Do you want to dig into a cup of hot steaming coffee that tastes and smells just like a barista right in the comforts of your home? Look no further as I have got the perfect solution for you, as today we explain everything about how to grind coffee beans at home for maximum flavour.
You can have that ultimate caffeine experience by using freshly ground beans of the highest quality, made at home, that can satisfy both your taste buds and your soul.
Why Grind Coffee Beans when Pre-Ground Coffee is Available?
If you wonder why the pre-ground coffee beans from the supermarket do not give you the same taste and flavour as the freshly ground coffee you get from a barista, the answer lies in the degree of freshness.
Coffee beans do a better job of retaining freshness when compared to pre-ground coffee. That’s because the wholebean locks in the gasses and flavours. Coffee beans typically last between 5-10 weeks after roasting because of this fact.
However, when you compare this to pre-ground coffee, it begins to get stale immediately after they are roasted and ground. Why? When exposed to oxygen, oxidation occurs. This means that the air begins to effect the oils in the beans start to evaporate, leading to a decline in taste and smells by the time it reaches you.
Some key factors that affect the freshness of pre-ground coffee beans are:
→Oxidation: When pre-ground coffee comes in to contact with air, it enables the process of oxidation. This changes the taste and flavour of the coffee beans. The ground coffee you get from the supermarket has already been oxidised whilst resting on the shelves and hence can have a milder more subdued taste than when you freshly grind coffee beans.
→Moisture: The oil present in the coffee beans is highly soluble in water. It is the primary ingredient that gives you the rich, authentic taste and smell of coffee. When the pre-ground coffee comes in contact with moisture in the air, the oil starts dissolving, taking away the richness of the coffee ground with it.
→Grind size: The size of the granules or particles of your coffee determines how intense your coffee will taste in the end. For example, if your coffee tastes watery and acidic, the beans are grounded too coarsely. Conversely, you can find your coffee too bitter if you use finely ground coffee beans.
How can the size of ground coffee beans affect your coffee taste?
We grind coffee beans to increase the surface area of coffee that comes in contact with water. A coarser grind will allow water to pass through it easier than a finer grind, thereby affecting brew time and extraction efficiency. A more robust coffee will require finer grounds, while a weaker one can do with a coarser consistency. This is due to bean density which comes from the origin of the coffee itself, the altitude and the roast level of the bean among other factors.
Different sizes of coffee grounds are used in a variety of coffee brewing methods. The appropriate grind size for each type of coffee is as follows:
|Grind Size||Brewing Method|
|Extra Course||Cold Brew|
|Course||French Press, Percolator, Vacuum coffee pot|
|Medium||Filter Coffee, Drip Coffee makers, Aeropress,V60.|
|Medium-Fine||Moka Pot / Stovetop|
|Super Fine||Turkish Coffee|
Grinding fresh coffee beans at home will give you control over the coarseness you want, and the right texture and flavour that you crave in your brew.
Ways You Can Grind Coffee Beans at Home
To perfectly grind coffee beans at home will give you the delicious cup of coffee you desire every morning. Everyone wants to start their day on the right note, so the next thing you need to consider is actually how to grind the coffee beans?
First of all, you’ll need to decide whether to invest in a coffee grinder or to try grinding coffee beans without one manually.
You might want to dive right into the grinding process straight away and forget exploring alternative ways to grind coffee.
Alternatively, If the thought of grinding coffee beans without a grinder makes you feel overwhelmed, fear not. Here are some ways to create perfectly ground coffee beans without owning a grinder.
Ways to Grind Coffee Without a Grinder.
If, like most of us, you already have a blender or a food processor at home, grinding coffee without a grinder would be achievable ! However, we are purveyors of quality coffee here at Balance, and we will say this. Grinding your coffee beans with a high quality grinder will provide best results with regards to flavour in the cup.
Here are some ways you can get your perfect ground coffee beans right at home without using a grinder.
1. Use a Blender to Grind Coffee Beans:
With a blender, you can grind your coffee beans in no time. The blender’s blade will grind the coffee beans much like an electric coffee grinder though you cannot control the coarseness of the beans the same way. Some blenders come with a grind setting, and if not, you can use the pulse setting or manually blend the coffee beans yourself.
Make sure not to overheat the blender by putting in a large number of coffee beans at a time as it might damage your blender, and you would have uneven chunks of coffee beans instead.
Grind your coffee beans in short, quick bursts with an on and off grinding technique that would give you the perfect ground texture.
How to Grind Coffee Beans with a Blender
- If your blender has a ‘grind’ setting, select it. Otherwise, blend the coffee beans on medium-high.
- Make sure not to overload the blender with too many coffee beans. Put in about ¼ cup to ½ cup of coffee beans in the blender and close the lid firmly.
- Set the blender on pulse setting and blend in a short sharp bursts. Blending for a longer duration can overheat the blender and damage it. Overheated blenders can also burn the coffee beans, leading to bitter-tasting coffee grounds.
- Check in between to see if the coffee beans have reached the level of coarseness you want, and voila, your coffee beans are ready to be savoured!
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to shake and stir the grounded coffee beans between blending to ensure they blend evenly. Also, keep the lid firmly shut while blending to avoid the coffee beans from flying off, causing a kitchen mishap.
Use a Food-Processor to Grind Coffee Beans:
Do you know you can also grind your coffee beans espresso-style by using a food processor?
You can use your food processor much the same way as your blender. Make sure to put a bit more coffee beans in it as it has a wider circumference than a blender and would require more to blend correctly.
How to Grind Coffee Beans in a Food Processor
- Pour about 1 to 1.5 cups of coffee beans into your food processor and shut the lid firmly. You have to pour a little more than while using the blender as the food processor is wider and would require more beans to get that perfect ground texture.
- Use the ‘Pulse’ setting on your processor in a short burst to get the perfect grind. Don’t forget to shake the processor in between to ensure you get a uniform texture of the coffee grind.
- You can get a coarse grind or a medium-fine grind, depending on how long you run the processor.
Pro-Tip: To ensure you get the right consistency, keep adding a few beans at a time while using the food processor. That will allow you to control the grind size and texture of the ground coffee beans whilst grinding.
You Can Grind Coffee Beans Manually
If you prefer to grind coffee without the use of an electric grinder, then you might want to try grinding coffee beans the manual way!
The process might be a tad longer and slower, and you will need more patience and a dollop of elbow grease, but the result may be more therapeutic for you. One other benefit is the saving of electricity.
Here are some of the ways you can grind coffee beans manually:
→Use the rolling pin: This is the easiest way to grind coffee beans if you are in a rush to get your morning caffeine fix. Take a small number of coffee beans (preferably weight these out, if you have time) in a Ziplock bag. Put the bag with the beans flat on the counter. Roll over it the coffee with your rolling pin. Make sure to start at the base and slowly roll over the beans to get the grind texture you need for your given brew method.
Pro-tip: Make sure the bag does not have any residue air as that would pop open the bag when you roll over the contents!
→Use a large knife: You can grind your coffee beans using a large, flat butchers’ knife and a chopping board. Use a large chopping board to ensure there’s no over-spill of coffee beans. Place some beans on the chopping board and slowly press the knife down on them to get the desired texture.
→Use Mortar and Pestle: If you have a little more time and patience, using a mortar and pestle can give you more evenly ground coffee powder. The benefit here is that, the more even the grind size, the better the extraction. A good extraction equals a good tasting coffee drink.
How to use mortar and pestle to grind coffee beans
- Fill about half of your mortar with coffee beans of your choice. Make sure to get a bigger mortar to avoid the beans from spilling over when crushed.
- Hold the pestle with your dominant hand while securing the mortar with your other hand.
- Crush the coffee beans using the pestle as a hammer and occasionally stirring them to mash them consistently.
- Calmly grind the beans until you get the consistency you prefer.
→Use a Hammer: You can use a hammer to crush the coffee beans to a consistency you like. Like the rolling pin method, put some coffee beans in a bag and hammer them to your desired consistency.
→Try a Heavy Frying Pan: You can use a large-based heavy frying pan to crush the coffee beans to your liking. Put some coffee beans in a bag and press down the heavy frying pan over it repeatedly to get the right consistency.
→Use a Garlic Crusher: if a coarser texture is what you are looking for, you can try using a garlic crusher to squeeze the beans to a rougher texture. First, put some beans in the garlic crusher and firmly press until all the coffee beans have passed through. Repeat the process till you get a coarse texture.
How to Grind Coffee with a Grinder
It is all well if you have lots of time and patience to grind your coffee beans the manual way, but the easiest and fastest way to get a batch of perfect ground coffee is to invest in a good quality coffee grinder.
If you have decided to invest in a coffee grinder that will provide you with the best quality of ground coffee in the comforts of your home, look no further. Here are the types of coffee grinders you might consider before heading off to purchase one for home.
How to Choose the Perfect Grinder?
If you are in the market for a coffee grinder that can give you perfectly ground coffee beans, you are spoiled for choice. But before you get out your wallet, consider which type of grinder will suit your needs:
- Blade or Electric Coffee Grinder
Electric blade coffee grinders, or coffee mills as they are popularly known, are the most common grinder available. They essentially chop up fresh coffee beans using propeller-shaped stainless steel blades that rotate at very high speeds (about 20000-30000 rpm). The longer you run it, the finer the texture of the coffee beans. It has no separate settings for different types of grinds.
You have to determine the coarseness by the length of time you run the machine. Whilst this solution works well, you don’t have complete control because it’s based on speed rather than grind size.
The main advantage of this grinder is that it is inexpensive, ranging from £30 to £100 in price. That is quite appealing as a good burr grinders typically cost between £100 to £300 for home use, excluding the premium range, of course.
→ Small Size:
If you have a smaller kitchen and generally lack space in your home, this type of grinder would be your ideal solution. It is also portable and can be taken with you when travelling.
→ Lack of uniform particles
The grinder chops the fresh coffee beans rather than grind them evenly. It is normal to get ground coffee with a mixture of different-sized coffee beans in them that can result in a bitter, unbalanced taste in your coffee.
⇢ Inconsistent Grinding
The grinder will give you results that vary widely from time to time, making it a hit-or-miss situation every time you grind some fresh coffee beans.This will them impact on the consistency of the coffee you drink on a daily basis. If you’re picky and you like consistently tasty coffee, then a higher quality solution will be in order.
⇢ Grinder Heats up Fast
As the grinder uses fast-rotating blades to grind coffee beans, using it for a long time will overheat the machine. It may burn the coffee beans causing them to have a bitter and burnt taste.
Let’s face it; not everybody wants to invest in an expensive, state-of-the-art coffee grinder to grind coffee beans at home. If you have budget and space constraints but still want to do some occasional grinding of coffee beans at home, here are some tips to follow.
⇢ Use a short burst to grind your coffee to prevent the beans from getting burnt. It would also prevent the overheating of your grinder, prolonging its life in the process.
⇢ Grind a small number of fresh coffee beans right before brewing your coffee. That way, you can get a flavourful brew every time you crave a caffeine fix.
⇢ Adjust your grind time to get the texture you want. For instance, grind the coffee beans for 8-10 seconds for a coarser grind. Increase the time to 12-15 seconds if you want a more refined texture and so on. Practice often to find out the exact time the grinder takes to provide you with the right texture for your brew.
2. Burr Coffee Grinder:
Unlike a blade coffee grinder, a burr coffee grinder uses two fast-spinning discs to smash coffee beans precisely. As burr grinders are manufactured to create a more uniform grind setting due to the shape of the burrs themselves, the power, and the chamber.
Rather than chopping the coffee beans to uneven pieces, a burr grinder will provide more uniform particles than the blade counterparts. Because of this, a burr grinder would significantly improve the quality of your brew in the cup.
There are two different kinds of burrs you can choose from – flat and conical.
How are they different and which one should you buy? Read on to decide that for yourself.
⇢Flat Disc Burr Coffee Grinder
A burr coffee grinder uses pressure between two discs to grind coffee beans. Flat burrs have two rings that lie flat over each other. They are horizontally aligned and have angular teeth. The distance between the teeth determines the size of the grind, which is what adjust when you adjust the grind setting.
⇢Conical Disc Burr Coffee Grinder
You can often find these grinders in coffee shops. Here, the conical burrs sit vertically on top of one inside the other. This means the grinding itself also takes place vertically. The outer burr is a hollow ring with angular teeth. The inner burr is conical with a large base. It looks flower-shaped from the above.
Flat vs. Conical Burr Coffee Grinders
Your brew quality can be affected by the grind consistency, temperature, and retention, which again can be influenced by the shape of the burr in the grinding machine.
While there has been an ongoing debate on the pros and cons of both types of burrs, without going into the technicalities, it has been proved that both types of coffee grinders are likely to produce uniformly ground coffee despite having structural differences.
Irrespective of what shaped burr grinders you purchase, if you have a good quality burr grinder, the shape of the burrs will not make that much of a difference in your brew quality. You can focus on other things like water quality.
Despite the disclaimer, the connoisseurs of coffee have their own preferences regarding which shape produces better coffee grounds.
The following theories are considered while deciding between both types of burr grinders.
⇢ Retention – Flat burrs retain more grounds than conical burrs. While grounding your fresh coffee beans, you need to consider how many excess grounds are left in the burr which would then dose into the next coffee shot. The problem with this is you can dose old coffee that’s been packed inside the coffee grinder from the last shot.
⇢ Ease of Use – Baristas agrees that conical burrs are easy to dial in and require minimum adjustments.
⇢ Different Burrs for Different Tastes – Some coffee experts have claimed that conical burrs bring out the brighter and more individual flavours. In contrast, flat burrs specialise in enhancing dark notes and chocolatey flavours.
⇢ Noise Issues – Generally flat burrs are noisy and can heat up quickly, while conical burrs are quieter and cooler to use.
⇢ Cost – Flat burrs are more expensive and consistent, while conical burrs can be cheaper but less consistent in quality.
If you want to invest in a grinder that gives your perfectly ground coffee with a consistent grind every time, here is a machine you should consider.
Wilfa Svart Coffee Grinder-Aroma Precision
This electric coffee grinder is an affordable way to make the perfect ground coffee at home or office. It suits a variety of brew methods, including AeroPress, Filter, and French Press, and always provides a consistent grind for a tasty brew.
- Adjustable grind size for steeped brewing through to espresso coffee extraction
- Intelligent grind basket to minimise mess
- Adjustable grind time for “set and forget” coffee grinding
- EU Two Pin plug (adaptor provided)
- SKU: CGWS-130B
- Hand Coffee Grinders
If you want to grind fresh coffee beans even when the power is out, hand coffee grinders can be just what you are looking for. If you have got some time to spare and do not mind the elbow grease, a hand coffee grinder can provide you with a ground of decent consistency.
If manual grinders are your preference, look no further.
Hario Coffee Grinder – The Prism
The Hario Prism is a beautiful manual coffee grinder with a ceramic burr and aluminium body. Equally important is the compact and elegant design perfect at home or traveling on the go. If you’re looking to grind your coffee beans daily, the Hario Prism coffee grinder is durable and will do just that.
Some of the features of the grinder are:
- Ceramic Burrs
- Plastic Inner Hopper
- Aluminium Outer Hopper
- Handheld & Travel Friendly
Hario Prism Coffee Grinder Dimensions:
- W145 x D52 x H200mm
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Grinding Coffee Beans at Home
If grinding coffee beans at home is not giving you the quality of brew you desire, you must be doing something wrong. Read on to discover the most common mistakes and what you can do differently to get the perfect ground coffee your taste buds desire.
- The Perfect Grind for Your Gadget
There are several grind variations that are suitable for making different methods of coffee. The secret of making that perfect brew is matching the type of grind with the style of coffee you are preparing. If you do not know what grind goes in what coffee style, your brew will not be satisfactory.
Here is a breakdown of each grind and what gadgets it is used in.
A Coarse Grind (salt like texture) is used in
⇢Vacuum Coffee maker
A Medium Grind (texture of brown or white sand) is used in
⇢Auto Drip Makers
⇢Drip-Makers with cone-shaped filters
A Fine Grind (texture of regular table salt or sugar)is used in
⇢Stovetop or Espresso Moka Pots
A Turkish Grind (Texture of baby powder)is used in
⇢Turkish Style Coffee
- Using Coffee Beans of a Poor quality
You need to invest in high-quality coffee beans to have an excellent quality grind. Over-roasted coffee beans would have an intense bitter flavour that will ruin the taste of your coffee even when you grind the coffee freshly at home. To make that perfect brew, your beans must be fresh with the proper roast style and quality raw ingredients.
If you are unsure about the coffee beans’ quality, consider investing in the Balance Coffee Bean Subscription. Our coffee subscription fits perfectly in to your busy lifestyle. You can taste exciting new coffee flavours from around the world delivered right at your doorstep.
- Grinding your Coffee Too Early
Coffee beans get their flavour from the oils within them. To get the best flavours from the coffee beans, prepare to grind the fresh coffee beans as close to the time of brewing. Grinding the coffee beans well ahead of time will cause loss of the oil in the beans which will produce a stale taste in your brew.
For best results, make sure the brewing water is ready as you grind the coffee beans and use them immediately after grinding to preserve the freshness across the beans and the water.
- Failing to Use The Correct Weight of Coffee Beans
Always measure the fresh coffee beans you use while grinding, as using too much will waste the coffee beans. Keep a note of your daily consumption and grind the appropriate amount of coffee beans to prevent wastage.
- Using a Dirty Coffee Grinder
Fresh coffee beans tend to absorb the odours of other food. Using the grinder for preparing other food and failure to clean it before grinding your coffee beans may result in the coffee ground with contaminated flavour.
To make the best ground coffee make sure to clean the grinder before using. Before grinding the coffee beans, you can grind some hard, uncooked white rice to clean out the stale smell and residue left in the machine. Another option, is purchasing some cleaning tablets.
Interesting facts about coffee to ponder on:
1) Caffeine Content Changes Based on Roast of Coffee
When coffee is roasted the beans lose about 90% of their water content. If you measure your coffee by scoops, the lightly roasted coffee will have more caffeine. Since the beans are denser than the darker roast. However, if you weigh out your scoops, the darker roasts will have more caffeine, because there is less mass.
2) Storage of Coffee Beans
The best way to store coffee beans is in sealed containers made from glass or ceramic. Glass containers, if used, must be kept in dark places away from direct sunlight. In any case, you must always store fresh coffee beans in an air and moisture-proof seal. Make sure that you avoid putting coffee in the fridge as it takes on more moisture.
3) How long can you store coffee beans?
Coffee beans can be stored in an air-tight container up to 3 months. However, they’ll loose some of their freshness so we recommend drinking within 2-6 weeks from roast date. Anything after this and you’ll taste stale nots due to the loss of aromatic and volatile compounds.
5) What are espresso beans?
In theory, an espresso roast is a coffee specifically deigned to be used when making espresso. Generally it would work with milk based drinks and wouldn’t be suitable for filter coffee because it would have been roasted longer. The name ‘espresso roast’ denotes different blends of coffee used to achieve an optimal espresso.
6) What is dirty coffee?
Dirty coffee is made with cold milk and a double shot of espresso. It gets its name from the rich dark brown colour of the brew.
7) What is a mocha – latte?
Latte is an espresso-based milky drink. A mocha-latte is a latte with a dash of chocolate syrup added to it.
8) Can you grind coffee beans in the Ninja Blender?
Although coffee grinders are more suitable, you can still grind coffee beans in the Ninja blender. Look for a Ninja with at least 500 watts of power to grind the coffee beans effectively. Also, use a small amount at a time to have a consistent grind and blend on a low or pulse setting.
9) Can you grind coffee beans in Nutribullet?
Yes, the Nutribullet can ground your coffee beans with much more precision than a blender or food processor. Use the pulse setting and grind in quick bursts to get the desired texture.
10) What is the difference between instant coffee and ground coffee?
Ground coffee comes from roasted coffee beans which are subsequently ground using a coffee grinder. On the other hand, instant coffee is a soluble form of freeze-dried coffee which we suggest avoiding at all costs.
11) Can you use ground coffee to make Dalgona?
Dalgona coffee is made with instant coffee, water, milk, and sugar. Yes, you can use ground coffee to make Dalgona or whipped coffee. Just add an extra amount of sugar to turn it into a nice and fluffy texture. Check out our Dalgona recipe guide here.
12) Can you freeze ground coffee?
Unknown to most people, you can actually successfully freeze ground coffee. However, it requires precision and speed to make it work before the moisture deteriorates and impacts the quality of the coffee. Using frozen beans is said to increase grind uniformity due to the harder more robust coffee beans due to the fact they are frozen.
In the end, it all boils down to preference and taste. Following the tips and tricks from the team at Balance Coffee, you can grind coffee beans at home to upgrade your coffee game and enjoy top quality coffee, just like your barista made it.
Get started right away and get your barista-style brew right in the comforts of your home.