Have you ever used pre-ground coffee and felt how flat it was?
Unless it is entirely unavoidable, you shouldn’t use the pre-ground coffee from the coffee shop. Ground coffee becomes stale as time goes by. You can never be guaranteed on how long the one that is on the store shelf has been there.
It is therefore advisable to always buy coffee beans and then grind them at home. The ground amount has to be the one that you are going to use soon after.
We have prepared this article that will have various ways of grinding your coffee that you can always use. Until you buy your coffee grinder, there are a lot of resources in your kitchen that you are going to improvise into a coffee grinding set up. We are going to show just how.
1. Using the Coffee Grinder (Burr Grinder) Espresso Grinder
Using the coffee grinder is the best answer to “How to grind coffee for espresso.”
This is a grinder that uses small spinning discs to precisely grind coffee beans. It is safe to assume that the burr grinder is the one that is in any random espresso machine.
There is the option of separately purchasing a burr grinder even though it can be an expensive affair.
Using a machine to grind coffee generates heat from the friction that, unfortunately, affected the resultant coffee grind. The coffee is the best ground with the minimal heat produced in the process. This is because the heat extracts precious natural coffee oil. The result of this way is bitter or harsh tasting coffee.
Burr grinders are also either flat or conical. It is just a matter of preference because none seems to have the edge over the other.
What you will need:
– A burr grinder
How to use the Burr Grinder to grind coffee
- You should plant to grind only as much as you want to have for your espresso shot. One tablespoon is enough but may vary a little depending on the variety of coffee beans or the desired coffee ground.
- Next, you will adjust the setting on the grinder for how fine you desire your grinds to be. The fine or superfine is the ground that you would want for your espresso.
- For the grinders with a numerical scale, you may need to experiment and note the results.
- For different coffee bean types, the result may also vary. It is, therefore, a good idea to note the details of the numerical figure with the corresponding bean type.
- Test the coffee grounds after they are done.
- Take a small of the ground and pinch them between your thumb and fingers.
- Finely ground coffee is one that clumps together on your fingers. This is perfect for espresso.
- The coffee needs more grinding if it fails to clump together.
- It may be too fine (thus not good for espresso) if it leaves an outline of your fingerprint.
2. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Blade Grinder
Using the blade grinder is the other answer to the question ‘How to grind coffee for espresso.’ This is a coffee beans grinder that uses the blades that spin. The mill has a detachable lid that activates when it is covered and pressure applied (top pressed down)
Some models are operated with a hand crank or a button.
They are cheaper than burr grinders. Maybe because they don’t produce as high-quality grinds as the burr grinder.
What you will need:
– A Blade Grinder
How to use the Blade Grinder to grind coffee
- The beans are ground in short bursts of two to three seconds. This is to prevent the heat that will be generated from the friction from overheating the beans and making them bitter.
- Depending on the grinder model and blade sharpness, the time taken to grind your coffee should be around 20 seconds. This time doesn’t include the pause between the breaks. The blade grinder is suitable for grinding beans to be used for espresso.
- After grinding, don’t forget to subject the grind to the test.
- Remove the lid after switching off the grinder. If you find the drips of coffee beans on the grounds, it may be the reason to grind further.
- When there are no more chips, take up a pinch between your thumb and finger and press together.
- If it clumps together on the surface of the fingers, that means that it is okay.
- Don’t forget to scrape out all the grounds. They tend to stick and hard pack in chunks inside the grinder.
- You may achieve this using a spoon. Leaving grounds inside will affect the quality of your coffee. This is because of the longer cumulative grinding sessions, they keep on burning.
The perfect blend of coffee is the most important for perfect cup of coffee. That’s why a grinder is the best option. If you are looking for a high-quality grinder you should read this best coffee grinder review.
3. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Blender
Using a blender as a coffee grinder is more like a hack than an ideal option.
It won’t ever achieve the consistency of a burr grinder. It basically uses the blades to chop the coffee beans.
Some blenders are advanced such that they got a grinder setting that is specifically intended for use for grinding coffee beans.
When using the blender, you are also using the short bursts technique to prevent them from overheating the beans too.
Using the blenders to grind coffee is most successfully going to result in a coarse grind. With that said then blender is the ultimate route to how to grind coffee for french press.
Remember to thoroughly wash the blender too after using it to grind coffee. This ensures that other foods that get to be used after are not contaminated by the coffee after taste.
How to use the Blender to grind coffee
- Select ‘Medium-high’ speed. But if your blender has the “grinder” setting, then go ahead and select.
- Pour a small number of coffee beans into the grinder and then place the lid firmly.
- Grind the beans in short quick bursts (also called pulse technique) until you achieve your preferred consistency.
- Keep tilting the blender from side to side as grinding is going on. This causes the slightly larger grind particles to displace and move to the blades’ path. The result is an even grind.
- When you have achieved your desired result of consistent grind, empty your blender and then add new beans.
- Repeat the process to the point where you have your desired amount for your coffee.
4. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Hammer
Just the name of this option should set your imagination in speculative curiosity. As you may have imagined, this is a crude way of grinding coffee. Therefore it is best for drip coffee makers, the Chemex, cold brew, but not espresso. The reason? It doesn’t achieve fine grinds
Other good alternatives are meat tenderizer or mallet.
Also caution because your fingers are on the line as we look at how to do it next.
What you’ll need:
– A Hammer/Mallet or Meat Tenderizer
– Plastic Ziploc bag/ freezer bag/parchment sheets
– A cutting board preferably large
How to use the Hammer to grind coffee beans
- Fill the plastic bag with coffee. If using parchment sheets, place the beans between them and have the edges folded over.
- Using the hammer, mallet or the meat tenderizer, press down firmly on the beans to crush them to the point where you have achieved your desired consistency. Start from one side of the bag and gradually move to the other side.
5. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Mortar and Pestle
This involves using the mortar and pestle to grind the coffee beans to the desired consistent texture.
The motion used is rolling and pressing down and crushing the coffee beans in a twisting motion.
The mortar and pestle have the advantage of giving you the control of the range of your grind.
It is the best answer to how to grind coffee for espresso.
What you’ll need:
How to use the Mortar and Pestle
- Fill your mortar to about ¼ full of its capacity. This is to give you an easier time controlling the grind.
- Hold the pestle with your dominant hand; use your other to hold the mortar in place.
- Use the pestle (with your dominant hand) to press and crush down with a twisting motion on the mortar (held by the other hand).
- In finishing, roll the coffee with the pestle until you get to the consistency and texture of your desire. And you are done and ready.
- If you need to grind some more coffee, empty the coffee in the mortar to a different container (to a coffee maker or bowl) and repeat the process until you have enough coffee.
6. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Rolling Pin
The rolling pin can be used to crush and grind coffee beans to produce an even better texture and produce a fine grind.
One needs to be observant and keen on the grinds to ensure that it is uniform. The result that can come out of this is mostly medium-fine to fine grind.
This type of grind is ideal for drip or the pour-over brewing method.
What you’ll need:
– Rolling Pin. Any hard and durable cylindrical object may be an alternative. Think wine bottle or wooden dowel
– A ziplock bag or parchment papers
– A counter space or a large chopping board
How to use the Rolling Pin to grind coffee
- Place a small amount of coffee in the ziplock bag. If using the parchment sheet, lace the coffee grounds between two pieces of paper and fold the edges ( to prevent scattering)
- Place the bag flat on the counter or chopping board.
- Use the rolling pin to push and crush your coffee beans until they are crushed.
- Roll the pen back and forth until they achieve the consistency that you prefer.
7. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Knife
This is done by using the blades to crush and crack the beans.
The wider the blade, the better its usability.
The crushing method produces a range of medium to something like a medium-fine grind.
Please note that it may not be easy to use this process. Just in case you find it hard, then you have been warned. Those who are good with prior knife skills from a chef school may find this exercise like a walk in the park.
What you’ll need:
– A large knife
– A wide chopping board
How to use the Knife to grind coffee
- Place a sizable amount of beans on the board.
- Place the knife flat over the beans.
- Flatten your palm and place it on top of the blade and press down to crack and crush the beans.
- Striking the beans will scatter them, so don’t do that.
- To make the grind even finer, pull the blade gently towards you.
8. How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Food Processor
The food processor is more like a large grinder.
It may be a bit problematic in giving a consistent grind for a particular size and adjustability.
But you never know when it may be the only link between you and your cuppa.
What you’ll need:
– A food processor
How to use the Food Processor to grind coffee
- To use the food processor to grind your coffee, pour a sizeable amount of coffee beans onto the processor bowl.
- Close the lid and then press on and off repeatedly (pulse technique) to grind them in short bursts.
- You may want to incorporate tilting the processor slightly from side to size as the grinding goes on. The aim of this is to get the large portions of the beans moved towards the blades to be ground.
- When the grind is uniform, then you can empty it to different contained to store and in readiness for use.
- If you still need enough coffee, you can still grind some more by repeating the process above.
Amongst all the options, the best for without a grinder is the mortar and pestle. It is the only one that can allow you to get away with grinds and good enough for espresso machines.
The pestle and mortar are most likely to give you a consistent grind.
When buying your pestle and mortar, get one made of ceramic because it is porous.
Porosity (e.g. wood) is likely to retain the sour, stale flavors of oxidized coffee after each use.
Whether you love a grinder or not, you have at your disposal in your kitchen, the tools to grind your coffee beans and enjoy your cup.