Freshly ground coffee beans make an excellent cup of coffee with a refreshing flavor. Grind your coffee beans just before brewing will protect the natural coffee flavor and aroma from environmental exposure. You can grind coffee beans in a grinder, but if you don’t have a grinder, you can have alternative ways to grind your coffee beans.
In this guide, you will be provided with coffee bean grinding methods without using the grinder for the French press.
To grind your coffee beans without a grinder, you will require the following things.
- Large butcher block/chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Wide counter space as coffee beans can fly
- Plastic zip lock bags/large parchment paper sheets
- A plastic scoop (optional)
- Kitchen towels/paper towels
- Elbow grease
- Rolling pin
- Meat tenderizer/hammer
Besides the things mentioned above, you need a lot of patience also. Grinding coffee beans without a grinder is indeed a labor-intensive task. You must be patient with the procedure.
Methods to Grind Coffee without Grinder for French Press
This guide provides 5 easy and simple methods to grind coffee beans without a grinder.
1. Mortar and Pestle
Using a mortar and pestle is a traditional means of grinding herbs, spices, and medicines. You can grind your coffee beans with this method. Hammering and rolling motion in this method help attain the coffee grounds’ desired consistency. You can get a wide range of coffee grounds from French press coarse to fine Turkish-coffee grounds. Follow the given procedure to grind your coffee beans.
- Add a few scoops of coffee beans to the mortar. Do not overfill it, as it will become hard to handle a lot of coffee beans together. Fill your mortar up to ¾ of its total capacity.
- Hold the pestle in your hand firmly and, with the other hand, holds the mortar into its place.
- Forcibly press the pestle down and crush the beans. Crush them with a twisting motion.
- After crushing, roll your pestle to the coffee present in the mortar until you get the desired consistency.
- If you have to grind more coffee beans, empty the mortar first and then add the remaining coffee
This method of grinding coffee may require your physical energy but the aroma and taste of freshly ground coffee with mortar and pestle are unmatchable.
2. A Rolling Pin
A rolling pin is capable of grinding and crushing coffee beans for your French press. You will get a finer grind coffee by the rolling pin method than many others. You will need a little elbow grease to ensure consistency in this method.
You will get the finer grounds for drip and pour-over coffee recipes if you perform this method correctly. You will need a rolling pin, parchment paper, or a zip lock bag, and a cutting board or good counter space for this method.
It could be any cylindrical and durable object for those who don’t know what a rolling pin is. For example, your rolling pin could be a can of food, a wooden dowel, and a wine bottle. Follow the given steps to grind your coffee beans with a rolling pin.
- Add your measured amount of coffee beans into a plastic bag, or you can also use two sheets of parchment paper. Coffee beans can fly, so you should fold the edges of parchment paper to restrict the beans’ movement and seal the paper.
- Lay this plastic bag or parchment paper flat on the counter. You can also use a cutting board instead of the counter.
- Using the rolling pin like a hammer, press it down to crush your coffee beans.
A hammer can crush your coffee beans, but you should be very careful while using a hammer as it can crush your hand also. You can break down coffee beans with a hammer, but you need to crush them afterward with another tool. If you want a fine-powered coffee, you have to crush the broken-down coffee beans. Follow the given procedure to grind coffee beans with a hammer or a meat tenderizer.
- Fill your coffee beans into a plastic bag, or you can also place them on parchment paper with folded edges.
- Use a hammer tightly to press down the beans and crush them.
- Do not hit the beans; only press them for crushing.
- Start crushing your beans from one side of the bag and then gradually move towards the other end.
You may need to crush these beans with another tool if you need finer coffee powder.
You can crush your coffee beans with a flat blade knife. You will get a medium to medium-fine grind with a flat blade knife. Thus, you require a large butcher’s or chef’s knife and a large cutting board for this process. Following easy steps will help you grind your coffee beans for a French press.
- Place coffee beans on a cutting board and place your knife flat on these beans. It will help to lay a kitchen towel on the knife to prevent coffee beans from flying.
- You have to press the beans firmly by placing your palm on the flat knife. Keep in mind that you should press them firmly but gently; otherwise, the beans will fly like garlic.
- First, try to break the beans, then after breaking, keep crushing them by pressing the knife with your palm. You can grind the beans finer by using the edge of the knife.
5. Food Processor
If you don’t have a grinder to grind your coffee beans, you can use a food processor as an alternative to it. Whatever the food processor you have, you can use it to grind your coffee beans. Use the following simple method to grind coffee beans for the French press.
- Add a few scoops of coffee beans into the processor’s bowl.
- Close the food processor lid firmly on the top.
- Turn on the processor to grind the beans for you. You should tilt the processor a little while grinding so that larger portions of coffee beans come under the blade. It’s better to grind the beans in a short burst.
- Empty the processor after grinding the beans and add the new coffee bean slot. Repeat the entire process until you get the desired amount of coffee grounds.
Importance of Coffee Ground Consistency
Consistent coffee grounds are necessary to extract the desirable flavor and taste from the coffee beans. Moreover, consistent grinding ensures that every cup you brew has the same flavor as the previous one. If your coffee beans are not consistently grounded, they may over-extract or under-extract some flavors. Hence, your coffee will not taste delicious.
Most importantly, grinding coffee beans aims to increase the surface area that will come in contact with water. The finer the grind, the water will pass through it more quickly. Similarly, the coarser the grind, the water will pass through it less quickly. So, the coffee ground consistency directly affects your coffee’s brewing time and extraction efficiency.
Without a grinder, you should grind only a few coffee beans at a time. Grind the beans in less quantity and then grind them again if needed.
You can grind your coffee beans with a French press without a grinder with different methods. Pestle/mortar and knife are the most famous and traditional tools to grind coffee beans. To extract maximum flavor and aroma, you should grind your coffee beans freshly just before brewing.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you use regular ground coffee in a French press?
Regular ground or finer ground coffee may not suit the French press. It is recommended to use medium-coarse coffee grounds in a French press. To get a consistent coarse ground coffee, you should grind the coffee beans with a pestle and mortar, rolling pins, and a knife.
2. Is it possible to brew coffee beans without grinding them?
Yes, technically, it is possible to brew coffee beans without grinding them. But without grinding, the surface area of the beans gets smaller, so the brewing process will take longer than usual. So, it’s best to grind coffee beans before brewing.
3. What can you use to grind coffee beans if you don’t have a grinder?
If you don’t have a grinder, you can grind your coffee beans with the following methods.
- Use pestle and mortar
- Use a knife
- Grind with a rolling pin
- Grind with a hammer
- Use food processor