Ultimate Guide – How to Grind Coffee Beans

How to Grind Coffee Beans

Now that you know everything about types of grinders and coffee, it is time to learn how to grind coffee beans. Getting the perfect grind places a proper foundation for any type of coffee you want to make.

This is the last part of the Ultimate Guide for Grinding Coffee Beans, a comprehensive guide in which you'll learn anything needed to making the perfect coffee. In this article we will cover the different types of coffee beans.

8.0 How to Grind Coffee Beans?

Although we have explained all the different grinders and their mechanics in great detail in previous sections of the guide, we have yet to give a step-by-step account on how to grind coffee beans. While most grinders come with instructions and are fairly intuitive to use, there are general good practices for grinding coffee beans that may be less obvious. So, even if you know how to grind coffee beans, it may be beneficial to give this section a quick read to see if your technique could use some improvement.

In the final section of our guide, we will examine all the methods of grinding coffee in greater detail, explaining a general step-by-step process of how to grind coffee beans for each method, providing tips and tricks along the way. Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will have learned something new about grinding coffee beans. If not, at least you’ll know you’re on the right track!By the end of this guide, you’ll be grinding coffee at home like an expert.

8.1 How to Grind Coffee Beans at Home

If you’re unsatisfied with pre-ground coffee, you may be wondering how to grind coffee at home. Although there are many ways to go about this, even without a dedicated grinder, it is highly recommended that you first invest in a decent coffee grinder for the best results.

Generally speaking, you should avoid purchasing blade grinders, as they provide subpar results. While their low price may be enticing, pretty much any other type of grinder will outperform the blade variety, even at similar price points.

If you want to know how to grind coffee well, you should seriously consider an electric burr grinder or a manual burr mill. These types of grinders provide the best results and make a big difference in the taste of your coffee (as explained in previous sections).

8.2 – How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Blade Grinder

If you are undeterred by the previous section and still set on purchasing a blade grinder, you can use the following steps to ensure the best results.

  1. Fill the grinds bowl with your preferred coffee beans. A general rule of thumb for quantity is that 1 ounce of coffee produces a small (6 ounce) cup of coffee).
  2. Cover the grinder with its lid, locking it into place if applicable.
  3. Pick the grinder up from the counter and pulse its switch in short, 2-3 second bursts. Lightly shaking the grinder while pulsing will result in a more uniform grind.
  4. Once the ideal coarseness is achieved, stop grinding. If you are grinding for a basket filter, your grinds should be about as fine as grains of sand. If you are grinding for a cone filter, they should be a little finer than granulated sugar. If you are grinding for a Turkish pot, you should aim for the fineness of baby powder.
  5. Tap the grinder or lightly bump it on a hard surface to dislodge clinging grinds.
  6. Open the lid and pour the grinds into a filter.

8.3 – How Long to Grind Coffee Beans in a Blade Grinder?

Because most blade grinders don’t have any coarseness settings or timers to modulate the texture of the grind, people commonly wonder how long to grind coffee beans for the optimum coarseness.

Therein lies one of the problems of blade grinders. It is very hard to determine an ideal time. Each grinder is different. Motors have different RPMs, blades have different lengths, and grind bowls have different shapes and sizes. While there is no universal way to determine the ideal grind time, there are a few tips that you can use.

  • Grind in short pulses. This gives you a chance to check the coarseness every few seconds, and may prevent over-grinding.
  • Grind similar amounts of beans every time. Measure out the amount of beans you need for your ideal coffee brew, and use the same amount every time.

8.4 – How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Burr Grinder

Although burr grinders come in different shapes and sizes, the process of using them is largely the same throughout the product range. You can also take the easy road by combining grinder and coffee making, check out the best coffee maker with grinder list.

  1. Fill your bean hopper with your favorite coffee beans.
  2. Set your ideal coarseness level. Most burr grinders will have settings labeled as “French press,” “Drip,” “espresso,” and “Turkish.”
  3. Prepare your grinds container/portafilter. Whatever container you are grinding your beans into should be clean and dry.
  4. (Only applicable to precision burr grinders) Set the grind time or wanted grind quantity.
  5. Press the on button.
  6. Once the ideal quantity is reached, turn the machine off.
  7. Before removing the grinds container, give the machine a few firm taps on the side to dislodge remaining grinds from the burrs and grinds chute.
  8. Transfer the grinds to your coffee maker.
  9. Give the exposed chute a quick wipe with a dry paper towel to dislodge any remaining fines.

8.5 How to grind Coffee Beans with a Manual Grinder

Manual mills are the most consistent grinders for all brewing methods. Regardless of their designs or forms, they all function on the same principles. Manual coffee grinding is the most cost-effective way of getting high-quality grinds.
Ittakes a bit of manual labour, but in the end you are getting grinds fine enough to easily compete with expensive electric coffee grinders.

  1. Adjust the burrs to your ideal grind coarseness. Most manual grinders can be adjusted via a nut located between the handle and burrs.
  2. Fill up the hopper, taking care not to overfill.
  3. Close the hopper (if applicable).
  4. For tabletop grinders, place the grinder on a counter, pressing it firmly into the counter with one hand. For knee mills, place the grinder in between your thighs, and press them together firmly.
  5. With your free hand, crank the handle in even rotations. Make sure to minimize vertical pressure on the handle, as this may cause less uniform grinds.
  6. Once all the beans in the hopper have passed through the burrs, tap the grinder a few times to dislodge clinging fines.
  7. Transfer the grinds to your coffee maker.
  8. Shake the grinder over a sink, further dislodging any remaining grinds.
  9. Clean the container to ensure no grinds remain.

8.6 – Can You Grind Coffee Beans in a Blender?

If you happen to have a bag of whole bean coffee lying around, and no grinder at home, a natural question to ask is “can you grind coffee beans in a blender?” While not ideal, the answer is yes.

Blenders function on the same principles as blade grinders, using sharp rotating blades to dice the contents of the bowl. However, blenders are typically designed to dice the soft tissue of fruits and vegetables, not hard coffee beans. As a result, blenders usually function at a lower RPM and have softer blades.
If you are in fix, and can’t live without freshly ground coffee, a blender might save you in a pinch. You should just keep the following in mind:

  • When grinding coffee in a blender, make sure that it is completely dry. Moisture in the blender can cause grinds to stick to the walls, preventing an even grind.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of dulling, bending, and damaging the blender blades. If you have a blender that can handle ice, like the Magic Bullet, you should be okay to use it with coffee.
  • For the same reason that you don’t put bananas into the blender first, you shouldn’t overfill it with coffee beans. If there are too many beans in the blender, its blades will only grind the bottom layer. As such, only grind a very small quantity at a time.
  • Be careful not to stress the motor. Because blender motors are typically weaker, something as tough as coffee beans may stall it, or even break it. If your blender has different settings available, grind on the fastest motor speed.

8.8 – Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder

In the two sections above, we have discussed two ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder. But what if you have nothing in the house that resembles a grinder? Can you still make freshly ground coffee in a pinch?

The easiest way to grind coffee beans without a grinder is to bring them to a café. Even Starbucks will grind your coffee beans for you; all you have to do is ask. Just make sure to grind in small quantities, as ground coffee quickly loses its aroma and flavor.
However, for the socially awkward or intrepid, or for those who may not have any cafés nearby, the following list comprises the best methods to grind coffee beans without a grinder.

  • Mortar and pestle: This ancient technique of grinding herbs is a suitable method of grinding beans. Take it slow and grind only a small batch of beans at a time. The best results occur with the finest grinds. Use a decent mortar and pestle.
  • Dough roller: Put coffee beans in a sealable plastic bag, and place it on the counter. Make sure that the bag is completely sealed, and the beans are dispersed in a single layer. Firmly roll the dough roller over the bag in a back and forth motion, crushing the beans.
  • Hammer: Only for the most hardcore and desperate. Place coffee beans in a sealable plastic bag, and place the bag on concrete. Use a hammer to break the beans down, making sure to apply even force on every strike.
  • Garlic press: Only for the stubborn and foolhardy. Place a few beans into a garlic press and crush the beans. Rinse and repeat until you have enough to brew some coffee. Just keep in mind; you’ll never use that garlic press again.

Conclusion

If you made it this far, you truly are a passionate coffee lover wanting to know the fine arts of grinding coffee. Hopefully we didn’t disappoint you ?

Please leave any comment you like in the comment box, whether it be positive or negative. If you think we should add something to our Ultimate Guide please don’t hesitate to let us know and be assured we’ll definitely thank you properly!

  • Farah

    Your question drove me srgtiaht into the kitchen to prepare the pot for coffee. Like you, coffee is a beloved ritual for me. I enjoy the aroma of the freshly ground bean, the sounds the water makes as the first morning cup is brewing. Starbucks is my fav. I buy Gold Coast and Sumatra Decaf and combine them in equal parts for a very tasty brew. My new delight is to add a bit of Vanilla or Cinnamon Dolce syrup to my coffee. I look forward to it each day for not only it’s rich taste, but for the community of friends I’ve found gathered around a nice hot cup of coffee. Starbucks is a great gathering place. I think it’s nice to have something so soothing in today’s stressful world. Happy sipping!If you can’t get hold of any coffee you can use ground acorns instead.