How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

You’re trying to make the perfect cup of coffee or shot of espresso, and you’re using pre-ground beans. Guess what? You’re never going to have the delicious flavor that you would experience from a true barista.

 Grind Coffee Beans


Coffee grinds begin to lose their flavor shortly after they have been ground. When you first grind up your beans, this is the absolute best time to make a cup of coffee. This is when the flavor is at its highest point. If you wait, you’re losing out on some of the delicious flavor that you would have experienced otherwise.

If you don’t have a coffee bean grinder, you do have a few options to grind up your coffee perfectly. Let’s take a look at the following three methods of grinding your beans without a bean grinder.

1. Use a Blender

A blender can be used to grind up coffee beans. You’ll want to add your beans into the blender, and put it on the pulse setting. The biggest issue with using a blender at high speeds is that the blades become hot. Heat will degrade the coffee’s flavor, so putting the machine on a pulse setting is the optimal choice.

I do want to note that this is not the best option for espresso.

If you use this for espresso, the blender will not be able to grind the beans to the fine consistency needed for a true shot of Italian espresso.

2. Grab a Hammer

There are many uses for hammers outside of construction. This is what I recommend that you do to grind up your beans perfectly:

  1. Place beans in a plastic freezer bag.
  2. Squeeze out all the air before sealing the bag.
  3. Place a towel on your counter, and place the bag in the center.
  4. Fold the corners of the towel around the bag, ensuring that there is plenty of cushion.
  5. Using a hammer or mallet, start beating the beans into until you reach the desired grind.

Unless you’re master at hammering, it is unlikely that your grounds will all be at the same consistency. Again, this will work perfectly for coffee, but not so much for espresso.

Note: You also have the option of following the same steps above, but using a rolling pin to crush your beans.

How coffee is made

3. Mortar and Pestle

Do want to know how to grind coffee beans without a grinder just like people did hundreds of years ago? The answer would be a mortar and pestle. First, you’ll add a few beans to the mortar and start to use the pestle to grind them up. Expect a few of the beans to fly out of the mortar, and crush slowly until you have the desired grind consistency.

If you don’t have a mortar handy, you can always perform the same action using a plastic cup as your mortar. You’ll essentially be using pressure to grind the beans.

All of these methods will work effectively as long as you’re not making espresso. If you are making espresso, you’ll want to grind up your beans with a grinder for a much longer duration to ensure that the consistency is very fine.

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