Roll up your sleeves and find out how you can start grinding coffee beans at home!

Usually brew freshly ground coffee but fancy some wholebeans? Want to make a bit of noise at home? Stuck in the middle of some gaping abyss with only whole coffee beans and a rolling pin for company? Panic not – fresh coffee grounds are just moments away!

Grinding coffee beans without a grinder isn’t ideal (we’ll tell you why in a mo), but we’re talking about survival here. These are the times when you need to grind your coffee. Or just fancy having a bit of fun…


Selection of different coffee grind sizes on a white dish


How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder: Five Ways

Wondering how to grind coffee beans at home? Then you’re in for a treat. Because there are not one, not two, but FIVE snazzy ways you can try grinding coffee beans at home!

And here they are…

1. Use a manual hand grinder

2. Blender

3. Food Processor

4. Rolling Pin

5. Pestle and Mortar


Why Is Grinding Important?

We can’t brew whole coffee beans. Well, we can, but it would take fooooorever. By grinding into smaller pieces, we increase the surface area of the beans, which helps the coffee brew more quickly and enables the lovely flavours to extract at an even rate.

You can buy whole coffee beans to grind at home, or find freshly ground coffee from indie roasters like Two Chimps. Our bespoke hand grinding makes sure you get the very freshest ground coffee for your cup. We always – always – grind on the day of dispatch and then pack your lovely grounds in freshness-sealing pouches. This makes sure your coffee grounds stay bursting with freshness and flavour!

Why Is Coffee Grind Size Important?

It’s not a case of one size fits all here – we’re not talking about socks! Getting your coffee grind size right is key to great-tasting coffee. Why? Because the size of your grounds affects the rate the coffee extracts. The best way to explain this is with a little analogy, so we’re gonna take a trip to the seaside…

Right, we’re on the beach and you’ve had your Mr Whippy. You then take two buckets of sand. One contains small pebbles; the other is full of sand that’s fine and, well, sandy. You pour water over each lot of sand. It trickles quickly through the pebbles, doesn’t it? And takes ages to come through the bucket of sandy sand?

It’s the same with your coffee grind size. Grind too fine, and the water will take a long while to come through when you brew. The coffee grounds and water will be in contact with one another for a long time, and your coffee might under-extract. This means it’ll taste slightly sour. Over-extracted coffee (which can come from grinding too coarsely) isn’t nice either – it tastes bitter and hollow.


Tips for grinding at home

What size should I grind my coffee? I need a coffee grind size chart!

Each coffee making device takes a slightly different grind size. But don’t worry, you’ve not got to remember them all! Here’s the only coffee grind size chart you need….


Coffee grind size chart




FREE Brew Guide



Why do I need to be extra careful when grinding coffee beans at home?

Learning how to grind coffee beans without a grinder is awesome fun. Buuuut… we can’t lie, the grounds you get probably won’t be consistent in size.

Unless you’re some kind of superhuman.

Whether you are grinding fine or a bit more coarsely, electric burr grinders will give you nice, evenly sized grounds. To get this consistency with makeshift home methods is really hard. Your home-ground coffee will probably contain a bit of a mismatch of larger and smaller grounds, and this runs the risk of uneven extraction. This isn’t a major problem, but it won’t give you that standout finesse – that final flourish of flavour – that sets a super-duper cup apart.

How To Grind Coffee Beans Without A Grinder

Let’s check out those five methods…


How to grind coffee with a blender

They mix and puree, they blitz and blend (obviously) – they also grind coffee beans!

Your kitchen blender works a bit like a blade grinder, the not-so-great option from the two types of electric grinders (burr grinders are the best).

Blenders are best for grinding beans to a coarser size. Some blenders even include a special ‘grinder’ setting that is specifically designed for grinding coffee beans.

Want to know how to grind coffee in a blender? Here’s a wee step-by-step…

  1. Select a medium-high setting on your blender, or the ‘grinder’ setting if it has one
  2. Add the beans to the contain and PUT THE LID ON (can you tell this bit is important??)
  3. Grind in pulses of around 3 seconds each
  4. Just as with the food processor, be sure to shake the blender gently to move the larger pieces closer to the blade
  5. Stop when you have reached the grind size you want
  6. Wash up as soon as you are finished – you don’t want your next strawberry smoothie having a whiff of coffee!

How to grind coffee beans with a pestle and mortar

You can grind at home with a pestle and mortar, but there’s one big downside: you can only grind tiny amounts at once. Ideal if you’re making coffee for pixies, but pretty time-consuming for us humans. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add coffee beans to the mortar so it’s about a quarter full
  2. Use the pestle to smash the whole beans into grind-able pieces
  3. Then, continue by using a circular motion until you reach the desired consistency
  4. Add more beans and repeat

Can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?

Yes you can! Again, the consistency won’t be anywhere near as good as if you were buying freshly ground coffee, but grinding in a good processor is still an option. A little better than the blender option, too.

You will need to add more coffee to your food processor than your blender because it will probably have a larger work bowl.

1. Add a few scoops of beans to the contain and PUT THE LID ON

2. Grind in pulses of around 3 seconds each. Short pulses are better because this avoids overheating the coffee and making the final cup taste bitter

3. Shake or tilt the processor to get the grinds that have whizzed to the outside and keep your grinding as consistent as poss

4. Stop when you have reached the grind size you want

5. Tip out your fresh coffee grounds, add more beans and repeat




How to grind coffee with a rolling pin

Now we’re really getting back to basics! Smashing beans with a rolling pin will definitely not give you the even consistency of a really good brew, but it’s worth a go if you fancy some fun!

You might be able to get a finer grind size with a rolling pin than with a food processor, so it’s not bad for filter devices.

1. Pop the beans in food bag, close the zipper almost entirely and squash the air out

2. Start by bashing like you are breaking up biscuits for a cheesecake base

3. Once you’ve broken up most of the whole beans, change to a ‘rolling’ technique

4. Drive the pin over the coffee with a gentle but firm pressure. Keep giving it a little shake to bring the remnants into the middle

5. Keep going until you’ve reached the grind size you’re after



How to Grind Coffee with a Manual Coffee Grinder

Okaaay, we admit, this isn’t grinding coffee beans without a grinder. But it is grinding coffee without an electric grinder, so it still deserves a mention here.

Manual coffee grinders are small, hand-powered devices that grind whole coffee beans. They’re ideal if you’re going to make this grinding-coffee-beans-at-home business a regular thing.

To use your hand coffee grinder, simply set the grind setting to the desired size and then tip your coffee beans into the top chamber (the hopper). Add the lid, screw on the lever and start turning. And that’s it – you’re grinding!

Check out our manual grinder guide to learn more about manual coffee grinders and discover the best hand grinder for your kitchen!


Hand Grinder Guide



Enjoyed grinding coffee beans at home but got an achy arm now? No worries. Head to our shop, where you can get speciality coffee ground fresh on the day of dispatch!

The best ground coffee!

Charlotte Dibble

Meet the chimp behind this article!
Charlotte joined Two Chimps after completing her BA Hons in Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University. She also earned two diplomas: Art and Design Foundation and Professional Studies.

What Charlotte does outside of the treehouse:
In her spare time, Charlotte is a keen baker and loves to bring delicious treats for the team to enjoy during their Monday tea break. Charlotte likes to practice her drawing and painting skills to relax, usually with one of her cats sitting on her lap to keep her company!

Charlotte says…
“I’m thrilled to join the Two Chimps Troop after five years of studying. I get to write blogs, design, manage social media, and connect with our amazing customers every day. It’s always exciting, and I learn something new every day!”

Join the troop