From bean to cup – this is the process by which you should make your coffee if you want the best flavor and aroma. This means that you should not settle for ground coffee. Rather, you should buy whole beans and grind them by yourselves.
If you want to learn how to grind coffee beans, keep on reading this post and I will share with you how to do it right. It is easier to do it with a grinder. If you do not have a grinder, however, there are still other methods that will prove to be equally effective.
How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Grinder
Before buying a coffee grinder, there is one question that you need to answer – what is the better type of coffee grinder – blade or burr coffee grinder.
Clueless about how the two types are different and how they are used? The next section will tackle further these two styles of grinders, including how they work.
Blade Coffee Grinder
This grinder has a blade at the middle, which looks like a propeller. It is like a food processor or blender. It is a popular option amongst budget-conscious buyers since it is cheaper than a burr coffee grinder.
Blade grinders, however, do not actually grind the coffee beans. Rather, they use the smashing approach. At a high speed, the blade rotates and this chops the beans. The result is that the grinds end up having an inconsistent size.
Here is how you can use a blade coffee grinder:
- Open the lid and pour your choice of coffee beans from the top.
- Put the cover back.
- In the case of most models, you can find a button in the front of the unit. Press this and the unit will start with its grinding action.
- By this time, the blade will start spinning. As it grinds the beans on the bottom part, the larger ones will go down.
- If you want the grinds to be finer, you have to grind the beans longer. On the other hand, if you want it to be coarser, you have to make short pulses.
The short video below will show you more about a blade coffee grinder, including how you will be able to make the most out of it:
Burr Coffee Grinder
If you want a coffee grinder that actually delivers a grinding mechanism, this is the one that should be on the top of your list. It may be more expensive, but it does a better job in grinding, making it the perfect choice for people with discerning preferences.
This type of grinder comes with two burred plates. When you turn on the grinder, one of the plates will remain stationary while the other moves. Another good thing about its design is that the distance between the plates can be adjusted based on the coarseness of the grind that you prefer.
While there are many things that you will love about a burr coffee grinder, its biggest benefit is the fact that the grind size will be more consistent. This means that there is a lesser tendency that there will be clogging in your coffee maker.
When shopping for a burr coffee grinder, keep an eye on one that is low-speed. If it is high-speed, it will produce more heat and create static, which will have a negative impact on the overall quality of your coffee.
There are two main types of a burr coffee grinder. Here is a quick look at them:
- Flat Grinder: This is known for creating an even grind size, which makes it great if you are after consistency. Nonetheless, despite this benefit, this does not necessarily make it the better option between the two.
- Conical Grinder: If you want a faster grind and a machine that is more affordable, this is what you have to choose. It produces what is technically known as a bimodal grind, which is perfect for a traditional method of preparing espresso.
In the photo above, the first one is for a conical grinder while the second one is a flat grinder.
Here is how you can use a burr coffee grinder. The steps below are pretty much applicable to the burr grinder from KitchenAid, the one that is pictured below.
- Attach the bean hopper at the top and rotate until it is secured. Place the jar at the bottom.
- Choose your desired grind settings. For coarse grind, which is for preparing French Press, choose 1 to 3. For a medium grind, which is best for automatic drip, choose 4 to 7. Lastly, for a fine grind, which is best for espresso, choose 8.
- Turn on the power switch to start grinding. Once you have the amount of coffee that you need, switch it off.
The short video below will provide you with a visual guide on the steps mentioned above:
How to Grind Coffee Beans without a Grinder
Even if you do not have a coffee grinder at home, there are still ways by which you can grind your beans. Some of these methods will require more effort on your end, but they will be worth it.
Mortar and Pestle
This old-school must-have in the kitchen can be useful in more ways than one, especially when it comes to grinding coffee:
- Fill the mortar with the amount of beans that you intend to grind.
- Using your non-dominant hand, hold the mortar so that it will be stable on the surface as you grind. Your dominant hand, on the other hand, will hold the pestle.
- Lift the pestle and crush the beans while applying enough force. Add more beans if you desire.
- Keep on pounding the pestle until the coffee is as consistent as you want it to be.
The short video below will tell you more about using mortar and pestle in grinding coffee beans:
I believe that most of you have a blender at home. Turns out, you can also use it for grinding your coffee beans. It will work very much like the standard blade coffee grinder. You have to be careful when doing this method as it is quite hard to control the speed and it can result to too much heat.
- Fill the pitcher with the amount of beans that you intend to grind.
- Place the cover.
- Choose the desired setting.
- Keep on grinding until the desired consistency is achieved. Grind longer if you want the coffee to be fine, which is perfect for espresso. Pulse actions, on the other hand, will make it coarse.
The overall design of the rolling pin makes it an excellent alternative since it can both crush and grind the beans at the same time. You need to exert a little effort and be meticulous to be sure that you will end up with consistent grinds.
- Fill a freezer bag with the amount of coffee beans that you intend to grind. Make sure that the bag is thick enough so that it won’t break as you roll the pin.
- Place the bag on a flat surface.
- Start rolling from one end of the bag reaching the other end. As much as possible, roll the pin in a consistent stroke.
- Empty the bag and your coffee is now ready.
This method works similar to the use of a rolling pin. This will most probably involve more work since the head of the hammer is quite small, and hence, it will take a lot of pounding before you can grind a lot of beans.
- Place the beans in a plastic bag that is strong enough so it won’t break when hammered.
- Seal the plastic bag and begin hammering the beans.
- Continue hammering until the beans are reduced to a size that is desired
This is one of my least favorite ways of grinding coffee beans, but it still works. You do not have to slice the beans using the knife. Rather, you will smash the beans. For this reason, a butcher’s knife is a good choice because it is wide and can cover a of beans.
- Place the coffee beans on the chopping board.
- Put the butcher’s knife on the top. Place your palm on the top of the butcher’s knife. Press firmly to smash the beans.
- If the grind size is still not right, chop the beans using the knife, similar to what you would do with garlic.
By now, I hope that you have learned from the discussions above on how to grind coffee beans. If you want fresh and tasty coffee, start with the right beans. After this, the next thing that you have to know is the right grind, which is why it is important to take note of the things that I have discussed above.
Have you tried grinding coffee before? Is there anything else that you would like to add? Feel free to leave a comment below.