There are many ways to grind coffee. You may be traveling and didn’t bring a coffee grinder. But where you’re staying, they have a blender. So, you ask yourself, “can you grind coffee beans in a blender”? With one exception, sure you can. Let’s see how.
Non-Traditional Coffee Grinding Options
As you can see from the list below, there are a number of options for grinding coffee.
- Caveman Style – Grind beans between two flat rocks. I kid you not. I did this on a backpacking trip. It worked surprisingly well. I suggest putting the rocks on a shirt, blanket, towel, etc. to catch the grinds.
- Hammer – I saw some carpenters working next door, got talking to them, so I brought over some coffee beans. Ten minutes later, one of them is pounding the beans in a plastic bag on top of the concrete driveway using a hammer. Again, the results were surprisingly good.
- Knife – You can smash the beans between a cutting board and the flat end of a knife.
- Fingers – You can even crush the beans between your thumb and forefinger.
- Food Processor – This is one of my least favorite
- Blender – Of the non-coffee grinder options, this is one of my favorites. It’s quick and easy.
- Other Options – Let’s face it, there’s probably a 100 different ways to crush those beans into the grind size that you want. So, if you think of something else, give it whirl.
Can You Grind Coffee Beans With a Blender
As I said, blenders do an OK job of grinding coffee. Like its little brother, the blade coffee grinder, there is one major downside to using any blade method of grinding coffee.
The down side is this. You end up with a variety of coffee granule sizes. You might have 70-80% of the grind size that you want. But the other 20-30% are too fine or too coarse. Having a consistent granule size will give you a more consistent cup of coffee.
How To Grind Coffee Beans With A Blender
- Always grind your coffee immediately before brewing your coffee. Why? The oils inside the coffee bean evaporate quickly. The longer these oils are exposed to the open air, the faster they evaporate. These oils are essential to a good cup of coffee. These oils, within the bean, contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor.
- Grind only as much beans as you’re going to use in the next 5 minutes. Do not grind as much coffee as you think you’ll need over the next few days or week.
- Although #2 above is very important, I’ve also found that grinding coffee ina blender works better with 8 ounces or more of beans. By using 8+ ounces, the grind seems to usually be more consistent in size. Granted, if I’m making only one cup, then I’ll want less than 8 ounces.I’ve found that if you use the pulse setting, that helps a lot. That way, you can look at the resulting grinds every few seconds to see if you’re getting what you want.
- The key here is to experiment. Most people figure out what they like after 3-5 tries. From that point on, it’s a no-brainer.
- How much coffee beans should you use per cup of coffee? That depends on many variables like:
- How old the beans are
- Do you like your coffee smooth or bold
- Is strong coffee your style or is smooth your style
Click this link for step-by-step details on how to grind coffee beans
Fresh Roasted Whole Bean Coffee
Grinding your coffee, either with a top-of-the-line coffee grinder or grinding your coffee with a blender; keep in mind that grinding, though important, is one of several important factors in making a great cup of coffee.
The most important factor in making coffee is making sure that the coffee beans that you’re using are fresh. Few people know that coffee starts going stale and bitter immediately after the beans are roasted. Generally speaking, you have 30 days between roasting and brewing before the beans are noticeably bitter.
Sadly, most coffee sold in America has been sitting in warehouses or on store shelves for months if not years. It’s no wonder that Americans are renowned for making horrible coffee. So, when shopping for beans, make sure that the roast date is on the package and it’s less than a week old. OK, that just eliminated 95% of coffee sold in America. Even your local coffee shop lets their coffee sit on the shelves for weeks if not months.
Take heart there is a source for Fresh Roasted Whole Bean Coffee, and that would be the internet (see section below “Lake City Coffee”.
Granule Size For Ground Coffee
Each brewing method lends itself to different grind sizes, i.e. granule size. Keep in mind that this is just a “rule of thumb”. Far more important is figuring out what you like. As a rule-of-thumb, the finer the grind the more potent, bold, and bitter the coffee. The courser the grind, the smoother, less bitter, and less tasteful the coffee.
Drip – Whether using a machine or manual pour over or anything that allows the water to drip through the grounds, then I recommend a medium grind.
Pressure – Whether that being an espresso machine or a moka pot or something pushing water or steam through the grounds, generally you want a fine grind.
AeroPress – This is my all time favorite method, since it produces a super smooth cup of coffee and it’s dirt cheap. This method also allows the coffee grounds to soak (steep) in the water for a few minutes, thus picking up more flavor. I use a medium-fine grind.
French Press – For the same reason as the AeroPress, I love this method since it allows the grounds to soak (steep) in the water for several minutes, thus pulling many of the coffee’s best flavors out of those beans. And like the AeroPress, I use a medium-fine grind.
Cold Brew – This method is brain-dead simple and produces the smoothest coffee on Earth. The down side is that it’s not as “flavorful” as the French Press or AeroPress, but sure is smooth (non-bitter). I make cold brew for Alisha every day and use a coarse grind.
Lake City Coffee
Alisha and I started Lake City Coffee because we love super smooth coffee, i.e. on-bitter. I’m almost 68 and I remember my grandmother’s coffee being 10 times better than anything you can buy at the store today. Why? Because back then, she purchased beans that were roasted the day before.
Keep in mind that my grandmother was a pathetic cook, yet she made awesome coffee. Why? It was those super fresh beans. Fresh roasted whole bean coffee covers a lot of sins. You can do everything else wrong, but if you have fresh beans, it’s hard to go wrong. Always remember this. The fresher the beans, the better the coffee.