How to Grind Coffee Without a Coffee Grinder

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If you are serious about your coffee, I’m betting you keep a high-quality grinder in your kitchen that is easy to reach at all times of the day.

But, like everything, a coffee grinder is mechanical and no matter how great it is, it can break down. How many of you have stood in your kitchen in the early morning in utter panic because your coffee beans grinder gave up the ghost?

Of course, there might not be a problem with your grinder, you could just be somewhere where you don’t have one handy if you are traveling. Whatever the reason, it ultimately means you can’t grind that coffee for your morning pot of wake me up juice.

Or can you?

Just because you don’t have a grinder, doesn’t mean you can’t grind your favorite whole bean coffee so you can brew a pot of coffee. There are several different methods available to you that will let you grind up those coffee beans so you don’t have to go without your morning cup of coffee.

It can be challenging to grind coffee beans without coffee grinder. But we believe it’s possible to grind coffee beans with some basic tools.

Today, let’s take a look at how to grind coffee without a coffee grinder so you never have to worry about going without coffee simply because your grinder fails you or you find yourself somewhere with coffee in hand but no grinder.

How to Grind Coffee Beans Without Coffee Grinder?

Tools You Will Need

Each of the methods we will look at below do require that you have a few basic tools or appliances in your kitchen. If you don’t have some of these tools, I’m afraid you will have a hard time grinding up those beans. That being said, most kitchens are equipped with at least a few of these, even if you aren’t a culinary artist.

Some of the tools you may need are:

  • Blender
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Hand mincer or grinder
  • Ziplock freezer bag
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Hammer
  • Rolling Pin

Alternative Grinding Methods

No, we aren’t talking about dance moves you would see in a late night club, although maybe we should at least take a minute to daydream about it…pardon me, I got a little distracted there for a minute. We are talking about several different ways you can grind beans so you can make a great cup of coffee even if you find yourself without an actual grinder in your kitchen.

Mortar and Pestle

It’s time to kick it old school and break out that mortar and pestle. In many ways, this is the best way to grind your beans but it will take a little practice. Your best option is to start with just a few beans as there is a small chance that they could go flying across the room until you get the hang of it. Continue to crush your coffee beans until you reach the desired level of grind for your taste in coffee. This method, while effective, does take a bit of practice to get the hang of, so be prepared to ruin a few beans in the beginning until you get used to using a mortar and pestle for your coffee.

Hand Mincer or Grinder

Some of you reading this I would bet have never even seen a hand mincer or grinder. Do you know what I am talking about? These old style grinders would sit at the edge of your counter often screwed into it so they couldn’t move. They were made of heavy duty metal and could easily grind up almost anything you put it in with just a turn of the hand crank. I’m sure some of you have one of these somewhere. Simply drop the beans into the grinder and start turning that crank. You may have to run the beans through it multiple times to get the desired grind. But, with a little elbow grease, you will be able to brew a great cup of coffee.


Another great way that you can not only grind your coffee but also take out a few of your frustrations is by hammering them into coffee grounds. Take a high quality freezer bag and place the beans inside it sealing it shut with as little air in the bag as possible. Then place the plastic bag between two towels and proceed to get out all your stress and frustrations with nice even swings of relatively equal force. I must warn you, though, that it is difficult to get an even grind using this method. Of course if you don’t have any other options available, this one will most definitely work.

Roll Those Beans

If you are hoping to get a more even coffee ground without using a grinder, one sure fire trick is to break out the rolling pin and roll those beans to perfection. Place the beans in a high quality freezer back and seal it letting as much air out of the bag as you possible can leaving you with a nice flat bag resting on your kitchen counter. Begin to roll the pin over your beans crushing them and continue to roll back and forth over them until you reach your desired grind. If you don’t happen to have a rolling pin handy in your kitchen, you could always try using a sturdy glass bottle such as a wine bottle or even a can of food will do the trick.

Blend to Perfection

You don’t have to kick it old school when you want to grind your beans without a coffee bean grinder. In fact, you can take the easy way and get out that handy blender you have sitting in your cabinet. That blender isn’t just for making delicious smoothies or milkshakes, after all. Simply drop the beans into the blender and blend them into a powder. Be careful you don’t over blend them as that will result in a powder that is much too fine to make a good cup of coffee.

Ask a Friend

If your kitchen is so sparse that you don’t have any of these tools or if you simply don’t want to grind your coffee in anything but a coffee grinder, you could always try calling up a friend or maybe a coworker that you know loves coffee. They may let you borrow their grinder or they may even let you come over and grind your coffee right there. If you don’t know anyone that has the same level of coffee addiction that you do, then you could always try your local coffee shop. I would recommend one that you frequent so they know you. The local baristas may be willing to grind your coffee for you and some shops may even offer a grinding service for a small fee.


There are lots of reasons why you may find yourself unable to grind your favorite coffee beans. But regardless of the reason, it is important for you to know that you aren’t without options. While you could just give up and head to your local coffee shop, with a little ingenuity and some patience, you can grind that favorite bean and enjoy the perfect cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home. Thankfully, there are several different ways you can do it. While each of the methods we discussed do require specific tools from your kitchen, most kitchens should have at least one or two of these handy.

When you do grind them yourself without a grinder, I guarantee you will be proud of yourself, and now that you have discovered your inner MacGyver, here is a paper clip and piece of gum, see what you can make with it.