If you’re a coffee enthusiast, chances are very high that you have a high-quality coffee grinder in your home, that is easily accessible at all times of the day. However, just like other mechanical devices, a coffee grinder is bound to break down, for one reason or the other. If you’re yet to invest in a grinder for your coffee kit, check out our coffee grinder guide, it will seriously open your eyes to the brewing possibilities a grinder provides.
Besides a technical malfunction, you might visit friends or family members, who only use pre-ground coffee, while you swear by freshly ground coffee. If you find yourself in that situation, don’t panic. You can still enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, from fresh grounds. These simple kitchen hacks will show you how to grind coffee without a grinder. While you’re grinding away at your friend’s place to prove to them that fresh is best, get them to read this post about why freshly ground coffee is so much better to convince them to buy a grinder and save you the manual labour next time you visit!
Traditionalists and pharmacists have used this method over the years to grind spices, medicines and herbs to into fine powder. It is a combination of a hammering and rolling motion, which helps to produce a consistent grind mixture. This alternative grinder can produce fine grounds, similar to those used for espresso.
A normal home blender is a great coffee grinder alternative. It comes with a blade system, which will chop the coffee beans just like a conventional coffee grinder. In fact, some blenders have a grinder setting, which is perfect for chopping coffee beans. However, you need to grind in small amounts. Running the blender continuously moves the blades at high speeds, which creates a heat cavity. This heat might cook the natural oils in the beans, leading to a bitter and harsh taste. Furthermore, only use the blender to produce relatively coarse grinds. Wash your blender immediately so that it doesn’t smell like stale coffee.
Thanks to its design, a rolling pin has the ability to crush and grind coffee beans. This results in a uniform texture while allowing you to obtain a finer grind. However, you need to apply some elbow grease on the rolling pin, while paying close attention to the grinding process, to ensure uniformity. With the right precision and execution, a rolling pin can enable you to obtain grounds with a medium to fine texture. Apart from a rolling pin, you will also require a large cutting board as well as a parchment bag.
You can also use a mallet, hammer, or meat tenderizer, to crack and crush coffee beans easily. Use these materials with caution so that you don’t damage your countertop. This method mainly produces coarse to medium grounds.
If you can’t seem to find any of the above materials, then a butcher knife can do the job. Its design features a slightly wider blade, which provides a larger surface area and more force to crack the beans and crush them. This method gives you a medium to medium-fine grind. However, if you have never used a butcher knife before, go for a different method.
According to specialists and experts in the coffee industry (like us!) grind uniformity and consistency are essential when it comes to producing a perfect cup of coffee. Grind consistency enables you to extract flavours present in coffee beans with much greater accuracy. With an inconsistent grind, there will be over extraction or under extraction, leading to a chalky taste. If a grinder is not available, just crush or grind a few beans at a time, to reach the best consistency. This gives you better control over the texture. You also need to ensure that you are going slowly while repeating the movements continuously until you achieve grind uniformity.
Many coffee lovers and professionals will agree that freshly ground coffee beans produce a great cup of coffee. Grinding coffee beans just before brewing protects the natural flavours present in coffee from environmental exposure and becoming stale or bland. However, there are certain circumstances where a coffee grinder may not be available. Whatever the reason, you can use any of the above tips to grind your beans and enjoy the aroma and flavours of freshly ground coffee wherever you may be.