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.
7 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
A mortar and pestle is a common kitchen tool used to grind herbs, spices, and medicines. You may not have one at home if you don’t cook too often or buy crushed spices. It is an essential kitchen item in most Asian households.
The best part is you can use mortar and pestle to grind coffee beans for French press. Its motion dynamics let you control how to find you want your coffee. Here’s how you can use mortar and pestle to grind coffee beans.
- Place your mortar on a solid flat surface.
- Add coffee beans up to ¼ of the total volume of the mortar. Don’t overfill, as the beans will fly out when you strike them with the pestle.
- Now hold the pestle with your dominant hand and mortar with the other hand.
- Cover the mortar with a clean cloth to keep the contents inside when you strike the pestle.
- Gently hammer the beans with the pestle. You don’t want to exert too much force as coffee beans will turn into dust or get too fine for a French press.
- Move the pestle in a twisting motion to shale the coffee beans.
- Remove the cloth and roll the coffee beans in the mortar with the pestle to achieve your desired texture and coarseness.
2. A Rolling Pin
A rolling pin delivers finer coffee for the French press. Please note that rolling pin takes more effort than other methods to achieve a consistent finish for your coffee.
You will need a rolling pin, parchment paper, or a Ziploc bag and a cutting tray as a base. You can use a wine bottle, wooden dowel, or any solid cylindrical object as a rolling pin.
Here’s how you can use a rolling pin to prepare coffee beans for the French press.
- Add coffee grounds in a Ziploc bag or parchment paper. You can also use parchment paper but make sure you fold the edges. The coffee beans must not be more than ¼ of the bag’s volume.
- Place the bag on a cutting tray or your counter.
- Check that the coffee beans are in a single layer.
- Start rolling the pin and keep on rolling until you achieve your desired finish.
- You may need to crush some beans. You can either use the rolling pin or a food hammer to do it. Make sure you don’t use a glass object to hammer the beans.
- Transfer the contents to the French press and make your coffee.
You can use a hammer or meat tenderizer to crush the coffee beans. However, such tools don’t deliver fine consistency. You will still need a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin to give a fine touch to coffee.
- 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 can use a butcher’s or a chef’s knife to crush coffee beans. These knives have a flat blade to get a medium-fine grind. Here’s how you can use a knife to crush coffee beans for the 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.
You can also use a kitchen blender to grind your coffee beans for a French press. Some latest models come with a grinding option that makes it easier to get the required consistency.
Here’s how you can use a blender to grind coffee beans for the French press.
- Set up your grinder and add a couple of scoops of coffee.
- Select the grinding option if your grinder has one, or select medium settings. You must not use high settings as it has a couple of drawbacks. First, the coffee beans will be converted into dust, and a high speed of blades produces heat. The heat, if transferred to coffee beans, can give a bitter taste.
- Use short pulses when grinding coffee beans and look closely at how the process goes.
- Tilt the blender side by side while grinding to expose uncrushed beans to the blade.
- Empty the contents and make yourself a delicious coffee.
7. Pepper Mill
You can also use a pepper mill to crush coffee beans. However, you must wash the pepper mill before adding coffee beans and check that it doesn’t have any smell.
All you have to do is add the coffee beans to a pepper mill and use it as you would normally crush black pepper. You may need to crush the beans with a hammer before adding them to a mill. It is a lengthy process but delivers a fine grind at the end.
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.
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.