Grinding Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

Life hacks on grinding coffee beans without a grinder.

There can never be revitalizing than to start your day with a cup of coffee. Certainly, Fresh is best. Coffee prepared with freshly ground coffee beans brings out its best taste and aroma. But, for whatever reason, there can be times there is no available coffee grinder around to grind your coffee.

Simple Life Hacks on Grinding Coffee Beans Without A Grinder:

 Method 1: Manual Grinding

Elbow power is all you need to grind the coffee beans and enjoy that great cup of coffee. No fancy equipment. No electricity is required. All you need are these simple tools that you usually find in your kitchen and your toolbox.

A. Mortar and Pestle

Mortar & Pestle for Grinding Coffee

I was asked once: Which is the mortar? And, which is the pestle? A mortar is a durable bowl—usually a solid stone like marble, wood, ceramic, and steel. In contrast, a pestle is a heavy tool with a rounded end used for crushing substances like drugs and spices. Mortar and pestle is a simple tool that pharmacists and cooks usually use since ancient times.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Put around 2-3 tablespoons of coffee beans into the mortar.
  • Hold the pestle with your dominant hand. At the same time, hold the mortar firmly with your other hand to keep it in place. Or, you put your other hand on top of the mortar’s mouth while holding it firmly to avoid beans from jumping out while crushing and pounding them.
  • Forcibly crush the coffee beans in a swirling motion starting from the center. Then, swirling around to cover all the beans.
  • Continue the swirling motion while pounding the beans until you get the ground consistency you want.
  • If you want more ground coffee, make sure to empty the first batch. And refill a new set of coffee beans. Then, repeat the same procedure.
  • Mortar and pestle can produce a ground consistency from coarse to super fine.

Note: It will be much better if you’ll be using a mortar & pestle with a lid to prevent coffee beans from jumping off from the mortar. Similar to the mortar & pestle below:

Mortar & Pestle with Lid for Grinding Coffee

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B. Rolling Pin

A rolling pin is a long cylindrical kitchen utensil used to flatten or shaped dough, usually used in bread, pastries, and cookies. It is also for crushing crackers and breadcrumbs.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Place a preferred amount of coffee beans inside a thick plastic bag. You can also use a ziplock. But, don’t fully close the bag to let air escape while crushing the beans.
  • Lay the plastic bag over the counter, evenly distributing the beans inside in a single layer.
  • Crush the beans using the rolling pin like a hammer.
  • Once crushed, put the rolling pin in the center. Then, roll it back and forth until you get the consistency you prefer.
  • A Rolling Pin can produce Medium fine to Fine grind consistency.

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C. Hammer or Meat Tenderizer

sledgehammer for grinding coffee

You can use an ordinary carpenter’s claw hammer, meat tenderizer, sledgehammer, mallet, or any hammer to grind the beans with these tools. A sledgehammer will be much better than a claw hammer as it has a wider edge for easier and faster crushing of the coffee beans.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Place the desired amount of coffee beans inside a thick plastic bag. You can also use a ziplock. But, don’t fully close the bag to let air escape while crushing the beans.
  • Lay the plastic bag over the counter or a table, evenly distribute the beans inside a single layer.
  • Firmly press down the hammer into the beans to crush them. Do this repeatedly until you get the desired consistency. Don’t pound it.
  • It is better to crush half of the bag first and then do the other half for better consistency.
  • You’ll usually get a coarse to medium consistency with this method.

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D. Knife

Chef Knife for Grinding Coffee


The wider the blade of the knife, the better it is for coffee grinding. Consequently, a chef knife or a butcher knife will be the best choice as the broad blade can cover more beans making the job faster and easier.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Place the coffee beans inside a thick plastic bag. You can also use a ziplock. Reminder, don’t fully close the bag to let air escape while crushing the beans.
  • Evenly distribute the coffee beans inside the bag in a single layer.
  • Lay the knife over the coffee beans.
  • Crack the beans by pressing the knife’s blade with the heel of your palm. Make sure to cover the entire beans until you get the right consistency.
  • A knife usually produces a medium to medium-fine grind.

Caution: Don’t touch the edge of the blade to avoid accidental cuts.

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E. Crepe/Frying Pan

Frying Pan for Grinding Coffee

Now, non-sick or not? Well, it doesn’t matter. Any frying pan will do. But, if you have a crepe pan, that would be better. Why? Because it will be much easier to press in the center. A crepe pan also gives you more elbow to crush your beans as it doesn’t have an edge that will obstruct your hand.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Place the coffee beans inside a thick plastic bag. You can also use a ziplock. Remember not to fully close the bag to let air escape while crushing the beans.
  • Put the beans over the counter or a durable table, making sure they lay in a single layer.
  • Place the pan over the coffee beans.
  • Put your dominant hand’s heel of your palm in the center of the pan. At the same time, you were holding the pan’s handle with your other hand. Now, press the pan’s center to crush the beans until you cover all the beans and get your preferred grind consistency.

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Method 2: Mechanical Grinding

This method requires a piece of equipment. Some require the need for electricity. In contrast, other machines require manual operation. Nevertheless, these are equipment that you’ll find inside your home.

Standard Blender

Blender for Grinding Coffee
Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender


A standard home blender works in the same way as an electric blade coffee grinder, just a bigger version. Some blenders have grind functions, such as the Hamilton Beach Power Elite Blender. However, a blender with no grind setting will also be good for grinding coffee.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Select the grind setting if your blender has this function. If not, set it to the highest setting.
  • Put a small amount of coffee into the blender. Make sure to close the lid to prevent the coffee beans from jumping over the blender’s jar.
  • Grind the coffee beans using the pulse button and grinding in a short burst. About 1-2 seconds until you get the desired consistency. Avoid running the blade continuously as the fast continuous friction will heat the beans, affect their taste, and produce a bitter taste.
  • If you want more coffee grounds, empty the blender. Then, refill it with coffee beans and repeat the same procedure.
  • You can achieve a coarse grind consistency with the blender.
  • Clean the blender’s jar as soon as you finish grinding to avoid the aroma and taste of the coffee beans sticking in the jar, affecting other substances’ taste when you reuse the blender.

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Food Processor

A Food Processor can accommodate more coffee beans than a blender. But, it works in the same manner as a blender as it chops the beans. It will not produce the same grind consistency as a burr grinder. But, your coffee will be much better than stale coffee as you’ll still be using freshly ground coffee beans.

Grinding Procedure:
  • Put a few scoops of coffee beans inside a food processor.
  • Using the pulse technique, grind the beans in a short burst to avoid the beans from heating.
  • To grind more coffee grounds, empty the blender. Then, refill it with coffee beans and repeat the same procedure.
  • Same with the blender, the food processor will give a coarse grind consistency.
  • Disassemble and immediately clean the food processor after grinding to avoid coffee’s taste and aroma sticking in the processor.

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Hand Mincer (Meat Grinder)

Grinding Procedure:

A Hand Mincer. also called a Meat Grinder, is an excellent alternative to grinding coffee. The usual hand mincer is steel. But, there are now available durable manual plastic meat grinders that are lighter but as capable as their steel counterparts. Moreover, there is now an electric mincer for easier grinding.

  • Make sure that the mincer is clean. You don’t want your coffee grounds to come out with ground pork.
  • Before you start grinding, don’t forget to put a bowl under the exit of the mincer.
  • Place a small number of coffee beans into the mincer.
  • For a Manual Mincer: Start turning the mincer’s arm until all coffee grind has come out.
  • For an Electric Mincer: Turn on the mincer to start grinding until all the coffee grind has come out.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 continuously if your grounds are too coarse for your brewing method. Run them through the mincer again until you’ve achieved the ground consistency you prefer.
  • For an Electric Mincer: Don’t forget to turn off the unit after grinding if it doesn’t shut down automatically.
  • Clean the mincer after grinding to prevent the coffee’s taste and aroma from sticking on the mincer.

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Immersion Blender (Hand Blender or Stick Blender)

An Immersion Blender, also known as a hand blender or a stick blender, can perform the tasks of blending, emulsifying, whipping, and crushing.

Grinding Procedure:

Attach/insert the wand into the chopper attachment. Most immersion blender’s wand turns clockwise until it snaps into place.

  • Place the beans into a tall and narrow stainless steel or glass container
  • Put coffee beans into the container. Around two tablespoons for a cup of coffee.
  • Insert the blender into the container and cover the top with your hand to prevent the beans from jumping out.
  • Start grinding the coffee by turning on the immersion blender.
  • Blend the beans for about 20 to 30 seconds. Stop grinding at 10 seconds intervals to check the grind progression. Stopping the grind also prevents the beans from heating up.
  • Continue until you get the right grind consistency.
  • Rinse and wash the immersion blender and container right away to remove the coffee aroma and taste, sticking to the blender’s wand and container.

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While there are tools/pieces of equipment made specifically for grinding coffee, there are life hacks that we can do to savor still and enjoy that great cup of coffee. Always remember, there is nothing like a freshly grounded cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Read more of Life Hacks on our blog: How To Make A Coffee Without A Coffee Maker.