Today, coffee comes in many different strengths and flavors. Smart fully automatic coffee machines conjure up a cup of fresh coffee from small capsules or pods at the push of a button. So why should you grind the coffee yourself?
For many, self-ground coffee made from fresh coffee beans is the epitome of enjoyment. The taste and aroma of a type of coffee only develop when it is ground. Shortly afterward, the coffee tastes unadulterated and particularly aromatic. If you grind the coffee yourself, the powder also has the right grind for every type of preparation.
How to grind coffee with the coffee grinder
It is best to use a manual coffee grinder for full coffee enjoyment. Grinding manually with the coffee grinder can sometimes be a bit tiring, but it’s worth it. But if that is too time-consuming for you, you can turn to the electronic mill.
You can choose between various manual coffee grinders to grind your own coffee. They are often differentiated based on their grinder. The most common are mills with disc or conical grinders. The grinder is made of either stainless steel or ceramic. With a grinder with an adjustable grinder, you can grind your coffee to different degrees of fine.
How to grind coffee in the grinder yourself
- You will need about 2 tablespoons of beans per cup. Depending on how strong you like your coffee, you can also take a little more or less.
- Put the desired amount of beans in the coffee grinder. Then set the desired grinding degree. With a hand-operated grinder, all you have to do is turn the crank to grind the beans. Electronic coffee grinders are operated via a button.
- The coffee powder collects in the collecting container. Take it out and brew your coffee as desired.
How fine should be the coffee grind?
Depending on how long the coffee comes into contact with the water and has time to release its aromas from it (extract), the coarser it should be ground. Very fine coffee has a larger surface overall and therefore extracts very quickly. If you let it steep for too long, it becomes bitter. The bitter taste covers the coffee aromas.
- Coarsely ground coffee goes into a French press. Here the water touches the coffee directly and brews for up to 4 minutes.
- Brew medium-coarse coffee in the espresso maker.
- The medium-fine powder is best suited for filter coffee from the filter machine or the hand filter.
- Fine to a very fine powder is suitable for the portafilter in the espresso machine and Turkish coffee.
You can grind coffee beans using a variety of household methods. Let’s review them one by one.
Imagine this. It is Sunday morning. Still a bit sleepy, we swing our feet out of bed and shuffle into the kitchen to make coffee. Yawn properly and stretch once, then the beans are taken out of the cupboard, followed by the coffee grinder and espresso maker. Plug the coffee grinder into the socket, fill in the beans, and off you go.
And then: nothing … just silence. The grinder does not move, the beans stay whole, the espresso maker has screwed apart on the worktop. And now? How do you get that much-needed coffee now?
We looked around for alternatives to a coffee grinder. What can you do when the mill goes on strike? Some household utensils are quite suitable for shredding coffee beans for the French press. But is it also possible to produce fine powder for an espresso coffee machine?
How to grind coffee beans without a grinder: at a glance
- Crush the coffee beans with a mortar, pestle, and a lot of force
- Use a meat mallet to pound the coffee beans into small pieces
- Roll over the beans with a rolling pin with pressure
- Use a blender or food processor to shred the beans. This coarse grind is more suitable for the French press.
How to grind coffee beans with mortar and pestle
You put a small amount of beans in the mortar and start pounding the beans. Anyone who often works with a mortar and pestle knows that it can take a lot of strength. Coffee beans in particular, which are very hard, require a lot of effort. As soon as small bits cover the bottom of the mortar, it becomes easier.
You simply crush the coffee until the coffee powder is suitable for our type of coffee preparation. If we use an espresso maker, we grind the coffee medium-fine. If we own an espresso machine, we have to use mortars and pestles even longer, because we need a very fine grind.
How to grind coffee beans with a meat hammer
Another option is the meat mallet. Pretty much anything can be made smaller with it. It is best to put the coffee beans in a freezer bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and put a board underneath. Now it’s time to knock and hammer as hard as you can. Try to get the right grind as possible.
If you have an espresso coffee machine, you will probably have to have a lot of effort to achieve a very fine grind.
How to grind coffee beans with a rolling pin
To grind coffee beans with the rolling pin, we need a freezer bag or something similar. Baking paper will do it too, if necessary. Pour the beans into the bag or place them between the baking paper, place them on a board, and shake a little so that they are properly distributed in the bag. Now apply pressure on the beans with the rolling pin. The smaller they get, the easier it is to roll the rolling pin over the beans.
Roll the rolling pin over the paper until the desired degree of grinding for the espresso coffee machine, espresso cooker, etc. is reached.
How to grind coffee beans with a blender
If you don’t want to use a lot of force, you can also use the mixer to grind the coffee beans. If you have a stand mixer, simply fill the beans into the container and press start. The best thing to do is to let the mixer run at short intervals, check the grind, and mix the grist well. Briefly press start again and repeat the whole thing until you are satisfied with the grinding degree.
However, since the beans should not be very evenly ground and rather coarsely, it can be difficult to prepare them in the espresso machine.
How to grind coffee beans with a food processor
The food processor works in a similar way to the method with the stand mixer. Here, too, it makes sense to grind the beans in small intervals and check the grinding in between. Since the kitchen machine works with knives, the beans are chopped up. As a result, the coffee powder is rather coarse and uneven. Rather bad for an espresso coffee machine, but probably sufficient for the French press.
Have you been successful? These solutions are not ideal, but they can save us from a catastrophe – a morning without coffee. When in doubt, that’s better than nothing. Nevertheless, you should get yourself a new coffee grinder at the next best opportunity.
Why should I grind coffee myself?
Coffee flavors are very sensitive: they evaporate within a few days after grinding, and the intensity is already reduced considerably in the first quarter of an hour after grinding. Many coffee lovers, therefore, prefer to grind the coffee themselves shortly before the brewing process so that they can still enjoy the fullest possible aroma.
How long can I store freshly ground coffee?
Freshly ground coffee powder should be used up within 14 days, as the aroma will be lost if it is stored for a longer period of time. Make sure to use an airtight container for storage and to store the coffee in a dark, cool, and dry place. The same applies to the whole coffee bean: although it has a longer shelf life, the intensity of the aroma is reduced over time. You should also use freshly purchased coffee beans within 14 days to enjoy the full aroma.
How many grades of fineness are there?
How to grind coffee depends on the drink you are going to make:
- Coarse grind
- Medium grind
- Fine grind
- Superfine grind
The individual grinding degrees are designed for different types of coffee preparation or for the different desired hot drinks.