How to grind coffee without a grinder?

We have already talked on our website about the methods of brewing coffee without a coffee maker, but now we come to the most difficult one yet: Can we grind coffee without a grinder? It is rare that someone who is used to making coffee at home does not have a grinder, but… let’s put ourselves in the case of an unforeseen event.

It is possible that a package of coffee beans comes into our hands (some gift, promotion, present…), but we do not have a coffee grinder at home. Or simply if we have one, but when it comes to making our daily coffee, we see that it has broken down or is not working properly.

Well, the most immediate solution is to give up coffee. But if you want to try to grind it, or at least get something that is at least a little bit like a proper grind, we are going to tell you how to grind coffee beans without a grinder through various alternative methods.

NOTE: We already told you that the result with any of these methods is not going to be even remotely similar to the grinding you are going to obtain using any grinder, even if it is the most basic or cheapest on the market.

Alternatives for grinding coffee beans without a grinder at home

Naturally, before trying any of these methods, we must be clear that the result will not be a normal grinding, nor will we have precise control over the thickness of the grinding. So the effectiveness of this alternative grinding (to call it what it is) will not be the same depending on the type of coffee you want to prepare later.

Once we have made our point, let’s look at some “homemade” options for grinding the coffee beans without a grinder.

With a mallet or hammer

We start with the rough stuff. If you don’t have a mill at home, you can try grinding the coffee with a sledgehammer or a do-it-yourself hammer. Kitchen mallets (for example, those used to soften the meat) will not be effective because of the hardness of the beans: you will need a weight tool.

And, of course, protect your worktop or table properly with kitchen cloths so as not to damage anything. Our advice: put the grains you are going to grind into a Zip freezer bag. And then wrap it in some extra cloth before hitting it.

Grinding the coffee beans with a hammer is not going to be very effective because you will barely have control over the grinding. Rather than grinding, you will smash the beans without any mercy.

We only recommend it if you have no other choice (because, after all, everyone has a hammer at home), and the coffee beans are not of excessive-quality. Otherwise… deadly sin!

With a rolling pin

Love coffee beans? Well, yes, but squeezing a little bit to make it stronger. If you don’t know how to grind coffee without a grinder, using the roller technique, you can at least aim for a uniform result.

However, before starting, we recommend the same thing as in the previous point: put the beans you are going to grind into a freezer bag. Otherwise, half of the ground grains will stick to the worktop or to the surface of the roller due to the effect of static electricity.

With a kitchen mortar

Grinding the coffee beans with a mortar is the system that is most similar to having a pair of grinders or milling cutters act on the beans. In this case, the work of the millstones is done by the mortar mallet against the wall of the mill.

It is one of the techniques for grinding coffee beans without a grinder that can give you results more like those of a specific grinding tool… but at the same time, it is also one of the most difficult because it depends entirely on your skill and wrist movement (it is not just a question of hitting, but rather “gently hitting and dragging”).

It’s interesting to use poor quality grains at the beginning to practice your technique.

Can I grind coffee in the Thermomix?

Perhaps of all the “unorthodox” techniques, this is the one that offers the most acceptable results. However, we understand that not everyone has a Thermomix in their home or at least one high-end Kitchen Robot in their home.

What should we do to grind the coffee beans in a Thermomix? Put the coffee beans in the cup and program 1-minute speed 5-10. That means: we start at 5 and gradually increase it to the maximum.

When you have finished, open the cup, see how fine the ground is and, if you need a finer grinder, keep programming speed 10 in periods of 30 in 30 seconds. This last step must be repeated until the grain is ground to the fineness we are looking for.

Grind the coffee with a blender?

In our view, this is the least advisable option of all. It consists of taking a hand blender or a conventional glass blender, assuming that we have any of these appliances at home. Still, we do not have a coffee grinder, and we grind the beans inside more or less, as we have explained in the previous section.

What is the problem of grinding coffee with a blender? Well, you don’t have the power or speed control that the Thermomix has, and the quality of its blades is nowhere near that of a kitchen robot… not only are you going to get a poor grind, but you could also damage your appliance.