How to Grind Coffee Beans

grinding coffee beans

Ever wonder how to grind coffee beans? For coffee lovers, a cup of coffee at home is not enough unless you can make coffee just as good as your favorite coffee shop. Some people like to grind their own coffee. You can get a deeper understanding of how to craft the perfect cup of java by grinding your own coffee.

It is interesting to note that coffee beans can be ground in a number of ways. In some regions, coffee beans are roasted and ground manually in a mortar and pestle like the Italians and Turks once did. Other regions have figured out how to use small burr grinders or even grind on-demand machines.

Grinding your own beans will always be a superior option as compared to pre-ground coffee. But, there is a right and wrong way to do it… so if you want to take your coffee game to the next level, check out our guide on how to grind your own beans. This article is meant to serve as a complete guide to the best and easiest way of grinding your own coffee beans.

What’s In The Article

Why Does Grinding Whole Bean Coffee Matter?
Machines for Grinding Coffee Beans
Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder
The Main Grind Types
Consistency of the Coffee Grinds
Best Way to Grind Coffee Beans

What are we waiting for? Let’s start!

Why Does Grinding Whole Bean Coffee Matter?

Coffee Grounds

Coffee aficionados and coffee novices alike know that in order for coffee to taste good it must be ground. Grinding the beans up allows for even contact with water, releasing the unique flavor of the roasted bean. But why does the method you use matter? After all, if you are using a drip machine or a French press, both methods require you to grind the coffee first before getting to brewing.

And yet there seems to be an epidemic of bad grinding going on out there, like putting too many beans in the grinder and not tamping them down properly. This affects the way your brewer makes coffee and how good it tastes. It also affects how long it lasts and whether you have to fix it often.

The process of grinding whole coffee beans releases oils that would otherwise remain locked away. There are two kinds of coffee, good-tasting and off-flavored. People who like good-tasting coffee grind the beans themselves. Those who do not like the taste prefer pre-ground coffee.

Machines for Grinding Coffee Beans

grind beans

Blade Grinders

grind espresso beans

A blade grinder is simple and easy to use, but it can also easily be seen as budget models or low-quality grinders.

Generally, blade grinders are not precise enough to grind fine coffee properly. However, the quality of the blade grinder grinding mechanism will greatly affect the final brewed product. Blade grinder that has been designed to operate at lower RPMs produce a less-bitter brew than those that are wound with a higher spin rate.

A blade coffee grinder is a cheap machine that chops things up, but it can’t grind coffee and other things very smoothly.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Blade Grinder

Step 1: Start with a big bowl and fill it with coffee beans

Step 2: Get a quality blade grinder

Step 3: Pop the top off and add the coffee beans. Add just enough beans to cover the blades

Step 4: Grind away to your liking

Step 5: Pour into your favorite cup or storage container for later use.

Burr Grinder

A burr grinder is a coffee grinder that uses grinding wheels instead of blades to grind coffee beans.

Burr grinder is a great way to grind coffee beans, but can also be used for spices, nuts, and seeds. You can use them for dry grinding or short grinding. The burr grinder is a much quieter alternative to the other means of grinding and it also retains most of the flavor from the coffee beans.

A burr grinder is a coffee bean grinder that uses two revolving abrasive surfaces to crush the beans. Unlike a blade grinder, this grinds coffee beans with precision and consistency which is the key to great tasting coffee grind.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Burr Grinder

Step 1. Set up Burr Grinder

Step 2. Carefully fill the hopper with coffee beans

Step 3. Turn Burr Grinder On

Step 4. Let Burr Grinder run for a few minutes

Step 5. Pour your freshly ground coffee into a Blender or French Press for a delicious fresh brew

Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

beans without a grinder

There is no denying that many people simply love the taste of freshly ground coffee beans and will not settle for using pre-ground coffee.

As you can see, there is a wide selection of kitchen tools that you can use to grind your coffee beans. For those who are not acquainted with it, we will discuss few points but we have a full article to discuss the step-by-step guide on how to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

Blender or Food Processor

blender food processor

Coffee beans must be ground to a precisely graded size. Grinding them with a grinder will produce the finest and most consistent results. If you’re using a blender/food processor, your results will be inconsistent. If you use a blender/food processor to grind coffee beans, you might make them too fine. If that happens you can use a trick. Shake some of the beans out after a few seconds. If you do this you can get a better result.

This can help to avoid over-grinding coffee beans and producing powdery coffee grounds. When you’re using an electric coffee grinder, stop it from time to time, open the top, take out some coffee beans, then continue grinding.

Both a blender and food processor can be used for grinding beans. Despite what you may have been told, it is indeed possible to grind coffee beans in a blender. The problem is that blenders were not really designed with the purpose of grinding beans.

If you are willing to work around the limitations, then this can be a good alternative to expensive electric coffee grinders.

When using the food processor, the outside skin is shaved off, but it still contains some flavor if you just don’t make it too fine.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Blender or Food Processor

Step 1. Place the coffee beans in your food processor.

Step 2. Place the grinding blade at its lowest possible setting

Step 3. Turn on the machine and set it to the lowest speed

Step 4. Wait for about a minute or until the beans are fully ground

Mortar and Pestle

 

mortar and pestle

Mortar and Pestle is an old way of grinding whole beans. The mortar is a bowl-shaped vessel, made from either stone or wood. The pestle looks like a short, fat stick that’s used to crush things inside the mortar bowl. A long time ago people made mortar by hand. The mortar was a bowl, and it had a stick in it. To crush something you took one end of the stick out of the bowl and swung it with one arm.

Just like in the old times, you need to prepare by washing it well to make sure that it is clean and sanitary prior to grinding.

It is a tool to help people grind coffee. It is often used in professional kitchens, but many people have moved to automatic grinders or electric grinders. But the traditional mortar and pestle offer a number of advantages that you can’t get from your other appliances. For one thing, it’s incredibly easy to use, and it will not take up much space on your countertops. Plus, you do not need electricity or batteries with this tool. The classic mortar and pestle allow you to freshly grind fresh beans just by using your hands.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Mortal and Pestle

Step 1. Place beans in a mortar

Step 2. Break beans into smaller pieces

Step 3. Drop the mortar slowly

Step 4. Use a spoon to hold the coffee as it comes into the bowl

Rolling Pin

Rolling Pin

 

Grind coffee beans with a rolling pin, this is odd, but the very old method of grinding coffee, and although it seems almost impossible to use, it actually works well and you can get pretty small grounds.

There’s no better way to preserve the flavor of your ground coffee as a whole grain. Finely ground coffee goes bad faster than coarsely ground coffee.

If you just want your coffee coarsely ground, however, this will do just fine. With a little bit of elbow grease and a wooden rolling pin, you could be drinking the freshest cup of coffee in town.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Rolling Pin

Step 1. Place the desired amount of coffee beans in a coffee bag

Step 2. Start the grinding process by crushing the coffee beans with your rolling pin.

Step 3. To crush the coffee beans, firmly and gently drive a rolling pin over the stapled coffee bag while gathering the pulverized remains in the middle of the bag.

Step 4. Grind to the desired consistency.

Step 5. Grind your beans to the density you prefer. To achieve a certain type of coffee grounds, grind the beans in the grinder as much as required.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer

 

It was genius really, grind coffee with a meat tenderizer. The only trouble was it made one heck of a mess.

A meat tenderizer utilizes miniature hammers to break apart the hard outer shells of the coffee bean. The meat tenderizer is similar to a hand grinder and allows you to set the tiniest of heights that break up the outer shell of the coffee bean.

You can use your meat tenderizer as a coffee grinder instead of getting a coffee grinder. It’s not as expensive as getting a coffee grinder, and it does not make the coffee hot like a traditional one.

If you do not want to spend money on the electric grinder, you can use a manual meat tenderizer in replacement. It is a manual tool that can effectively grind coffee beans. However, this tool is more suitable for manual grinding tasks.

Here are the steps on how to grind coffee beans using a Meat Tenderizer

Step 1: Fill the bag with coffee, or fold two sheets of parchment, using the edges to hold your ground beans.

Step 2: Using your hammer, grind the coffee beans until you reach the desired consistency. Be sure to handle them gently.

Step 3: If you want a more consistent grind, start crushing the beans on one side of the bag and move gradually to the other side.

The Main Grind Types

grind consistency

There are many different coffee grind types that affect the texture of your beverage. Grinding your own coffee beans can change how your drink tastes as well as how long it takes to brew. By understanding different grind types, you can tailor your grind to an individual taste; it’s not just about speed and convenience.

Regardless of how you take your coffee, there are several grind types available. The question is, which do you choose? I’m going to show the main types in the coffee grind chart and help you work out which you should be used for certain applications.

Extra Coarse Grind

Extra coarse ground refers to the grounds which are larger in size than the coarse ground standards. The extra coarse setting is typically used for the French press and cold brew.

Coarse grind

Coarse ground coffee should have medium-sized granules. The reason is to prevent over-extraction of the coffee grounds during brewing because of the high water to coffee ratio.

Sharp, pungent and bitter: these are the descriptions that might come to mind when thinking of a coarsely ground coffee. Coarse ground is great for iced coffees, French press, and percolators. The powerful aroma and flavor are something you can’t miss!

Medium Coarse Grind

Medium Coarse is the most versatile of the grinds. It’s a good choice for any type of brewer that has a flat-bottom filter. It also works well in Espresso machines with flat bottom filters. In general, this grind gives you a balanced cup with a good body and mouthfeel. The catch is that if it’s too fine then you don’t get much flavor but if it’s too coarse you risk having your coffee over-extracted and resulting in a sour cup.

Medium coarse ground coffee is a medium-sized grind between a drip grind and a french press grind. It has the best of both worlds in the way that it’s still coarse enough for an espresso machine to get enough surface area for rich crema. It’s also fine enough for any pour-over method to be able to pour into the cup without any clumping.

Medium Grind

A medium grind is a coffee grind that sits between the fine and coarse grinds. A medium grind is the most common grind you’ll see in a coffee shop. It’s suitable for any manual method of brewing, like a French press, drip pot, or an Aeropress. Some say you get more flavor with a medium-grind than the fine stuff.

You may find it hard to define exactly what a medium grind coffee looks like, but once you have tried one you will never forget the taste as it defines perfection in taste.

Medium Fine Grind

The Medium Fine Grind coffee is the most popular grind. In a medium-fine ground coffee, the particles are larger than the drip brew method since these grinds allow for more oils and flavors to seep through. It is created from medium-coarse ground coffee.

​To put it in the simplest terms possible, t’s a grind that is neither coarse nor fine but rather somewhere in the middle.

A medium-fine grind is also known as a drip grind for filter coffees. A medium-fine ground is perfect for plunger and filter brewing which involves a lot of brewing time. For this particular grind, a good coffee grinder is necessary to get an even blend while providing a large surface area near the small particles.

Fine Grind

A finer grind coffee is a type of coffee that has been ground into an even finer and more powder-like consistency than medium or coarse grinds. It works by concentrating the liquid coffee. A cup of this coffee can be served in a regular way, or it can be used to make espresso shots.

A finer grind is typically used for a drip coffee or automatic coffee machine which is why it is also called an espresso grind.

In general, fine grinds are used for espresso because of their consistency. Finer grind allows for a more consistent supply of liquid at the surface of the coffee puck, which in turn helps prevent channeling.

Super Fine Grind

Super fine ground coffee is made at the very finest grinding level, called a fine grind. It’s very soft and powdery in nature and has this nice sticky feeling when you rub it between your fingers.

Super fine coffee is often used for preparing Turkish coffee.

Consistency of the Coffee Grinds

Crushed beans

Consistency is key when it comes to quality grinding. A consistent grind is necessary to produce a well-balanced tasting cup of coffee.

Consistency of grind is one of the most important things, in my opinion, to have a good tasting cup of coffee. The grind should be consistent, which allows the water to flow through at an even rate. This prevents mineral build-up over time in your coffee maker and helps with things like scales or mineral buildup in the water source.

On average, the medium grind was more consistent than the medium-fine grind. When making espresso, you have to grind coffee beans. There are different grind levels. If your grind is too fine, it will be inconsistent. And if your grind is too coarse, you can adjust it by grinding the coffee beans more finely. A fine grind is good if you are making espresso right away. A medium grind is okay if you want to make an espresso shot, and then drink it later.

Best Way to Grind Coffee Beans

There are many different ways to grind coffee beans. By definition, all the methods that you can think of are right. However, it is important to understand the advantages and limitations of each method.

We compared the quality of each way and found that they were all fast and effective if you didn’t over grind or overheat your beans. If you want the cleanest way, it would be hard to top an electric grinder. These take a long time and are expensive. But they make the best-tasting coffee. And with a little practice, you can learn how fine to make each grind so that the flavor you will get is just right for the preparation method you prefer as long as you have the right coffee gears available.

Conclusion

most coffee drinkers

If you are buying your beans pre-ground, the best way to grind them is using a burr grinder. Burr grinders have grinding elements that rotate and don’t allow the beans to get bound up. The only way to get a fresh cup of coffee is to grind your own beans right before each use. Grinding it too far in advance will result in stale-tasting coffee, as the beans are an incredibly porous and absorbent material.

Coffee beans should never be ground until you are ready to use them. Grinding the coffee before you brew it allows the aroma and flavor of the coffee bean to escape. If you grind your coffee beans immediately before brewing you risk losing those vital flavor and aroma compounds.

Coffee beans can be stored in your freezer or in your refrigerator. Storing them in the freezer can keep them fresh for a week and storing them in your refrigerator can keep them fresh for several weeks. They will be at their freshest after 8-12 days of roast time but brew very well even 2-3 weeks after being roasted.

For more methods on preparing your coffee beans to achieve the perfect brew, checkout our guides.