Have you ever rushed through a supermarket aisle, only to realize half the stuff you bought isn’t right? I once grabbed what I thought was pre-ground coffee, and then discovered it was a bag of whole coffee beans.
Turns out, this is a common mishap for many people. Some just go without coffee until their next grocery run or buy coffee every morning from their local Starbucks. But others have attempted to grind their coffee beans, using regular kitchen appliances.
I did wonder: can you grind coffee beans in a food processor? Today I am going to divulge the answer to my dilemma and tell you how you can brew a perfect cup of coffee from scratch, with basic cooking tools.
Using a Food Processor Instead of a Coffee Grinder
But what about using a food processor to grind coffee? The short answer is, yes.
You can absolutely use a food processor for grinding coffee beans. The only difference is that it is best to grind a small batch of coffee beans at a time in a food processor.
The Difference between a Grinder and Food Processor:
Although you can use both to grind coffee beans, a coffee grinder and food processor work differently. A coffee grinder uses burrs to crush and break the beans by using a very abrasive surface.
This results in a softer and finer grind, which is a better option for things like Turkish coffee, espresso, Moka pot, and AeroPress coffee.
Moreover, coffee grinder burrs result in a uniform grind which makes perfect extraction much easier, resulting in a bold, strong, and smooth flavor.
On the other hand, a food processor uses sharp blades to cut through food. These blades will pulverize the beans, giving you a somewhat coarser grind. Moreover, the grounds won’t be as uniform as those of the coffee mill.
However, you can still make a great cup of coffee from these grounds. The coarser grind makes it best for French presses, percolators, and Chemex brewers.
How to Grind Coffee in Food Processor Appliances:
If you haven’t used a food processor to grind coffee beans before, you might find this how-to guide useful. For the best results, you will need two tablespoons of coffee beans to brew 6-8 ounces of coffee.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Put your coffee beans into the bowl of the food processor, close the lid and plug it in.
- Find the On/Off buttons on your food processor or the High/Low-speed settings. Press the button five times, for about 2 seconds each time. Start at a low speed so you can keep track of how fine the coffee grinds are.
- Gently shake the processor so that the particles at the top of the bowl fall to the bottom by the blades. You can also tap the feet of the appliance gently on your counter.
- Next, hold down the High button for around 30 to 45 seconds, keeping a close eye on the texture of the beans. Any whole beans that have been pushed to the side of the should be tapped or shaken back to the center.
- You want the coffee grounds to be medium-fine or coarse, instead of extremely powdery.
- Tap or shake the processor cover to dislocate the loose grounds and lift off the cover and set it aside.
- Rotate and lift the worktop bowl off the processor base.
- Empty the ground beans and into a separate bowl or jar.
- For any residual ground coffee left in the processor, use a pastry brush or even a small silicone spatula to sweep them out of the bowl.
- Clean the bowl of the food processor with dish soap to prevent greasy buildup or lingering smells.
- Use your grounds to brew yourself a nice cup of coffee!
Other Methods for Grinding Coffee Beans
In case you don’t have a food processor, there are still a few other options for grinding coffee beans using household appliances.
A blender uses the same slicing mechanism to crush coffee beans like a good processor. A Ninja blender coffee grinder will work just as well as any food processor, as will a Vitamix coffee grinding as an alternative.
To get a coarse ground, use the Pulse option a couple of times for 5-6 seconds each time. For a finer grind, blitz the beans in 10-second increments. Once again, it is important to keep an eye on the beans to assess how fine the grounds are.
Mortar and Pestle:
If you are okay with going old-school and putting in some elbow grease, a mortar and pestle is a great way to grind coffee. In fact, this process releases some of the more fragrant oils from the coffee beans, which will give your coffee a stronger and richer flavor.
You need to work with a small scoop of coffee beans at a time. With one hand, hold the mortar in place, while you use your dominant hand to hold the pestle. Use the pestle to forcibly press down and crush the beans in a twisting motion.
After the beans have been crushed, use the pestle to move the coffee around the bowl, so you can see the texture. If you are satisfied with the consistency, empty the grounds into a bowl or your coffee maker.
Hammer or Rolling Pin:
The idea behind this is simple, you use something heavy like a rolling pin, dowel, or large can to crush and grind the coffee beans. Make sure the beans are in a sealed bag. The advantage of the rolling pin is that it can crush and grind at the same time, so you get a finer texture.
When you use a wooden dowel or rolling pin, you end up with a medium-fine to fine grind, which is ideal for drip coffee brewing or pour-over coffee.
A hammer or mallet simply crushes the beans, which results in a coarser grind. This makes it a good option for cold brews, Chemex, and drip coffee makers.
To learn more about different and creative ways to grind coffee beans in greater detail, check this out!
Still Got Questions?
Here you will find answers to questions people often have about grinding coffee beans in a food processor.
01. Can I Grind Whole Coffee Beans in a Food Processor?
Yes, you can grind coffee beans in a processor, but the texture and consistency won’t be as fine as they would get with a proper coffee grinder.
02. Can I Grind Coffee Beans in a Small Bullet Blender?
Small bullet blenders are perfectly okay if you want to grind enough coffee beans for a single serving of coffee, like one or two tablespoons of beans.
03. What are the Grind Consistencies for Different Brewing Methods?
|Grind Consistency||Brewing Method|
|Coarse||Cold Brew Coffee, French Press, Percolator|
|Medium-Coarse||Chemex coffee maker, Clever Dripper|
|Medium||Conical Pour-over Brewers,Flat Bottom Drip Coffee Machines|
|Medium-Fine||Conical Pour-over Brewers, Aeropress|
|Fine||Espresso, Moka Pot|
04. Can I Grind Coffee the Day before Brewing?
For the best flavor, grind your coffee beans right before brewing them. Brewing them a day before, or even the night before will result in a weaker tasting brew with a subdued fragrance.
A broken coffee grinder is no reason to ditch your morning cup of joe. The next time you need to crush whole coffee beans, you will know the answer to the question: can you grind coffee beans in a food processor?
Instead, you grab your trusty processor and have a steaming cup of coffee in minutes. Best of all, you’ll never have to resort to diner coffee again!