If you need more ground coffee, you can repeat the above procedure.

3. Blend the Coffee Beans

A huge percentage of the mid- to high-end blenders have the grinding setting that’s designed for grinding roasted beans.

When using a blender, you should avoid running it continuously. This is because the blade produces some heat at extremely high speed, which can damage the beans’ natural oil and affect the overall taste of the coffee. Instead, you should use the on and off blending techniques.

Before you start blending, you should make sure that the blender is thoroughly cleaned. After all, nobody wants to taste coffee with the smell and taste of bananas or a milkshake. To properly grind the beans using a blender, you should do the following:

  • Start by pouring some roasted beans into the blender and close the lid.
  • Select the grinder setting and blend the coffee beans to your preferred texture using the short and quick burst technique.
  • You can tilt it to the side to ensure that the vast particles are on the blade’s path.
  • Once you get the desired texture, you can pour the ground coffee into a bowl.

4. Mash Them Using a Hammer

Another reliable option is mashing them using a mallet, hammer, or meat tenderizer. You can easily get a fine powder with a hammer, but you have to perfect your mashing technique first.

However, because of the hammer’s explosive effect, you shouldn’t expect to make a cappuccino with these ground coffee beans. At best, you can get either medium or coarse ground coffee that can be used for cold brewing.

You will need a chopping board, Ziploc bag, and a hammer for this manual grinding method. To grind coffee using a hammer, you should:

  • Start by pouring some roasted beans into the Ziploc bag and place it on the chopping board.
  • Press down on the Ziploc using a hammer to grind the beans until you achieve the desired texture.

5. Crush the Beans With a Knife

If you’re in a hurry and can’t access your blender, you should try grinding them using the flat side of the chef’s knife.

The chef’s or butcher’s knife has a stiffer and wider blade that can give you the extra leverage needed to crush the roasted beans. 

This method can help you grind medium-fine to medium ground coffee that can guarantee you a fresh cup of Joe in the morning. To grind the beans using the knife, you should:

  • Place the beans on the chopping board and place the knife on them.
  • Place your palm on the flat side of the knife and press it firmly to crush the beans. For evenly ground coffee, make sure you don’t strike the knife.
  • After crushing the beans, you can continue pressing until you get a finer grind.

6. Use a Hand Mincer

A hand mincer is a perfect grinder that’s designed to mince pasta and meat, among other foodstuffs. The mincer can help you grind coffee beans to the desired texture with ease. But you have to run it through the mincer a couple of times. Pour some roasted beans in the mincer and turn its arm in the clockwise direction to grind the beans.

For a finer grind, you will have to pour the crushed beans into the mincer and grind them again.

7. Food Processor

The food processor is one of the best options available that functions as a blender. The food processor won’t be as efficient as a coffee grinder since you’re in a hurry, but it will produce the required texture.

This kitchen device can give you the same results as the blender. But it can grind more beans at once, compared to what a blender can process, thanks to its circumference.

To grind the beans using the food processor, you should do the following:

  • Pour some roasted beans into the processor’s bowl and cover it with a lid. Make sure the lid is firmly closed on top before you turn on the machine.
  • Since the blades can produce heat when run continuously, you should grind the beans using the pulse method. This means grinding the coffee in short but effective bursts.
  • You can tilt the food processor from side to side when blending to move the vast particles into the food processor’s blade for better results.

What if you have a Nutribullet? Find out if you can use a Nutribullet to grind your coffee.

The Importance of Uniform Grind Size

Achieving consistency with the above methods can be a bit challenging for beginners. But it is important as it will play a key role in brewing a flavorful cup of Joe. Grind consistency can make it possible to accurately extract all the flavors in the beans.

On the other hand, brewing with inconsistently ground beans will result in an under- or over-extracted coffee. So if your grinder has malfunctioned, you can grind and crush a batch of beans every time for consistency.

Grinding the coffee beans by batches will help you control the outcome of the texture. Make sure you are grinding the beans slowly and you repeat the movements several times until you get the desired grind size.


Just because your grinder is damaged, it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for stale coffee. No need to worry or settle for bad coffee as there are lots of methods to grind the roasted coffee beans, so you can still enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. The good thing is that you already have some of the tools needed to grind the coffee in your kitchen. Some of these tools include a blender, food processor, butcher’s knife, and a rolling pin, among others. Just be sure that you grind a small number of beans per batch so you can get the consistency you need.

Being resourceful pays if you want to enjoy great-tasting coffee at home. Here’s our guide on making coffee if you don’t have coffee filter.


Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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